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Why Is My Goldfish Turning White? Treat and Know The Causes

Why Is My Goldfish Turning White

Goldfish come in all colors, but it is wise to be mindful of their appearance if they change from their usual vibrant colors to stark white. That, of course, was their original color. Sudden disruptions like this could be alarming and confusing.

When you see your goldfish turning white, you likely have several questions. Why is that happening? Are you concerned? Is there anything you can do about it? And we totally appreciate the concern. In fact, why is my goldfish turning white is among one of the most frequent questions we see from goldfish owners (of every experience level). So don't worry, you're not alone!

The article offers a detailed overview of why this happens, how you can figure out the cause, and if there are things you can do about it.

Do White Goldfish Exist?

Before we go into detail about why gold can turn white, it’s helpful to note that white goldfish are granted and do exist. Most individuals born white will ultimately develop a different color later in life.

This might sound like a trivial point, but it could significantly impact your fish treatment. When you understand the reason for the shift in color of your fish, you can reduce the risk of this problem recurring.

Why Do Goldfish Turn White?

Why Do Goldfish Turn White?

There are numerous reasons why a goldfish may change its color, but more often than not, it is harmless and doesn't adversely affect the fish's health. Here is an overview of a few of the most common reasons.

Poor Water Quality

Environmental contamination is one of the most common reasons behind the loss of color in goldfish. If you intend to have a healthy little friend, you must always ensure that your aquarium has the correct water quality.

If water pollution is high, your pet will rely on a substance called otoliths for nutrition. This substance acts as an excess food source to protect itself from starvation even if there's food available. Unfortunately, it can cause irreversible damage and discoloration itself.


To improve the purification of your aquarium's water, you should consider better water quality and integrate a filtration system for the aquarium. A simple 20-minute water change daily is usually sufficient to completely purify your water. Keep your filtration system operating at peak efficiency by using deionized water.

You will want to add iodide to frozen saltwater to boost de-laceration speed. You can buy salt mix and dissolve it in a ratio of 1 tablespoon of salt for every gallon of water in the tank. Leave it overnight and perform a 50 percent water change the next day.

Decrease in Water Temperature

Like human beings, a change in water temperature can greatly impact a goldfish's health and appearance. For this reason, it's recommended that the temperature of your aquarium stay between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

In some cases, a noticeable decrease in temperature may result in your beloved pet losing its color completely. In this case, their red blood cells will also change color because of lower water temperature. This is because the oxygen going through their bloodstream is directly contingent on the water temperature.


We suggest keeping your aquarium at a temperature of between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and checking the water heater for leaks or malfunctions. A good tip is to keep the aquarium away from the sun, which can affect health! If you can t prevent the mercury from being brought up by the sun, try purchasing a water heater chiller.


Some of the reasons goldfish change color have to do with their genetics. Genetics is perhaps the greatest factor. Everything from the fish's original color to any changes in color over time has to do with the genes it inherited from its parents.

The breed of goldfish you have chosen for your aquarium strongly determines your genetics. While standard goldfish typically come in orange, there are various colors of goldfish you can select. You can get orange, gold, red, black, and even additional colors.

Likewise, the color of some fish can change over time. As they grow older, some fish start looking as ordinary as the fish mentioned earlier but don't stay this way for long.


Due to genetics, you cannot entirely control goldfish color, but you can rely on them if they have white markings or if the discoloration is isolated.

Your safest bet is to only breed individuals who have been raised together from a young age, which will provide you with a rough idea of the color changes to expect.

If you mix species or varieties as adults, their offspring will be less predictable as far as coloration goes and can grow to be surprisingly colorful. Fortunately, genetic color modifications tend to be benign, so you can are happy to watch an unusual spectacle!

Illnesses and Diseases

Such a symptom may also indicate an underlying problem. This may be caused by various infectious, fungal, or parasitic infections, so seek prompt treatment from a medical professional!

Goldfish are susceptible to ick, which compels them to change colors to white. Another well-known concern is bloating in Malawi, which can trigger similar symptoms.

Your fish can have internal bacterial infections if they are turning white. We've got you covered when these problems come up!


Fish that turn white often indicate an underlying issue, so you must examine this from multiple directions.

Keep in mind that your aquarium must be cycled regularly and properly maintained. If any trouble arises, it will be simpler to remedy with the right equipment. Next, you should look for warning signs of health problems.

We've already covered ick and bacterial infections, but many other ailments could also affect your fish. If you have any way to determine whether an illness or parasitic infection is present, you should seek professional advice as soon as possible!

Toxic Medication

A large portion of pet ownership is coping with them coming home sick. When administering medication to your pet, it's important to follow its health. Ensure the medicine you're helping is correct because the wrong kind could have dire consequences for your fish.

In some cases, goldfish will become pale after being treated with toxic medication. The red blood cells will lose their luster as their pH level changes.


Be sure to use the recommended medication dosage, and make certain to experiment with partial water changes. Afterward, you should purchase aquarium salt and add it to your fish tank. Various forms of salt can be purchased at pet stores.

If the pet stops eating and starts losing its color, you may want to check for a medication change. If the problem persists, however, you should explore other options.

Poor Diet

This particular change also stems from a poor diet. Aquatic creatures require certain vitamins to remain colorful. Fish need a carotenoid-rich diet because these pigments give them their vibrant hues.

When your fish is deficient in nutrients, their colors will fade. For example, your orange fish may change from bright orange to white or pale orange. You will also find that similar trends take place in creatures that have a brilliant gold color.


You will not need to create a custom diet by providing your pet a healthy diet from scratch. The best way to provide these nutrients is by feeding them a balanced diet of plant matter, meat, and vitamins.

Be mindful of coloration enhancers when you're shopping for your fish food. These can be located in your region's aquatics department, pet store, or supermarket. Give your beloved fish a natural color boost by adding a few of these coloring enhancers.


Finally, insufficient lighting can cause your goldfish to turn white. Chromosomes are cells known as chromatophores, which influence pigment formation in response to the influence of the light they receive. If the light is insufficient for those cells to function properly, they will not be able to produce the colors you observe on your pet's scales and fins.

There is a variant that can also be seen in low light. This is common with aquarium lighting that is too bright or if you have a lamp close to the aquarium.


If you believe that incorrect lighting is causing the problems, you need to rectify it immediately. Whether the fish is facing a shortage of light or damage from too much light, it is easy to make positive changes.

Providing your pets with enough light to counteract the effects of a lack of UV light is as easy as placing them in an aquarium that receives direct sunlight from the sun. Even when humans are reflected in artificial light, you might wish to keep them inside.

In addition, make sure that your pets aren't receiving too much artificial lighting. Dim the night light in your aquarium, and move the vessel away from direct sunlight if necessary.

Not Enough Oxygen

Here, a cause requires immediate action to keep your fish healthy. Sometimes, goldfish will become aware of a translucent color when there is too little oxygen in the water.

Goldfish need a tank containing at least 8000 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved oxygen. When goldfish start to turn white due to low oxygen levels, you know that the dissolved oxygen level in the tank is low.

Test the water to ensure this is done. Low levels of oxygen usually cause weird behaviors. For example, your fish might seem lethargic. Pay attention to the gills; you may also see your fish struggling to breathe.

Perform a 60% water change to increase water conditions. You may also want to add air stones to the aquarium to increase the amount of oxygen.

Should You Be Worried?

Seeing that your goldfish turn white may be alarming. But it s often an indication that it's nothing serious.

Contrary to popular belief, almost all goldfish are not naturally a gold color. They were one of the first domesticated fish species, and selective breeding has done a lot to shape and tame the fish we recognize today.

Contrary to popular belief, one of the goldfish's most common color changes is to turn white!

However, if your fish suddenly turns white, it might indicate a health issue. In both instances, it's always essential to consider all possible causes and pay attention to your fish. Only after that can you confidently choose between taking action and ignoring it.

Is It Possible For Them to Reclaim Their Original Color?

The cause of this problem can fluctuate. Adding drinking water or changing the lighting frequently can bring your fish back to their original color. However, there are no guarantees. Often, the problem can be permanent, especially due to aging, genetic conditions, and some diseases.

The absence of pigmentation in fish doesn't have to be a big deal if you address any health or comfort issues. Your fish can live in peace, devoid of a need for concern! Once again, this is a new physical anomaly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing the Problem

Why Is My Goldfish Turning White? Treat and Know the causes

Even if your animal loses all its colors, you might first treat the problem with a milder solution. If that fails, go ahead and give your pet another.

1. Partial Water Change & Conditioning

If your fish loses color due to poor water quality, you can improve its condition by performing a partial water change. Check your prepared water's water quality and ensure it is suitable for your fish!

To purify your tap water, leave it to stand overnight, so the chlorine evaporates. Alternatively, you could buy a product such as Goldfish Tetra's AquaSafe to condition your tap water.

2. Fish Medication

If you believe your fish is ill, acting quickly is important. While this is not likely to fix the illness, these medications will often cure the condition if you observe the issue in time. You should use these medications in conjunction with a product that removes chlorine and other substances from water. This will remove any trace of chlorine or hazardous chemicals from the tank.

3. Vitamins

If your fish's coloring hasn't improved after trying both methods, adding vitamins to their feeding routine is worthwhile. Many options are available that accomplish this goal. Look at their ingredients list for labels containing color enhancers.

4. Feeding Your Pets Plant Matter

If your goldfish is turning white, try feeding them plant matter to naturally return to their natural color. Certain veggies, like carrots, are crammed with nutrients that can be beneficial. You should also consider adding spinach or other dark-green leafy vegetables to your aquarium fish's diet.

5. Discontinue the Use of Color Enhancers

If your fish is consistently losing color as it ages, the best thing you can do is stop using color enhancers in its food. These chemicals are often unnecessary and will only cause problems for your fish in the long run. Allowing this option will prevent them from losing color to harmful chemicals.

6. Add Live Plants

If you still have problems with your fish losing their coloration, you should add live plants to your aquarium. These could make the fish more productive in several ways. For example, they will enhance the water quality in the tank.


You should try to find out what is the matter with your goldfish to alleviate its discomfort. Make sure you move steadily when trying to resolve any issues your relationship with your fish might be experiencing.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you! Share it with others who might find it useful and co-browsing us to let us know. Thanks, and happy goldfish!

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