Mollies are attractive fish that you can keep in your aquarium, but many people claim they fade. This might be quite distressing and devastating.
So, Why does Molly fish change colors?
Molly fish could lose color as a result of stress and bad water conditions. It might also be a sign of some form of molly fish disease or sickness.
In this article, you will learn about the different reasons your Molly fish change colors and what you can do to help them.
Can Molly Fish Change Color?
Molly fish may alter color as they mature or when experiencing stressful situations.
Color-changing can be a natural process or the result of stress hormones produced when their environment changes or a new fish is introduced.
Reasons Why Molly Fish Change Color
1. They Are Getting Old
The color of Molly Fish will alter as a result of natural aging. The colors of newborn fish are generally much duller than those of adults, and their patterns won’t be fully visible until the fish matures.
The most typical example of this is Dalmatian Mollies, who are known for their striking black and white spotted pattern. However, they aren’t born that way.
2. They Are Sick
Illness is the most common reason why your fish’s color changes.
The following are the most frequent diseases:
1. Fin Rot
Fin rot is typically a fungal condition that occurs because of poor water quality, usually combined with a previous injury.
You will notice blackening around the margins of the fish wound, as well as pieces of the fin decaying and falling off.
If the fin looks healthy or has recovered from the damage after a while, there’s a good chance you’re not dealing with fin rot. You could still have ammonia burn, but it’ll mend quickly if you maintain a clean tank.
2. White Spot Disease
White spot disease, also known as ich, is one of the most widespread fish diseases. It appears as white spots on the fish’s body and fins and is caused by a protozoan (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis).
The white spots are actually parasites that are multiplying on your fish. The increased number of these parasites causes the fish to become weak and listless.
The gills may also become damaged, making it difficult for the fish to breathe.
However, if you have a dalmatian molly, it is important not to confuse white spots on your fish with white spot disease.
Because of their natural speckled pattern, Dalmatian mollies are prone to having white markings. This might be mistaken for Ich, which is a type of fish ailment.
3. Poor Quality Diets
One of the most prevalent reasons why fish in captivity might lose or fade in color is due to the types of foods they are eating.
In the wild, they can survive on their own, but in captivity, providing them with foods such as these, which are deficient in required minerals and nutrients, might harm their health condition and result in their natural color fading or other problems.
I suggest that you feed your fish with Tetra-Color Flakes and granules, among other things, to restore their natural color.
4. Small Tank Size
Molly fish are active swimmers that require a lot of space to roam and play. If they feel cramped in their tank, it will lead to stress, which could result in changing color.
The best way to avoid this is by ensuring that you have a big enough tank for them. The general rule of thumb is to have at least 10 gallons (37.9 L) of water per fish.
5. Poor Water Quality
Molly fish are very sensitive to their environment and need clean water to stay healthy and vibrant.
If the water in their tank is not properly maintained, your mollies will be more prone to developing diseases.
You can use a water testing kit to check the levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in your tank.
You should also perform regular water changes to keep the quality high. The general rule is to change 20% of the water each week.
6. Unsuitable Tank Mates
Unsuitable tank mates can make Molly fish very stressed, thus having an impact on their immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases.
Also, it would help to take the male to female ratio into consideration. If there are many males in the tank, your tank will turn into a battleground. Therefore, it’s better to keep the male-to-female ratio between 1 to 3.
7. Lack of hiding places
Molly fish are very shy and need a lot of hiding places to feel secure.
If there are no hiding places in their tank, mollies will be harassed more and not have their own territory.
Not feeling secure will make their bodies release more stress hormones, which could affect their color.
The best way to provide hiding places for your Molly fish is to use live plants or cave-like decorations.
8. Incorrect Water Temperature
Mollies are tropical fish that require warm water to thrive. When the water temperature dips too low or rises too high, it can put your Molly fish under a lot of stress, which may cause them to change color.
The ideal temperature for Molly fish is between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Lack of filtration
Molly fish produce a lot of waste and need a good filtration system to keep the water clean.
Unfiltered water will cause ammonia and other toxins to rise, which will harm your mollies and make them weak.
10. Incorrect pH levels
Mollies can not tolerate water with a high pH and will become very stressed if the levels are not correct.
Therefore, it is important to test the water regularly and make sure the pH levels are between 7.5 and 8.5 to avoid stressing your Molly fish or making them sick, which results in losing their beautiful coloration.
11. Overcrowded Tank
Stocked tanks often result in territorial disputes between fish. They become stressed when their space is invaded, which can cause them to change color or even die.
You can avoid this by ensuring that you have a big enough tank for your fish and not overstocking it.
What Colors Can Molly Fish Be?
Mollies have three distinct colors: black, orange, and white. The three primary pigments, with different dilutions and intensifying genes, give the hues and patterns.
Do Black Molly Fish Change Color?
Black Molly fish can change color over time. Their black pigment allows them to hide many other colors, so if yellow or white begins to show through, they aren’t discarding their color. They’re simply revealing more of themselves.
Molly fish are beautiful and popular freshwater fish that are easy to care for. However, they are very sensitive to their environment and need clean water to stay healthy and vibrant.
If you follow these simple tips, you will have a happy and healthy Molly fish that will bring you years of enjoyment.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!