Many people love to keep the aquarium fish with beautiful bright colors. However, not all fish of even the same species will always display their best colors all the time. Experienced fish keepers know a few tips to enhance aquarium fish colors. What can we do to have our fish show their peak coloration?
First, Fish naturally will not always display their best colors. Most fish will not have their adult form colors until they reach maturity. Some fish will continue become more colorful as they get older.
Some fish will display better colors when they are in the mood of spawning. Both male and female of the same species might have the brightest colors during mating seasons.
I have two female German Blue Rams. Even though they can’t have babies without a male friend, every once in a while, they would lay eggs, and during that time they have the brightest colors I have seen.
Some fish will display better colors when they are competing or being aggressive.
For example: My male Dwarf Gourami typically looks like orange with some very light blue strips when he was aggressive toward other fish. Not only would he raise his fin, but all the blue strips would also be enhanced to become much brighter blue, thus he is the most beautiful in his “aggression mode.” My German Blue Rams also display enhanced colors when they fight against each other.
Second, Fish coloration will become dull if the fish are under stress, or when they are not healthy.
In order to bring out the best colors of your fish, the first thing you need to do is to make sure your fish are in excellent health, and absolutely under no stress.
To keep your fish healthy, you must provide them with a good environment.
Tip #1: Water quality
You need to use a good aquarium water conditioner. I recommend Prime. It not only removes chlorine in the tap water, but also it can detoxify ammonia up to 48 hours. Your aquarium must be cycled. (For more information on how to cycle a fish tank, please see Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle). You must have an efficient aquarium filter system to keep good biological filtration to ensure ammonia and nitrite stay at 0ppm at all time. Weekly partial water change is also required to keep the nitrate low, and to replenish the water buffer and minerals. An ideal temperature for a specific species is also needed to ensure the fish to feel the most comfortable.
Some fish also need to have hiding places available in the tank to feel safe, even if these hiding places are really not necessary. Provide with some plants and decorations for them to retreat to when they are threatened is a good way to make them feel safer and thus less stressed.
Tip #2: Social environment
Some school fish will be stressed if there are not enough of them in a school. They will not display their best color when they feel lonely. Having a good number in any school fish will bring out not only their natural behavior, but also their natural colors.
Having compatible tank mates is another important factor. When a fish is under constant threat from one or more aggressive tank mates, the fish will be stressed and thus lose its color. Make sure your tank’s social environment is balanced so that no fish is constantly being bullied or threatened by another fish.
Tip #3:, color enhancement fish food.
Yes, what fish food you feed to your fish make a huge difference!
When everything else is excellent, the next thing you might want to look into is to provide fish with a good diet. High quality food naturally enhance the fish’s overall health as well as their colors. Natural fish color enhance food is highly recommended, while the artificial ones should be avoided.