Why is My Goldfish Turning White? 5 Reasons Why | Aquascape Addiction

Why is My Goldfish Turning White? 5 Reasons Why

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Here are the 5 common reasons why your goldfish are changing color or turning white, solutions and whether or not you need to be concerned.

Why is My Goldfish Turning White? 5 Reasons Why

So, your goldfish is turning white and losing color. This may be a cause for concern and it might not. It really depends on the situation.

Why is my goldfish turning white? Well, color loss in goldfish can be due to a plethora of reasons, some in your control and some out of your control.

Goldfish may lose color due to;

  • Old age.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Sickness.
  • Stress.
  • Diet.
  • Lack of sunlight.

Common Reasons Why Your Goldfish is Turning White + Solutions

Goldfish changing color

Alright, so there are a few common reasons why your goldfish may be turning white or losing color.

Let’s look the most common reasons for goldfish losing color and going pale, plus the best solutions for each problem.

1. A Lack of UV Light/Sunlight

One of the biggest reasons why your goldfish might be turning white is due to a lack of sunlight. The UV rays which come with sunlight help to maintain the vivid coloration seen on goldfish.

Something about sunlight really helps to super charge those color pigments. This is why goldfish in the wild, and ones kept outdoors in bright areas, tend to be the most colorful and the brightest.

The artificial lights you have in your aquarium probably don’t emit UV light, and even full spectrum LED lights don’t produce all that much UV. This lack of sunlight and UV will cause goldfish to lose coloration over time.

Therefore, the simple solution here is to get a good UV light for your goldfish tank. Just be sure not to overheat the water, as UV lights can get quite hot. Another solution is to place your tank in an area of your home that sees a lot of sunlight.

However, do keep in mind that lots of sunlight and UV rays can lead to algae growth. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

2. Genetics

Another reason why your goldfish may be changing color is simply due to genetics. In many cases, the coloration of goldfish depends on genetics.

Therefore, if your goldfish is turning white or losing pigmentation due to genetics, there is really nothing that you can do to change this.

3. Diet

The next reason why your goldfish may be turning white is due to an improper diet. Goldfish require the right diet with the right ingredients in order to maintain that bright coloration.

If you are not feeding your goldfish an adequate diet, it may very well be the cause of said color loss.

There are some ingredients to look out for in goldfish food which can help increase and maintain proper coloration (we have covered the ideal foods here).

These ingredients include spirulina, bentonite clay, and carotene, that compound in carrots which makes them so orange. A proper diet, along with these ingredients can help maintain and increase goldfish coloration.

On a side note, something which may occur with heavy amounts of color enhancing foods is that the white markings on your goldfish may start to turn slightly pink, although if you ask us, this is actually pretty cool.

4. Sickness & Stress

Another reason why your goldfish may be turning white is due to sickness. There are a few different goldfish diseases which can cause this color loss to occur.

There are plenty of diseases which cause color loss. An unhealthy fish will often lose color. Therefore, what you need to do if you suspect that your goldfish is sick is to find out exactly what the sickness.

So, look for other symptoms which can tell you the exact nature and type of the illness. Once you figure out exactly what the disease or issue in question is, you can then take the proper steps to remedy the situation.

Yes, stress is considered a sickness, and this is something else which can lead to color loss in goldfish. Not being moved the proper way, introducing new fish to your goldfish tank, dirty water, a very small tank, the wrong water temperature, the wrong pH level, and other such issues can all cause stress and health issues in goldfish which lead to it turning white.

Therefore, you need to figure out what is causing the stress or illness, and then go from there.

5. Old Age

A simple and common reason why your goldfish may be turning white or just losing color in general is due to old age.

If your goldfish is getting older, chances are pretty big that it will start losing color. Of course, unfortunately, this is nothing but the circle of life which all living creatures go through.

Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to stop a goldfish from ageing.

Is it Normal for Goldfish to Change Color?

The good news here is that in many cases, yes, it is normal for goldfish to change color. Goldfish often change color when they reach sexual maturity, they can change color with old age, and they can change color due to genetic reasons too.

Of course, the amount of light they get as well as their diet can also have an impact on this. Yes, it’s normal for goldfish to change color, and in many cases, it really is not a cause for concern.

Unless your goldfish is stressed out or sick, there is probably nothing to worry about.


The bottom line is that in most cases, goldfish changing color is perfectly normal, although not always.

What you need to do is to figure out why your goldfish is changing color, and then go from there. Generally speaking, it should not be a big cause for concern.