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Old 09-02-2006, 02:58 AM   #1
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common goldfish turned white

I have two common goldfish. When I got them, both were bright orange. I went away for a couple weeks, and had someone look after the fish while I was gone (fed them, replaced water as it evaporated, but no water changes), and when I returned, one of my goldfish had turned white! The other is still orange.

I read somewhere that goldfish can turn white if they don't get enough light, but the window was open as always while I was gone. The only difference in light would have been that I didn't have the lights on in the room at night at all. And, it strange it would have been just one of the fish.

I have changed the filter (I have an Eclipse 12 tank) and I changed the water a few times since I got back, but there has been no change. I checked the water parameters today and they're about the same as before I left.

The white one (his name is Jean Valjean, by the way) seems healthy -- he's as active as the other, although he occasionally has mild buoyancy issues and he's a lot worse at eating (he eats, but he's bad at it -- he spends more time missing the food than catching it, and he often seems to miss the point of the food concept). I've posted about this fish before. He's not the best model of a functional goldfish but he seems to be doing all right.

Any suggestions? I'm attaching "before" and "after" pictures.

PS -- My fishtank came with a nonfunctioning light, and when I finally got a light that worked, the fish freaked out for a long time when I turned it on. Is it something they'd get used to? I don't mind keeping the light off if they're more comfortable.
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File Type: jpg goldfish_orange_1_188.jpg (228.5 KB, 1103 views)
File Type: jpg goldfish_contrast_1_827.jpg (178.5 KB, 1201 views)
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Old 09-02-2006, 03:38 AM   #2
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Woah! That's cool. Wish I could help
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #3
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Koi and goldfish can both change colors. As long as there is no cottony like fungus and the water quality is good, I would say it is natural and not to worry. Many factors can affect color changes. It is a natural thing in most instances. From the pictures your fish looks healthy still.

On a side note the tank is too small for them. You need 10-15 gals per goldie. Smaller tanks will stunt their growth and cause internal problems. I am assuming they are both relatively small at this time? His buoyancy problems can be a sign of water quality issues. Small tanks with fish that produce a lot of waste like goldfish are prone to water quality issues. How often do you change your water and what are your parameters?

All fish will get used to lights just start out with the lighting schedule slowly.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:57 AM   #4
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Agree with Zagz. It may get black spots on it before it's done changing completely.

And an interesting side note, all goldfish are born brown. Through maturing to an adult, they gain their orange coloration. Sometimes they get white, stay brown, or turn orange.
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:43 AM   #5
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I read somewhere earlier that fish could change colors as a result of water conditions. I would do a search on google. Thats how I found the info. If I remember correctly it doesn't mean that they are particularly unhealthy, but the color may not come back.
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwbw00
I read somewhere earlier that fish could change colors as a result of water conditions. I would do a search on google. Thats how I found the info. If I remember correctly it doesn't mean that they are particularly unhealthy, but the color may not come back.
Usually, good water conditions. It means the fish is healthy and growing.

No, the color won't come back.
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
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Here is the link regarding the info I read:

http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/FAQ.htm#colour
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zagz
On a side note the tank is too small for them. You need 10-15 gals per goldie. Smaller tanks will stunt their growth and cause internal problems. I am assuming they are both relatively small at this time? His buoyancy problems can be a sign of water quality issues. Small tanks with fish that produce a lot of waste like goldfish are prone to water quality issues. How often do you change your water and what are your parameters?
I'm not sure about my water parameters exactly -- I've been lazy about measuring them lately, and some water leaking from my tank filter messed up the color comparison chart on my tester kit. But from what I could tell the parameters were the same as before, and those were in the normal range for everything. When I get a new tester, I'll put up something more quantitative.

I think I'm going to go ahead and buy a 20-gallon. The fish were both a little over an inch long when I got them, but they're growing, and the bigger one at least is looking like he could use some new digs. I found someone selling a cheap used tank online, so I'll try to go pick that up soon. Any advice on the best (and cheapest) filters, etc, for 20-gallon tanks? Also, what do you do with an old tank when you upgrade?
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Put different fish in it? It's called MTS (multiple tank syndrome).
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Old 09-03-2006, 02:22 PM   #10
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Put different fish in it? It's called MTS (multiple tank syndrome).
Hm, I'd love to, but unfortunately I'm leaving the country in a few weeks, and I don't want to start a new tank just to leave it with the fish-sitter. Maybe I'll try the classifieds forum here. It's a real nice, 12-gallon tank, only a few months old...
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