Black Moor Turning Gold – Why and How To Prevent It?

Has your Black Moor Goldfish turned orange? Should you be worried about the change in color? Black Moor Goldfish have been known to turn orange as they age. For new Goldfish keepers, it is only natural to be alarmed. Did someone swap my black Goldfish with an orange one? That is not the case, most likely. This article will discuss how and why a Black Moor Goldfish turns orange.

Most of the time that your Black Moor Goldfish changes into an Orange Moor Goldfish, there is nothing to be concerned about. There are many factors that contribute to this change in color. Can you reverse it? Maybe, or maybe not. It all depends on what has caused the color change, and how quickly you act on correcting it if it can be corrected.

Black Moor Goldfish

Causes Behind Black Moor Goldfish Changing Colour

Most of the Black Moor Goldfish have been known to switch colors over their lifetime. Some of the reasons behind this phenomenon are harmless, while some can be an indication of something harmful. Let me discuss them all with you.

1. Velvet Disease

It is only natural that fish living in tanks contract a disease now and then. Most of these diseases are caused by viruses and bacteria. One such disease is the velvet disease, which is caused by the presence of a parasite named Oodinium. This parasite sinks into the body of the Goldfish and starts to eat up its cells of the Goldfish. Soon, the parasite begins to reproduce and is released from the host Goldfish body to find new hosts. The velvet disease can cause greyish-yellow patches on your Black Moor Goldfish, which can keep growing in size. If your Goldfish has been lazy and sluggish lately, all the while changing its color, there is a high chance that it is suffering from the velvet disease.

Velvet Disease

2. Ich

Another famous color-changing disease among Goldfish is the ich. It causes white spots to form on the body of the Goldfish, which can be mistaken for a color change, especially in the Black Moor Goldfish. Ich is also highly contagious and can spread easily to other Goldfish and fish in the tank.

3. Columnaris Disease

This is also a bacterial disease caused by the bacteria named Flavobacterium columnare. This disease also caused greyish-white spots and patched on Black Moor Goldfish and any Goldfish in general. If you observe that your Black Moor Goldfish has grey and white patches appearing, along with moldy lesions and their fins appearing to be torn, there is a high possibility that your Black Moor Goldfish is not healthy and is suffering from Columnaris Disease.

gold fish Columnaris Disease

4. Poor Water Quality

It may not seem possible but poor water conditions can be a leading cause behind your Black Moor Goldfish turning orange. Uneaten and decaying food can build up in your Goldfish tank, along with the waste of your Goldfish. All of these elements combined to give rise to the water’s ammonia and Nitrite levels. High ammonia and Nitrite levels ate extremely dangerous for your fish and can be the reason why your Black Moor Goldfish is turning orange.

5. Water Temperature

As much as it may seem like a myth, higher water temperatures can cause your Black Moor Goldfish to turn orange. The ideal temperature for your Goldfish to live in is 72 to 74 °F. Temperature higher than this can highly contribute to the color changing in your Black Moor Goldfish.

gold fish Water Temperature

6. Less Sunlight

Ever heard of melanin in fish? It actually exists. Melanin is the substance in our skin that allows light from the sun to absorb into our skin, but most importantly this substance is what gives each skin its distinctive color. For Black Moor Goldfish, it is essential to keep them in sunlight so that the melanin absorbs the sunlight to keep the color they have. If you have been keeping your Black Moor Goldfish away from the sunlight lately, and observe a color change, all they might need is a bit of tanning in the sunlight.

7. Impure Black Genes

Due to mass production and cross-breeding, the pure gene code for Black Moor Goldfish has become very rare. The Black Moor Goldfish that you bought from the market, may not have a pure black gene, which causes the Goldfish to change color as it grows. It is sad to observe that the pure black gene is now highly compromised due to cross-breeding. If your Goldfish has not been feeling lazy and has no other symptoms, there is a high chance that its genes are impure, and as the Goldfish ages, it will turn completely orange or white. Sadly, there is nothing you can do to prevent this, but on the bright side, a disease is not the reason behind the color change.

What is the Process of Black Moor Goldfish Turning Orange?

In the case of impure genetics, there is a good chance that the baby Black Moor Goldfish you bought will turn grey as it ages. There is no way to tell though if it will change in color or not until it starts doing so.

  1. During the first 3 to 4 months, the Black Moor Goldfish will remain black
  2. As the Goldfish begins to age and develop into a fully grown fish, you might observe white or orange-colored patches on your Black Moor Goldfish. This can happen when the Goldfish is around 5 to 7 months of age.
  3. The color continues to spread, and by the age of 1, your once “black” Moor Goldfish, will have turned completely orange, golden, and in some cases, white.
Process of Black Moor Goldfish Turning Orange

Some Misleading Clues in Colour Change

If you have been keenly observing your Black Moor Goldfish, and have observed a color change, it might not be what you think it is. Your Goldfish may not be changing color at all. Here is what else could be happening:

1. Slime Coat Thickening

In case you see a whitish layer appearing on your Black Moor Goldfish, this is their slime coat thickening. Goldfish have slime coats on their bodies which prevent the penetration of parasites and infectious bacteria into their bodies. In poor water conditions, as a survival instinct, the Goldfish develop a thickened slime coat around their bodies, to prevent diseases in the compromised water quality. This is good for the Goldfish as they have become more immune to diseases and infections, but it also indicates that regular water changes are required. As much as this thickened coat will help them, it too can shred off in highly poor water conditions, and regular water changes are required no matter what.

Slime Coat

2. Loss of Scales

If your Black Moor Goldfish has turned silver in color, it may not be going through a color change at all. Your Goldfish has just lost its scales which has caused it to appear silver. No need to worry, as the scales will grow back on their own and are completely normal to shred off, provided that your Goldfish is completely healthy otherwise.

Preventing and Reversing Colour Change

Apart from genetics playing a role in the color change of your Black Moor Goldfish, the changes can be reversed and prevented to at least stop the color change process if not fully reverse it. To do that, you must prevent the causes that lead to the change.

1. Treating Velvet Disease

To treat velvet disease here is what you can do:

  1. Add Quinine salts to the water in your Goldfish tank. They are great at fighting off parasites.
  2. Copper Sulphate is excellent at removing parasites and killing them in water. It is readily available but you must ensure that you follow the instructions when adding it to the water, as excess may be harmful to your Goldfish.
  3. While treating your Goldfish tank for velvet disease and other parasitic infections, be sure to turn off the carbon filters in your fish tank. Carbon filters do not allow chemicals, such as those used to kill parasites, to build up in the water tank.
  4. Another effective approach to kill off parasites is to keep the tank in the dark or under dim lights. This greatly affects the growth of parasites which otherwise can grow very rapidly.

2. Treating Ich

Here is what can be done to treat Ich:

  1. Ich does not survive well in warm waters. To kill it off, you can gradually increase the temperature of your Goldfish tank to 80 °F. Make sure that you increase the temperature slowly and not suddenly as the sudden change can be deadly for your Goldfish. Also, make sure that you decrease the temperature back to normal after a few hours, as the high temperature can risk the health of your Goldfish.
  2. Ich can spread easily if you have live plants in your Goldfish tank. It is best to remove live plants from the tank if you think your Goldfish has developed ich.
  3. If one of your Goldfish has been showing the symptoms of ich, it is best if you quarantine it as soon as possible. Ich can spread very quickly from one fish to another. Isolating the infected fish will not only kill off the ich but will also prevent its spreading.

3. Water Changes

Polluted or dirty water is not just responsible for the color change in your Black Moor Goldfish but is also extremely harmful to them. Regular water changes are required to keep your Goldfish healthy and for them to retain their color. Ideally, you must change the water in your Goldfish tank once every two weeks. For more populated tanks, you can change the water once every week. Do keep testing your Goldfish tank water for high Ammonia and Nitrite levels, as they too can be deadly for your Goldfish. You can do this by easily available testing kits that you can buy from the local pet store.

4. Ideal Water Temperature

Make sure that your Black Moor Goldfish only get as much sunlight as required. Keeping them out in the sun can also increase the water temperature of their tank, which must ideally be at 72 °F. You must ensure a balance in their sunlight and water temperatures.

gold fish Water Temperature

Black Moor Goldfish Turning Orange and Dying

If your Black Moor Goldfish has turned orange and has died after doing so, there is a high possibility that the color change was not natural, but due to a disease. Sadly, there is not much that you can do now, but you can still prevent the disease from spreading to your other Goldfish.


Black Goldfish turning orange may come as a surprise to most Goldfish keepers, but it can be a blessing in disguise. The color change may be what alerts you to check on your Goldfish for a disease. However, in the case of simple genetics causing this color change, it is said that such a valuable species, the Black Moor Goldfish, is becoming rare. If your Black Moor Goldfish manages to stay black throughout its life, you may be one lucky Goldfish keeper!

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