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How long does it take for a goldfish to change its colour?


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  • Regular Member

I was studying my black moor's finrot (which still isn't really clearing up as well as I'd like) when I suddenly noticed that he isn't so black! In fact, I can clearly see some orange on his stomach.

I really like orange telescope eyes and I know black moors sometimes turn orange, so I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes for a goldfish to completely change its colour? Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it possible to speed it up?

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I've had five blacks turn completely orange over the past few years. Presently I have two broadtail Moors undergoing a color change. In my experience it's going to be at least 4-6 months from start to finish. In my opinion color changes are due to stress and extremely warm temperatures. Here's an article you may want to read which explains why goldfish change color.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/90226-why-goldfish-change-color/

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I have a fantail who went from orange to white in three weeks. I think it depends on the fish. Maybe some pictures would be helpful. (Wink wink) :)

From what Blackteles has said about stress it makes sense. She was in a tank with really bad conditions. I had just found Koko's and had a lot of mistakes to fix. Not saying that this is what's going on with you. :)

Edited by Mr.B
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The stress thing actually is what's going on here! I've only had the poor guy for a month. I brought him home from a very crowded fish tank. He had ich and got completely covered in fungus, despite the treatment. I then treated him with another kind of medication and the fungus disappeared, but the fin rot stayed. Pretty stressful!

It might be the stress or it might be a natural thing, I'm not sure. I guess I just have to try and keep him healthy and see what happens. :)

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It sure does depend a lot on the fish too. I have a black teles that I got three years ago at Walmart. She went through quite a lot, as she is one of my three surviving beginner fish, when I started out overstocked with only 1 gallon of water per fish.

She is stunted and has a few minor issues, but she has not changed color much at all. She has developed a tiny bit of white edging on her tail, but that developed over the course of many months and I cannot even notice any actual progress. Additionally this started appearing after a light case of fin rot.

The only other color changes I experienced was fish that already were in the middle of changing when I bought them, losing their baby black colors. A black and yellow lionhead that turned solid orange, and a tri color teles that went to mostly orange with a few random white areas on his tail. These color changes happened within the 4-6 months time span mentioned by Dennis :)

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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As soon as I'm sure he's actually changing colour, I'll definitely start taking pictures frequently! Would make a nice little photo album from black to orange.

And yeah, it does seem to depend on the fish. Some moors stay black and others go orange!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

My Ranchu changed colour in about 1-2 months? It started slow the few weeks or so, and in the last few the colour changing sped right up!

I didn't take progressions pics (if I did I can't find them!) but it's amazing how quick they change and grow! :3

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My smallest oranda is in the process of a very slow color change. I've had her (pretty sure it's a her) for about 3 months now.When I got her, I could see a slight hint of orange at the bottom edge of one of her large black/dark brown spots. Now when I look, the entire spot now has an orange tint to it,and I'm expecting that by the end of this year, if not this summer, that it'll have turned to orange.

You should start taking pictures before you're sure. I had no idea my pearlie was changing until I looked at old pictures of him. You get so used to seeing them every day that you don't really notice a slow change.

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My black moor changed to an orange telescope in a little under a year...and he's still got a bit of black in him.

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My oranda also changed color in a matter of a month ot two.

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I pretty much always assume any goldfish I buy will turn orange. I just got a tiny green lionhead...not because I liked the green (although I do) but because it'll be fun seeing what color he eventually turns.

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Wow! Nice changes, and your pictures are fantastic.

It's very wise to assume that they will change, since the only colors that bear any modicum of stability are orange, and red/white. :)

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Could the color enhancing food cause them to change. Ive read that some brands can make a white fish turn orange with sole products. Have no idea if it is true though. Any body know?

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I love the little telescope that turned orange! The mustache is just adorable.

I second the coolness of the mustache. :)

I like his moustache, too, but I'm not getting too attached to it. It's fading, too!

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