For many people, getting a fancy goldfish feels more fun and interesting than a common goldfish from the feeder tank. What many people are not aware of is how delicate many varieties of fancy goldfish are, which leads to unexpected challenges and heartbreak. Luckily, there are a couple of varieties of fancies that are hardy, beautiful, and easy to find. One of these is the adorable, big-eyed Black Moor goldfish, but they do have specific care needs. Loved for their beautiful, dark color and cute, wiggly tails, you will not be disappointed if you bring home a Black Moor.
Quick Facts about Black Moor Goldfish
|Species Name:||Carassius auratus|
|Color Form:||Black or bronze, sometimes with orange patches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||10 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up:||Planted or bare bottom freshwater tank|
|Compatibility:||Other fancy goldfish, peaceful fish too large for goldfish to eat|
Black Moor Goldfish Overview
Black Moor goldfish are fancy goldfish, meaning that they have a double tail fin and a less streamlined body than common goldfish. Their bodies are almost egg-shaped, and their fins are flowy and showy. These gentle fish have all of the personality and intelligence of common goldfish varieties, which makes them great pets. Black Moors have telescope eyes, which means their eyes are bulbous and jut out from either side of the face. These eyes are prone to injury and it isn’t unusual for Black Moor goldfish to lose an eye at some point in their life, so this is a major thing to consider when deciding on whether or not you bring home a Black Moor.
Black Moors were originally bred in China in the 1700s and, along with other telescopes, were known as Dragon Fish or Dragon eyes. These fish made their way to Japan later in the century, where they became known as Demekin. Like other goldfish, Black Moors are descendants of Prussian carp, a hardy wild fish with a long lifespan. They were bred to be ornamental additions to ponds but today, they are mostly known as aquarium pets.
How Much Do Black Moor Goldfish Cost?
Since Black Moors are widely bred and easy to find, you can find them for $5-10 at pet store chains. For high quality Black Moors from healthy stock and breeding environments, breeders and smaller, privately owned shops will likely be your best bet. If purchasing from a breeder or smaller shop, expect to spend anywhere from $10-30 for a Black Moor. If you buy from an online seller, you will potentially pay up to $35 in shipping, but this will vary from seller to seller.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Like most goldfish, Black Moors are jolly and peaceful fish, although they can be a little on the naughty side and may chase or nip at each other. They make great tank mates to other fancy goldfish and while they enjoy having company, they can also live very happily without any tank mates. They are social fish, though, and will learn to identify people by both sight and sound. They can differentiate between different people and will often approach or beg to the person who feeds them or spends the most time with them.
Appearance & Varieties
Black Moors fall under the umbrella of telescope goldfish, but they are unique from the other varieties because of their dark coloration. They can be solid black or bronze, black that fades to bronze on the belly, or black or bronze with orange patches. Their scales are metallic and shimmery. Like other telescopes, they have rounded eyes that stick out from the head and long, elegant double fins that flow gently behind them in the water.
How to Take Care of Black Moor Goldfish
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Are Black Moor Goldfish Good Tank Mates?
These fish are social and peaceful, making them great tank mates. They can be kept in community tanks, but they should not be kept with common goldfish or other fish that can outmaneuver and outcompete them for food. They also should not be kept with fish that are small enough to fit into the goldfish’s mouth. Goldfish are opportunistic omnivores and will eat just about anything that fits in their mouth. This means that livebearers, like guppies and mollies, some tetras, and dwarf shrimp should be avoided.
Quarantine your new Black Moor for 1-2 weeks before introducing to the main tank. This allows you to monitor for signs of illness. After quarantining, slowly acclimate your Black Moor to the water temperature of the main tank. It’s a good idea to float them in a bag, and then slowly add holes in the bag that allow water transfer between the bag and the tank. Once they’re introduced to the tank, your Black Moor should settle in quickly and get along with any tank mates.
Housing a goldfish isn't as simple as buying a bowl. If you're a new or experienced goldfish keeper who wants to get the setup right for your goldfish family, check out the best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon. It covers all you need to know about the ideal tank setup, tank size, substrate, ornaments, plants, and so much more!
Housing a goldfish isn't as simple as buying a bowl. If you're a new or experienced goldfish keeper who wants to get the setup right for your goldfish family, check out the best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon.
It covers all you need to know about the ideal tank setup, tank size, substrate, ornaments, plants, and so much more!
What to Feed Your Black Moor Goldfish
As omnivores, Black Moors require a diet of both plant matter and animal protein. It’s important to feed a high-quality pellet or flake to your Black Moor as the primary food in their diet. These foods are formulated to meet their basic nutritional needs. For health and longevity, a varied diet is necessary. In addition to a rotation of pellets or flakes, you can offer gel foods. Give your Black Moor access to leafy greens or herbs all the time and feed other fruits and veggies as a treat a couple of times per week. You can also offer thawed frozen foods, like bloodworms and brine shrimp, as a treat. High protein foods like these should be limited to a treat no more than twice weekly.
Keeping Your Black Moor Goldfish Healthy
Black Moors are prone to eye and fin injury, so providing a safe environment without sharp edges is the first step to maintaining your fish’s health. Due to genetics and breeding, some Black Moors have a slightly depressed immune system, which leads to an increased risk of infections. A stressful environment can exacerbate this issue, so maintain high water quality and keep a watchful eye out for bullies in the tank.
Goldfish in general are subject to diseases like ich, velvet, and dropsy. These diseases all have different symptoms and treatments, so it is important to thoroughly check your fish over if you’ve noticed signs of illness. This will give you the best chance of choosing an appropriate treatment. Black Moors and other fancies are also prone to swim bladder disease, which cannot always be prevented, but feeding sinking foods, preventing constipation, and not overfeeding all seem to decrease the occurrence of swim bladder disease.
To create the most successful breeding environment, give the tank a period of cool temperatures, as low as 50˚F. After this, when the water is slowly warmed back up to about 75˚F, your Black Moors are likely to begin attempting to breed. You may notice white specks on the cheeks and front fins of the male that look like grains of salt. These are breeding stars and are often confused for ich. Males can sense when females have eggs to lay, so you may notice your male chasing your female around the tank and nosing or nipping at her back end. This helps stimulate egg release, and then the male can fertilize the eggs.
For successful breeding, you need to have some type of spawning mop that will catch the eggs once they’ve been fertilized. Goldfish will eat their own eggs if they have access to them. If you can move the eggs to a tank or breeding box away from the adults, this will give you the most fry. The adults will also eat the fry when they are small, so plenty of hiding places is necessary for survival.
Are Black Moor Goldfish Suitable for Your Aquarium?
These adorable, wiggly fish can make a perfect addition to your aquarium. It is important to consider their care needs before bringing one home, though. They require a healthy environment that keeps their delicate features safe from injury and boosts their immune system. A nutritious diet and happy tank can ensure your Black Moor goldfish is with you for as long as possible. With proper care, you can be sure your Black Moor will be with you for upwards of 5-10 years. Some have even exceeded 20 years in age, so be prepared for the potential of a long commitment to your new friend.
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Featured Image: dio arapogiannis, Pexels