Can Goldfish Get Their Color Back {Yes, and Here is How}

Has your goldfish started to change colour recently? Are you wondering can goldfish get their color back?

Or is the color change permeant? Why did they change color in the first place?

I will cover all the above and more.

Can Goldfish Get Their Color Back

Yes, Goldfish have the remarkable ability to regenerate and restore their pigmentation under the right conditions. Color restoration is not guaranteed for all goldfish and may vary depending on individual factors such as genetics, health, and environmental conditions.

Can Goldfish Get Their Color Back

If a goldfish appears faded or has lost its color, there are steps you can take to potentially help it regain its pigmentation.

Water Quality

Maintaining optimal water quality is crucial for goldfish health and color development. Poor water conditions can stress the fish and lead to color loss. Regular water changes, filtration, and monitoring of water parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels are essential. Clean and well-maintained water provides a favorable environment for color restoration.


Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital for the overall health and coloration of goldfish. Look for fish foods specifically formulated to enhance color, as they often contain ingredients such as spirulina, astaxanthin, or other color-enhancing pigments. These nutrients can help intensify and restore the natural colors of your goldfish.


Adequate lighting can have a significant impact on the appearance of goldfish colors. Proper lighting, preferably full-spectrum bulbs that mimic natural sunlight, can enhance the pigmentation of the fish. Ensure your goldfish tank or pond receives appropriate lighting to showcase their colors effectively.


It’s important to consider that the genetic makeup of a goldfish plays a significant role in its coloration. Some goldfish breeds are naturally more vibrant in color, while others may have more subtle hues. Genetic factors determine the pigmentation potential of a goldfish, and while certain conditions can enhance colors, they may not completely change the fish’s genetic color traits.

Environmental Enrichment

Creating a stimulating and enriched environment for your goldfish can also contribute to color restoration. Providing hiding spots, live plants, and a spacious tank or pond allows the goldfish to exhibit natural behaviors and reduces stress. A stress-free environment promotes overall well-being and can enhance color development.

How Can I Improve My Goldfish Color?

There are several effective ways to enhance and improve the color of your goldfish:

Balanced Nutrition

Providing a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for vibrant coloration. Look for fish foods specifically formulated to enhance color. These foods often contain natural color enhancers such as spirulina, shrimp, or krill that promote intense pigmentation.

Varied Diet

Offering a varied diet of different food types is essential to provide a range of nutrients and pigments. Include fresh vegetables like peas, spinach, or kale, which are rich in carotenoids, known to enhance coloration. Additionally, occasional treats of live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms can provide added nutrition and stimulate color development.

Adequate Lighting

Proper lighting can play a significant role in bringing out the full potential of your goldfish’s colors. Ensure your tank or pond has appropriate lighting, ideally with full-spectrum bulbs that mimic natural sunlight. Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight, as it can lead to algae growth and imbalances in the tank.

Water Quality

Maintaining optimal water quality is vital for overall goldfish health and color enhancement. Regular water changes, filtration, and proper water parameter management help eliminate pollutants, maintain clarity, and support the healthy development of vibrant colors.

What Is a Natural Color Enhancer for Goldfish?

Nature offers various natural color enhancers that can help improve the pigmentation of goldfish:


Carotenoids are natural pigments found in many fruits, vegetables, and algae. These compounds, such as beta-carotene and astaxanthin, can intensify red, orange, and yellow hues in goldfish. Including carotenoid-rich foods like carrots, papaya, or marigold petals in their diet can enhance their coloration.


Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae known for its rich nutritional profile and color-enhancing properties. It contains carotenoids, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, all of which can help intensify goldfish colors. Spirulina supplements or fish foods containing spirulina are commonly used as natural color enhancers.

Why Has My Goldfish Lost Its Color?

There are several reasons why a goldfish may lose its color:


Stressful conditions can cause goldfish to pale or lose their colors. Factors such as poor water quality, overcrowding, inappropriate tank mates, or sudden changes in the environment can stress goldfish and affect their pigmentation.

Illness or Disease

Certain illnesses or infections can impact a goldfish’s coloration. Conditions like fin rot, parasites, or bacterial infections can weaken the fish and cause fading or discoloration.


As goldfish age, it is natural for some color fading or changes to occur. Older goldfish may exhibit a softer or lighter coloration compared to their vibrant younger selves.

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How Do I Get My Goldfish to Be Orange Again?

If you have an orange goldfish that appears faded or less vibrant, there are steps you can take to encourage its color to return:

Optimize Water Conditions

Insure the water parameters are within the ideal range for goldfish. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and maintaining balanced pH levels help create a healthy environment for color restoration.

Improve Nutrition

Review and adjust your goldfish’s diet to include foods that promote color enhancement. Look for fish foods rich in carotenoids, such as those containing spirulina or krill. Additionally, adding fresh vegetables like carrots or feeding color-enhancing pellets can contribute to revitalizing orange pigmentation.

Reduce Stress

Identify and address any potential stressors in your goldfish’s environment. Ensure the tank is adequately sized, provide appropriate hiding places, and avoid aggressive tank mates. Maintaining a calm and stress-free environment can help your goldfish regain its vibrant orange color.

Will My White Goldfish Turn Orange Again?

White goldfish, such as the popular white oranda or white ryukin, possess a genetic mutation known as the “leucistic” trait, which inhibits pigmentation. While it is unlikely for a white goldfish to turn completely orange, slight changes in coloration may occur due to environmental factors, nutrition, or aging.

In some cases, white goldfish may develop a pink or yellow hue on their fins or head, adding subtle color accents. However, it’s important to remember that the color potential of white goldfish is limited due to their genetic makeup.


Goldfish have a remarkable ability to regain their coloration under favorable conditions. By providing a balanced diet, appropriate lighting, optimal water quality, and reducing stress, you can enhance and restore the vibrant colors of your goldfish.

While each goldfish is unique, with variations in genetics and responses to environmental factors, following these guidelines will increase the likelihood of your goldfish displaying their full, radiant hues once again.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.