If you have been interested in fancy goldfish for longer than 5-hours chance is you have heard of the Black Moor. These fish stand out from the rest of the goldfish because of its peculiar black coloration.
They are a perfect option for anyone that wants to add a splurge of contrast in their tank. And the good news is they virtually pack all the desirable qualities that other goldfish varieties have, such as elegance and peacefulness.
However, these goldfish like many others are a bit delicate.
For this reason, you need to fully understand what they require to live successfully live in your tank. This is where this guide comes in to provide with answers such as what diet do they need? things to avoid putting in their tank? suitable tank mates and much more.
Let’s dive in!
Black Moors is a popular type of Fancy Goldfish, and like the rest of Fancy Goldfish they too have a very peculiar identifying feature; telescope eyes and black coloration.
They resemble the Telescope Goldfish only that their eyes don’t bulge as far, and they are are black.
This peculiar appearance has earned them other names which include; Demekin Goldfish, Black Peony Goldfish and Dragon Eye Goldfish.
Being one of the Fancy Goldfish means they were created through selective breeding and thus can not be found swimming in the wild.
Having said that, it’s still important if we understand were their ancestors the “original goldfish” originated from.
These goldfish are ancestors of a species of wild carp known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian Carp or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio).
The Prussian carp is native to Siberia, Central Asia. They specifically inhabit the slow-moving and stagnant water of lakes, ponds and rivers of the area.
Beneath those waters, you will mostly find dirt and sand, and this has contributed to a slightly neutral pH in the area. The temperature can vary from place to place within the areas.
As for food, they mostly eat insects, crustaceans and plant detritus. Unlike before, Prussian Carp can now be found throughout Asia, North America and Europe.
Majority of the fancy Goldfish around today including the Black Moors were bred by Asian Breeders. These people are highly experienced breeders who had engaged in Goldfish cross-breeding centuries ago.
Black Moor Goldfish Care Snippet
- Maximum fish size: 8.0 inch
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner – Expert
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Temperature: 50°F to 75°F
- PH: 6.5 to 7.5
- Hardness: 6 to 18dGH
- Diet: Omnivore
- Care Level: Relatively Easy
- Ideal tank mates: Orandas, Neon Tetras, Zebra Danio, Mollies, Honey Gourami, Dwarf Gourami, Glass Catfish, Angelfish, et Cetra.
The two most prominent features of the Black Moor goldfish are the protruding eyes and their solid black coloration. Majority of Black Moors are solid black with very few having orange patches on their body.
Their coloration changes a bit from when juveniles to when they mature. They tend to exhibit pale complexion when juvenile but immediately start to get darker as they mature.
It’s easy to confuse their eyes with that of the Telescope Goldfish seeing as they also protrude. The only difference is theirs don’t protrude as much even when they become fully matured.
Again similar to the Telescope Goldfish they too have poor vision despite the bulging eyes. I know that’s ironic but this is common for many fancy goldfish varieties.
Black Moors goldfish also have that rounded egg-like shaped body you see in many fancy goldfish such as the Bubble Eye Goldfish.
This is the reason why they are slow swimmers as their body isn’t hydrodynamic.
Apart from the protruding eyes, they have another beautiful feature that entice hobbyist to go for them.
If I were to ask, what is the most enticing feature of the black moor goldfish, I’m guessing most people will say- their long flowing fins.
Most hobbyists are attracted by the fins more than the bulging eyes.
They have moderately large pectoral and dorsal fins. But their caudal and tail fins are what steals the show as they are long and flowing- a tad similar to that of the Ryukin Goldfish.
Like with keeping any fish, it’s important if you can confidently sex your Black Moor Goldfish.
Unfortunately, sexing them can be rather challenging as there aren’t many features that differentiate the sexes.
The only subtle differences between the two are that males tend to be slightly smaller the females. And during the spawning period, males develop white bumps on their pectoral fins (also called the breeding tubercles).
In most cases, Black Moors grow to a maximum size of between 6 to 8 inches. That said, it’s not uncommon for them to grow larger than that if kept in an ideal environment and are fed correctly.
You can probably guess that these fish will have a considerably long lifespan seeing as they are goldfish. Goldfish are one of the few aquarium fish with a very long lifespan.
The average Black Moor Lifespan Goldfish is between 10 to 15 years. If kept in ideal condition and given proper care, these gold have the potential of living up to 20 years.
Many hobbyists limit their growth and lifespan by keeping them in small tanks and not taking their water filtration serious.
Temperament and General Behavior
Black Moors like the rest of fancy goldfish are very peaceful and social animals that get along well with other easy-going species.
Because of their extremely calm personality, they do not do well with rowdy species like Betta. If kept with those kind of species, they will become very anxious and timid and most of their time will be spent hiding out.
Most of the Black Moors time is spent swimming in the middle section of the water and will generally shoal if kept in groups.
Another thing you need to remember is that these goldfish are slow swimmers and have poor vision.
So, you don’t want to keep them with fast-moving species that will out-compete for food (peaceful or not).
The recommended minimum tank for keeping a single Black Moor Goldfish is 20 gallons.
They are chubby fish with long flowing fins and a small tank will just curb their growth potential.
You should allocate additional 10 gallons per each added black moors. This means if you want to keep 5 of them you will need at least a 60-gallons tank.
It’s a common assumption that goldfish don’t require a lot of space to live. This all has to do with the fact that many of us have seen them being kept in a glass bowl on a TV.
However, that’s a terrible way of keeping them because aside from how big they get they are scavengers and put out a lot of waste.
A glass bowl will not only become quickly contaminated, it does not have any proper filtration system.
To keep these fish, you need a suitably sized tank with a decent filtration system that will always keep the water clean.
They will also benefit from having a long tank rather than a tall one considering they are not excellent swimmers.
A tall tank will lessen their swimming space since they find it very difficult to swim up.
After selecting a suitable tank, the next thing you need to do is equip it with all the fish will need to thrive. This will include equipping the tank with elements like plants, filters, substrate and so on.
Having plants in the tank will provide many benefits for your Black Moors. They will increase the overall quality of the water and at the same time provide hiding spots which the fish can retreat to when needed.
Some hobbyists describe goldfish as “swimming eating machines” and that’s fairly true. For this reason, you might find them occasionally snacking on your plants.
The good news is as long as you use sturdy plants such as Hornwort, Anubias Nana, Java Moss, Java Fern your plant will be able to recover.
Tank decorations such as driftwoods, pieces of rocks are added to provide more hiding spots for the fish and give the tank a natural look.
While adding these things, be sure to not cramp up the tank so that the fish will have adequate swimming room.
Another important thing is, make sure to avoid sharp objects that can injure them, remember! their eyesight isn’t that great.
Since Black Moors goldfish don’t spend much time at the substrate level they don’t require any specific substrate.
You are free to choose the substrate based on the requirements of the other fish in the tank. Some of the popular choices are sand and gravel.
Maintaining a clean is an absolute must if you want to keep your Black Moor goldfish very healthy and for very long.
Earlier I mentioned that they produce a lot of waste. As such, you need a proper filtration system to prevent harmful level of ammonia from building up.
A 20 gallons rated filter may not be the best if your tank is also 20 gallons. Consider getting a filter that can handle twice the size of your tank. A 40 gallons rated filter should be used for a 20 gallons tank.
Something worth mentioning is, make sure that the filter you use isn’t generating a current that is too strong for the fish.
You don’t want your Black Moor to continuously be pushed around because they can’t swim away. Obviously, you don’t need any air or water pump for the tank.
To come up with the ideal water parameters for any fish you have to consider its natural habitat. But since Black Moor aren’t naturally found in the wild, we have to consider the habitat of Prussian Carp- their ancestors.
I have already mentioned that Prussian Carps inhabit water with slightly neutral pH and varying range of temperatures. Not surprising- Black Moor goldfish also do well in similar condition.
The parameters you are looking for is a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 and a temperature range of 50°F to 75³F. With this temperature range, you don’t necessarily need a heater to keep the Black Moor Goldfish.
Food and Diet
Just like other goldfish, Black Moors are omnivorous and will eat nearly anything they can find that can fit in their mouth.
They will have no problem eating small insects, crustaceans, algae, larvae and plant detritus.
In captivity, you have lots of choices on what to feed them but the most common ones are frozen foods, live foods, dried foods, flakes and pellets. With that said, make sure whatever you feed them is high quality to avoid any digestive issues.
You can make high-quality flakes and pellets to make the core of their diet but make sure they are specifically made for fancy goldfish.
To supplement the diet, you can occasionally feed them frozen or live food such as daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex worms.
Another option for diversifying their diet is by feeding them green veggies such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach and the like.
These foods contain a high amount of nutrients which are beneficial for the fish and contain a high amount of fibre which helps lower the chances of constipation.
The last important thing when it comes to feeding is making sure you don’t overfeed your Black Moor.
Feed them twice a day but don’t overwhelm them with a load of food to avoid constipation. Give them what they can finish in a couple of minutes without any hassle.
Before qualifying any fish as Black Moors tank mate you first have to consider their trait.
Black moors are not just incredibly peaceful they are slow swimmers, have poor eyesight and are rather fragile.
Keeping them with large or very active species will not be fair to them. That’s because the other fish will out-compete them for food and drive them into hiding.
Likewise, you should avoid any aggressive or fin nipping species. For this reason, Black Moor goldfish should not be kept with species such as Betta, Pea Puffer, Bucktooth Tetra, Tiger Barbs and of course most cichlids like Convict Cichlid, Jack Dempsey, Oscar to name a few.
So, that is to say, the best Black Moor goldfish tank mates are species they share similar trait with, like the peacefulness, poor vision and sluggishness.
Thankfully many fancy goldfish share this trait like the Telescope Goldfish, Lionhead goldfish and Bubble Eye goldfish.
If your tank is very spacious you can also throw in some relatively large peaceful species such as Dwarf Gourami and Angelfish.
Given that Black Moor Goldfish don’t spend much time close to the substrate you can also introduce other species that occupy that level. Example of species that are ideal for that includes Otocinclus, Kuhli Loach and Bristlenose Pleco and Rubber Lip Pleco.
If you have the passion, they will also do well with aquarium critters such as Ghost Shrimp, Nerite Snail, Mystery Snail and Amano shrimp.
Breeding Black Moors is pretty straight forward and will not require much preparation on your part. They readily spawn so long as the conditions are right.
All Goldfish spawn seasonally during spring. For them to spawn in your tank the condition of the water needs to resemble the spring waters. That means raising the temperature gradually until it reaches 75°F.
To start you first need to have your breeding pairs in a dedicated tank. It’s highly important that the tank contains abundant plants and some decors so that the fish will have numerous surfaces she can lay the egg.
After you have that you should gently lower the temperature until it reaches about 60°F then raise it again at the rate of 3°F a day till it reaches 75°F.
This will most likely trigger the spawning and you will see the male gyrating around the female for a few days.
The female Black Moor will release her eggs on the surfaces around which the male then fertilizes. This process can take several hours and the female can produce up to around 10,000 eggs.
Remove the parents as soon as the fertilization occurs to a separate tank to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch in a couple of days.
Feed them iron and protein-enriched foods at this stage, but make sure the food is small enough for them to consume.
By the time they reach about 2 months of age, they can be relocated to the parents tank and will have no issue consuming the same food.
Although Black Moor goldfish are fairly hardy their delicate nature makes them more susceptible to injury and diseases than most species.
When designing their tank, make sure you avoid putting in anything sharp.
If not, they will constantly be in the risk of injuring themselves due to their poor eyesight. And once an injury occurs numerous infections can quickly develop thereby leading to more complications.
Most of the diseases that the Black Moor goldfish is susceptible to are the ones that afflict most freshwater fish.
Examples of them include fungal infections, bacterial infections, protozoa and parasites. One of the most common of these infections is a disease called ich.
Ich is caused by a protozoan which makes a fish appear as if its sprinkled with salt. Worst of all, it causes the feeling itch in which case you will see your fish become restless and trying to rub its body against objects in the tank.
Ich isn’t so difficult to treat if done at an early stage, otherwise it could become fatal. The best way to prevent ich is by maintaining a clean tank and keeping top-notch water conditions.
Swim bladder is another common freshwater disease that afflicts Black Moor goldfish. Disturbingly, swim bladder causes fish to lose its ability to control buoyancy.
You will either see the fish sitting at the bottom of your tank or floating on the surface like a log. More often than not, this disease is caused by constipation due to poor nutrition.
That’s why earlier I recommend feeding them high-quality foods that are rich in fibre from time to time. Parasitic infections and physical impairment can also lead to this disease.
Velvet disease is another ailment you have to watch out for when you are keeping the Black Moor goldfish.
It’s a skin disease caused by bacteria and parasites which lead to the formation of spots on the fish and sometimes color changes.
I recommend you quarantine any fish that show sign of this illness so that it doesn’t spread to other fish. The same goes for ich. There are many skin medications that you will find in any decent pet stores that are very effective at treating velvet disease especially if tried early on.
Fortunately, you can significantly lower the chances of your Black Moor Goldfish getting sick if you;
- Maintain a clean tank by conducting a weekly partial water changes
- Provide a first-rate water quality
- Feed them a healthy diet
- House them with only suitable and recommended tank mates
- Ovoid using anything that can injure them in the tank
Even with their fairly delicate nature, the black moor goldfish are species anyone can be able to keep. They aren’t among high maintenance freshwater and their care requirements are rather straight forward.
You just need at least a 20-gallons tank for a single fish and then extra 10 gallons per additional fish. Then you need to set up the water condition as we mentioned previously and make sure to avoid drastic parameters fluctuations.
This, plus equipping the tank with proper plants, decors will help your black moors feel very much at home.
The next most important thing their tanks need is, proper filtration system. Remember that these fish put out more waste than your average freshwater fish, so don’t skimp on the recommended partial water changes as well.
After this, the only missing part of their care is a high-quality varied diet. This will potentially help them escape most diseases such as constipation, swim bladder and other infections.
There you have it! a quick recap of what it takes to keep the Black Moor Goldfish successfully.
They are truly one of the finest options for diversifying a tank because even though they are just one color they are still beautiful and have an exciting personality.
Please feel free to rich out if you have any question we haven’t covered or if you have any info you think will help improve this guide. We’ll be more than happy if you do.
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