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.
Temperature: 70 – 80 degrees F
Species name:Carassius auratus auratus
Hardiness: Relatively hardy
Lifespan: 30 – 40 years on average
Size: 6 to 8 inches on average
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:
Cloudy eyes are more common on moors because of how prone they are to injury and caustic burning from contaminants in the water. (This is often seen on fish that have recently been through transit.
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!
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.
“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.)