Why Did My Goldfish Change Color

Goldfish can make great pets and are beautiful, small usually golden-orange like the Asian cyprinid fish (Carassius auratus) often kept as an aquarium and pond fish and have an above-average lifespan between six to seven years, while those found in the wild can live up to 30 years, according to the United States Geological Survey. They are subject to disease and color changes during their life.  Why Did my Goldfish change color?

Goldfish can change colors for a variety of reasons:

  • Color Can change with age
  • Can indicate Fungal Infection
  • A change in color shows health problems
  • High Ammonia Levels in the Aquarium
  • Goldfish don’t get enough UV light
  • Goldfish is under Stress
  • Can be genetic
  • Not enough oxygen in the H2O for Goldfish


Goldfish like many fish come in many colors, naturally, and some of them are naturally white. But if your goldfish starts out that way, these concerns and questions are good to look into. There are many reasons why this might be happening, but not all of them are bad.


Why Is My Goldfish Tank Cloudy


Goldfish are pretty creatures and for the most part, are easy to take care of. You don’t really know what color goldfish you will have until they mature to a certain age as they get older and start to develop. Another reason could be that there could be a health problem for the Goldfish brought on by the health of the water that the fish is living in. That health can be measured by pH, TDS, and Dissolved oxygen maintained in the chemistry of the water in the aquarium. 

Ammonia levels will develop problems with any kind of fish in well-kept Aquarium tanks. When that happens the water will get cloudy the ammonia takes oxygen from the water and robs the Goldfish The health of any fish can be brought on by stress which can happen when the fish is transferred from one place to another.

Replace the water in the tank to add Oxygen fast. Then add an Air Stone with a bigger Air Pump to find an Air Stone that delivers air through smaller holes. This will add diffused bubbles that will dissolve more air into the water of the Aquarium.

You can find it anywhere online. LISA Mini Aquarium Air Stone, Air Bubble Stone Ultra Silent Aquarium Bubble Stone Deep Dissolving Oxygen Diffusers Air Pump Accessories for Aquarium Fish Tank

So the color changes or colored spots can be caused by an ammonia spike that could be caused by the owner’s error. Then again once it’s resolved the Goldfish may be better cooler-looking fish that you bought and healthier afterward. Other signs of a Goldfish having a health problem is seeing red veins in their tails or in the fins the Goldfish also due to the quality of the water it lives in.

If you want you can try to enhance the colors of your Goldfish with a few tricks. 

  • Take your Goldfish out of an inside tank and release the Goldfish in direct sunlight which will slowly change the colors permanently before returning back to the original tank.
  • Another way is to feed the fish a high nutrients quality food for a while that will be in the original aquarium.
  • A diet of about 25% bloodworms can get some color going.
  • The fish’s health and the water’s health will both improve with this approach


Goldfish Fungal Infection


Bacterial infections are not the most common cause of color change in goldfish, but they are the most serious. Bold colors like orange and red will usually become lackluster and dull or faded. Your fish will usually show other signs of illness as well, including lethargy and weight loss. Infections in Goldfish can cause a loss of color.

This disease affects your goldfish’s internal organs and is often fatal. Other symptoms of tuberculosis include nodules that develop into ulcers, rapid weight loss, and unnaturally protruding eyes. If you see symptoms of illness clean your tank, and quarantine new fish from the sick ones. Check the aquarium’s nitrate and ammonia levels and make sure they are at acceptable levels to prevent infections and related color loss.

Fungal infections are among the most common diseases seen in all tropical fish. Because fungal spores are found in all fish aquariums, they can quickly colonize and create problems in stressed, injured, or diseased fish. Poor water quality can exacerbate the situation and lead to an increase in fungal infections in a seemingly healthy fish population.



Fish Losing Color Turning White


A few of the most common reason why your Goldfish is turning white is:

  • It’s not getting enough sunlight in whatever part of the house the Aquarium is located in. Move the tank out to a patio or near a big sunlight window. LED lights can help but it’s not the same as natural sunlight
  • It could be your Goldfish isn’t getting the nutrients he needs for a balanced diet-so switch it up and finds something better at the Pet Shop
  • Another common reason is it’s just genetics. Goldfish tend to lose their color as they grow old. If you look at the world’s oldest goldfish, you’ll notice none of them have orange coloring. They’re all white. Just like some humans who lose their hair pigment and go gray in their later years. 
  • Illness- Stress-just, As we talked about One of the main reasons for your Goldfish to lose color and fade towards the white side, is losing scales. If a blackfish is a muted or soft brown, for instance, or yellow looks cream, orange is turning pale orange or pink your Goldfish is in distress.
  • If your goldfish is turning translucent white, this is another cause for concern. This likely means that there is too little oxygen in your fish tank. Dissolved oxygen is needed for your fish to survive. If you don’t have a way to test the water in the tank replace most of the water in the tank with fresh water and the airstone for a quick fix.



Can Goldfish Get Their Color Back


Goldfish need UV light to keep their colors. I quarantine my new Goldfish indoors with only house lights on and off. The colors temporarily start to fade out indoors. A friend of mine took her Goldfish for the first time outside in a glass her goldfish’s color faded. She bought the fish because of their beautiful dark colors so she panicked  It immediately happens indoors and the black goes obsolete.

They can change colors according to light. Take them outside and in a short amount of time the color immediately comes back vibrant and rich. If your goldfish fade out it’s because you’re not giving them any UV lighting. If they are kept without UV light they will permanently change and or lose their color. Give them some outdoor light by a window, in a screen room on your patio, or buy a UV light bulb for indoor tanks and they will stay pretty.

Black Spots on Goldfish can happen on a fish that’s been bumped around, often during transport to a new home, and may develop dark spots on its body and fins. This loss of color is sometimes temporary. The spots are similar to bruises on humans. As your goldfish heals, his normal color will return. This process may take several weeks. It is difficult to prevent this type of damage, but careful handling of your fish between the store and home can reduce it.


Proper pH For Freshwater Aquarium



JimGalloway Author/Editor



References: Mom.comWhat causes Goldfish to lose their Color?






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