Do Betta Fish Shed Their Skin?

It can be pretty stressful when you notice your Betta fish shedding or molting its scales or fins as they do not normally do that. If so, it is a typical indication of a symptom of an underlying sickness, or that something in their environment had eventually caused their scales to fall off.

In this post, we’ll dive into some of the most important information concerning Betta fish and shedding, and try to answer the question – Do Betta fish shed?

Is It Normal for Betta Fish to Shed?

A clear answer to this question is – no. Healthy, normal Betta fish do not shed or lose their scales on their own. Betta fish do not need to lose their skin to permit new development.

Coat change is unnecessary for a cold-blooded fish at a steady temperature. Betta fish do not molt regularly. Scales and skin of fish grow together with the fish.

So, if you notice that your fish is missing a few scales or looks to be “shedding”, something is wrong and you need to immediately look into it. Examine your Betta for indications of fungal or bacterial infection and treat it appropriately.

do betta fish shed
Image by gian yasa from Pixabay

Why Do Betta Fish Shed?

The majority of Betta fish owners are baffled as to why their Betta fish are shedding. There are several reasons for Betta fish to shed their scales.

Injury to the body

One of the most common reasons for healthy fish to shed or lose part of its scales is due to physical injuries.

1. Complicated mating ritual is common in Bettas. To begin, the male aggressively follows his female around the tank. As the situation progresses, some friendly nipping is common and you shouldn’t worry about that

Bettas of both sexes have small teeth that they use in the wild to catch and hold water-bound insects and other prey. As a result, one or both of the mating pairs may lose a few scales due to this.

2. Siamese Fighting Fish is another name that is used for Betta fish and there’s a good reason for that! Bettas are territorial and aggressive fish and don’t like when other intruders enter their area. Therefore, keeping two male Bettas together would increase the tension between the Bettas.

The territorial instinct of the Betta would cause fights in the aquarium. So, if you have an aggressive Betta that would potentially get into a fight, it’s highly recommendable to put him in a tank of his own with a ghost shrimp as they are known to be the best tank mates for Bettas, as well as to test how aggressive your Betta is.

3. Betta fish are not known for being agile or fast swimmers, so if there is too much flow in your tank, your pet may be tossed around a lot. This might cause your Betta to collide with rough things, such as decorations an stones, causing physical harm and possibly dislodging a few scales in the process.

Diseases And Infection

Due to bacterial and fungal infections which are typical for aquarium fish, Betta fish may lose a few scales.

When pathogens are present, the Betta may flick or brush against solid sharp items in the tank in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. So, a few scales may be readily dislodged as a result of this.

Do Betta Shed Their Slime Coat?

Dropsy is the most common symptom of a serious internal infection and it is important that you pay attention to these symptoms cause if your Betta has dropsy, there’s no turning back.

The slime coat is the key protection against infection and sickness in fish. It serves as a barrier against disease-causing organisms in the fish’s surroundings.

Reduction of the protective slime coat is due to high toxins, such as chlorine and ammonia, in the water, temperature fluctuations, and low oxygen levels. Other things that can cause destruction of the slime coat include changes in water composition, such as pH or hardness.

Do Bettas Grow Back Their Shedded Scales?

Bettas have the advantage of being able to regrow their scales over time. However, as a result of a serious illness or sickness, there’s a high probability that the lost scales wouldn’t recover.

Furthermore, there is no universal rule that can be applied to the time it takes for a fish to regrow its scales. It will probably take only a few weeks or several months to recover.

By making sure that there are no hostile companions in the vicinity and that its tank is spotless of parasites, you could ensure that your fish’s scales would grow back.

Betta fish that are stressed take a significantly longer time to recover, so it is best to make sure the surroundings around your pet are kept at optimum all the time.


Finally, when concluding, it is best to say that Bettas do not shed or remove their scales spontaneously.

In case you see your Betta losing his scales, it shows the indication of something going wrong with him.

First and foremost, make sure that none of your Betta’s tank mates are to blame because as I’ve mentioned before there could be disputes among them.

Examine your Betta for indications of fungal or bacterial infection and treat it appropriately. If this happens you’ll need to intervene and take care of both your Betta fish and the tank. The importance of early detection cannot be overstated, since it may save your pet’s life.


Why Is My Betta’s Tail Shredding?

A damaged Betta fin eventually regrows on its own. Fin rot is caused by opportunistic bacteria and fungus infecting injured fins. Ragged edges in the fin are caused by fin rot and infections. Water changes and tank cleaning should be done daily to avoid these circumstances.

Why Are My Betta Fish’s Scales Coming Off?

Scraping against sharp or abrasive things in the tank could lead to Betta scale loss, and is considered the most common cause. It might also be attributed to the aquatic pet’s rough treatment.

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