Why Does My Betta Turn Clear When I Clean His Tank

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Angela Gomez, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Angela GomezNew MemberMember

    Bob the BETTA after cleaned tank IMG_20180624_202853.jpg
    And Bob the BETTA before his tank cleaning
    My BETTA turns almost translucent after I change his tank. He stays that way for a couple days and hides like he hates his tank being cleaned. He is usually happy and velvet red color but almost goes clearish white when his tank gets cleaned I'm just worried but he is fine a couple days after .why.

  2. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Stress can cause a fish to temporarily lose its color. How are you cleaning his tank? Some folks actually take the fish out and give the tank a through cleaning and in my humble opinion that is way too stressful for the fish.

  3. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    I'd also say it's from stress. Maybe you are cleaning a bit too much. The betta should be able to stay in the tank as your cleaning it. If he is in the tank while you clean maybe you're being too agressive with the cleaning and causing him stress. I've never had a betta get pale after cleaning but each fish is different. If you're not stressing him too much then he may just be a very sensitive betta. Maybe you could tell us your cleaning routine...

  4. JunneFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to FL :)
    I agree - probably stress - are you making sure the water temp is the same or close to when refilling?
    Is your tank heated?
    What is the temp of your tank?
    How long has your tank been up and running and is it fully cycled?
  5. KyleeValued MemberMember

    As the person above said, stress is the main cause of a fish changing their color. My bristlenose pleco will get white spots when I clean his tank because he hates his hiding spots being moved, but his color returns to normal not long after I finish cleaning the tank.
    Also as the person above said, are you taking your fish out? I highly suggest not doing that. Some people advise 100% water changes, but I feel like they're unnecessarily stressful for the fish.
    Just do a 50% water change, and try to be slow with your movements. I like to leave a couple of the hides on the opposite side of the tank that I'm vacuuming, so they can get away from the scary object that is suddenly in their tank. :p
  6. LagerthaValued MemberMember


    Some fish are totally ok with water changes, some fish aren’t.
  7. Angela GomezNew MemberMember

    Yes, :nailbiting: I have been taking him out of his tank to clean it.. :( I only clean his tank maybe once a week because of the way it seems to upset him, but never even thought to leave him in while I clean it... Poor Bob... I usually put him into the same little BETTA cup I purchased him in, and poor some only half his water out, then clean tank and fill back in with 50% old water and 50% new.. so I don't have a vacuum to clean his tank... How would I go about cleaning while he is in it until I get a vaccum.. because he is still pretty pale right now and hiding.. I do make sure water is same temp as well, so I don't shock him.. but... How long is it safe to not clean his tank if he absolutely hates it? :emoji_fish::emoji_blowfish:

    Not heated tank, and the tank is just room temp.... It's a small one I think maybe one or two gallons? Not sure he is the only fish in there and seems to love his little tank until I mess up his little bubble nests and clean it... And it's only been up and running for about a month...

    Yeah he seems to hate to come out of his tank and I never thought to clean while he was inside of it.. I don't think I would know where to start plus he loves to chase my fingers because I usually hold the little fish food pellet at the end of my finger just above the water and he is so cute as he watches the food intently until he pops up and grabs the food from me. He seems to really enjoy his feeding time lol but, yeah he chases my fingers lol..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2018
  8. LagerthaValued MemberMember

    Right you’re doing a few things wrong here:

    First off that tank is too small. Bettas need at LEAST 2.5 gallons.

    Bettas NEED heater to keep the water at a steady temperature, fluctuations are not good for them.

    You do not need to remove him from his tank to do a 50% water change. He’ll be fine swimming around while you change his water. So stop taking him out.

    You can use a turkey baster to clean the gravel.

    You’re not doing him any good by this method you’re using.

    Replacing 50% of the water and giving the gravel a little clean in sections will be fine. BUT considering upgrading him to at least a 2.5 gallon AND YOU MUST get him a heater!

    Is the tank filtered?

    There is a ton of YouTube tutorials about cleaning Betta tanks without removing the fish.

    Stress can cause the immune system to weaken hence making them prone to illness and considering how very stressed he is with this method you’re using, it’s highly unadvised.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2018
  9. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Until you move him into a proper tank and I am sure you are going to now that you know he really needs one you can use a piece of airline tubing to siphon the water during a water change. If it curls up on you use a straw attached to the end that goes in the water.

    Since we don't know where you are located we can only guess as to whether or not he needs a heater. His home should be kept at 79/80 degrees. If the temp outside his tank is cooler than that then yes, he needs a heater.

    You didn't say as to whether or not he has a filter. If Bob was my water pet and I was trying to keep him in a tank that small I would be changing out 50-60% of his water at least twice a week. I would never move him out of his tank during any of these water changes. I know he would get used to me doing it and soon it wouldn't bother him as much.

    And while I was doing this I would be doing everything in my power to get him a proper sized tank and set it up so he could live a long healthy life. I would try to get at the very least a 2.5 gallon but I would really try to get a 5 gallon tank. I would get a heater and a sponge filter for the tank. I know that I would have to have an air pump to run the filter so would get one as soon as possible.

    I know I have chlorine in my tap water so I would get a bottle of Prime to use as a water conditioner because it removes the chlorine and the heavy metals that can be in some tap water but it has the added benefit of also neutralizing small amounts of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I would use it because I know it would protect my wonderful new pet.

    Please know that we are here to help you. Ask questions and if not me someone will be here to answer them.
    there is a huge difference between a 1 gallon and a 2 gallon tank. If it is in fact just 1 gallon I would be changing out half of the water every other day. If it is 2 gallons, twice a week will work.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  10. Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

    Hi, Angela. Although Lagertha was abrupt, I agree with her advice. I also agree with mattgirl. I'd add getting or creating a hiding place for him. Dense plants would do it. Something like a coconut hut (which Fishy Boris has) would also work, or a small ceramic jug made for the purpose, or even a mug on its side. Bettas like to hide.

    I don't quite know how to get a photo posted (although I've done it before - I think*), but here's a link to my media page. There's one clear picture of the coconut hut.

    Be aware of being gentle with Bob the Fish. I know you love him and are doing the best you can. Now you have some more information to go on. Let us know of your/his progress!

    * Try not to age. At least, as you age, try to skip 55. My memory is sliding down with an avalanche.
  11. LagerthaValued MemberMember

    I have Asperger syndrome, I say it how it is. I apologise if I come across as abrupt but it’s part of my condition.
  12. Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

    Lagertha, I certainly meant no offense. I should've taken Asperger into account. My dear nephew has it and, boy, does he tell it like it is! I don't believe an apology is necessary. Abrupt isn't necessarily bad. It's better than whispering timidity, which afflicts most of my family, including yours truly. It's certainly better when trying to get your point across. :emoji_fish::emoji_fish::emoji_fish::emoji_fish:
  13. LagerthaValued MemberMember

    I didn’t take offence at all, don’t worry.

    A lot of people think I’m arrogant and abrupt, ignorant even but it’s simply how people with AS are, as you know if you’ve got someone in your family with the condition.

    Maybe I should put it on a signature or something so I don’t offend people.
  14. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    I have a couple of questions to ask that may be useful... Is the tank you're using filtered? A filter makes maintenance so much easier as the water stays clean longer. Also are you completely scrubbing all the decorations and the rock substrate I see in your picture every time you clean? That isn't really necessary unless it is very dirty. I use a simple syphon with a bulb primer to start the syphon (so you don't have to suck water through the tube with your mouth to get the flow started. It's hard to get the flow going from a small tank with just a length of airline tube without suction). They come with gravel cleaning attachments but I rarely use them because I have planted tanks. You can get them pretty cheap on Amazon. Don't get the really cheap ones though because those $4-$6 ones are made cheap and often don't even work. I learned that the hard way! That's the easiest way to change water and clean up the tank at the same time. For tank suggestions, if you're interested, I would look into the Fluval Spec 3 or Fluval Spec 5. They are amazing little aquariums that include everything you need except the heater. They could be more expensive than you are looking to spend however. If you compare the price to buying everything separately they really aren't that expensive. I did the same thing as you with my first betta. Put him in a tiny 1 gallon unheated, unfiltered tank and had to do 100% water changes every other day. Then I started doing research...upgraded to a 4 gallon filtered and added a heater. My betta was much happier. uTube is a great resource for learning about bettas, but be warned, you may get some conflicting advice. Watch a few videos. That will help you figure things out.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice