My Betta Smaragdina Are Showing No Color...

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Joshaeus

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...and I am VERY frustrated all the pictures I see online suggest that B. smaragdina 'guitar' males are stunning fish with beautiful iridescent hues, but although my fish are 6 months old they never display anything even vaguely resembling those colors. What am I doing wrong? The tank is in the high 70's with dark brown substrate and, before today (when I did a re-scape) was so densely planted you seldom saw the fish. The only tank mates are a trio of beckford's pencilfish, which surprisingly chase the bettas at every opportunity (this is my best guess why their colors are lacking). PH is in the mid 6's, KH is about 3. Light is a 1600 lumen daylight bulb at 5000k. Thanks a million for giving any ideas how I can enjoy my Bettas again.
 

KinsKicks

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Hello!

I would definitely take out the pencil fish; if you do notice them chasing them constantly, then they are most likely stressed and stress is the fastest way for colors to disappear. Try it out and see if they change their behavior.
 
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Joshaeus

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midna

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have you tried conditioning them? plenty of almond leaves/botanicals/tannins, daily flaring exercises, live food?

i agree that it's probably those pencilfish if they're harassing the bettas
 

Rtessy

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My betta imbellis are plain brown most of the time, I wouldn't be too worried. They only get iridescent green when they get excited, which luckily includes feeding time.
 
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Joshaeus

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I've never seen them get excited at feeding time, alas...for that matter I don't often see them eating.
 
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