10 White Freshwater Aquarium Fish
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If you’re ready to set up your fish tank, but have no idea which species to add, don’t worry, I’m here to suggest a few. Most people will choose their preferred fish species based on looks, but that shouldn’t be the only or even the most important indicator to inform your decision.
Ease of maintenance and the fish’s behavior, water requirements, and adaptability are additional factors you should consider.
Today, we will discuss 10 of the most easy-to-maintain, beautiful white freshwater species that do fantastically well in community tanks. You can also keep them in single-species tanks, so long as you have several specimens to form a stable and healthy group.
1. White Molly Fish
Unlike other species, white mollies are not albinos. Albino fish species display white bodies and red eyes, features that are common in most albino animals. White mollies, however, owe their coloring to years of selective breeding, performed by people who sought to reproduce specific traits.
As part of the Poeciliidae family, mollies are medium-sized tank fish, displaying an easy-going attitude and showing adaptability and hardiness. White mollies may look different than what you’re used to, but they really aren’t. The only thing different about them is the coloring and the fact that white mollies don’t exist in the wild. The latter is because they are the result of selective breeding, which isn’t a problem since many of today’s tank fishes are.
Provide your mollies with a plant-rich environment, ensure adequate meals, and keep them in groups of at least 5 individuals and they will thrive. As a plus, mollies have a high reproductive rate since they produce offspring every month.
2. White Guppy Fish
Guppies are almost synonymous with tank fish. They are the most popular fish species in the aquarium world thanks to their peaceful and calm demeanor, adaptable nature, and astounding colors and patterns. You can get a variety of guppies, depending on your preferred colors, including white.
When it comes to white guppies, there are 3 primary variations that you need to consider:
- Tuxedo guppy – The tuxedo guppy is mostly white, but not always. They come in various patterns, most of the time with half of their bodies displaying one color and the other half another color. In this sense, you have tuxedo red, tuxedo yellow, tuxedo pink, tuxedo neon, etc. The white version is either half black, half white, or displays a black abdomen, with the white thorax, head, tail, and fins. I believe the latter version to be the best representative of white tuxedo guppies you can get.
- Albino guppy – Albino guppies are a unique breed because they’re white-but-not-quite. These guppies display a dirty white mixed with hints of red, resulting from lacking the black melanin pigment that would color their bodies. Albino guppies are truly unique-looking, especially those displaying reddish nuances coloring their muscles, organs, and bones. This will make the guppies seem transparent and provide them with a glass-like appearance. They also have bright red eyes that look like they’re injected with blood.
- White guppies – This is the pure white guppy with normal eye color and displaying a milky-white body. The perfect specimens should display no other nuances and, preferably, showcase transparent tail fins. This guppy type is the go-to option if you prefer pure white fish to contrast with more colorful specimens in your community tank.
3. White Betta Fish
If you’ve never seen a Betta fish before and want to grasp this species’ full elegance and thrill, look for a white Betta. There’s nothing as exhilarating as a white Betta fish, surrounded by its fin veil and floating in the water currents like a nymph.
White Bettas are also known as white opal Bettas and can reach prices around $20-$25 per piece. An even more interesting fact is that they’re the exclusive result of selective breeding spanning over many years. It makes them sound that much more exclusive and precious because they are.
White Bettas are no different than their more colorful counterparts when it comes to care and maintenance needs. As a special mention, male Bettas are more aggressive by nature, especially towards one another and especially when there aren’t enough females around.
You should either keep one Betta per tank or make sure each male Betta has access to at least 3 females. This should keep their aggression in check.
4. White Goldfish
Most would be amazed to discover that the goldfish’s natural color is not gold. Gold isn’t even one of the options for wild goldfish. This is the exclusive result of man-guided selective breeding, prioritizing specific colors and traits over others. Since gold looks cool and precious, it only made sense to pursue it as a main trait.
Another thing that may surprise you, and many like you, is that there are no white goldfish. Instead, many goldfish turn white along the way. In fact, color change in goldfish has been well documented, and several causes have been identified for the behavior. These include:
- Age-relate progression – Many goldfish will turn white as they age, especially towards the last years of their lives. You will see your goldfish turning pale or even completely white in the last 2-3 years of life (goldfish live around 15 years). Others will begin to turn white in their first 2 years of life when their still juveniles. This color change is no reason for concern so long as it’s progressive. There’s only an issue if the color change occurs suddenly, which may suggest a disease.
- Water parameter fluctuations – Goldfish are rather hardy, but they don’t tolerate drastic changes in the water conditions too well. Any sudden changes in water parameters like hardiness, temperature, pH, etc., may cause them to lose their coloring and whiten up.
- Improper lighting – Too much light or too little light can cause the goldfish to turn white. This is due to the goldfish’s skin pigment reacting to the light (or lack thereof), causing the fish to lose its coloring.
Other causes may include genetics, not enough oxygen in the water, illness, improper dieting, etc. If you want a white goldfish, it’s important to make sure that they’re getting their white coloring naturally, not as a result of faulty environment, diet, or health issues.
5. White Angelfish
The angelfish is renowned for its beauty, exotic look, and elegance. It also doesn’t hurt that this is an easy-going species requiring little maintenance and that can accommodate just fine in community tanks. This 6-inch large fish requires around 30 gallons of water for itself and can come in a multitude of color variations, white being one of them.
You have the pure white version, where the fish’s entire body displays the same snow-white nuance with literally no variation. You then have various shades of platinum or silver coming with white fins and azure or light blue stripes.
No matter the pattern, get a diamond angelfish. The silver version, in particular, is one you can’t afford to miss.
6. White Skirt Tetra
Tetras are one of the most peaceful and joyful fish species available, and they will make for great additions to your community tank. Like many other variations, the white tetra is the result of selective breeding and doesn’t occur naturally in the wild. It is actually the albino version of the black tetra, which does occur naturally.
The fish will either appear as completely white or display black or red bellies, or even red gills. There is some color variation available in case full-white tetras seem boring.
As a side note, be very careful where you’re acquiring your tetras from. Many breeders dye them artificially to obtain wilder color variations. They achieve this either via dye injections or stripping the fish of their slime and immersing them in colored water, causing their skin to absorb the color.
These procedures will shorten the fish’s lifespan and even cause infections and injuries along the way.
7. Panda Corydoras
This small catfish is ideal for community tanks due to its peaceful demeanor and calm personality. This bottom-dwelling fish comes in a variety of sizes and colors, but nothing strikes the eye more like the Panda version.
Just as the name suggests, the Panda Corydoras resemble a black and white pattern that reminds of a panda bear’s markings. To be honest, this species is not entirely white. Instead, it leans more towards creamy or even yellow in many cases. The fish will display black patches over the eyes and the tail right before the tail fin begins.
The dorsal fin is also completely black. This pattern provides the fish with a cute look, the type which makes you all moist inside when watching a baby panda. As a plus, these scavenger fish will keep your tank clean, keeping the environment safe and habitable for the other species.
8. White Discus Fish
Discus fish are already an amazing species that need little introduction. Their unique body shape recommends them as exotic-looking fish that will provide your tank with personality and style. They also display amazing colors and patterns, especially in the white category.
Some white categories worth mentioning include:
- Snow White Discus – Just as the name suggests, this species is completely white, excluding the eyes. It’s a nice addition to your tank if you already have a bunch of colorful fish and could use a handful of white specimens for some variation.
- Albino White Snake Discus – This version is mostly white with red eyes, like any genuine albino fish. It also has a snake-like skin, showcasing a smooth spotted red pattern that you almost can’t see at a first glance.
- White Dragon Discus – A pretty ominous name for such a cute fish, I agree, but totally justified. The White Dragon is pink-white with red stripes running across the body from head to tail.
- White Butterfly Discus – This species is snow-white but with red or pink stripes across its face and fins. These Discus also come with red eyes, despite not being albinos.
- Red-White Diamond Discus – I believe this is my favorite due to the astounding contrast between its 2 main colors: red and white. The fish’s body is a clear white, except for the lower portion of the belly and thorax. Everything there is blood-red, including the ventral fins, looking like the fish has been dipped in a pool of blood.
As you can see, the white Discus fish offers a lot more variation than you might have expected.
9. White Oscar Fish
Oscars are some of the most intelligent aquarium fish you can find. They can grow up to 12-15 inches, depending on the environment, water parameters, and diet, and display various colors and patterns. The white version is always spotted, including albino Oscars.
Some come with red-spotted patterns, others mix white with gold, while some display variations of orange, yellow, and pink. The good thing is that Oscars don’t need any special treatment, no matter the coloring or pattern variation.
Just provide them with sufficient space (around 55 gallons of water per specimen), keep the water parameters stable, and keep your Oscar entertained, and the fish will thrive.
As a side note, Oscars don’t really make for great community tank fish due to their territorial behavior and extensive space requirements.
10. White Giant Gourami Fish
The giant gourami is the mammoth of its species. This fish species can reach sizes of up to 16-18 inches in captivity and around 2 feet in the wild. The white variation is impressive, to say the least, especially since it comes with almost no other coloring. The white giant gourami is purely white, often displaying slightly different shadings.
This is a gentle and peaceful fish that you can keep alone in the tank, especially since it requires a lot of space to thrive. The giant gourami doesn’t display schooling or shoaling behavior, which means that, similar to Oscars, can live by themselves just fine.
If you’ve set your eyes on giant gourami, be careful where you’re getting it from. Many sellers take albino giant gouramis, which are pretty common, and color them artificially for a plus of appeal. The coloring technique is harmful and will reduce the fish’s lifespan or even make it sick.
Never buy giant gourami displaying a color that could not form in the wild.
If you like white freshwater fish, this list should be more than sufficient to satisfy your appetite. You have plenty of options to go through in terms of both loners and community fish.
Just inform yourself thoroughly before acquiring your favorite white fish. Some of them come in albino variations and may need specialized care compared to the rest. As we’ve seen with the goldfish, others change their coloring depending on age, diet, environmental conditions, and even disease.
But, setting aside all these extreme scenarios, there’s no doubt that white aquarium fish come with a unique appeal that few can resist.