A goldfish that’s BLACK?
Meet the black moor goldfish!
It’s unusual beauty will captivate your attention (and your heart).
And I think you’ll agree after you keep reading that they are extremely interesting.
So, what are you waiting for?
I want to learn about:
So, What Exactly is a Black Moor Goldfish?
Black Moors are one of the most popular types of goldfish.
You can find them at nearly any fish store that carries goldfish… they are almost as common as fantail goldfish!
Though they aren’t quite as hardy, rumor has it that they are able to withstand the rigors of outdoor pond life unlike most other fancy goldfish.
There are two traits that define the classic black moor from other egg-shaped goldies:
A deep black coloring…
… And huge telescope eyes.
(You can’t miss ’em on most ones).
The black coloring isn’t shiny like the scales of most metallic goldfish.
Because the scales of black moors are matte, meaning they have no reflectivity. (Actually, that’s due to the absence of a substance called “guanine” which makes the scales metallic or not.)
That’s what gives the fish a dark, velvety-soft appearance.
(That also means it is easy to spot when one has a case of ich.)
Higher quality black moors will have a deep, rich black color that some like to compare to “Chinese ink.”
You may occasionally see a black moor that has an orange belly and sides, but the black is still on top by the dorsal fin.
This is because the fish is going through a process called demelanization. That means it is in the process of turning orange gradually – most of the time the fish will lose all of the black and turn completely orange!
What causes THAT?
Well, there are a couple of theories.
1) It happens due to exposure to warmer temperatures
2) It happens because the fish’s genetics are predisposed to do that because of poorly maintained breeding lines, regardless of environment
They will still keep their telescopic eyes though, which brings me back to the most striking characteristic of the black moor…
Where’d You Get Those Peepers?!
Black moors, like other telescopes, are known for their huge, protruding eyes.
(You either love ’em or hate ’em if you’re a goldfish person).
They are usually round and stand out a good bit from the body of goldfish.
Actually their eyes can take up to 3 months before they fully develop, but it usually starts at 6-8 weeks.
How big the eyes get depends on the individual fish (though the bigger the better, in the mind of the breeder)… Some have eyes that hardly protrude at all, while others seem to barely be able to lift their head because of their giant eyes!
Despite having much larger eyes than normal, black moors actually don’t have very good eyesight.
This can lead to them having a harder time finding food and competing with goldies who have better vision.
Their poor eyesight is what causes a lot of people to think their black moor is actually quite dumb.
Their large eyes are also delicate.
If you have pointy objects the fish bumps into (or a much larger fish with a big mouth) in the tank, their eyes can get damaged easily and even actually come off the stalk altogether! :O
But that’s not all:
Breeding Black Moor Goldfish!
It’s easy to see those little white speckles called breeding tubercles on a male black moor goldfish’s gill plates and front fin rays.
These are only apparent while the fish is in prime breeding condition.
Like other breeds of goldfish, moors will be more likely to breed after a period of cold weather followed by spring-like conditions.
And when they do…
They can lay over a thousand eggs!
How to Properly Take Care of Your Black Moor Goldfish
While not considered the most tricky variety of goldfish to keep…
Black moors DO require proper living conditions.
Due to being bred selectively, their shorter bodies (which compact the organs closer together) are more prone to issues such as Swim Bladder Disorder.
For that reason they have to have a very perfect diet and environment.
That way they can live out their full lifespan of 40 or more years!
1. Picking out the Correctly Sized Aquarium
As we’ve already covered:
Black moors have very delicate eyes.
That’s why it’s really important to make sure there is nothing in the tank that could potentially lead to injury, such as pointy objects on tank decorations or areas they could get stuck in.
It is also critical to give them enough space to grow to their full size.
So if you’re thinking of putting yours in a goldfish bowl…
… forget about that right now.
Bowls make bad goldfish homes for a ton of reasons.
This may be shocking:
But keeping your fish in a bowl can cause permanent damage.
You don’t want your beautiful moor to end up stunted for the rest of it’s life, now do you? (Stunting cannot be reversed.)
Plus, there’s no way you can can keep it clean enough.
The bottom line?
Get a real tank. And shoot for one that’s 10-20 gallons large for each fish.
Keep in mind:
It just so happens that, (unlike lots of other species) goldfish adapt to their environment pretty well.
Chilly water is more likely to cause health problems as the fish’s immune system is weaker.
Of course, too hot is stressful also.
What is the best temperature for your finned friend?
For nearly all types of goldfish, it’s actually in the 70 degrees F range.
3. Providing your Black Moor with the Right Kind of Diet
Diet plays a critical role in the well-being of your goldfish – and also its growth.
Goldies are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter for their food.
A balanced diet is really important to them, because with their rounder body shape they are prone to swim bladder trouble.
That’s why it’s really important to have a solid feeding plan.
Choosing a quality staple food is the biggest step to take when you are figuring out how to feed a balanced meal to your aquatic pets.
You can read more about goldfish diet requirements in our feeding article.
4. Selecting the Best Tank Mates
Could it be that your pet is longing for a fishy friend?
If so, you’ll want to find out what other fish you can safely keep with your black moor.
Because of their friendly personalities, they tend to do great with most other fancy types of goldfish, with maybe the best being other moors or fish that are vision impaired, such as other telescopes or celestial eye goldfish.
But here’s an important tip:
Only keep other goldfish in with goldfish.
They do best that way… TRUST ME.
Interesting to look at doesn’t matter nearly as much as having a peaceful tank.
The bottom line?
Please don’t make the mistake of putting other kinds of fish in there too, like tropical fish, as they don’t mix well and can hurt your goldfish.
Everything Else You Need to Know
We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to caring for your Black Moor.
There just isn’t enough time to go into all the detail!
But don’t worry – I wrote a complete care guide called “The Truth About Goldfish.”
It contains ALL the information you will ever need to make sure your fish doesn’t just survive, but THRIVES.
I’m sure you want yours to reach its full potential, right? ?
You can take a peek at it here:
Should the Black Moor be its own Breed?
I admit it, I’ve struggled with this concept:
“Black moor” is considered its own breed of goldfish, but aren’t they really just a telescope with black coloring? Why should they be considered their own breed and not another coloring, such as white, blue, calico or chocolate?
The same velvety black coloring can be found on Ranchus, Orandas and other types of goldfish!
Why does a matte black telescope deserve a different classification altogether, with the label of “moor?” (Admittedly, some do refer to other colors of telescopic goldfish as moors, but they aren’t considered their own variety.)
What do you think?
Am I missing something here?