Meet Starsky, the one-eyed black moor goldfish miracle.

For about three years now, I have been a proud mama to the most ridiculous goldfish ever to exist, Starsky. My favorite creature buddy of them all, Starsky is a true story of perseverance and a determination for life. Once upon a time, little Starsky resided in a tank alongside Eze, two other goldfish and a very temperamental crawdad. The other fish nipped at his fins, and the grump crustacean eventually severed all of Starsky’s fins in a cruel massacre one night. For weeks, poor Starsky could only swim in circles. To top off his misery, my aquatic friend acquired an unusual eye infection while I was out of town two years ago, which caused his eyeball to literally explode. It was a terrible scene that ended with the other fish consuming the disintegrated bits of eyeball and optic nerve.

How can a creature survive such torment and disfiguration? I simply have no answer. Yet years later, after countless periods of medication and careful watch, his fins have entirely regrown, his eye socket has completely healed over and he is good as new, aside from some scarring on his long back fins. Starsky now lives in his own tank, lazily swimming circles as he observes the world through his one good eye. He tells an amazing tale of survival, and proves that anyone can come back from even the most dire situation.

Starsky is no ordinary fish. Unlike pathetic bettas that have no character – and are quite obviously robots in my opinion – Starsky is bursting with personality. When I return from climbing trips, he furiously swims back and forth in front of his tank until I give him attention. If he’s feeling hungry, he eagerly laps his fat mouth at the top of his tank until I sprinkle a few flakes of food into his water.

I was stunned to learn that black moor goldfish have an average lifespan of 25 whooping years. Looks like me and my buddy have a very long life together ahead of us, and that’s quite alright with me. I have trouble falling asleep without the murmuring sound of his tank filter; he’s like my own living safety blanket, always there to cheer me up with his silent antics.

Photographing Starsky has proved to be a daunting challenge. I’ve snapped dozens of shots of his black, bulbous body, but none have done him justice. Fortunately for you, Niko managed to capture an excellent image of Starsky while playing around with my camera. It doesn’t quite showcase his stunning lack of an eyeball, but it gives a pretty damn good illustration of the little guy. Enjoy!


Tags: , ,

Categories: Stories & Odes

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

8 Comments on “Meet Starsky, the one-eyed black moor goldfish miracle.”

  1. Rosa
    January 5, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    such a beautiful story!!

    • January 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      You were there to witness Starsky’s humble beginnings!

  2. Amber
    January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    That’s so amazing! I have a black moor goldfish (named Othello) and he’s by far the hardiest fish I’ve ever seen. Nothing traumatic has happened to him yet, but he deals very well with temperature changes and moving him to different tanks. I’m glad Starsky is so strong, thanks for the story!

    • January 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Thank you, Amber! Black moors are a fantastic species, I’ve never met a fish with more personality. I hope Othello enjoys a long and lovely life.

  3. January 15, 2011 at 2:39 am #


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  4. February 14, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    this is a cool site . the black moor is at great fish to own .sad story. he is as tough as nails though.

  5. alex
    January 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    hi there, thanks for the inspiring story. I mistakenly put a small moor in with a very large fantail and one of his eyes was completely sucked out. I feel terrible and have him ina quarantine tank at the moment. he has a huge hole in his head now. Any advice you have would be much appreciated. I hope Starsky is doing well.

    • January 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      Oh no! Sorry to hear about your little moor – but they’re resilient fish, so he could pull through! Good move putting him into quarantine. Head over to the pet shop and see what kind of supplements/medicine you can get to add to his quarantine water – and this may sound silly, but keep him company. Starsky got sick so many times, and really bonded with me while I was tending to him; he trusted me 100% and eventually was calm whenever I was trying to help him.

      Sadly, little Starsky passed away two summers ago while I was out on a road trip. My roommate at the time overfed him, it broke my heart. I hope your fish survives, keep me updated!

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