Comet Goldfish Make Nice Little Pets
Comet goldfish might be called cheap goldfish. You can generally purchase one for about a quarter. One generally isn't going to put a large investment in an aquarium with all the trimmings for one or more of this type of goldfish. Tropical fish are much more exciting to look at, or show off to your friends, but a goldfish that costs a quarter? Forget it. The Comet (Carassius auratus auratus) is a rather attractive little fish though, with a somewhat lengthy, deeply-forked tail. Unlike some varieties of goldfish, the Comet is not a plump, tear-drop shaped fish, but is somewhat flat and rather elongated.
Still, the comet goldfish generally goes through its brief life being taken home as a prize from the county fair, or purchased by the dozen or more as food for other, larger fish. There are a number of pets you can keep who would like nothing more than a goldfish for the main course. Whether or not it was comet goldfish that were the star attractions when goldfish swallowing was the rage is hard to say, but it probably was the case. The fact that these goldfish don't have a particularly long life span also is a strike against them when it comes to buying one for a pet. We tend to want pets that live more than a year or two. Still, if you get a number of them, and replenish the number from time to time, you're not apt to get too attached to any one particular fish.
The comet goldfish is a relatively hardy fish however, and can be placed in a pond just as one would do with the much longer living koi. If you do decide to get one or more of these fish, buy them from a dealer who sells fish for the home aquarium or pond. If you purchase comet fish which are being sold as feeders, you are apt to get fish that are not particularly healthy, and which indeed are best suited as feeders.
Most comets are orange, but you can also find them in pure white, a wine color, or with black markings. Over a period of time the fish tend to turn orange in color, except for the white ones, which remain white. There are several varieties of the Comet, including the Pond Comet and the Sarasa Comet. Both types can be found with a red/white combination of colors, and the latter is characterized by long flowing fins. If you have a pond which is not allowed to freeze in the winter, these fish will thrive, as they are quite hardy, handling water temperatures down to the mid-30's. Get several, and they will spawn and keep you in comet fish for many years, given proper care. They are actually very lively fish and fast swimmers, so they manage to coexist quite nicely with koi and some other types of pond fish.
As far as water is concerned, comet goldfish eat fresh and flake foods, even frozen foods, such as brine shrimp. Freeze dried foods are somewhat advantageous as there is less chance of the fish being infected by parasites. The staple food however is flake food. If you have the fish in a tank rather than a pond, choose one that provides a large surface area of water to keep the oxygen content high. Although comet goldfish aren't overly fussy about water conditions, don't let the water become too dirty. A good practice is to change a third to a half of the water out each time rather than giving the fish completely fresh water, especially if it is tap water. With a pond of course this is not an issue. You might pay more than a quarter for a good, healthy comet fish, but they are still inexpensive as pet fish go.