When goldfish are born, they are grey or a metallic black. This dark color helps the fry escape from predators. Although some of them stay that color, most of them will become orange or gold by the time they are a year old.
Some of the fancier kinds will even develop patterns including patches of white. Goldfish are slow growers and are only considered to be adults when they are two or three years old. Their color may continue to darken or brighten up to this point. This is due to various environmental factors.
What inhibits goldfish color?
If your goldfish don’t get enough light, they might turn grey or a whitish color. If baby goldfish are not exposed to light, they might never turn gold. In fact, goldfish need about 12 hours of light – artificial or natural – every day.
If your goldfish contracts a bacterial or fungal infection, it might change color. If its fins develop growths or if the fish suddenly changes color, consult your veterinarian or fish expert immediately. The color of a goldfish is very much affected by genetics. Hence, darker parent fish will probably produce darker fry.
Can I improve the color of my goldfish?
Yes, you can. Goldfish are known as omnivorous scavengers, meaning they will eat just about anything. Although a goldfish can survive on commercial fish flakes, this food is low in nutrition. A better way of feeding your goldfish might be to feed them live foods.
These contain the protein that can improve the color of your fish. Live foods include mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. When feeding your fish, make sure not to overfeed. Only give them the amount of food they can consume in 20 minutes.
How does the color change happen?
Goldfish fry changes color from the lower areas of the body upwards. If your fry is in a tank, you will easily be able to observe this process because you can see the fry from the side. If they are in a pond, however, you will only see the final stages of color change.
The speed at which goldfish fry change colour depends on various factors, including genes, water temperature, and food. The fry will change colour faster at higher water temperatures. Note that fry from the same brood might change colour at different rates. Some will remain brown for life.