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goldfish changed color

Posted by reg_pnw7 WA 7, sunset 4 (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 18, 07 at 12:07

I have to admit I have no idea when this happened or if it was sudden or slow. I mean, I feed the fish every day, and change the water regularly, but obviously I haven't been really LOOKING at them! Because last night, watching the big brown and orange oranda beg for food, I realized ... it's solid orange now. No more brown. It's still a beautiful fish, long full trailing fins and a nice bright orange, but it had such a nice brown pattern when I got it! and I've had it for several months now.

I was even watching it closely enough to notice it had ich about a month ago, and I bought a heater and upped the temp and salt to get rid of the ich, but I could NOT tell you if it had already lost the brown markings at that time, or if it happened afterwards. All I know is, it was brown and orange, and now it's orange. Not a hint of brown anywhere.

The calico comet seems fine, but with such a complex color pattern who could say if it's changed or not?? but still definitely calico.

Is this something that normally happens??? or is it a symptom of some sinister disease or environmental problem?? maybe it needs a change in diet?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: goldfish changed color

Young Goldies often change color. Or more correctly, their mature coloration become more pronounced as they mature. If they are pati-colored, the patterns won't change, but the colors might.

However, from the description of the time frame of when you bought yours and saw the ick, I'm guessing you bought a weak fish that was darkened from poor condition and couldn't quite make the adjustment to your tank before the ick got to it, and now it's healthy and displaying it true, bright gold coloration.

But the next time you see ick, don't use salt. Raising the temp is good, but there are better solutions than salt, which is unhealthy for carp.

Best yet, is to never put a new fish directly into your main tank. Quarantine it in another tank for at least 2 - 3 weeks first and if there is a problem, it will be confined to that fish, or fishes, but won't get into your show tank. That also means washing and throughly rinsing your hands and equipment between tanks, but in the end, the precaution always pays off.


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RE: goldfish changed color

No, this goldfish was definitely not weak when I got it. Very healthy, active, good appetite, long full fins, bright distinct coloration. And, the whole tankful of fish were the same distinct dark brown on gold background. Not a discoloration but the pattern. Brown and gold orandas. And, I'd had it for months, before it got ONE spot of ich. Which went away as soon as I started treatment, and has not yet returned.

This one was a stunner too. Almost perfectly symmetrical dark brown on the cap, down the spine, and covering the dorsal and caudal fins. All gone. I can't believe it was a poor quality fish! I'm thinking more along the lines of this color pattern being unstable (like black irises are unstable and gradually turn dark red), or needing a special diet to maintain the color pattern or something.

Surely someone out there also has the brown and gold orandas! and can tell me if it's normal for the brown to disappear!


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RE: goldfish changed color

I didn't understand that you were refering to an Oranda. Is it possible that it was intensely color fed before you bought it? How long has it been since it had the Ick? Perhaps it just needs time to completely recover to regain it's full coloration?

But if you had it for months before it developed the Ick, something triggered it and if it wasn't that fish, it was another, or something in your tank.


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RE: goldfish changed color

Oh never mind. I was asking about the color. Not the ich.


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RE: goldfish changed color

I'm sorry, but you made it a point to mention that the fish had come down with ick, then changed color.

It's reasonable to see a connection.


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RE: goldfish changed color

what you have witnessed in you oranda is very common. goldfish often change color with age, it has little or nothing to do with any environmental factors. let me clarify. you cannot change a fishes color by changing the environment. you can enhance it by feeding it color enhancing food, exposing it to UV light or keeping it in green water. but you can no more change its color than you can change your own. that said, i was a toehead when i was a child and now have dark hair. goldfish go through stages as well. they all start clear, change to a muddy color then the adult colors begin to show at about 6 months to over a year in age. from my experience orange is the final color to manifest itself and often comes after passing through a black stage. some fish take over a year to change and if the fish has been well fed, what you think is an old fish can be quite young. next time you are at a large chain pet store, take a look at the feeder gold fish. you will see many in various stages or coloration. you will notice many with brown to black stripes down the back. this will never last. from you description, it sounds like yours had a similar dorsal striping. the color usually stablizes from the belly up with the lips, dorsal fin and tail being the last to hold juvinile coloring. chocolate and black are not stable colors in most gold fish. black moors and some black ranchu lines are about the only places where black appears stable. chocolate orandas can be stable as well as not. you never can tell especially with goldfish sold in the US. i have had fish change too. whay i thought was a chocolate lionhead changed to black and gold and then for no apparent reason turned solid gold with a dark red wen (head growth) in a matter of a week. he is a more beautiful fish now but not what i bought. he was 5 inches when he changed. i have another that was supposed to be black, turned red, then dark violet with orange belly, who knows if she is done. i have yet another red and white that occasionally gets black stripes in its tail that last a month or two. they are just funny that way. i would bet yours will stay orange. orange is a very stable color, but you never know. you can enhance the orange through lighting, yes, the tan (the orange is melanin just like our skin) or through diet. a deep dark red is a sign of good health. if you fish were to fade that might be a sign of something going wronglike us they get a little pasty when they are ill, stressed or asleep. how the fish acts, swims and feeds is a better sign of health than color or changing there off. and a parasite such as ick will not affect the color other than a temporary fade no more than the flu will change the color of your eyes. you fish is obviously healthy as the color change is a sign of maturity which requires health. don't be alarmed, all is well.

also i disagree with the salt is bad for goldfish. pond/aquarium salt is very beneficial if not vital to their health and development. follow the instructions. you can put them in 3% salt solution to medicate them or quarantine a new fish to make sure they are not caring anything from the nasty pet store tankfar safer than any medicine. again follow the instructions. don't know where the no salt advice came from, it is standard practice by top breeders and collectors who keep fish worth more than my car.


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