Why Did My Goldfish Turn White?


Most goldfish come in diverse colors like yellow, red, blue, and many others. This is the result of crossbreeding, not their natural color. However, most aquarists find that these vibrant tones fade over time.

Is this a bad signal? Why did my goldfish turn white? These commonly asked questions seem not to have sufficiently satisfactory answers. Then, the following article will be responsible for dealing with these issues. Let’s click on it to discover more!

Why Did My Goldfish Turn White?

When your goldfish go pale, it’s quite alarming but not too serious. That’s partially because the current color is not natural but goes through a selective breeding process.

Additionally, there are several reasons leading to this common phenomenon, so it’s better to think carefully before taking any treatment. Waiting any longer! Below are the specific explanations related to the phenomenon of fish turning white. Let’s take a closer peek at them!

1. Old Age

The first reason is that your goldfish are getting older, which is the essence of most goldfish. As human beings, our hair also goes pale when we get older. Thus, the fish are not exceptional. They are changing their pigment in later years, like us.

For this reason, don’t be too stressed when seeing your colorful fish turn faded. As long as they are still eating well and swimming around, this sign is not too worrisome.

Read more: How long do goldfish live

2. Lightning

Another cause you may not notice is you place your fish tank in a location that lacks sunlight. In fact, goldfish that bathe regularly in the sun are brighter and more colorful. That’s because their skin pigments are very fond of absorbing UV rays in natural light.

You may suppose that installing LED lights around their habitats can facilitate taking in the UV rays, but this is not true. The UV rays in natural light are different from those from LED lights. Hence, even other artificial lights are full in your house, and your fish still go grey or white.

3. Environmental Change

Environmental change is another main culprit making your colorful fish change their appearance. Goldfish are sensitive to fluctuations in their surroundings. They can feel the temperature, pH level, or hardness.

Besides, they can react to other changes like decorations, new tank positions, or new friends. In general, they need time to adapt to new things.

4. Genetics

As shared earlier, the original pigment of goldfish is not colorful. What you see is the achievement of selective breeding. Genetically, those tones are undoubtedly changeable. That reason doesn’t involve health problems. They are still healthy with white pigment.

5. Lack Of Oxygen

When there is not enough oxygen in water, your fish gradually turn translucent white and swim lethargic, which is obvious to notice. When realizing the unusual sign, you must take action right away, or your fish will die later.

According to the general rule, the goldfish require a tank that has 8.3 PPM of diffused oxygen. They can suffer oxygen levels not less than 5.0 PPM. Thus, when they begin changing color to white, the oxygen level is extremely bad.

In particular, lack of oxygen can lead to shortness of breath or death in some serious cases. It’s time to improve oxygen level by adding a minimum of 60% water change.

6. Disease

This is a piece of bad news to most aquarists. The pale coloration of goldfish may be the result of disease, illness, or constant stress. Along with turning pigment, some negative symptoms appear like falling scales, anorectic, lethargy, and distended belly.

In this situation, it’s better to check the water in their habitat. You can consider changing water as the high ammonia, and nitrates levels may make your fish ill suddenly and reduce their longevity.

7. Unreasonable Diet

Diet plays an important part in most animals’ overall health and appearance, even human beings. Are you sure you are providing them with adequate nutrients and a proper diet?

If you have doubts about how you feed them, you can change their diet according to the advice of experts. You can add to their meals some pigments like Bentonite Clay. After a while, check to see if their colors are brighter.

Read more:

Can You Get The Goldfish Color Back?

It’s hard to answer this question directly. It’s dependable on the causes leading to fade coloration. For instance, if your goldies turn white because of an unhealthy diet or lack of light, the chance they can regain their vibrant color is considerably high.

On the other hand, if the reasons are due to genetics, disease, or old age, you can’t do anything rather than accepting their pigments. No matter what color they are, you still love them, don’t you?

How To Avoid Goldfish Turning White

Watching fish grow old without doing anything is a very helpless feeling. Then don’t let things get too bad! Here are some methods of prevention better than cure.

1. Change Diet

Give them enough nutrients and add foods that increase pigmentation, like duckweed, blanched zucchini, and peas. For dark or blackfish, the way to increase light pigmentation is with an intake rich in carotenoids or by feeding them a color-enhancing diet.

2. Let Them Sunbathe

You need to expose them to the sun for about 12 hours a day to absorb natural light. Outside of that period, you need to maintain artificial light for them in the habitat.

However, they should not be left in a place with too high a temperature because the fish is quite sensitive to hot water.

3. Separate Sick Goldfish

When there is a dead or sick fish in the tank, you need to isolate it immediately so as not to infect other fish. If the situation gets worse, take them to the doctor.

Wrapping Up

The article has eventually reached the bottom of your question: why did my goldfish turn white. In fact, there is a wide range of potential causes, and we listed the primary reasons above.

If your colorful goldies change their color in white, you should observe them and take the proper treatment.

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