Goldfish have long been domesticated as aquarium pets. They come in all sorts of variations, from small to large, orange to spotted.
Goldfish are actually a type of carp, so the colors they exhibit are not their natural ones.
The yellows, golden, browns, and reds are all found through selective breeding. So imagine that one day you notice your very yellow goldfish is actually turning white!
Does it mean it’s sick?
Some people get worried right away when they see that their goldfish have changed color.
It’s always better to be on the side of caution, but there are a few normal reasons your fish might’ve changed color.
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Why is My Goldfish Turning White?
It may just be that your goldfish is growing up! As your fish ages, it might change colors several times before it lands on its true color. This change won’t happen overnight, so it’s a little difficult to track.
Changes in your fish’s color are predictable by looking towards their parents’ colors. If the fish’s parents have white colors in their skin, it’s likely that your fish is mimicking those colors.
If this is the case, you should see a change in their color within the first year of having the fish.
Even if your fish doesn’t seem to have whiteness in their genes, it’s still very possible to see it in them. Selective breeding has made it so white, golden, and yellow are most common in goldfish.
If your goldfish turns white for this reason, then you have nothing to worry about!
A white goldfish is still a healthy goldfish as long as it’s still eating and swimming properly. Keep track of your fish’s eating habits to understand what’s normal for them to eat and what’s not.
Change in Surrounding Light
It’s not a well-known fact, but goldfish actually have a pigment in their skin that gives them their shiny color. This pigment reacts more to the sunlight in some fish.
Think of it like getting a tan. The more you’re exposed to the sun, the more likely you are to have a darker skin tone. This is the same thing with some goldfish.
If your fish are normally exposed to a good amount of light, and that light has increased, they might turn whiter. The longer your fish are exposed to that extra sunlight, the whiter they become. This is what gives them change in their skin.
You can know if this is the reason why your fish are turning white if you’ve changed their tank’s position. A new area with more sunlight or just opening up the windows more often can give this change. It doesn’t have to be direct sunlight to cause this effect.
Just moving your fish back to a more normal exposure should solve the problem. That doesn’t’ mean to completely isolate them from the sun, but keep it to the normal amount as before. This should bring them back to their normal color within a few months.
Change in Environment
Goldfish are sensitive creatures because they react to minute changes in their environment. Even the smallest change can cause something like a difference in their color.
Changes in their environment include adding in a new piece of decoration to their tank or adding a new fish. Even small changes in the water temperature and pH value can change their color.
You can figure out if they’re changing because of this by keeping track of any changes you make to their tank. Adding a new fish friend or changing the filter type is all it takes to get them started.
If you believe your fish has changed because of pH levels, you need to check the levels with a pH stick.
This can tell you exactly how much the levels have changed and what you need to do to keep it constant. Keeping the water at a safe pH level is the best way to keep your fish healthy and looking like themselves.
If you’ve just added a new fish or decoration, your fish may take some time to adjust. This may take a few months before your fish goes back to its normal color. But, there’s nothing to worry about on your end as far as your fish’s health goes.
The time when you should actually be worried about your fish changing colors is when it’s sick. As it was mentioned, fish are very sensitive to changes. Sickness is definitely something that can cause it to change its colors.
The good news is that if your fish has turned white due to illness, you can confirm this by watching their behavior. A healthy fish swims around the tank swiftly and can go from the top of the tank to the bottom without problems.
A sick fish takes longer to swim up and down the aquarium. A sick fish also doesn’t eat as much as it normally does. It may even eat a little and spit some of its food out.
Sick fish also tend to just float aimlessly in their tank. Changes in eating and swimming habits are the biggest signs of illness. If you see these signs in your fish along with them turning white, you should see a vet.
Your vet can determine exactly why your fish is sick. He can also inform you of what steps you can take to bring your fish back to good health. Once you do that, your fish’s color is likely to return.