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Why Did My Goldfish Turn White?

why did my goldfish turn white

Keeping pets in your home means that you are responsible for them. It is your job to take care of them as they need your time, love, and attention. These, of course, includes fishes.

Goldfish are one of the most common pet fishes people choose to keep. They come in many different colors like vibrant yellows, golds, darker browns, and reds. Everyone loves their attractive and beautiful color, and it is what makes them stand out from other fishes.

However, they can change their color. It could be a serious issue, or it could be something normal! In this article, you will discover the reason for your goldfish turning white.


Reasons why Goldfishes Turn White

The change in your goldfish’s color might not matter for them, but it may be an indicator of the state of your goldfish’s health. It is essential to know the reasons why they turn white for you to be aware of any possible health issues.

Usually, color changes occur during a goldfish’s first two years of life. They are born either brown or black to help them blend in with their surroundings and avoid being eaten by predators. They only become orange or golden-yellow after they mature, but it depends on many factors.

Goldfish turn white over time due to many possible reasons. Read on so you can better assess their health and decide whether you should help them recover or enjoy their new look!

Growing up

One reason why your goldfish is turning white is that they are growing up. As goldfish grow older, the color may change several times before they have their true color, and their color depends on their breeding.

If the parents of your goldfish have white colors, then your goldfish may be turning white to mimic those colors. If this is the case, you should not worry about your goldfish. The reason why most goldfish are golden and yellow is simply because of selective breeding. As long as you take good care of your goldfish, they are going to be just fine.

reasons why goldfishes turn white

Lack of sunlight

The shiny color that we see goldfish have is actually due to them having pigment on their skin. This pigment reacts more to sunlight than other fish. So, the reason why your goldfish is turning white may due to a lack of sunlight exposure.

One solution goldfish keepers have for this is to let their goldfish bask in the sun for them to receive the benefits of sunlight. However, if your goldfish has fully turned white, this method might not work. It would be best to do this while your goldfish still have some color left on them.

Changes in their environment

Even the simplest change can affect goldfish because they are sensitive creatures. A new friend, changes in water type or temperature, or even just adding a new piece of decoration can change their color.

The only way you can find out that the reason for their color change is the sudden change in their environment is if you keep track of any changes you make to their aquarium.

You can use a pH stick to see if it is due to a change in pH levels. However, if you added a new friend or a toy, you may need to wait for a few months before they turn back to their original color. Just know that you do not have to worry, especially if you are taking proper care of your goldfish.


The time where you should be worried is if your goldfish may be turning white due to an illness. Changes in their color are just one symptom of a possible disease. You could also tell if they are sick by noticing their movements.

If your goldfish are healthy, they would be swimming around like they usually do. If your goldfish is sick, it may take longer to move around, and it might change its eating habits. It would be best to see a vet if any of these changes occur.

Low oxygen levels

Your goldfish may be turning a translucent white color if there is not enough oxygen in the water. Low oxygen levels will need immediate action as they could make your goldfish turn ill.

You should test the water and also be mindful of strange behaviors. If they are looking a bit sluggish and you notice that they are having a hard time breathing, it would be best to change 60% of the water to improve their conditions. Air stones are also a great help in increasing water levels.

Old age

One answer to why your goldfish is turning white may be due to them getting older. All living things slowly feel changes as they grow older. You may notice these changes in their health, color, or energy.

If you own plenty of goldfish and have one that seems to be turning its color due to old age, you may want to put them in a separate fishbowl. If that goldfish dies in the aquarium with other fish around, germs might spread, which could cause health issues to the remaining fish.


Goldfish are sensitive creatures that can easily be affected even by the smallest changes, which is the most common reason why they change their color to white. Even though goldfish are not aware of it when they turn white, it is something you may want to check.

There are many possible reasons why your goldfish would turn white, and they are commonly due to sudden changes, which is why you need to be very careful if you want to keep them alive.

You need to make sure that they are getting enough sunlight, their oxygen levels are just right, and that you are keeping track of any changes you are making to the aquarium. Also, be mindful of the possibility that they are sick so you can take them to the vet early and get them treated immediately.

However, other changes may not be threatening. It could be just because they are still growing up or getting old. Either way, it would be best to prevent any potential issues by giving them a happy and healthy life.

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