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Do Betta Fish Shed Their Scales? 5 Things To Know

Betta Fish Shedding Scales is completely normal. Every fish does this during one session to obtain new skin. It allows them to protect its body from seasonal temperature changes.

This is a natural decaying process, so you should not worry about it. But there are other reasons you may need to consider. Do Betta Fish Shed Their Scales?

Betta Fish Shed Their Scales

Is it normal for betta fish to lose scales?

Yes. It is a normal process. However, you should check the water temperature if you are using the heater to keep the water warm. The excess heat may cause the skin to shed faster. If you find fish is not eating the food or reacting unusually, then consult with the veteran to find the solution.

but water quality and temperature us common cause to shedding. lets see why?

Why betta fish shed their scales?

There can be 3 main reasons that betta fish shed their scales.

Natural cause

There are various reasons why betta fish would shed their skin. One of the common reasons is replacing the old scale with the new one. It would be best to closely observe whether the old scale is getting replaced with a new one. If that’s the case, then it is a part of their normal process.

Another way of looking at this problem is to look for a bacterial infection or fungal infection. Ensure that the water temperature is at least 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Physical injury

Damage by heater (Burned)

It is common to use aquarium heater with betta fish. It comes with a protective sleeve included with the heater. This is done to prevent the fish from being burned by the aquarium heater.

However, it is possible that the protection sleeve will become damaged or could slip off completely. When this occurs, it can burn the flesh of the fish on contact.

But it is quite rare for a fish to get burned by an aquarium heater, but it does happen from time to time. The most common cause of a burn is a betta fish becoming trapped between the aquarium glass and the heater element.

A burn caused by an aquarium heater is rare, but when it does occur, it is almost always. If the burn is severe enough, the fish will either suffer scale loss or die because of the wound formed by the burn. Therefore, you need to check if your heater is intact.

How To Treat Heater Burn

Depending on the severity of burn, there are two things you can do.

1.Using salt to cure the burn – This will prevent secondary infection

2. Allowing the burn to heal on its own.- This can be done for light burn

3. Use medication – To heal faster you can apply Povidone-iodine medication to the burn area or Stress Coat, which creates an artificial layer of mucus over the scale loss area. Also, it can prevent secondary infections.

However, if the cut appears to be too deep and is keeping the fish from swimming or moving, it is preferable to let the fish die rather than attempt to save it. The wound will initially worsen with each passing day, and the fish will eventually succumb to its injuries.

If, on the other hand, you look at the burn wound and the fish is swimming and moving normally, it might be worth your while to try the treatment described above. It is best to treat a burn as soon as it occurs to avoid secondary infection.

How to avoid Heater Burn

There are 2 ways to avoid it. One is using an extra heater guard and two is using a filter that has an inbuilt heater.

Damage by sharp objects

Do not place moving equipment in the tank, which may cause stress over the fish. Fish develop health problems when they are stressed, especially when they alone in the tank.

There may be a chance that the betta fish is rubbing their scale to the decorative such as hard rocks or plant surface, which makes the scale come out.

Damage by sharp objects

One of the most prevalent causes of physical damage in aquariums is the aggressive behavior of betta fish. Such fish have the potential to injure others by repeatedly striking them. This can also result in the loss of scales.

Tank mates

It is preferable not to have particularly aggressive fish in the same tank as peaceful fish to avoid this type of behavior from occurring. Additionally, sharp objects should not be kept in the aquarium to avoid scale loss.

Having a group of fish in the tank would make them happy, and they will enjoy the surrounding. Remove decorative until the betta fish gets in a healthy condition.


This does not rule out the possibility of including decorations or caves within the tank. Most of the time, these have sharp edges. However, you must ensure that your fish do not injure themselves with decorations.

Water Quality Problem

Water must be clean with the required amount of nutrition and oxygen in it. The dirty water causes various forms of health problems to the fish.

The excessive amounts of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, as well as a low or high pH, indicate poor water quality which affects scale loss.

As a result, you must periodically test the water to ensure that all the parameters listed above are operating at their optimal levels.

guppy in 1 gallon tank


Fungal Infection

This is uncommon and it often present on fish as white cotton or “furry” growths but can also be internal. They can be induced by water quality, infected food, or open wounds, but there are many additional causes.

Although fungal diseases are not normally communicable it can cause some form if scale loss in betta fish.

To treat this condition the fish should be treated with anti-fungal medicine immediately, preferably in a quarantine aquarium.

betta Fungal Infection

Scale losing disease – Infectious Protrusion

Infectious scale protrusion, also known as scale shedding, is a common aquarium fish illness. Aeromonas punctata and Pseudomonas fluorescens are likely to be the culprits. The disease progresses to epizootic proportions and is frequently lethal.

The addition of an antibiotic to the diet is a highly successful treatment. Use roughly 1 percent of the antibiotic in the flake food and properly incorporate it into the food.

Chloromycetin is an effective antibiotic (chloramphenicol). Alternatively, tetracycline can be used.

Antibiotics are often available as 250 mg capsules. If one capsule is put to 25 grams of flake food, it should be sufficient to treat dozens of little fish Try to use the same mixing ratio whether you are feeding frozen or chopped items to your fish.


cyprinacea, often known as Anchor worm, is commonly found on goldfish and koi, but it can infect any type of fish as betta. They have several life stages, but the first sign of an infestation is what seems to be a pimple or a red sore on the fish.

Anchor worms penetrate the fish’s body through the scales, attaching themselves to the fish’s body with hook-like appendages, and then begin to devour the fish’s bodily contents. Which can cause loss of scale s.

They can be removed with tweezers, but caution must be exercised to ensure that the entire parasite is removed, since they have a tendency to break off, leaving the head and “anchor” intact.

betta parasites

It is possible to remove a tiny chunk of flesh when removing Lernea from a fish, which necessitates the usage of antibiotics in order to avoid subsequent bacterial infections from occurring.

It is recommended that the aquarium be treated with salt or Dimilin to eliminate eggs and other life stages to prevent new infestations.

The diseased fish that you are unable to treat must be disposed of properly. As soon as the sick fish has been removed from the aquarium, the tank, its equipment, and fishing tackle must be thoroughly sterilized.

Use 5 percent of hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, or chloramine solution to clean the aquarium equipment and fixtures.

While the plants can be treated with a solution of Bicillin-5, the animals cannot. In addition, the gravel should be tempered or heated in order to sterilize it.

If the problem is not resolved, consult the veteran to find the exact reason. Your betta may be going through a health problem.

Do betta scales grow back? 

If the scale was shredded Under the natural shedding process, the betta scale will grow back. The old sale is not replaced with the new one.

If you experience only continuous shedding, then the betta might be ill, causing the skin to shade the scale. Talk to the expert to know more about the health problem.

The experts will provide you with the medication you can use to protect the betta’s health.

How long does it take to scales grow back?

The process of growing the scale back to its normal state may take weeks to months, depending on the type of fish. Generally, the scale decays slowly, and each scale gets to replace one by one.

Some fish require more time to grow the scale. You should keep the water clean and provide nutritional food while keeping them in a proper environment to stay healthy.

Remember that if the fish is stress or feels ill, they may take more time to grow back the scale.

Do Bettas molt? -Betta fish molting stage?

No. Like other fish that shed their skin, a betta is the opposite of that. You will never find betta fish molting their skin during the seasonal change. Betta does go through a process where it changes its natural color. It has been observed that Betta fish can change its original color to an entirely new color during the seasonal change in skin color.

It happened due to the change in the jumping genes. Over time the betta adopts the new colors on their body and tail.

The process may take some time, depending on the type of betta fish. You will see slow progress in the color change as it starts growing. It is completely natural to experience the color change, so do not worry about it.

Betta also goes through the color change when they are kept in a completely new environment.

The process helps them to adapt to the surrounding environment, water condition, temperature to survive.

They need to avoid environmental damage and go through the mutation to secure the future. It is a natural process, and all types of fish go through this change.

Final Verdict:

Betta fish is so sensitive to their environment. You should periodically check the water condition and keep the water clean.

Betta adopts the new environment quickly and changes their skin and color according to the need.

When you see a shedding problem or skin color change, you should check the water condition. Betta also shed when they are stressed.

Knowing the cause behind the stress would help you avoid them getting damaged and stay in good health.

Betta fish would live to stay in the group. They will feel safe and enjoy their condition around them. so now Do Betta Fish Shed Their Scales? [SOLVED]

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.