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:
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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 fish.
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 their bodies.
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.
They are also prone to getting scar tissue damage to their eye lenses as they age.
Black moors may start out small…
But they usually end up growing 6-8 inches total in length.
Here’s what they look like when they get big:
This means they need a tank size of at least 10 gallons, preferably more, so they have enough room to swim around comfortably!
How to Breed Black Moors
It’s easy to see those little white speckles called breeding tubercles on a male black moor’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
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.
How long do black moor goldfish live anyway?
With the right care, they can live out their full lifespan of 5-10 or more years!