Natural Beauty in Your Aquarium: How to Maintain Intense Colours of Fish

How to Maintain Intense Colours of Fish
Fish colouration is the result of a mixture of factors including genetics, age, nutrition, health, and environmental conditions. How to maintain the intense colours of fish? Since vibrant fish colours are among the most aesthetically valuable elements of an aquarium, aquarists have invented several methods to enhance fish colours, which are described in this article.
Most fish lack the same capacity for colour vision as humans. They depend less on colour perception and more on contrast and brightness. Darker hues of blue, green, and violet are most likely the ones that fish find easier to distinguish. Depending on the species, your fish may naturally gain more vibrant colour as they age and grow.


Fish find krill’s aroma and flavour appealing, and it’s a terrific source of protein that improves fish colours naturally. It is perfect for feeding young guppy fry or cichlids that require an extra splash of colour because it can be easily crushed up to the correct size as a flake diet.

Colour-enhancing fish foods and supplements

The most natural way to effectively improve the colour of your fish is to change their diet. Foods rich in healthy nutrients are generally good for maintaining vibrant fish colours and also contribute to their health. However, certain products, especially those containing astaxanthin and beta-carotene, have the highest effectiveness in enriching fish colouration. Natural sources of carotenoids are preferable. These include algae, chlorella, red pepper, calanus, krill, shrimp, and spirulina.

Make sure to feed your fish products from reputable manufacturers such as Aquaforest, otherwise, you run into the risk of getting poor-quality food that will affect the health of your fish by applying how to maintain intense colours of fish.

Even though higher levels of carotenoids are recommended for better results, feed your fish in moderation. Excessive feeding not only affects the health of the fish but can also degrade the water quality.

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Other natural factors to consider for more intense fish colouration

In many cases, any factors that alleviate stress in fish and weaken their immune system can cause their colouration to become paler.

Inadequate water temperature, PH, and levels of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are among the most important natural conditions that affect fish colour. Proper lighting is also necessary for an optimal environment.

To further reduce stress, pay attention to species compatibility and avoid buying aggressive or territorial fish that can affect the well-being of other fish. Additionally, invest in decorations for the aquarium. Not only can they greatly improve the appearance of your aquarium, but your fish will find them more appealing and natural. Make sure that the decorations provide hiding places for your fish.

Unnatural methods for colour enhancement

Currently, all methods of colouring that are not based on carotenoid foods and supplements are rather harmful to fish and should be avoided.

These methods include various types of dye injections that cause significant damage to internal organs and the immune system while injected colours tend to fade away quickly. Even more brutal dyeing techniques include immersion in dye solutions, which require first removing the fish’s protective layer.

In Japan, many aquarists prefer tattoos with decorative patterns or even owner’s or company’s names on their fish. Tattooing fish with a laser beam tears the tissue apart and leaves deep and painful injuries.

To make juvenile fish as colourful as adult specimens, unethical breeders feed fish hormones that accelerate the development of colouration. Unfortunately, this affects health, causes infertility, and triggers aggression in the fish.

On top of that, a genetically modified species called GloFish is now available on the US market. Despite the lack of long-term studies, it is already clear that these fish have weakened immune systems, developmental problems, lower fertility, behavioural abnormalities, and increased sensitivity to environmental factors.

Final thought

Maintaining appropriate water conditions in your fish tank can naturally enhance the colours of your fish. Some fish food can improve the colours of fish. Our fish can benefit from natural foods like krill, spinach, spirulina algae, and carrot which are high in colour pigments. Ensure proper water temperatures.

Fish kept in saltwater, cold water, or tropical environments all require certain water temperatures to survive. The secret to the best fish colours is a balanced diet, so pick a diet suitable for the species of fish you maintain and make sure it has all the necessary nutrients by learning how to maintain intense colours of fish.

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