Black Moscow Guppy: A Beginner’s Guide to Care, Breeding, and More

black moscow guppy

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Black Moscow Guppy: A Beginner’s Guide to Care, Breeding, and More

The Black Moscow Guppy is an excellent choice if you are looking to add some color diversity to your aquarium. Known for their striking appearance and peaceful nature, these tropical fish have become a favorite among hobbyists. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Black Moscow Guppies, covering their origin, tank setup, breeding, feeding, diseases, and more.

What Is a black moscow Guppy?

A Black Moscow Guppy is a selectively bred variant of the common guppy (Poecilia reticulata) fish species. These guppies are known for their striking appearance, featuring a jet-black body and shimmering scales. They are highly regarded in the aquarium hobby for their unique and captivating look. The “Moscow” in their name refers to the city where they were first selectively bred, which is Moscow, Russia.

Black Moscow Guppies are a popular choice among aquarists and are often sought after for their aesthetic appeal. These livebearers fish are typically smaller in size, with males reaching a length of about 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) and females being slightly larger. They are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live fry rather than laying eggs, which makes them relatively easy to breed in aquarium settings.

Their beautiful black coloration is achieved through selective breeding, where individuals with the darkest and most intense black coloration are chosen as breeding stock to produce offspring with the desired traits. When well-maintained in an aquarium with suitable water conditions and provided with a balanced diet, Black Moscow Guppies can maintain their stunning coloration and make for a captivating addition to any aquarium.

Origin of the Black Moscow Guppy

The Black Moscow Guppy, scientifically known as Poecilia reticulata, is a selectively bred variant of the common guppy. This captivating fish originated in the 1970s in Russia, thanks to the efforts of Moscow-based guppy enthusiasts. Its jet-black body and shimmering scales make it a standout in any aquarium.

Black Moscow Guppy Appearance

black moscow guppy, moscow guppy
© Michael’s fish room

The appearance of Black Moscow Guppies is truly captivating and distinguishes them from other guppy varieties. Here are the key features that define their striking appearance:

1. Jet-Black Body: As the name suggests, the most prominent feature of Black Moscow Guppies is their deep, jet-black body color. This black coloration is uniform and covers most of their body, including the tail, dorsal fin, and anal fin. The intensity of the black coloration can vary slightly among individuals, but it is typically quite dark and visually stunning.

2. Shimmering Scales: Black Moscow Guppies often have shimmering or metallic scales that give them a captivating and eye-catching appearance. These scales can reflect light, creating a beautiful and lustrous effect.

3. Distinctive Fins: The fins of Black Moscow Guppies are typically black as well, matching the body color. This consistency in coloration contributes to their overall elegance. The dorsal fin, which is the fin located on the top of the fish’s body, and the anal fin, located on the underside, are also black.

4. Heterogeneity: While Black Moscow Guppies are predominantly black, you may sometimes observe variations in coloration due to selective breeding. Some individuals may have subtle hints of other colors, such as blue or red, in their fins or tails, which can add a unique and intricate touch to their appearance.

These distinctive physical characteristics make Black Moscow Guppies highly sought after by aquarists looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their aquariums. Their elegant and sleek black appearance makes them stand out, whether they are kept in a community tank or showcased in a guppy-exclusive setup.

Where can you buy black moscow guppies?

You can purchase Black Moscow Guppies from a variety of sources, both online and in local fish stores. Here are some common places to find these captivating fish:

  1. Local Fish Stores (LFS): Many brick-and-mortar fish stores, often referred to as local fish stores (LFS), carry a selection of guppies, including Black Moscow Guppies. Visiting your nearest LFS is a great way to see the fish in person and get advice from knowledgeable staff.
  2. Aquarium Clubs and Associations: Check if there are any local aquarium clubs or associations in your area. These groups often have members who breed and sell various fish, including Black Moscow Guppies. Attending club meetings or events can be an excellent way to find quality guppies and connect with experienced hobbyists.
  3. Online Retailers: Numerous online retailers specialize in selling aquarium fish, and they often have a wide range of guppy varieties, including Black Moscow Guppies. Some reputable online sources include Aquabid, LiveAquaria, and various guppy-specific websites.
  4. Social Media and Forums: Online forums and social media platforms dedicated to aquarium enthusiasts, such as forums on Fishlore or Facebook groups, can be places to find guppy breeders and sellers. You can often connect with breeders directly and inquire about purchasing Black Moscow Guppies.
  5. Aquatic Expos and Auctions: Attend local aquatic expos, aquarium conventions, or auctions. These events can be a great opportunity to meet breeders, view their fish, and make purchases.
  6. Online Classifieds: Check online classified platforms like Craigslist or online marketplaces such as eBay. However, exercise caution when using these platforms and ensure the seller is reputable.

When buying Black Moscow Guppies, it’s essential to choose a reputable source or breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their fish. Ask about the fish’s care history, the water parameters they are accustomed to, and any guarantees or return policies. Additionally, quarantine new fish to prevent the introduction of diseases to your existing aquarium.

Always research the seller or source, read reviews or recommendations, and consider purchasing from sources with good reputations for quality and healthy fish.

How much is a Moscow Guppy?

The cost of Black Moscow Guppies can vary depending on several factors, including their quality, coloration, and where you purchase them. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $20 per fish. However, some particularly high-quality or selectively bred individuals can be more expensive, while common or less distinct specimens may be on the lower end of the price range. Source:

Here are some factors that can influence the price of Black Moscow Guppies:

  1. Quality: Fish with intense and uniform black coloration, along with well-defined metallic or shimmering scales, are typically more expensive. High-quality guppies often command higher prices.
  2. Lineage: Guppies with a prestigious lineage, especially those bred for specific traits, may be pricier due to their genetic heritage.
  3. Age and Size: Juvenile guppies are usually less expensive than fully mature adults. The size of the fish can also affect its price.
  4. Breeder Reputation: Guppies from well-known and respected breeders may come with a higher price tag due to their reputation for breeding high-quality fish.
  5. Rare Variants: Some Black Moscow Guppies may have unique or rare traits, such as unusual fin shapes or distinct color patterns, which can make them more valuable to collectors and hobbyists.
  6. Local vs. Online: Prices may vary between local fish stores and online retailers, with some online sellers offering competitive prices and shipping options.

When considering the price of Black Moscow Guppies, it’s important to balance your budget with your specific goals for your aquarium. Additionally, take into account any shipping or transportation costs if you are buying from a distant source.

Always buy from reputable sources to ensure the health and quality of the fish you’re purchasing. It’s also a good practice to quarantine new fish before adding them to your existing aquarium to prevent the spread of potential diseases.

Tank Setup for Black Moscow Guppies

Creating the ideal habitat for your Black Moscow Guppies is essential to ensure their well-being and to showcase their beauty. Here are the key aspects to consider: How to Set Up a Guppy Fish Tank: The 10 Step Guide for Beginners on setting up a guppy fish tank

Tank Size

A 10-gallon aquarium is suitable for a small group of Black Moscow Guppies. However, if you plan to keep a larger community, opt for a 20-gallon tank or more to accommodate their social nature and breeding tendencies.

Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water conditions is crucial. Keep the water temperature between 72-82°F (22-28°C) and the pH level around 7.0. Black Moscow Guppies thrive in slightly hard water, so consider a water hardness of 10-20 dGH.


Invest in a reliable filtration system to ensure clean and well-oxygenated water. Guppies, including Black Moscow Guppies, are sensitive to poor water quality, so regular water changes and filtration are a must. See: The Best Guppy Fish Tank Filter: How to Choose the Right Filter for your guppy fish tank

Substrate and Décor

Choose fine-grained gravel or sand as the substrate, as it mimics their natural habitat. Adding live or artificial plants not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides hiding spots and a sense of security for your fish.


Black Moscow Guppies don’t have specific lighting requirements. However, providing a natural day-night cycle with 8-10 hours of light per day is beneficial for their overall health.

Breeding Black Moscow Guppies

Breeding Black Moscow Guppies can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here’s how you can encourage breeding in your aquarium:

Male-Female Ratio

Maintain a ratio of 1 male to 2-3 females to prevent females from getting stressed due to excessive male attention. This will also reduce the likelihood of aggression among males.

Planted Breeding Tank

Consider setting up a separate breeding tank with ample plants, as this offers protection to the fry (baby guppies). The plants serve as hiding spots, allowing the fry to escape predation.

Water Quality

To encourage breeding, ensure that water conditions are pristine. Perform frequent water changes and maintain stable parameters, as mentioned earlier.

Livebearer Reproduction

Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live fry rather than laying eggs. A pregnant female will show a bulging belly, and you can expect the arrival of fry in approximately 3-4 weeks. The fry are typically self-sufficient and will start eating small, finely crushed fish flakes or baby brine shrimp.

Feeding Black Moscow Guppies

Proper nutrition is vital for the health and vibrancy of your Black Moscow Guppies. Here’s what you should know about feeding them:

High-Quality Flakes or Pellets

A diet consisting of high-quality flake food or pellets specifically formulated for guppies is the foundation of their nutrition. Look for foods that contain essential nutrients and are designed to enhance their color.

Supplementary Foods

Variety is key to a balanced diet. Supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. These provide essential proteins and mimic their natural diet.

Feeding Frequency

Feed your Black Moscow Guppies 2-3 times a day, but only in amounts they can consume within 2-3 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and obesity.

Vegetable Matter

Include vegetable matter in their diet, such as blanched spinach or zucchini, to support their digestive health.

Common Diseases and Health Care

Preventing and addressing diseases is crucial to keep your Black Moscow Guppies healthy. While there are numerous diseases that can affect guppies, a few are more common:

1. Ich (White Spot Disease)

Ich is characterized by white spots on the fish’s body, fins, and gills. Maintain a stable and clean environment to reduce the risk of this parasite. If an outbreak occurs, consider using commercial treatments.

2. Fin Rot

Poor water quality is a primary cause of fin rot. To prevent it, maintain pristine water conditions, and if your fish show signs of fin rot, isolate the affected fish and treat with antibiotics.

3. Dropsy

Dropsy is a severe condition characterized by bloating and scales that stick out. It is often linked to internal infections. Quarantine and treat affected fish, but the prognosis is typically poor.

4. Constipation

Constipation can affect guppies, especially if they are fed excessive dry foods. To prevent it, offer a balanced diet, including vegetable matter, and soak dry food in aquarium water before feeding.

Black Moscow Guppy tank Mates

Black Moscow Guppies are known for their peaceful and social nature, making them compatible with a wide range of tank mates. When choosing companions for your Black Moscow Guppies, consider fish that share similar water parameter requirements and won’t pose a threat to your guppies. Here are some excellent tank mates for Black Moscow Guppies:

  1. Other Guppy Varieties: Guppies of different varieties can coexist peacefully, creating a vibrant and diverse community tank. Just ensure there’s a balanced male-to-female ratio to prevent excessive male aggression. The Black Guppy, Red Dragon Guppy, Blue Moscow Guppy Dumbo Ear Guppy
  2. Platies: Platies are small, peaceful fish that come in various colors and patterns. They share similar water parameter requirements with guppies, making them great tank mates.
  3. Mollies: Mollies are another livebearer species that thrive in the same water conditions as guppies. They are peaceful but can be slightly larger, so consider tank size when keeping them together.
  4. Swordtails: Swordtails are closely related to guppies and are typically peaceful when kept in a community aquarium. Ensure a good male-to-female ratio to prevent male aggression.
  5. Tetras: Small tetra species like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, or Ember Tetras are often compatible with guppies. They add color and activity to the tank.
  6. Corydoras Catfish: These bottom-dwelling catfish are peaceful scavengers that help keep the substrate clean. They are a good choice for the lower region of the tank.
  7. Rasboras: Peaceful and active, Rasboras like Harlequin Rasboras or Chili Rasboras make great companions for guppies. They appreciate similar water conditions.
  8. Danios: Zebra Danios and other small danio species are active swimmers that can coexist with guppies. They are best suited for tanks with plenty of horizontal swimming space.
  9. Amano Shrimp: Amano shrimp are excellent for algae control and are peaceful tank mates for guppies. They are best suited for planted tanks.
  10. Snails: Snails like Nerite Snails or Malaysian Trumpet Snails can help with algae control and are generally harmless to guppies.

While Black Moscow Guppies are generally peaceful, it’s essential to consider the tank size and ensure there are hiding spots and plants to break lines of sight within the aquarium. This helps reduce potential territorial disputes and stress. Always monitor the behavior of your fish, especially when introducing new tank mates, and be prepared to separate any fish that show signs of aggression.

Remember that individual fish can have varying personalities, so it’s essential to observe their interactions and make adjustments as needed to maintain a harmonious community aquarium.

In conclusion, Black Moscow Guppies are a captivating addition to any aquarium, offering beauty and personality. By creating the right tank environment, understanding their breeding habits, and providing a balanced diet, you can ensure their well-being and enjoy their stunning presence. Staying vigilant about common diseases and practicing good aquarium maintenance will help your Black Moscow Guppies thrive for years to come.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Aquarium Enthusiast

I love sharing my knowledge about all things aquarium related. I have been keeping aquariums for over 20 years and cannot imagine a life without an aquarium. 

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