Guppies are very colorful fish, especially the male guppies, but sometimes, it will be as if they are changing or losing their natural colors. This is so true because if you happen to have some of them, especially the male ones, you might have noticed that from time to time, they may seem to change their normal color to something else. If you want to know why your guppies are changing color, then this article will answer all your questions and also provide solutions for you.
Do Guppies change color? Yes, guppies may change color due to some factors such as illness, water quality, stress, and water temperature.
Guppies are very colorful tropical fish that are not very expensive in terms of care.
The most colorful is the male, that’s why many people prefer to keep more of them than the females despite them being very aggressive and territorial too.
Talking about why they may change color or start losing their normal colors, there are many factors behind that which we will discuss in this article.
You will agree with me that color change by this fish is not natural sometimes, as some factors could lead to that.
Although some of these factors that could make them change color are natural and we couldn’t do anything about it, some are not and needs to be dealt with.
Why Guppies Change Or Lose Color
Some common reasons why this fish may lose their natural color or change it are:
Stress: Generally all animals detest stress, especially aquarium animals like fish.
Although guppy is a hardy fish and could easily adapt to any environment and condition, when it is stressed, it will sometimes lose its natural and fine color.
There are so many reasons why they may get stressed which will make them change their color or lose it as the case may be, and some of these staying with aggressive or unsuitable tank mates, wrong water parameters, un-cycles tank, temperature.
All of these contribute to them getting stressed.
Although they are hardy and could tolerate many conditions, overall, stress is bad for them, that’s why it’s very important to know the suitable tank mates they could be able to stay with.
Although try to check their tank and temperature by getting a heater and water testing kits as they will help you so much.
Spectrum Specie: There is a specie of guppy that will normally change its color to any color they feel like.
The spectrum guppies are known to do this, and it’s just their nature.
This is a natural issue and there is nothing anyone could do about it, so if your guppies happen to fall into this particular specie, then you will need to take it as a normal thing.
Although many things could contribute to the change in colors such as light, sun reflection, the immediate environment, etc.
Some guppies that could easily be influenced by their immediate environment when it comes to color are sometimes referred to as spectrum guppy.
Water Temperature: We all know that guppy fish are tropical fish and could only do very well in warm water.
Sometimes people do the simple mistake of keeping their guppies in cold water or simply don’t care much about the water temperature of their guppies which could make them unhealthy and also change in color.
Normally the water temperature of guppies should be 68-78°F, so they prefer warmer temperatures to cold.
This is why, if you keep or want to keep guppies as pets, then you must have a heater and filter placed in their tank in order to maintain a normal temperature for them to be happy and colorful.
When they are ready to mate: This might sound like a surprise but it’s the fact.
Male guppies do change slightly in color when they are ready to mate.
They do this simply to attract the female ones.
Although this doesn’t mean they could change their colors when they want to mate, they will become more colorful and shiny at this stage.
So if your male guppy becomes more colorful and shiny all of a sudden, then know that he needs to mate.
Illness: This is one of the commonest reasons a guppy fish may change color.
Some diseases could attack them, which could lead to loss of color.
Although they’re hardy fish but are prone to some diseases and fungal-like ich, fungal skin diseases, and fin rot will affect their coloring.
Other diseases that normally disturb them are swim bladder disorders and dropsy.
So, diseases could make them look pale and unhealthy, thereby making their color less attractive than previously.
When you notice any sign of illness, please call the attention of a veterinarian doctor for proper medical advice and guidance, etc.
Unsuitable tank mate: In some of my previous articles, I talk more about tank mates because having 2 or more unsuitable tankmates could be a disaster.
No fish likes to be stressed or eaten, but keeping yours with an unsuitable mate could result in one of them being eaten, injured, or even getting sick and being stressed too.
So, if your guppy is losing color, then you might need to check the tank mates it has.
Although they could stress each other, that’s why it’s not advisable to keep many populations of male guppies in one tank.
Water Quality: Water quality matters a lot when it comes to fish keeping, as wrong water parameters or quality could have a great impact on your fish.
guppies are hardy, but they could easily be influenced by the type of water they live in, for instance, they are freshwater fish and will die in brackish water.
If they start changing from their normal color, then you might have to check the water quality for chemicals like ammonia, nitrates, chlorine, and alkalinity.
These harmful chemicals should be zero or very tiny, as they could impact the overall performance of your fish.
So, get water testing kits for them.
again try to change their water almost every week either 50% or 20%.
Again avoid having your guppies in an un-cycled tank, as it could affect them greatly.
Pregnancy: If you keep female guppies, you must have noticed that sometimes they may tend to change or lose color as the case may be, why?
This is due to the fact they are pregnant.
They normally do this whenever they are pregnant, more especially when they are ready to give birth.
Although they are not as colorful as their male counterparts, whenever they get pregnant, they diminish in color.
So, if your pregnant guppy starts changing color, then you have nothing to worry about, as it’s natural.
Diet: food contributes a lot to the life of every living thing in this world, so your guppies could be losing, or changing color just because of the type of diet they are given.
Some diets are very healthy and good for them, while some could be harmful to them too.
The best diet is those foods they eat in the wild, so if you could replicate them for your guppies, then they will be very healthy, happy, and colorful as well.
Although guppies could be properly fed on store-bought fish pellets or fish flakes, what they require most is the food’s quality.
If you could get quality and highly nutritious fish foods for them, then they will be ok and as colorful as they can be.
When Do Guppies Get Their Color?
Normally, guppies will get their color from the age of 4-6 weeks.
When they are given birth, they stay very tiny and their genders could hardly be identifiable, but as soon as they reach up to 4 weeks of age, then they will start changing in many ways, including gaining some colors, and being identifiable, etc.