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Black Moor Goldfish: Care Guide, Varieties, Lifespan & More (with Pictures)

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By Lindsey Stanton

a couple of Black moor goldfish in a tank

Black Moor Goldfish are eye-catching and majestic goldfish and easily identified by their unique protruding telescopic eyes and flowing or tripod tail fins, along with a beautiful velvety black coloring. They make excellent beginner goldfish for owners new to the goldfish keeping hobby. Black Moors are typically peaceful and easy to care for, provided you know their requirements.aquarium plant divider

Quick Facts about Black Moor Goldfish

Species Name: Carassius auratus
Family: Minnows and Carps
Care Level: Beginner
Temperature: 65-80ºF or 18 to 26ºC
Temperament: Peaceful and socially natured
Color Form: Velvety black, dark bronze, metallic orange and dark grey
Lifespan: 10-15 years on average
Size: 4.0” or 10.16 cm on average, able to reach 10” or 25 cm
Diet: Diet varying high in protein and fiber
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons for one full-grown adult
Tank Set-Up: Smooth decorations, sand or large pebbles with an overhang of fake or live plants for tank coverage
Compatibility: Ideally housed with other slow-moving fancy goldfish
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Black Moor Goldfish Overview

Black Moors are commonly known for their docile and peaceful nature among goldfish owners. When kept in an appropriate and well-maintained environment, they will do quite well with your other slow-moving fancy goldfish. Because of their protruding and disproportionate eyes – as well as their stocky build and flowing tripod tails – they have trouble moving around their tank and not suitable for outdoor ponds with fast-moving and slim-bodied goldfish. Outdoor ponds put Black Moors in a constant state of stress to compete for basic resources and they are at risk of being bullied by incompatible tankmates.

Black Moor goldfish love to have a lot of safe and secure smooth decorations and plants in their tank. They will feel more comfortable knowing they are in a safe environment, as they are instinctively wary of other fish because of their appearance and lack of mobility. Black Moors have the potential to make a great addition to many home aquariums. So, we have discussed a bit of an overview on these interesting goldfish; now let’s get on to some basic information you may be interested in knowing before acquiring or caring for your Black Moor goldfish.

Black moor goldfish on white background
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

How Much Do Black Moor Goldfish Cost?

Black Moor goldfish prices can vary depending on the source. A pet store-bred Black Moor will most likely be cheaper but more likely prone to health issues. Standard pet store prices can vary from $2 to about $15, and you will most likely pay less at a high end chain pet store, Breeders will generally breed and stock quality goldfish, so expect to pay more, with prices varying from $5 to $20 dollars, depending on size, appearance and health.

Typical Behaviour & Temperament

Black Moors are loved for their docile, calm yet quirky temperament. Not only are these goldfish pleasing to the eye, but interesting to watch. They are generally social and prefer one or more compatible tank mates; they have the potential to become quite friendly and interactive with their owner. There’s not much cuter than an adorable Black Moor staring at you through the glass with their telescopic eyes and begging for food, doing little wiggles to show excitement when you happen to bring out the food containers.

Black Moor Goldfish up close
Image Credit: PicsWay, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

As the name suggests, they are typically a black color, with a few exceptions. Black Moor male goldfish are slimmer bodied than the short and stockier females, and all portray a set of protruding telescopic eyes varying in size and proportion to their body. They also boast a beautiful flowing black tripod tail, typically longer in males.

Some Black Moors will show bronze or gold along the sides of their stomachs. When young, Black Moors start off with a light gray coloring and not yet so noticeable telescopic eyes. As they mature, their black pigmentation develops, but unfortunately, old age and water temperature may make them lose their coloring.

Warm water temperatures long-term lead to your Black Moor turning a vibrant orange color. As the fish ages, they will start to fade and may even develop a white belly. It is important to note that black is an unstable color variety among goldfish, and unless you buy your goldfish from a quality breeder, there is no guarantee your Black Moor will stay a stable black color forever. Nonetheless, these goldfish have a very interesting and fascinating appearance that will add a nice addition to an aquarium.

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How to Take Care of Black Moor Goldfish

Black moor goldfish_Cherukuri rohith_shutterstock
Image credit: cherukuri rohith, Shutterstock

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

A suitable habitat is beneficial in keeping a happy and healthy Black Moor goldfish. Black Moors have very sensitive eyes that can easily be injured on sharp or rough decorations; therefore it is important to make sure you have smooth and safe decorations to provide safety among the tank.

Tank/aquarium size:

Although there is no definite minimum size tank for the different size varieties of Black Moors, it’s important to make sure your goldfish has appropriate swim space and isn’t in a small, cramped and overstocked tank. Get the biggest tank you can provide and make sure it’s maintained appropriately. It is generally known that a full grown Black Moor should have at least 10 gallons of space.

Water temp and pH:

It is ideal to keep a stable temperature of 65-80ºF or 18 to 26ºC and a stable pH of 7.2 to 7.7.

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Goldfish love to forage in their substrate. Aquarium sand or large pebbles bigger than their mouth is ideal.


Goldfish tend to consume most live plants fairly easily, so thick-leaved plants can create a natural environment and help water quality.


Black Moors are quite sensitive to bright light (even with poor eyesight!) and sometimes will hide away from unnatural bright lights. Natural light is recommended with a light and dark cycle. They require a period of darkness between 8 to 12 hours to rest as they do not have eyelids.


Goldfish produce a high amount of waste. and therefore. need adequate filtration. Most filters that have a greater gallon filtration than the tank’s size is recommended to maintain good water quality.aquarium plant divider

Are Black Moors Good Tank Mates?

To put quite simply, yes, Black Moors have the potential to be great tank mates when housed and cared for appropriately. Unfortunately, they do not make good community tank mates with a variety of fish breeds and should be in a species-only tank. They should ideally be kept with other slow-moving, similarly-sized fancy goldfish in an appropriately decorated and maintained tank. Some examples of suitable fancy goldfish tank mates are Ranchu, Ryukin, Fantails and Orandas, to name a few. When keeping fancy goldfish together, make sure you have good filtration for the bio load (the fish’s accumulated waste) and enough swim space to comfortably house your goldfish. Make sure they are all relatively the same size and equally slow-moving in order to avoid bullying and the stress of trying to compete for resources within the tank.

Black Moor dragon eye goldfish_skydie_shutterstock
Image credit: skydie, Shutterstock

What to Feed Your Black Moor Goldfish

Diet needs to be of high quality for these types of goldfish, as they are very sensitive to over-feeding and swim bladder disorder (they lose control of their buoyancy and struggle to swim normally). They require a diet consisting of good quality protein and vegetable matter along with sinking pellets, flakes, or gel foods high in protein and fiber yet low in unnecessary fillers, which have little to no nutritional value.

Healthy vegetable-based treats such as peas should be available every now and then, as store bought foods should not be their primary source of nutrition. A good diet is important throughout their lifetime, but is most important during their growth stages under 2 years. Protein percentage can be lowered as they mature into full-grown adults, but high fiber should remain consistent for optimal digestion.

Keeping Your Black Moor Goldfish Healthy

Keeping your Black Moor healthy is manageable, especially if you have taken the above information into account.

To go over a few pointers and make it easy to keep your Black Moor healthy, here are some simple yet beneficial points;
  1. Provide a spacious and fully-cycled (has gone through the nitrogen cycle to establish nitrifying bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrates) home with suitable substrate and decorations for security and enrichment.
  2. Feed a varied and good quality diet high in fiber and protein as well as additives to the diet such as peas.
  3. Keep good filtration and appropriate water parameters throughout the tank (a liquid testing kit is good to have on hand to monitor ammonia, nitrates, etc.)
  4. Keep in a pair or more with other slow moving goldfish.
  5. Avoid any stress sources, such as drastic water temperature changes or an aggressive tank mate.


Black Moors are ready to breed at an early age of 1 year old, although it is most common for a goldfish to breed between 1.5 to 2 years old once they have matured. Luckily, it is easy to see the breeding stars (little dots mostly seen on male goldfishes gill area that signals that they are ready to breed) on Black Moors due to the contrast of the white dotting on the black coloring. An increase of food, warmer water temperatures and an increase in daylight hours can trigger breeding among two different gender goldfish in your tank.

The common mating behavior of chasing and nudging can be seen; this can potentially stress out the female, so make sure to keep an eye on her when you start noticing this behavior. Goldfish will usually eat their eggs or young, so best to gently separate the eggs and the fry (baby goldfish) once they hatch.

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Are Black Moor Goldfish Suitable For Your Aquarium?

If you have understood and followed through the article and feel you have the knowledge and perhaps, keep an aquarium of similarly-sized fancy goldfish, then you are ready to add the Black Moor to your aquarium, make sure to check that you have enough space, time, filtration and maintenance to keep a healthy Black Moor with your current fancies or goldfish safe aquarium set up. If you have been ticking off the boxes in your head then yes, a Black Moor will make an excellent addition to your aquarium.

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Featured Image Credit: Vlad Siaber, Shutterstock

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