Do Sunfish Change Color?

Do Sunfish Change Color?

Do you know that there is a fish that can change it’s color? I know you’re surprised, but yes, sunfish can do that.

Sunfish and bluegills are popular for color changing to match any color around them, just like chameleon could do

Related: Do Sunfish get along with Cichlids?

Although sunfish and bluegill are almost the same fish, but sunfish lives in brackish water, while bluegill lives in freshwater, but they belong to the same family of centrarchidae.

Just like any other fish, bluegill lives in a water temperature of 70-81°F and are so lively and colorful.

Imagine how interesting and attention catching it will be watching them change to the present color around them.

Related: 7 Smallest species of Sunfish

This fish could change to many colors such as dark purple, purple, blue, yellow etc.

So keeping them can be a source of fun and joy.

Why do Sunfish Change Colors?

Imagine yourself having zero knowledge of sunfish, then you somehow get one from pet shop and keep it in your aquarium, only to wake up in the morning and see your fish have changed to another color.

I know you will be shocked, afraid and confused too.

Related: Do Sunfish get along with Goldfish?

So why do they change color?

Their color is hugely affected by their current environment such as sunlight, tank colors, substrate colors, age, food etc.

So if you see your fish change color, it doesn’t mean the fish is sick or old or there is anything wrong with it, just know that your fish is a sunfish ( if it lives in salt water) or bluegill (if it lives in freshwater).

Why Did My Bluegill Turn Black?

Just like sunfish, bluegill is a freshwater fish that could also change color when it suits them.

So you may be wondering why it changed color for the previous color you know it with.

Photoreceptors is what triggers the fish’s response to it’s surrounding. So your bluegill could easily change to any color or the nearest color around it.

So if you have a bluegill, then expect it to change color and don’t always expect to see the former color or the color you know it for.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Sunfish And a Bluegill?

Knowing that both of these fish are from the same family and could change color, you may be wondering how to know or differentiate between sunfish and bluegill.

Related: Can Sunfish live with Koi?

The difference between Sunfish and bluegill is that sunfish is a brackish water dweller, so they live in seas, while bluegill lives in freshwater and so is found in rivers, streams and ponds.

Apart from this difference, I don’t think both are easy to differentiate in any other way.