Goldfish Fins Turning Orange

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by Something's Fishy, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    I'm new here so hopefully I'm doing this right.

    I have a 12 year old comet goldfish. He started out orange and black, then over time he turned white, and he's been solid white for several years now. In the last few weeks I've noticed the tips of his fins are turning orange. It's not blood running up through the spines or anything, just the very tips are changing color, very uniformly. His fins aren't fraying or rotting, structurally they look totally normal. Coincidentally, his eyes seem to be turning orange as well. Personality, appetite, activity level etc. are all normal.

    Is this normal? Or is there something wrong that I need to treat? I bought him as a feeder fish for 6 cents expecting him to last maybe a few weeks, but here we are 12 years later and needless to say, I've grown pretty attached to the little dude. If there's something wrong, I want to help him before it's too late.

    I have another comet in the tank as well, a small younger one I've only had for about 6 months. He's always been solid white. He's unchanged, and seems perfectly normal.

    Tank: 40 gallon, water kept at ~26-27 degrees C (I think that's about 78-80 F).
    Water quality: I test weekly and my levels have always been good.
    Diet: He eats mostly a variety of floating goldfish pellets, and occasionally thawed peas without the skin. I've tried giving him little bits of greens (like kale etc) but he never shows much interest.

    Attached Files:

  2. VioletSSValued MemberMember

    Well you're doing something right to have him be with you for so long. :)

    I'm new owning a goldfish myself, but I wondered if you'd changed food recently? I know some claim to enhance color.

    But maybe it's just age, or the new tank mate?

    Do you test your water - is there any ammonia in the water?

  3. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    No diet change, he's been on these pellets for years. They claim to be "for optimal health, color, and vitality" but don't specifically say they're color enhancing. I was under the impression that turning white was normal for an older goldfish, but is it possible for him to be changing color again, back to orange? Ultimately I don't care what color he is, as long as he's healthy :)

  4. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    Well, for starters the tank is too small (they need a pond to be happy)but most importantly the temperature is pretty high, goldfish dont need heaters, unless you live in Siberia or something they will do fine at 16-22 Celsius. With those high temps you are decreasing the oxygen level and increasing his metabolism.
    Water quality... good is too subjective, please tell us your parameterss.
    And his fins look rotting to me, or at least they are not complete, all comets I have seen have longer dorsal fins.
    You can try doing methylene blue baths and daily water changes in the main tank to deal with it if it is indeed rotting which looks like it is to me.
  5. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your reply.

    He's about 5-6 inches long, the guy at the aquarium store where I get supplies thought that was okay for his size for now? I know he'll continue to grow and I'm prepared to continue upgrading to larger tanks as we go, but living in Canada with -40 winters and 8 curious dogs, an outdoor pond isn't going to happen ;-)

    His fins are exactly as they've always been. He's never had the long flowing tail fins like my smaller comet has. The ends are as smooth and uniform as they've been his whole life.

    Ammonia: 0
    pH: 7-7.5
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: <20
    Carbonate: 180
    Hardness: 120
  6. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    I agree that commets are not recommended for tanks. His growth may have been stunted. But if he really is 12 years old then I guess your doing something right.

    As far as the fins I think in my opinion that they look just fine. He's going through yet another color change which is normal in goldfish especially if they live long enough to slowly morph. Most people don't know about color change because their fish don't live past 8 months if they are lucky and they don't get to see it happen.

    Here's a photo of my fantailed goldfish who is 1 year old and 6 inches now. First is his "baby" picture LOL second is him right now. He used to be solid gold and has slowly morphed over time. If you notice he does have redness on end of his tail fin. This is what bacterial septicemia looks like when it first starts. I have him in quarantine right now giving him antibiotics and lots of water changes. Before anyone judges, I missed 2 water changes because I was in the hospital, so the Nitrates got really high and that's how he got sick.


  7. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your insight, it all helps. When I got him I was pretty naive about fish in general and, as many people do, thought it was "just" a goldfish and would be easy to keep, that they only live a few months, etc. He was a tiny 3/4 inch feeder they were about to serve to another fish and my sappy heart said "Wait, I'll take him" and I bought him for 6 cents and, well, here we are 12 years and hundreds and hundreds of dollars later lol

    I wish staff at fish stores (or at least the ones I've been using, which I thought were reputable) were more honest about the keeping of goldfish, including tank size (or, as it turns out on this site, pond size) :-/ They've always said the general rule is minimum 29 gal for 2 goldfish... here I thought I was being responsible by giving him a 40 gal long.

    I knew goldfish could lose their color, but not that they could gain any back or change from one color to another. Hopefully that's what's happening to him. For now I'll just continue to keep a close eye on him and keep checking the water quality, and maybe try some of the ideas already suggested as a precaution, just in case.

    I hope your fish heals quickly, he's beautiful!
  8. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    If he doesn't have flowing fins like comets he may be a generic goldfish, people use common/comet goldfish interchangeably but I think commons are closer to carps than comets and so look more "normal".
    Your staff is probably confused, the general rule for fancy goldfish (egg shaped goldfish) is 20 gal for the first and 10 for the next one so they probably said that 29 was appropriate for 2 fancies...
    Anyways, I think their minimum tank size is 75 gal but really those goldfish need ponds to thrive. If you don't have a pond you can move him to a kiddie pool or something, not glamorous but spacious. The goldfish looks small for being 12 year old, at least to my eyes altough it may just be the photo, stuff usually looks smaller.
    Anyways, if the fins get any smaller and look like they are falling apppart consider doing methylene blue baths and daily partial water changes for him to get better.
  9. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    Yes, he's always looked this way and never had the nice long fins like my other comet, so maybe he's just a common? I didn't know there was much of a difference.

    He's definitely 12 years old as I've gone through employment changes and a move in that time, so it's easy for me to remember exactly when I got him. He's about 6 inches long but as others have said, I guess his growth has likely been stunted. In my profile pic the second smaller comet is about 2 inches long (including tail), for reference.

    I'll definitely start doing the methylene blue baths and water changes if anything at all changes or looks worse in any way, as others have suggested that as well. Thank you! I couldn't find anything substantial on the subject on the internet, most sites referenced to streaks of hemorrhaging etc. and I was pretty sure that's not what this is.
  10. Summer22Valued MemberMember


    Just thought I'd give you a link to this you-tuber who specializes in goldfish named Solid Gold. I just saw this the other day ironically , and if you scroll to the 7:00 minute mark she shows video of one of her fish changing over time. It's actually a very drastic change :). Just to give you a bit more insight ;). The color on your fish's fins is so uniform and even I really think he's fine. But if you feel it's the right thing to do you then do what you think you should for him ;)

  11. Something's FishyNew MemberMember

    Thank you for this, that's a crazy color change! I'm definitely ok with just keeping an eye on his fins for now. But the baths/more frequent water changes is good for me to know in case it turns out to be something more serious and progresses in any way. I'm very glad I joined this site and asked! (Also, hoping to do another tank upgrade soon, now that I see what most people have said. Won't be a pond or a swimming pool, but I'll keep upgrading to the biggest tanks I can, as I can afford it.)

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