Can Parrotfish Change Colors? 7 Reasons And Ways to Improve Their Colors

Can Parrot Fish Change Colors? 7 reasons why they could and how to improve their colors

Parrotfish is a colorful fish that is found in the tropical areas of the sea and they could grow up to 4 feet in size in the wild. They come in many colors which are red, yellow, blue, brown, and even green. Many people keep them in their home aquarium specifically because of their beautiful colors, but sometimes people do get disappointed seeing that their once colorful fish have faded or changed to another color. If yours have changed color, then your answer is here, so read to the end.

Can Parrotfish change colors? Yes, Parrotfish can change color due to their environment and the type of food they eat.

They could change, or alter their colors, but it doesn’t just happen, there are some reasons for that which we shall look into in a minute.

Normally, when a Parrotfish is gotten from a shop, the expectation is for the color to glow more, but when it starts fading away, then know that something is wrong.

Why Do Parrot Fish Change Colors?

If you are wondering why your Parrotfish changed its color or faded, then here are the possible reasons why that happened.

1. Poor Quality Diets: The commonest reason why this happens is the type of food the fish are exposed to.

These types of fish are omnivores and scavengers too, they eat many things in the wild such as corals, plants, algae, and other smaller animals such as insects, worms, etc.

The fact is, once they are eating nutritious foods, they will be healthy, and their colors will glow more instead of fading or changing.

Sometimes you will see that their colors are fading away, this is caused by the lack of carotenoids in their foods which is in charge of maintaining their natural color and making them glow.

There are many color-boosting fish foods out there, get them and feed your parrotfish or any other fish you might have.

2. The Color was fake: This might be a surprise for you, but it is true anyway.

There are many fish out there that are moving about in fake colors which were given to them by the shopkeepers in order to sell them.

Actually, fish can be dyed and Parrotfish are not an exemption.

They normally dye the fish more attractive colors that will captivate more attention and probably a much higher price.

Sometimes you might find out that the dye ( colors) are fading away because it is not natural, and so it must have to fade one day and the fish will regain its natural colors.

So, they don’t change their colors sometimes, rather their colors were fake, and were gotten from the dye.

3. Stress: If you are wondering why your parrotfish or any other type of fish you have changed colors or its colors faded, then there is every chance that your fish has been exposed to a lot of stress.

Stress does alter the colors of fish and some of those agents of stress are incompatible or aggressive tank mates, wrong water parameters or poor water quality, harmful Chemicals or toxins in the water, etc.

When they are Stressed, they might not only change or lose colors, but their overall appearance might change too.

This is why it is recommended to get water testing kits and test your water always in order to avert poor water quality and do away with toxins once you notice them via water testing. Also, avoid unsuitable tank mates.

4. Wrong Water Parameters: Every fish have its specific water parameters which could be unique to only them and once their ideal water parameters are altered, the fish might not be healthy again which could lead to stress and fading of colors, etc.

Parrotfish are tropical fish, and their ideal water parameters are:

Water Temperature:

76 to 80°F (24 to 26°C)


6.5 to 7.4


6 to 18 dGH

Once these their ideal water parameters are not in place, the fish will be subjected to stress and frustrations, which will eventually lead to some health issues, which involve fading of colors, or the total change of colors.

5. Unsuitable Environment: No animal will be healthy when kept in an unsuitable environment, not even Parrotfish.

The unsuitable environment includes unsuitable tank size, unsuitable water condition, lack of the necessary requirements, etc.

Parrotfish are quite big, so the average tank size per fish should be 30 gallons or above, and when this is not provided might lead to stress.

Again, poor water quality, especially water with toxins such as chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, etc could lead to stress and sickness, and even death, etc.

6. Sickness: Another reason why this type of fish might change or fade in color is probably that it is sick, or very old.

Once any fish becomes sick, it will quickly change in many ways and changing or color fading is one of them.

You might see your Parrotfish changing from its former color to white, red, yellow, pale, etc.

Again the average lifespan of this fish is 7 years, so it may have reached its lifespan, that’s why its colors are fading.

7. The fish might be spawning: In some cases, they will change a bit in color during this spawning season or period.

So, check if it is making a hole, and if it is, then know that the slight change of color is a result of this, and they spawn once a month.

These are the possible reasons why your Parrotfish may have changed or altered its colors.

How Can I Improve My Parrot Fish Color?

To improve their colors, you need to maintain their ideal environment and feed them with quality foods such as blood worms, quality fish pellets, insects, brine shrimps, etc at least once or twice every day.

If you find out that the fish was dyed, and that’s why it is losing its color, then there is nothing you can do unless to dye it again, which I don’t recommend, but if you want to, then it’s up to you.


These are some of the reasons why your Parrotfish could be altering its color, it changing color.

Like we always advise ‘get a vet when things get complicated.