Why Do Goldfish Turn White?

The Goldfish is one of the most well-known types of household fish. When people look at the aquarium, they see this fish and it makes them feel calm and pleased. It is a wonderful idea to have a Goldfish in your home. Some people believe that having Goldfish in your house can bring you prosperity. Besides, raising fish in the house many believes, it brings money, happiness, and prosperity. Not only that, but fishes also assist you in repelling negative energy.

Short answer

Colors, forms, sizes, and fin types vary among Goldfish. A beautiful Goldfish with a slim body could be an excellent first aquarium pet for beginners. It provides a variety of ways of communicating with its owner. Many Goldfish are entertaining to pet, and they are rather simple to raise if you think about it. These lovely Goldfish don’t use up too much of their owner’s time. Feed them and marvel at how amazing their lives are in the aquarium.

Yet, Goldfish get sick from time to time, much like people. Most of the time, making them sick goes unnoticed. Although the concern “Why does the Goldfish turn white?” is the most visible, it is a common one. The explanation is simple: the amount of light available causes it to turn white.  But, is there anything else that determines its color change? In today’s piece, we’ll discover out.

Long Answer

As soon as the Goldfish begins to turn white, you become worried. If this is your first time, it may make you feel quite agitated as you try to figure out how these things are possible. Many factors come to mind, including the food they eat, the aquarium’s water, and the trash in the tank. Most people will tell it is because of the insufficient lighting. Yet, there are a few more factors that contribute to the Goldfish turning white.

Goldfish can change color for a variety of reasons. Here are several examples:

  • Getting Older
  • Lack of Sunlight
  • Poor Water Quality
  • Health Issue
  • Genetics

The Five Causes of Color Changing

  1. They Turn White as They Age
    Getting older makes the Goldfish change color. Young Goldfish will not turn white over the first few years of their lives. If you bought your fish as a baby, this will happen over time as they grow bigger. Fish can live for a long time, like Goldfish. They can live for up to 15 years on average. They become white as they get age.
  2. They Turn White Due to Lack of Sunlight
    Another typical cause is a lack of enough lighting. Pigment cells in Goldfish scales darken or colorless when light passes through them. When Goldfish stayed indoors, they miss out on the sun’s benefits. Artificial lighting can assist. Although even LED lighting does not have the same effect. The artificial lights’ lack of UV light is the reason in some ways.
  3. They Turn White Due to Poor Quality of Water
    Another factor about turning into white is the poor water quality. The reasons may be because of not enough oxygen in the water or a shift in water temperature. Factors like pH, temperature, and even hardness. Goldfish have been known to lose their shine when their pH balance isn’t right. Ensure to check the water quality, use a water test kit.
  4. They Turn White Due to Health Issues
    There may be times when Goldfish become white when they are sick. A change in skin color is a symptom that can occur as a result of any illness. Their sickness may manifest itself in their inability to swim. A sick fish also eats less than normal. It may even eat and vomit out some of its food. Changes in eating and swimming habits are evident signs of sickness.  Also, if your fish is sick, stress might cause them to appear colorless, especially if they have been shipped. Consult a veterinarian if your fish shows these signs or turns white.
  5. They Are Genetically Prone to Turn White
    A large portion of what influences Goldfish colors is outside your control, their genetics. Coloration, in other words, is greatly influenced by the genetics of the fish. A Goldfish that are not carefully selected bred for a specific color may eventually lose it. Lastly, it’s a natural aspect of their growth and a good hereditary trait.

Possible Treatment Options

There are possibilities to return the original color of the Goldfish. But, in most cases, you won’t be able to restore the color if it has changed color due to genetics. Thus, if the cause is because of an illness or poor water quality. The fish owner may resolve the problem to restore the fish’s original color. Also, it might be good to feed Goldfish food that helps them get a better color.


Lack of Sunlight

People are likely to know what to do if their fish doesn’t get enough or too much light. Ensure that your tiny species are living in an aquarium that gets at least the right amount of sunlight. LEDs and house lights can use to make your home look brighter. The lights in your fish tank should provide appropriate lighting.  Should also move them away from direct sunlight.


Quality of Water

Improve the water quality in your aquarium and choose an appropriate filter system. You must use clean water and you can add iodized saltwater to your tank to help it get better. Further, keep your aquarium at the correct temperature. The temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, check the water heater for leaks or malfunctions every few months. This is a smart thing to do, too.


Health Issues

Ensure that your aquarium is properly cycled and maintained. Must check for disease or infection warning symptoms. If in case there are parasites, consider consulting a professional.  Must ensure that correct medication is also given to the affected fish.



Breeding specimens that have changed color is not recommended. Do breed color-changing species that have lived from the time they were a baby. To note, most hereditary color changes are not harmful.

Goldfish Classification

A lovely goldfish belonging to the Cyprinidae family and the Carassius genus. Carassius is from the Latin word karass, which means “fish.” Goldfish considered a distinct species come in a variety of breeds. Although they are only one species, a Goldfish also possesses six fins. A body shape like an egg: two pectoral fins, two pelvic fins, and one dorsal fin. They have large eyes and excellent hearing and smell abilities.

Different breeds include telescope eyes, comet, veil, fantails, raspberry-shaped heads, and pearl-like scales. They come in a variety of colors, including gold, black, white, purple, red, brown, and yellow. Their dorsal fins are usually straight up, as opposed to carp’s curved outward dorsal fins.

Moreover, Goldfish colors are affected by three types of scales. They have: matte, metallic, and nacreous. These three types of scales make their colors unique. In DNA, Guanine is a chemical molecule that makes the fish appear shining. Finally, the Chromatophores define the color of your goldfish.

Items to Help Your Goldfish Keep Its Original Color

Proper care is crucial same as the correct items that help to maintain the fish’s health and living. To avoid your Goldfish turning white in an early stage, these goods are vital.


Fish Tank

To stay healthy, Goldfish need a lot of water. Keep in mind that your Goldfish will most likely grow some after you get it. Avoid overcrowding by choosing the right tank size. For example, 5 Gallons for your 2-3 Goldfish. In addition, before purchasing goldfish, ensure that your tank has been entirely set up for at least 24 hours.


Water Conditioner

Water Conditioners are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Most pet stores sell them in little plastic bottles, which are easy to transport. These particular drops ensure that the water in your Goldfish tank is safe for them to swim in.


Tank Cover and a Light

The tank cover saves water while also keeping Goldfish from jumping out of the aquarium. Light is also required for effective goldfish care. It enables the fish to differentiate between night and day and have adequate rest. , most covers incorporate some form of illumination.



Make certain to buy only Goldfish food. Their meal includes fresh frozen food, goldfish flakes, and pellets. It offers benefits, such as improving the color of your fish’s scales. It also aids in the restoration of its original color after turning white. After choosing the best diet for your Goldfish. It is advisable to purchase a color-enhancing fish food formula. It’s played as an additional supplement for your lovely Goldfish.

Remember, look for commercial color-enhancing goods like carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C. These are meant to improve the coloration of your fish. Also, for aquarium fish to keep their color, these nutrients are important.


Test Kit

Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are invisible to the naked eye. These are sometimes the most significant causes of fish diseases. You need to test your fish to see if the levels are safe. It is crucial to keep a test kit to maintain the care for your Goldfish.

In the following article you will find a detailed comparison of aquarium test kits, which can also be used to determine the pH value: Best Aquarium Test Kits 2024 & Buyers Guide.


Thermometer and Heater

Temperature consistency is crucial. It is best to always monitor the temperature of your tank. Especially when we have season change. With the help of a thermometer and a heater, which will keep your Goldfish on track and healthier. It will also avoid some future sicknesses of the Goldfish that may lead them to turn white.

Conclusion – Why Do Goldfish Turn White?

Take note that the fish’s color may change. Always keep in mind that fish are fragile creatures. When dealing with any issues, you should always move with caution. With the right setup, you can create a stress-free environment for Goldfish. Try keeping stress under control. Goldfish make excellent pets, especially for children. Goldfish has these advantages due to its ease of upkeep and tolerance.

Finally, If you want to make your home look nice, an aquarium is a great way to do it. Watching fish is also calming. Take care of Goldfish because they are a great first pet, especially for people living alone. We hope you found this article to be informative.


1 thought on “Why Do Goldfish Turn White?”

  1. Thanks for the useful information. I was quite worried about the goldfish turning white, but thankfully I knew it was due to a lack of sunlight and water quality. Then I fixed it and they are back to normal. It’s good that they’re not sick or other.


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