Black Moor Goldfish
Black Demekin, Black Peony Goldfish, Dragon Eye GoldfishFamily: Cyprinidae Carassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
The Black Moor Goldfish is basically a black version of the Telescope Goldfish, though the eyes usually don't protrude as far as they do on the Telescope!
The Black Moor Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy goldfish. This rounded shape is enhanced by large bulbous eyes protruding out on the sides of its head. It also has metallic scales that give it a deep velvety black color and long flowing finnage.
This goldfish is basically a black version of the Telescope Goldfish though its eyes don't protrude quite as far. These eyes have given rise to some descriptive names for this fish, such as the Dragon Eye Goldfish and Black Peony Goldfish. Juveniles are a dark bronze and without the protruding eyes, but as they mature they become black and their eyes begin to telescope.
Most Black Moors stay black but their color can change with age, ranging from gray to black, or they can revert to a metallic orange when kept in warmer water. Though they once were available with a beautiful veil-tail, the specimens available today will have either a broad tail, ribbon tail, or butterfly tail.
Their hardiness and ability to live in cold temperatures makes them ideal pets.They are very popular gold fish and are found in collectors tanks throughout the world. The Black Moor along with two other egg-shaped goldfish, the Fantail Goldfish and the Ryukin Goldfish, are recommended for the beginner. Unlike the Fantail and the Ryukin however, the Black Moor must not be kept with highly competitive tank mates. Yet these three varieties along with the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, the Shubunkin, are all considered good beginner goldfish.
For most of these goldfish, their hardiness and ability to live at colder temperatures (as long as the cooling drops only a few degrees a day) makes them ideal for outdoor ponds as well. The Black Moor is the only possible exception to this, not because it lacks hardiness but because of its telescopic eyes. Its eyes cause it to have poor vision so it is not a good competitor for food, and they are subject to injury and infection. None of these hardy fish are really good companions for the Black Moor because they are all too competitive during feeding time. Better tank mates would be the similarly handicapped but less hardy Telescope Goldfish, Celestial Goldfish, and Water Bubble-Eye Goldfish.
For more goldfish information, see:
Goldfish Care: Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases
Black Moor Goldfish
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A large, 17 cm Black Moor Goldfish shows off its colors!
While arguably not the most graceful fish, this Black Moor Goldfish makes up for that with its stunning and deep black coloring. The video helps showcase why these unique fish are so popular by focusing on watching the fish move around its tank and display its notable and beautiful coloring and body shape.
- Size of fish - inches: 4.0 inches (10.16 cm)
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
- Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
- My Aquarium - Enter your aquarium to see if this fish is compatible!
The goldfish of today are descendants of a wild carp fish, known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian carp, or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio) which was described by Bloch in 1782. These wild carp originated in Asia; Central Asia (siberia). They inhabit the slow moving and stagnant waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, and ditches feeding on plants, detritus, small crustaceans, and insects.
For many years it was believed that goldfish had originated from the Crucian Carp Carassius carassius described by Linnaeus in 1758. This fish has a wide range across the European content, running west to east from England to Russia, north to Scandinavian countries in the Arctic Circle and as far south as the central France and the Black Sea. However now this is considered improbable as recent genetic research points to C. gibelio.
Goldfish were originally developed in China, but by the 1500's goldfish were traded to Japan, to Europe in the 1600's, and to America by the 1800's. The majority of the fancy goldfish were being developed by Oriental breeders. The results of this centuries long endeavor is the wonderful goldfish colors and forms we see today. Today domesticated goldfish are distributed world-wide.
The Black Moor Goldfish is a black version of the Telescope Goldfish which was believed to be developed in China in the early 1700's. It was known as the Dragon Eyes or the Dragon Fish. In the later part of the 1700's it was produced in Japan where it is known as the Demekin. The Black Moor is also referred to as the Dragon Eye Goldfish as well as the Black Peony Goldfish and the Black Demekin. It is one of the more than 125 captive bred fancy gold fish varieties.
- Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
- Social Grouping: Groups - Can be kept singly or in groups.
- IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed - This species is not listed on the IUCN Red List, and presumably there are no wild populations of this captive bred variety, Black Moor Goldfish.
The Black Moor Goldfish is an egg-shaped variety of goldfish. The body is short and stubby and the head has large bulbous eyes protruding out on the sides. It has metallic scales that give it a deep velvety black color and it has long flowing finnage.
Black Moor Goldfish will generally reach about 4 inches (10 cm), though some hobbyist report their Black Moors reaching up to a whopping 10" (25 cm). The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.
Most Black Moors stay black but their color can change with age, ranging from gray to black, or they can revert to a metallic orange when kept in warmer water. Juveniles are a dark bronze and without the protruding eyes, but as they mature they become black and their eyes begin to telescope. Though they once were available with a beautiful veil-tail, the varieties available today will have either a broad tail, ribbon tail, or butterfly tail.
- Size of fish - inches: 4.0 inches (10.16 cm) - Average size is 4" (10.16 cm), but have been reported to reach up to 10" (25 cm).
- Lifespan: 15 years - The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, but have been known to live 20 years of more when well maintained.
Black Moor Goldfish are some of the hardier species of goldfish. They are very undemanding of water quality and temperature. They can do well in a goldfish aquarium, or even a pond as long as the environment is safe and their tank mates are not competitive.
Many people will keep goldfish in an aquarium with no heater or filtration, but for the best success provide them the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy. Be careful when netting these fish, as their eyes are easily damaged. When it comes to feeding, they will not thrive well with fast competitive tank mates.
- Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner - The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, but have been known to live 20 years of more when well maintained.
Since they are omnivorous, the Black Moor Goldfish will generally eat all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat. It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods. Due to the protruding eyes they have poor vision and a harder time seeing their food, so need extra time to feed.
- Diet Type: Omnivore
- Flake Food: Yes
- Tablet Pellet: Yes
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
- Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
- Meaty Food: Some of Diet
- Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - This fish has poor eyesight and is somewhat sluggish, so the aquarist needs to be sure that their Black Moor Goldfish is not being out competed for food during feeding time.
Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 is strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.
- Water Changes: Weekly - Goldfish produce more waste than most other freshwater fish and benefit greatly from more frequent water changes.
Setting up a goldfish aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to success. The shape and size of the aquarium is important and depends upon the number of goldfish you are going to keep. These fish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste. Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. Filtration systems remove much of the detritus, excess foods and waste. This in turn helps to keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the goldfish.
- Tank parameters to consider when choosing a goldfish aquarium:
- Tank size
Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house a Black Moor. It's best to start with a 20 - 30 gallon tank for your first goldfish and then increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. Providing a large amount of water per fish will help dilute the amount of waste and reduce the number of water changes needed.
- Tank Shape
Always provide the maximum amount of surface area. A large surface area of water will help minimize goldfish suffering from an oxygen shortage. Surface area is determined by the shape of the tank. For example an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank. In an oval or round shaped tank the middle offers more surface area than filling it to the top.
- Number of fish
For juveniles a general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water. But this rule only applies to young fish and is not adequate as they grow. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death.
- Fish size and growth
To allow for proper growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number or be prepared to get a larger tank. To prevent stunted growth and other health problems, don't overstocking the aquarium.
- Tank size
Goldfish are a cold water fish and will do best at temperatures between 65 - 72° F (18°- 22° C). The Black Moor Goldfish are one of the most hardy varieties of goldfish and can tolerate temperatures a few degrees above freezing, as long as the cooling drops only a few degrees a day. A quick temperature drop can kill them, so if you live in a very cold climate a heater is advisable.
Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. You can add some decor, but keep in mind that the eyes of the Black Moor are a handicap. These fish have very poor vision so make sure that all ornamentation is smooth with no protruding points or sharp edges. Smooth rocks or driftwood, should be used sparingly if at all. Aquarium plants would be the best choice of aquarium decor for goldfish, but unfortunately these fish are diggers. Consequently live plants may be uprooted. Artificial plants make a good substitute and silk plants are safer than plastic ones.
Most aquariums come with a cover that includes lighting. A cover for the tank is desirable as it reduces evaporation and though they are not prone to jumping, on occasion some gold fish will jump out. Lighting is not essential for goldfish in general, but it can help the Black Moor as these fish have such poor eyesight. It also makes the aquarium a nice show piece and is needed if you have live plants.
Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. The salinity level for C. auratus must be kept low, below 10% with a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L) - Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house this fish. It has high oxygen requirements, produces a lot of waste. It will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium.
- Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes - A Nano tank is fine as long as it is 10 gallons or more.
- Substrate Type: Any - A medium sized gravel works best.
- Lighting Needs: High - Strong lighting - Strong lighting will help this fish make the best of what little eyesight it has.
- Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C) - This fish will tolerate much colder temperatures, although this seems to be the optimum range for activity and longevity of Goldfish.
- Range ph: 6.0-8.0
- Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
- Brackish: Sometimes - The salinity for C. auratus must be kept below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
- Water Movement: Moderate
- Water Region: All - These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.
Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well. The Black Moor Goldfish, along with the Telescope Goldfish and the Celestial Goldfish, are all visually handicapped so do well when kept together.
These goldfish cannot readily compete for food with other sharp-eyed and fast moving types of goldfish, so may not fare well if kept with them. Goldfish are great scavengers, so it is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish.
- Venomous: No
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Compatible with:
- Same species - conspecifics: Yes
- Peaceful fish (): Safe
- Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
- Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
- Plants: Threat - Goldfish will eat many kinds of aquatic plants, and their constant search for food end up uprooting plants that they don't eat.
During the breeding season the male has white prickles, called breeding tubercles, on its gill covers and head. Seen from above a female will have a fatter appearance when she is carrying eggs. It is impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in breeding season, but generally the male is smaller and more slender than the female.
Black Moor Goldfish are egg layers that spawn readily in the right conditions. See Breeding Freshwater Fish - Goldfish for more information on breeding Goldfish.
- Ease of Breeding: Moderate
Goldfish are subject to the same diseases as tropical fish. A couple of the more common problems are Ich, Swim Bladder Disease, and external parasites including flukes, lice and anchor worms. For more in-depth information about goldfish diseases and illnesses, see: Goldfish Care; Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases.
The Black Moor Goldfish is readily available in fish stores and on-line. It is fairly inexpensive.
- Animal-World References: Freshwater Fish and Plants
- David Alderton, Encyclopedia of Aquarium and Pond Fish , DK Publishing, Inc., 2005.
- Marshall E. Ostrow, Goldfish (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals), Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2003
- Geoff Rogers, Nick Fletcher, Focus on Freshwater Aquarium Fish, Firefly Books. 2004
- David Sands, Goldfish (Caring for Your Pet), Interpet Publishing, 1999