The black moor goldfish is a laid-back breed that is easy to care for even for beginners. This fish is not just “fancier” than your average goldfish, but it also has a very peaceful temperament that makes it highly compatible with other fish. If you are looking to find a companion (or three, or five) for your black moor, here are seven great options.
1. Other Black Moor Goldfish
While the black moor goldfish can very happily live alone, most of them also enjoy the company of other goldfish. It may sound obvious, but when it comes to tank makes, there is no one fish more compatible with the black moor goldfish than other black moor goldfish. Black moors are notorious for having bad eyesight (don’t let those bulging eyeballs fool you!), which means that if they have to compete with other, more aggressive fish for food, they will fail every time.
Since black moors all have the same docile, non-aggressive temperament, they won’t cause each other problems during feeding time. Everyone will get to eat, and everyone will stay happy and healthy.
2. Fancy Goldfish
Black moor goldfish do best in tanks in which they can socialize with fish that are very similar to themselves, but they don’t necessarily have to be exactly the same type. Other varieties of fancy goldfish — not just black moors — make great companions for this species as well. They all have the same swimming speed so they won’t be racing each other to find food, and they all share the same peaceful demeanor so they won’t be fighting. It is also very convenient for the fishkeeper because all the goldfish share the same diet and tank requirements.
Fancy goldfish (of which the black moor is one) are very sociable and tend to get along very well with fish of their own kind. Placing more than one goldfish (or type of goldfish) in the same tank will not just create a tank full of pretty fish, but also a tank in which every fish is genuinely living a good life.
Be careful, though, as this rule only really applies to fancy goldfish. Common goldfish and comet goldfish aren’t the best tank mates for black moors because they are bigger and faster than fancy goldfish, which then creates a threat when it comes to food. Your best bets are bubble-eye goldfish and celestial goldfish, both of which probably won’t compete with (or bother) the black moors.
Poecilia sphenops, otherwise known as the common molly, is what is referred to by fishkeepers as a “shoaling fish.” A shoaling fish is one that is happiest in the company of other fish similar to itself. These fish are very social-minded — think of it like a close-knit group of friends who share similar interests or backgrounds.
Since black moors and other goldfish enjoy socializing with their peers, they tend to get along very well mollies. They can all swim together, or they can break into groups separated by breed. In either case, there shouldn’t be any aggression involved, as they are all calm and all happy to coexist with each other.
4. Neon Tetras
Neon tetras, on the other hand, are what is called a “schooling fish.” These fish have to be kept in groups of a large number (in this case, six to twelve) in order to thrive. This makes this fish a bit more complicated to pair with the black moor, but not impossible. As long as you have a sufficient number of neon tetras and a tank big enough so that everyone has space to move around, these two vibrant species can live very well together.
That being said, there is one other thing you need to keep an eye out for: fin nipping. Neon tetras have a bad habit of nipping at the fins of other fish in their tank, and the black moor’s long, flowing tail makes a great target. Luckily, though, fishkeepers with firsthand experience say that if you have a big enough school of tetras, they should keep to themselves and only nip each other’s fins.
5. Cherry Barbs
Another example of a schooling fish is the cherry barb. Cherry barbs are brightly colored fish that bring a pop of vibrancy to any tank, without any added aggression. This breed tends to be somewhat shy, which makes them a good friend to the black moor, who is easygoing and wouldn’t threaten them. The barbs hang out among the plants, hiding to their heart’s content, and the black moors can swim up higher, serenely enjoying their own space.
As with tetras, cherry barbs must be kept in a large group of other fish of their species. In this case, a school of around five is ideal, so make sure there is room for all of them before you add them in with your black moor(s).
6. Kuhli Loaches
The reason that kuhli loaches make a great companion for the black moor is because they are cleaner fish. They stick to the bottom of the tank, scouring the rocks and plants there for food, providing an all-natural cleaning service. Their preference to stay near the ground (and their having just basically one desire in life) means that the loach stays in its area, and the black moor can swim around in its own space up above. Neither one will feel threatened, and both will generally just leave the other alone.
The only possible problem that could arise with kuhli loaches is that they are a bit more difficult to keep than goldfish. They require a bigger tank, at least one other loach companion, and plenty of rocks, substrate, and plants on the bottom of the tank to dig in around. For this reason, it isn’t the best pairing for beginner fishkeepers who are looking to set up a tank and just let it be.
7. Mystery Snails
Just the cool name “mystery snail” can make most fishkeepers want to run to the store and buy a few (not to mention the fact that snails make for great tank cleaners). However, this brings up something we haven’t yet discussed in this article about black moors: they, like most other breeds of goldfish, will try to eat pretty much anything in a tank that is smaller than they are.
This makes most shrimp and snails a bad choice for tank mates, but luckily the colorful, alluring mystery snail (also known as an apple snail) appears to be immune to this problem. Their shells are large enough and hard enough that if the black moor mistakes them for a snack, they can duck inside and be completely protected. Then, when the black moor moves on, they can come back out and start eating the algae all over the tank again.
The only time a mystery snail is in real danger of being eaten by a black moor is technically before it is even born (and probably right after, when they are very tiny). Mystery snails lay their eggs in clutches just above the surface of the water, and if you don’t move them, your black moors will gobble them right up. Once the snails have grown to a big enough size to not be a meal anymore, they should be safe to transfer back to the tank if you so choose.
When it comes to tank mates, black moor goldfish are typically pretty easygoing. They can get along with many other types of fish and can live with several different species quite happily. Just remember to choose companions that the black moor can’t eat!