Are you attracted to the quiet tranquility of aquariums and the graceful, colorful creatures that live in them? Or perhaps you already love fish, especially goldfish? If you are thinking about what kinds of fish to add to your collection, here is one lovely fish that you might not know much about yet, the black moor goldfish.
These fish are peaceful, sweet, deepbodied creatures that swim quite slowly due to their rather chunky shape, and are suited to share their space with other less boisterous fish as tank mates, such as the celestial eye goldfish, and not speedy goldfish like the comet goldfish.
Blackmoor goldfish are the only all-black fancy goldfish and you should be able to purchase them in your closest pet shop or live aquaria for under $10 each. The black moor goldfish is the result of generations of selective breeding.
The black moor goldfish is typically a velvety black with bronze tones when it is mature, sometimes with an orange or white belly as it ages. The young are amber color. They have stocky little bodies and amazing protruding eyes, that give them the other name of “telescopic goldfish”.
Their eyes are the most noticeable thing on their bodies, however, their eyesight is not particularly good, despite the size of their lenses. They have swishy flowing little tails and fins that many people find attractive. Blackmoor goldfish can reach about 10 cm in length, but long-living healthy fish can get even bigger up to 25 cm long.
Male fish are slightly smaller than the females if you can tell them apart. It is hard to determine the sex of these goldfish but there are definite differences that we will cover in the Breeding section, below.
It is apparently quite common for the black moor goldfish to change color from black to orange. There are a number of reasons for this. They might have velvet disease, which is caused by a parasite, and if your fish also seems lethargic as well as a yellowy color you will need to seek treatment as it could be fatal.
Secondly, the chemistry of the water may not be quite right. You may need to change the water more frequently. Thirdly, the temperature of the water can affect the color of the black moor goldfish It should not be any higher than 72 degrees.
Expert Tip: Watch out for direct sunlight or heaters near your tank. Take care in summer that your tank is not too warm for your fish.
With their poor eyesight, (apparently, they are very short-sighted) the black moor goldfish is prone to swimming into obstacles and damaging their delicate eyes and body, so keep sharp objects out of your tank. Don’t put in your tank things like play castles or driftwood with sharp corners.
Goldfish are prone to skin diseases caused by parasites or bacteria. You may notice a change in color or spots and you can get medications to heal this from the pet shop. A condition called swim bladder might occur, where your black moor goldfish is floating at the surface or on the bottom of the tank, as they can’t control their buoyancy.
If this happens, don’t feed them for 24 hours, then introduce vegetables (peas, broccoli, lettuce) as fiber. Move sick goldfish to a quarantine tank, very carefully so as not to damage their eyes. You won’t have frequent health problems with your black moor goldfish if you keep the tank clean and supplied with weekly freshwater.
Goldfish ICH is a condition your black moor might get. also known as white spot disease, is a pesky parasite that attaches itself to the black moor’s body and feeds in order to reproduce. Other parasites like argulus or fish lice, and anchor worms might be a problem.
There are also conditions like tail or fin rot. Blackmoor goldfish are messier and produce more waste than other fish, (called bioload) so if you’d like to have good longevity with your fish, clean your tank and care for them well.
Blackmoor goldfish need a period of about eight to ten hours of darkness per day to rest. They have no eyelids and need to rest their eyes away from bright light, so keep a light/dark cycle in their tank.
Habitat and Tank Conditions
Blackmoor goldfish are selectively bred and don’t really have a distinct natural habitat, but their closest relative, the Asian carp, lives in freshwater slow-moving water with sand and dirt at the bottom.
These fish-like neutral pH in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 and a broad temperature range, between 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There should be no ammonia and no nitrate in their environment.
Black moors need a minimum 30-gallon aquarium. You will need a proper tank with good filtration and for each separate black moor that you add to the aquarium, you need to allocate 10 gallons. Long rectangular tanks give your fish room to grow rather than smaller round tanks.
Fish are healthier in larger environments. If you use tap water you will need to use water conditioners, your pet shop will supply you. or you will find this product online. Blackmoor goldfish are messy eaters and this raises the nitrogen in the water.
About twice a week when you change the tank’s water, only remove about 30% of the water to introduce replacement fresh water, any more than that might shock the fish. You can introduce snails like mystery snails or nerite snails to keep the algae under control.
Smooth and rounded rocks are good habitat to protect the black moor from myopic collisions, and you can add cold water plants. A common pitfall for goldfish keepers is not using a big enough tank for them to eat, swim and make a mess in.
One black moor to at least 30 gallons. Give them space! They like tall tanks rather than long ones. Black moors, like all goldfish, like to dig. Choose aquarium-safe sand and gravel for your tank.
Goldfish are omnivores, meaning they eat a broad variety of plant and animal, live and dried food You can feed your fish in small amounts twice a day of a range of foodstuffs.
You can buy fish flakes and pellets from the pet shop that offers them proper nutrition, but you can also give them insects, tadpoles, algae, larvae (such as mosquito larvae), green vegetables, and plant matter. They also like brine shrimp and bloodworms, frozen or live, as a supplement to their main diet.
Expert Tip: According to one fish expert, you should limit protein to about 30% of the black moor’s diet.
According to another source, the main diet for black moor goldfish should be pre-soaked pellets or sinking pellets. This food sinks to the bottom of the tank where the black moors can find it they have trouble finding floating food like flakes with their eyesight as poor as it is.
Live and freeze-dried food can introduce parasites into the tank, so if you can prepare the occasional treats for them you will have less illness in your fish family. They like a bit of spinach, lettuce, zucchini, and grape. Their diet does not have to be dull.
Blackmoor goldfish are big eaters and one common problem with keeping fish is overfeeding. Because feed time is pretty much the only interaction we have with our fish pets, we tend to feed them more than they can eat. You should only feed them as much as they can eat in a couple of minutes.
The uneaten food goes to the bottom of the tank and affects the quality of the water and compromises the oxygen levels in the water.
Many goldfish breeders keep the male and female goldfish separate for some weeks leading up to the breeding season to increase the fish’s interest in inbreeding. There is a courtship ritual when goldfish breed. The male chases the female around keeping close and slightly below her.
There are different characteristics, like the shape of fins and midline ridge, to tell the male and female black moor goldfish apart, but the main noticeable difference is the female has a thicker, rounder body. Also, when the male is close to spawning, he has little white tubercles, or white bumps, on his fins.
In the wild, black moor goldfish mate in the springtime, so you can gradually raise the temperature of your tank water a little to about 24 degrees Celsius to mimic this lusty season.
Males circle the females and the females lay their eggs on flat surfaces, so be sure your tank has plenty of flat surfaces. You will see the female’s body bulging when the eggs are ready for laying.
Up to 10,000 eggs can be laid at a time with fry hatching in about five to six days. You can remove the eggs into another tank so the adults don’t end up eating them, and while the fry is young you can feed them separately on a protein and iron-rich feed mixture.
They can go back in with the breeding pair after about two months, or join other aquariums.
Are Black Moor Goldfish Suitable for your Aquarium?
According to this aquarium stockist, “It is always best to stock an aquarium with the smaller passive species first, and the larger more aggressive last. In addition, when incorporating fish of the same genus or species, it is ideal to acclimate them to the aquarium simultaneously.”
Blackmoor goldfish are smaller and less aggressive than some other species, so it would be good to start your tank with blackmoor goldfish if you intend to keep more fish.
Many hobbyists keep only black moors. They are well known for not harming any other fish.
They are friendly to humans as well, approaching your hand and recognizing their keepers. Blackmoor goldfish are not suitable for outdoor ponds with other larger, faster fish that would stress the black moor in the competition for resources.
Choose other peaceful fish species if you are going to have cohabiting fish. Blackmoor goldfish will shoal together when kept with their own kind, which it likes the best. Other egg-shaped fish, such as fantails and ryukins are good tankmates.
Due to their eyesight and temperament, black moors can lose out on adequate nutrition at competitive feeding time if you keep them with more aggressive, quicker fish.
Are black moor goldfish good pets?
Black moors are from the Cyprinidae family. Although not ordinary goldfish, these fish are part of the elegant goldfish group and should not be confused with common goldfish.
A descendant of Carp, they trace their origins back to China. In Japan and afterward, throughout the world, they have been raised there since the 1700s, at which point they were traded.
Expert Tip: These goldfish are calm and should not be a nuisance to their tank mates or other fish in the tank. It is because they are more reserved that they do not get along with loud fish.
Another reason they require the presence of other calm species in the tank is that their swimming speed is really slow.
The mid-levels of the water are their favorite habitat, and they will occasionally retreat to a deeper level if they feel threatened.
Their natural instinct is to congregate with their own species, and they will frequently shoal when housed in large groups.
Are black moor goldfish hard to take care of?
The black moor goldfish is simple to care for, which is why you find them in children’s rooms all the time. They don’t need much to survive and may keep you entertained for years. This fish is adaptable to little changes in water.
Because they are not particularly huge, black moors will not take up much space in your aquarium, making them an ideal choice for new aquarists.
It is necessary to maintain a clean environment for keeping your moor goldfish healthy, and if you locate a sick fish, it should be kept apart from the others in its own tank.
Black moors are quite nice and a nice small fish, whether they swim in a communal tank or in their own aquarium with other fish.
It is better to keep them with other fish of similar temperaments, and the black moor goldfish prefers to be with other fish of its own kind and will shoal when in a group.
And finally, Black Moor Goldfish Are Ace!
The rather beautiful (some would say ugly-cute) black moor goldfish is an easy-care fish that is happy to live in pairs, in groups, and is well cared for and good-sized aquariums and tanks. Their telescopic large eyes are not as effective as other fish, so bear in mind they need no rough or pointed features in their environment to hurt themselves.
Feed them a good variety of food and don’t spoil them with portions, as it is only going to affect their water quality. There are some very positive testimonials from black moor hobbyists you can read here, and if you are a new fish enthusiast or a fish fancier from way back, these delightful creatures will not disappoint.
In 2022 the black moor goldfish is a very popular fish and you will find a real community of black moor goldfish lovers on aquarium and fish lovers’ sites. There are books and videos on these lovely creatures to read if you are interested in finding out further details.
Enjoy your black moor goldfish, for a minimum of maintenance they will provide years of companionship and fun.