Animal-World > Aquarium Tropical Fish > Goldfish > Black Moor Goldfish

Black Moor Goldfish

Black Demekin, Black Peony Goldfish, Dragon Eye Goldfish

Family: Cyprinidae Black Moor Goldfish, Carassius auratus, Black Demekin, Black Peony Goldfish, Dragon Eye GoldfishCarassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I have two black moor goldfish in a 20 gallon tank, but all of sudden they both keep floating/ swimming upside down. what should I do!?!?!  s

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

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Geographic Distribution
Carassius auratus auratus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Carassius
  • Species: auratus auratus
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.

Black Moor Goldfish - Quick Aquarium Care
  • 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
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

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.

Description

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.

Black Moor Goldfish, Carassius auratus
Black Moor Goldfish

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.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

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.

Foods and Feeding

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.

Aquarium Care

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.

Aquarium Setup

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.

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.

Social Behaviors

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.

Sex: Sexual differences

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.

Breeding / Reproduction

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

Fish Diseases

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.

Availability

The Black Moor Goldfish is readily available in fish stores and on-line. It is fairly inexpensive.

References

Author: David Brough CFS
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Lastest Animal Stories on Black Moor Goldfish


s - 2014-10-12
I have two black moor goldfish in a 20 gallon tank, but all of sudden they both keep floating/ swimming upside down. what should I do!?!?!

  • David Brough - 2014-10-12
    Its probably what is called swim bladder disease since it is pretty common in goldfish. Personally I would do a partial water change, make sure there is plenty of oxygen (aeration) and dechlorinate.

    Check for obvious signs of other illnesses like sores, fin damage, or ich and treat for that if present. Anti parasitic or anti bacterial.



    Swim bladder disease treatments usually focus around diet or constipation: feed defrosted frozen peas, live foods, and plenty of roughage (dietary fiber consisting mainly of veggies if you can get them to eat it).



    Keep the temperature stable.



    Hope this helps.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-10-13
    Sounds like a swim bladder problem. Start with a good water change, and then the diet. A good varied diet that includes frozen peas (thawed and skinned) can help with swim bladder.
Reply
JITESH - 2008-09-15
I have two goldfish, a black moor, black molly, and one ballon molly. To keep them healthy I give them paraxin 500 capules, because of these capules they don't get sick.

  • sakshi kumar - 2014-09-29
    hey ... i just read your cmmnt . Can you pls tel me after how many days,should i have to put paraxin in my tank??.. actually my fish fins are getting red and i m nt understanding what is going on ! Thank eww...
Reply
Laylovv - 2009-10-31
Moor Goldfish Owners, please do not put your moor in a tank with anything other than another Moor. If you are extremely experienced then disregard as you know what types can live in harmony. Moors are my favorite:) It makes me ill when I hear "I just bought a new moor goldfish and put him in a bowl" Or " my other fish nip my moor and scare him to the other side of the tank" Or "My moor is in a 3 gallon tank".

These fish CANNOT compete with anyother fish for food. If you think it is funny when your other fish nip at him try putting a pitbull in your bedroom and when ever you try to sleep it bites you. This is what your putting your Moor goldfish through. They are not athletes and their eyesite is poor but they have the best personalities of all fish I have owned. To kill a fish out of ignorance is still your fault. If you have killed more than 2 fish then pick a different hobby. Fish are not for children. If you are too busy to change 20% of the water each week then get a betta. If you do not have the money for a filter that is $20-$30 then go get a betta. If you do not have the money to buy your moor antibiotics or melafix or other remedies when it gets sick then you should not have a fish. MOOR GOLDFISH ARE THE MOST DELICATE FISH. DO NOT GET A MOOR GOLDFISH IF YOU HAVE NEVER HAD A FISH BEFORE.

Start with a Betta, or a NON-FANCY Goldfish. Regular old goldfish are very very hearty as are Bettas. These are fish you can put in a 3 gallon tank and feed and have very little responsibility.

  • Mike - 2010-03-02
    "Moor Goldfish Owners, please do not put your moor in a tank with anything other than another Moor?

    The statement you've made is incorrect: I have a 30 gallon tank with a moor, tele, and dojo loach for the past 5 years and they get along fine, you don't have to house them with just moors as long as your goldies aren't fighting they can be housed with a bunch of different fish excluding aggressive fish as they will nip and bite at them.
  • Paige - 2010-03-16
    "If you are too busy to change 20% of the water each week then get a betta."

    Actually, water for a Betta should be changed more often than a Black Moor Goldfish, depending on the side of the tank. Anything under 1 gallon should have at least a 50% (preferably 100%) water change daily; anything over 1 gallon to five gallons should have a 20-30% water change weekly. Bettas are extremely prone to fin rot from dirty water, and although they are not overly dirty fish, their water does get contaminated fairly quickly.

    Please do not assume that Betta fish are the easiest of fish to care for. Contrary to popular belief, they in fact should not be kept in anything under 1 gallon, because the lack of surface area for them to move around in can cause them to get ill very quickly. Bettas also need a slightly warmer water temperature, from about 70F to 80F. Although Bettas are good for beginners, they can't be completely disregarded when it comes to care. If these small needs are fulfilled, these fish can be great pets that are full of personality :)
  • Ferrell - 2010-04-21
    Thats mean saying that kids cannot take care a black moor I just bought a black moor and my sis bought a shunbunkin yesterday. Today Blackie (black moor) is now the boss of the tank against a shunbunkin. I can change my water in the 2.5L fish tank. This is my first time having a fish and blackie is doing great with Sparkles (shunbunkin)
  • Gabi - 2010-06-21
    Hello Laylovv, I just red your comment about the Moor Goldfish; I got one for my anniversary, and he seems a little bit sick. Like wanting to be under some rocks that I have in my aquarium. And he also is having some strange actions like ''seeing dead'' or laying on his side. I'm so sad, I don't want him to die :/. Can you help me? Is there an antibiotic or a remedy that I can give him? Or do you know why is he doing this weird stuff? Thank you so much
  • Noah - 2010-06-23
    "Regular old goldfish are very very hearty as are Bettas. These are fish you can put in a 3 gallon tank and feed and have very little responsibility."

    Although Bettas might be ok in a tank that small, "regular old goldfish" need even more room than fancy goldfish like Black Moores! Common, comet, and shubunkin goldfish need 20 gallons per fish as they can attain a size twice as large as fancy goldfish.
  • betty - 2010-07-26
    I keep and love goldfish as well as bettas. There are many misconceptions that bettas can handle "dirty" water easier. It is very hard on them and I believe just as hard as on a goldfish. If you do want to start with a betta, decide to give it a good life by keeping its water clean and warm. If you decide to go with Moors, {I agree not the best first fish} be very sure they are getting food in their quite small mouths. They can slowly be starving, until one day they are limp and almost unable to respond. They can really have a hard time getting enough food. They need more observation than say Orandas or Lionheads but are wonderful.
  • Leah Macdonald - 2010-08-02
    I started out with 3 moor goldfish and they were fantastic. Two of the three died not long after I got them although they were not particularly healthy from the start as the shop I got them from was not very good. I still have one of the three which has lived quite happily with a fancy goldfish for the last 3 years in a 60L bio-orb tank. I also have another moor in another 60L tank which lives comfortably with 6 white clouds and 2 orandas with absolutely no problems. From my experience they can live well with other types of fish it just depends on the circumstances but I agree that they should not be kept in a bowl or a 3 gallon tank as they do grow quite big. I have one which started out as less than an inch big and is now at 6 inches in just 2 years.
  • jennie - 2013-03-21
    I have my black moore with another fancy gold fish and they r doing good so I don't know were u get ur info but it isn't true
  • Adam - 2013-07-11
    Got a Black Moor today after having goldfish for quite a few years, within a matter of minutes I noticed one of my gold fish chasing and nipping the moor, luckily I have a smaller tank which I have put my gold fish in and left my moor in the 54L tank, quite a character!
  • Jillian - 2014-03-14
    -_- NOT impressed with the Pit Bull comment. I love my Black Moor, but I love my Pit Bull too and I have a real problem with people using these beautiful animals as an example of nastiness and meanness. NOT impressed.
  • helga - 2014-05-23
    I have 3 goldfish and 2 black moors. I bought them at Walmart lol, but now after 3 years the goldfish have grown to 6 inches and the moors as well. I do have them outside in a 100 gallon metal tank and the Arizona winters don't bother them at all. The only weird thing is: one of the black moors has now turned almost completely orange. The black moors figured out pretty quick to come up with the goldfish when I throw food in the tank, and they may not see that great, but they sure get their share of the food. I do have a good filtration system in the tank. I wonder how long those fish will live?
  • Anonymous - 2014-06-03
    Dude, Bettas NEED filters.
  • Joe - 2014-06-05
    I had a black moor with two commons and two Shubunkins. My moor chased and nipped at them when I first got him. I had to put him in a separate tank while my Shubunkins tails healed. After a few weeks in solitary confinement I put him back with the rest of the gang. He learned his lesson and never nipped them again. Unfortunately he and two of the others eventually died from a severe fungal infection. Gave them all their meds but the meds took too long to kick in. I won't bother with a moor again quite simply because I don't trust myself to care for it properly.
Reply
Liz Schultz - 2014-09-15
I have had a Black Moor Goldfish for over a year now, and ever since I got it one of its eyes has been growing EXTREMELY larger than the other. It always freaked my out, but the fish swims normally and is healthy otherwise, so I let it go. I believe that the fish is blind in the smaller eye now - it is clouded over and shrunken.

Over the past couple of weeks, a growth has formed at the back of my fish's one giant eye. The growth grew to the same size as the overly large eye, so now it is as if there are two giant eyes on one side of its head, one behind the other - it's that big!

If you can believe it, the fish is still swimming normally and seems to have no balance or floating issues. I cannot find reference to a similar occurence with a goldfish ANYWHERE online!!! What is happening to my fish and how do I help it?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-15
    It's hard to say what it is, but there's a couple of possiblilities.

    It could be a tumor, which goldfish do sometimes get. Tumors can be internal or external, but the external ones are identified as lumps that are actually attached by a smaller thread, or sometimes multiple threads. They are sometimes have a bumpy cauliflower-like appearance or can simply be smooth but still protruding.  Unfortunately there's no effective medial cure for tumors and it's usually recommended to either remove the mass or euthanize the fish to avoid a slow death.

    Another possiblility is an ulcer, which start as a slightly raised scale that's usually yellowish looking, but can look clear or white. The area aroudn it becomes bloody and inflamed and the bump protrudes. Ulcers can be treated and must be treated right away. Maracyn 2 is one medication to look into as possible treatment.

    A third possiblility is Lymphocystis, which is the most common viral disease found in freshwater fish, it does effect goldfish, and is typically chronic. Also known as Cauliflower Disease, it is transmitted by viral particals in the water, usually introduced by another infected fish. Once infected a lump will form and enlarge until after about 4 weeks, when it will slough off and release viral particles into the water. The fish should be quarantined for at least a month. There's not really a specific treatment for Lymphocystis, but the fish should be treated for secondary bacterial infections and the lesions will eventually revert and the skin will be pretty much normal.
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