Black Moor Goldfish – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

Black Moor goldfish are of the Fancy Goldfish variety. Their most striking features are their eyes and coloration. They have what people call “telescope eyes”. Other names for this fish include Moors, Demekin, and Dragon Eyes.

This species originated in China in the 1700’s. They come from the selective breeding of several other species of carp. Because they come from selective breeding, they do not have a wild or natural habitat. You can find them in most pet stores.

Black Moors are able to handle a larger variety of water and tank conditions than some other species. Below, you will find information about their tank set up and living conditions.



The Black Moor Goldfish is well known for its distinct coloration. Unlike other species of goldfish, these are not orange.

Instead, they are almost completely black, including their body and fins. Their underside and fin edges usually have a bronze or other light coloring. Their underside may turn into a rusty orange color if water temperature increases.

Juvenile Black Moors look a little different than their adult counterparts. They are almost all bronze or a similar color. They get their black coloring as they get older. Color can also fade with age in adults.

Telescope eyes refers to the large, protruding eyes that goldfish species have. They move sideways instead of upwards and are also a product of selective breeding. Juveniles do not have these eyes and they change with age.

Scales on the Black Moor have a metallic and velvety appearance. This does fade with age, though.

Black Moors also have very large, flowing fins. These fins are long and take up about 2/3 of their body size. Their pelvic, pectoral, and anal fins are longer and come in pairs. Their bodies are very round.

Black Moors are similar in size to other goldfish species. At most, you should expect them to be between 6 and10 inches. Males tend to be smaller and more slender than females. This is due to reproductive organs.

Tank Conditions

Black Moors, being a smaller species of fish, do not need very large tanks. Juveniles will be fine with a little less than 10 gallons of water.

For adults, you should aim to have at least 20-30 gallons of water. Adjust and add more water if you have more fish. For example, you should add 10 gallons for each Black Moor that you add.

Black Moors are close relatives of carp. So you can base tank conditions off of the natural habitat of different carp species. These freshwater fish live in murky waters. They are usually found in rivers, lakes, canals, and reservoirs.

The water temperature in the tank should be between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a tank heater to help with this if necessary.

The pH (acidity) level should be between 6.5 and 8.0. An ideal pH is 7.0. Ammonia and nitrite should be 0.0. Water hardness (dissolved carbonates) should be between 6 and 10 degrees.

Black Moors are a freshwater fish species. But, you might be able to house them with certain saltwater species.

They can handle a bit of sea salt in their environment. But, the salt content of the tank should be below 10%. This would be less than 1.002 in a measure of specific gravity.

Tank Set Up

There are some other pieces of tank equipment you may want to look into. These are not always necessary, but may include;

  • Filter
  • Heater
  • Lighting
  • Conditioner
  • Air pump
  • Substrate
  • Aquarium test strips
  • Accessories

Black Moors, along with many other goldfish species, are messy. So, a tank filter is a must. You would not need a heater or special lighting as long as you can maintain water conditions. They live in slow moving water, so you might not need to have an air pump.

These fish also have poor eyesight. So, you should provide them with a lot of light. Use LED lights, as these do not give off heat and change the water temperature.

Black Moors adapt well to any type of substrate. Gravel and sand pretty common ones that people use.

Aquarium test strips show the water chemistry. You should use this before adding any fish to the tank.

Black Moors like to hide in plants and other decorations. If you choose to add plants to the tank, remember that Black Moors tend to dig up fragile plants. Make sure the plants you choose are sturdy and have good root systems. Free floating plants would also work well.

Black Moors do have delicate eyes and scales that can scratch. They also have poor eyesight. So, it is easy for them to bump into items in the tank. Keep this in mind when choosing other accessories or tank equipment.

Tank Maintenance

The first step you should take with the tank is testing the water with the test strips. Start by testing every 2-3 days and then spread out to every couple of weeks. Once you see that water chemistry does not change much, you can test the water on a monthly basis.

Again, Black Moors and other goldfish species are messy. For these fish, you should plan to change about 20% of the water weekly. You should also use a gravel siphon on a routine basis. This helps to keep the gravel or other substrate clean.

You should change the tank filter on a regular basis. But, the frequency of this depends on the cleanliness of the tank and filter maintenance. Any equipment you buy should come with instructions for maintenance and cleaning.


Black Moor diets are like that of wild carps, which are omnivores. This means that they eat both plants and animals. Black Moors are not very picky with their food. In fact, they are actually quite voracious eaters.

The most common type of fish food is pellets and flakes. Black Moors have poor eyesight, so flakes and floating pellets are not good choices for them. They have difficulty finding food at the top of the water. Instead, you should feed them sinking pellets.

You could also look into fresh, frozen, or prepared meats, fruits, and vegetables. Some fruits them enjoy are oranges and peeled grapes. They like vegetables such as cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, and peas. Meats that you could feed them include worms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.

Black Moors are a small species. So, you need to make sure that whatever food you give them is small enough to not be a choking risk.

Although they have an omnivorous diet, there are some considerations. You need to keep digestive health in mind for any food that you give them. Because of their body shape, their digestive system is much more compact. This leaves them at higher risk for constipation.

High fiber foods are a good place to start. You should try to avoid foods that are high in acidity, protein, and sugar as part of their main diet. These could cause digestive complications.

Black Moors should have small meals several times throughout the day. Overfeeding them can cause health problems, as well as damage to the water quality. Constipation is one concern, but other complications could also be lethal.

Leftover food could lead to bacteria build up. After each feeding, check to make sure your fish ate its whole meal. They should finish eating within 30 minutes, so check for any leftovers after that time.

If not, you can skim out extra food with a net. This is not as much of a concern for live feedings.


Goldfish are among the hardier species for at home aquariums. They can handle a variety of water conditions. They also do not experience many health problems.

On average, you can expect your Black Moor Goldfish to live for about 10-15 years. That said, with the right care and nutrition, they can reach 20+ years of age.

There are some concerns to watch out for, though. A very common concern with this species is damage to the body and eyes. Its scales and eyes are delicate. Make sure there are no sharp objects in the tank and try to avoid plastic decorations if possible.

As for diseases, they are prone to parasitic, bacterial, and fungal infections. Some parasites you may see include flukes, flat worms, anchor worms, fish lice, and ich.

Ammonia poisoning is another common disease for goldfish. These fish produce ammonia on their own as a by-product. So, their water will have higher levels of ammonia than some other species.

This is another reason why testing the water on a regular basis is important. You should try to keep the ammonia level to 0.0 if possible. Exposure to excess ammonia is toxic and could even cause death.

Other common ailments include Swim Bladder disease and Cloudy Eye. These, and other conditions, have several different causes. Most of these have medication treatments available. This includes medicated foods and water additives.

The key to checking on your fish’s health is watching for major changes. This includes changes in behavior, diet, and appearance. If you do have concerns, you should consult with a veterinarian or other expert.

Tank Mates

Black Moor Goldfish have peaceful and docile temperaments. Their poor eyesight and temperament make them a bad match for more dominant species. Avoid aggressive species and try to find fish similar in temperament to the Black Moor.

Differences in personality can lead to injury if the fish fight with each other. They are also at risk for poor nutrition, as they will likely lose out to more aggressive fish when feeding.

Your first option may be to keep several Black Moors, or other goldfish, together. Some other compatible species include the Telescope Eye, Bubble Eye, and Celestial Goldfish. Again, you should add 10 gallons of water to the tank for each fish you add.

You could also look at adding other small, shoaling species. Some common ones are Mollies, Neon Tetras, Cherry Barbs, and Zebra Danios.

You can place Black Moors with larger fish as long as they are not aggressive. Compatible large species include Angelfish, Dwarf Gourami, and Glass Catfish. You could also place fish that hang out at the bottom of the tank.

Black Moors also do well with some other non-fish species. For example, you may want to look at adding small shrimp and snails to the tank. Snails also help to keep it clean.

Black Moors are good community fish. They are social and docile. This means they will not act in an aggressive manor toward other fish. Instead, they could actually be quite shy toward tank mates and you.


Black Moor Goldfish are not found in the wild. But, their breeding behaviors mimics that of wild goldfish and carp. The natural breeding season for these species is in the spring.

So, the trigger for the breeding process is a rise in water temperature. But, you first need to place the breeding pairs in a breeding tank. You should have a group of at least 5, but larger groups will be more successful.

The breeding tank should have at least 20 gallons of water, depending on how many fish you have. The breeding tank also needs to have plants in it. This is where spawning happens and eggs also stick to plants and other surfaces.

First, start the tank at 60 degrees. Then, raise the temperature by about 3 degrees per day.

Spawning should begin when the water reaches 68 to 74 degrees. Do not go above 74 degrees. Water that is too warm or too cold can be detrimental to fish health.

To start, males grow lumps over their gills and pectoral fins. They rub these on the females to stimulate them to lay eggs. Usually, they will do this in or around the plants.

The female Black Moors will lay several thousand eggs. After they release the eggs, the males then fertilize them. These eggs will stick to plants and other surfaces on long, fibrous strands.

The diet for breeding fish does not need to change much, but it should be higher in protein. You can feed them brine shrimp, blood worms, and other live or prepared meats. They should have meals 3 times per day.

Black Moors are one of the species that will eat their eggs. If you want to save all the eggs, you should remove the parents from the breeding tank as soon as possible. You can return them to their regular tank at this point.

But, because of the large quantity of eggs, some owners do choose to let the fish eat some of them. Consuming the eggs is natural for Black Moors and does not pose any health risks.

The offspring, called fry, should hatch within 4-7 days. At the beginning, they should receive specialty fry foods. You can find these in pet stores.

As they grow, you can start to feed them brine shrimp or other small animals. They can eat the same food as adults, as long as you crush it into smaller bites.

Juveniles need to be separate from the adults to start. When they are about 1 inch long, you can put them in the regular tank. Juveniles will start to get their black color after a few months.


Now, you understand the appeal of keeping Black Moor Goldfish in your aquarium. They are a typical fish, yet offer an interesting visual. They are also pretty straightforward to care for.

Use the above information to start your tank with Black Moor Goldfish. Keep in mind water conditions, diet, and behavior. With these considered, you have the basis for a successful, long lasting aquarium.

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