The Swordtail <Xiphophorus hellerii> is popular extremely. It is among the prettiest aquarium fish and incredibly hardy. In the open, it comes with an olive green body with red and yellow along the sides and sometimes colorful speckles on its fins. With this coloration, it really is most called the Green Swordtail or the Red Swordtail commonly. However, in captivity, today it’s been bred into the fabulous colors which make it so highly prized.
Swordtails are colorful and hardy fish that produce an excellent addition to the passive community aquarium. Swordtails are easy to breed, and new color varieties are developed through selective breeding programs. Swordtails add color and interest to the passive community aquarium and make an ideal addition for the novice to expert alike.
Indeed, the stunning male’s “sword” tail is among the most striking physical characteristics possible in virtually any aquarium fish. Though this dramatic tail fin does not have any apparent purpose even, it makes up about from 1/4 to 1/3 of the full total amount of the fish! The wild species have a more majestic tail even, with swords up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The sword is shorter in tank-bred specimens but complemented by the beautiful colors that are actually available.
The Swordtail is perhaps the quintessential community aquarium fish. The time-tested popularity of the Swordtail can be attributed to its ease of care, peaceful temperament, and wonderfully diverse fin and color varieties. The most common Swordtail varieties include Red Wag, Red Velvet, Marigold, Black Nubian, Pineapple, and Neon Swordtail. The male Swordtail is especially prized for its namesake feature, the showy extension on the lower part of its tail resembling a sword.
The Swordtail requires an aquarium of at least 30 gallons that is well planted with plenty of room for swimming. The Swordtail is a jumper, so be sure to provide an adequate cover over the aquarium. Peaceful in nature, the Swordtail is well suited for the community aquarium. Males can be aggressive toward one another so care should be taken when housing more than one.
The Swordtail is an omnivore that will eat commercially prepared flaked foods, freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex, brine shrimp as well as algae.
Swordtail fish are not only pretty but easy to breed and fast-growing. Swordtails are livebearers and can give birth to as many as 80 fries at one time. A spawning box is recommended, or if one is not available, the dense floating cover should be provided to protect the fry from the adults. They are quite hardy and thus make wonderful fish for the beginner. They are generally peaceful, lively fish that swim in loosely grouped schools and thrive in a community. They do best in a well-planted tank with lots of room to swim around. Provide floating plants to protect the young as the parents often eat their fry. Like all livebearers, they do like a bit of salt, though it is not necessary.
Like all livebearers Swordtails live best in a group with a few male Swordtails and several females. Swordtails are good tank mates for Mollies, Platies, Angels, Corydoras Catfish, Plecostomus, and Bigger Tetras such as Black Skirts, Red Series, Neon Tetra Fish, and smaller less aggressive fish.
Minimum Tank Size: 20-30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Water Conditions: 64-82° F, KH 12-30, pH 7.0-8.3