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Good comets seem to be rare these days, having been more popular 10-20 years
ago; not many are presented at shows now. Comets need pointed tail lobes, as
in an open pair of scissors, and the tail and its carriage are the most important
features of the type. They are fast swimmers and do well in ponds.
Comets were probably first produced in USA (or possibly in Europe). They are
known as swallowtails in the Far East.
The comet standard is as follows:
- Depth of body to be between 3/7ths and 3/8ths of body length
- Pectoral and pelvic fins to be paired, dorsal and anal fins to be single
- Caudal fin to be single, deeply forked and well spread
- Length of dorsal lobe of caudal fin to be greater than 3/4 of body length
- Extremities of fins to have a pointed appearance
- At least 25% of the body to be blue in calico fish
- Minimum body length to be 7.5 cm (3 inches)
The fish should be bright and alert with the caudal fin carried high without
drooping or overlapping. The body should be long and slender with a smooth outline.
Quality fish will have high colour intensity extending into the fins.
The colour may be metallic (self-coloured or variegated in a pleasing pattern
and similar on each side) or calico. Metallic colours should appear as burnished
metal, extending into the fins. Calico fish should have a blue background with
patches of violet, red, orange, yellow and brown, spotted with black.
Ideal profiles are illustrated below:
Mature adults, self-coloured red metallic
Red comet shown at BAS 2004.
Red comet shown at BAS 2001.
Mature adults, self-coloured yellow metallic
Self-coloured metallic yellow comets are less common than reds. The top fish
was shown at BAS 2007, the centre fish at BAS 2004 and the bottom fish (the camera caught the fish with tail folded) at BAS 1999.
© Bristol Aquarists' Society