It’s very hardy, so is suitable for beginner fish-keepers and is, essentially, a black-colored variant of the Telescope Goldfish, so named for its protruding eyeballs.
- History, Origins and Development
- Easy or Hard to Keep in a Home Aquarium?
- Special Care Considerations
- Black Moor Goldfish Food and Feeding
- Aquarium Set-up
- Black Moor Goldfish Tank Mates Compatibility
- Video: Black Moor Goldfish in Action
- Final Thoughts
The most distinguishing feature of the Black Moor is these protuberant eyeballs that can be segmented, conical or simply rounded in shape. However they’re shaped, the eyes should be symmetrical in size and shape on the head, ideally protruding from the sides.
Black Moors have a rounded egg body shape, similar in appearance to the Oranda, with long, flowing fins and either a broad tail, ribbon tail or butterfly tail.
In Black Moors with especially long fins, there is very little forking in the tail, resulting in a square-cut shape, occasionally referred to as a petticoat tail. There are reports of some older Black Moor variants with veil tails although these are no longer bred.
The scales of a Black Moor are metallic.
Although these goldfish aren’t particularly common in the UK, they are in the US and are easily found at both fish shops and online retailers where they can be bought relatively inexpensively.
Black Moor Goldfish Colors and Variations
In accordance with their name, Black Moors are velvety black in color when they reach adulthood, starting life as a dark bronze color.
Like many goldfish, their colors can fade with age, with some morphing to a washier grey color.
There have been reports of Black Moors transforming to a metallic orange when they’re kept in warm conditions.
How Big do Black Moor Goldfish Get? – Average and Maximum Length
Black Moors are relatively small goldfish, reaching an average length of around 6 to 7 inches, minus the tail.
However, some have been reported to reach up to ten inches at the upper extreme.
How Long do Black Moor Goldfish Live? – Average and Maximum Lifespan
Black Moors are hardy goldfish and healthy specimens can expect to live for around 25 years in a well-maintained environment.
It’s not unheard of for them to live for over 35 years if they are kept and cared for in optimum conditions.
History, Origins and Development
The Black Moor originated in China as a version of the Telescope eye type of goldfish, one of the oldest goldfish variants first seen in the early 1700s.
One theory goes that Telescopes are the result of a natural mutation of the Ryukin fish, and the Black Moor was one of subsequent further mutation.
The Black Moor is known as the Black Demekin in Japan and, imaginatively, as the Dragon Eye or Black Peony Goldfish in China.
Easy or Hard to Keep in a Home Aquarium?
Aside from their delicate eyes, Black Moors are relatively easy to keep thanks to their hardy disposition and tolerance of lower water quality and temperatures.
They are suitable for the beginner fish keeper and a good first foray into the world of fancy goldfish.
Special Care Considerations
Caring for a black moor goldfish is relatively easy and even total beginners will be able to have them thrive in their care with just a little planning.
You should protect your Black Moors’ eyes by ensuring your aquarium has no sharp objects or ornaments that they could damage themselves on.
Its long, flowing fins combined with the fact they are slow swimmers also mean you should ensure there is no strong current in the tank.
Black Moor Goldfish Food and Feeding
Being omnivorous, it is easy to provide a varied and balanced diet for your Black Moors as they are able to eat a host of fresh, frozen and flake produce.
Animal World recommends you should feed them a quality flake food a few times every day and occasional treats in the form of brine shrimp, Daphnia, tubifex worms or blood worms. Vegetable food should also form a small portion of their diet.
Freeze dried foods are preferable to live food as they will not be affected by any parasites or bacteria.
Their unusual eyes make for poor vision and so they may need more time than other goldfish to find their food. If you have other goldfish variants in the aquarium, ensure that they are not out-competing the Black Moor for food.
A properly set-up aquarium is the first step in ensuring that your Black Moors live long, healthy and happy lives. Here’s what you should be considering:
Tank Size and Shape
The absolute minimum tank size you can get away with for a Black Moor is ten gallons but to ensure that their environment is as safe as possible, we recommend 20 gallons for the first fish with a subsequent 10 gallons for every fish thereafter.
It’s important not to overcrowd the tank as that can lead to stunted growth and other health problems.
Like all goldfish, Black Moors produce plenty of bioload (waste), so the more water there is, the more diluted that waste will be.
The best tank shapes are long, wide and shallow as they have the most surface area allowing for maximum oxygen penetration, which is necessary for survival.
To maximise the surface area of a smaller, round tank, simply ensure you don’t fill it right to the brim with water.
You definitely need a filter in order to combat all the waste these goldfish will produce.
A good one will filter at least six times every hour the volume of water in the tank and keep the environment safe and healthy.
You don’t have to buy gravel substrate but it will be beneficial in making your tank a natural and welcoming environment for your Black Moor.
Goldfish are natural foragers and the substrate will allow them to show these natural behaviors. It’s also a nice way to personalize the tank.
Again, lights aren’t an essential purchase but they will go some way to helping instill your Black Moor’s day / night cycle, thus helping them regulate their bodies, and in maintaining their velvety black color.
Optimum temperatures for Black Moors are between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although you may wish to purchase a heater if you live in a particularly cold climate, they are noteworthy for being particularly hardy when it comes to withstanding cold temperatures – even just a few degrees above freezing!
Just make sure that the temperature is relatively consistent as swift and low drops in temperature can prove fatal.
Black Moor Goldfish Tank Mates Compatibility
Black Moors can be kept alone although they thrive best when part of a group community.
Some sources believe Black Moors are well matched with other fancy goldfish like Fantails and Orandas in a tank, although you should be very careful that they are able to compete effectively for food as their eyesight is so poor.
Other experts believe Black Moors are better suited to sharing with Telescope and Celestial Goldfish as they all have similar sight impairment – in this case though, you will need to ensure the Black Moors aren’t out-competing the others for food as they can swim a little faster.
Black Moors definitely shouldn’t be kept with any single-tailed Goldfish – the latter swim faster and have better eyesight so will out-compete the Black Moors for food.
Shrimps, crabs, and snails are good to include in a Black Moor tank – and the snails will even help clear up algae – but the only frogs you should keep them with are African Dwarf Frogs, as they’re small, docile and fully aquatic.
Black Moors are known for being diggers and are at risk of uprooting any aquatic plants you keep in the tank so if you’re a beginner it may be best to opt for artificial silk plants instead, though deep rooting and highly anchored plants can be added is you wish.
Video: Black Moor Goldfish in Action
A look at ‘giant black moor’ Rambo.
Not the best specimen if we were aiming for breed standard, but a beautiful fish that catches the eye most against the backdrop of his tank mates. I love him!
Black moor goldfish are fantastic looking fish and a good first foray into ‘fancy’ goldfish keeping if you’re looking to go that route.
With their mostly black bodies and big, bulging eyes, they look fantastic and are a break from the norm if single tails and eegg-shapedgoldfish with normal eye types have been your thing.
Black moor goldfish are a hardy breed that can endure the odd fish keeping mistake, so they are good for beginners if they swot up on the basics and cater to the fishes specific needs.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little essay on black moors and if you have anything to add or questions to ask, please do so in the comments below!
Happy fish keeping!