Swordtail Overview:

Swordtails normally have olive green bodies having a red stripe that stretches along their bodies. Swordtails like to live in Central America & North America, where they were first found in 1848. They have an average size & can achieve a max. size of up to 5.5 inches. Swordtails live in communities, & they are hardy & recommended for beginners. Swordtails are also known as beginners’ fish & this is the reason behind its popularity. They can live in highly dense environments.

Swordtail is an elongated fish, that can be as long as 5 inches. Swordtails seem similar to platies.

Swordtails have unique fin types & they can be discovered in multiple colors, & they are known as Red or Green Swordtails. Nowadays, hobbyists have been successful in getting different colors because of selective breeding, so there is abundance of swordtail types available.

Swordtails are famous aquarium fish. They have a pointed extension which extends off the back of their tail fin & hence named as swordtails. Male & female swordtails have multiple differences.

Only male swordtails have this extension of tail fin. Females do not have an extension but rather a rounded tail fin. Bodies of female swordtails are rounded; fuller & they are about an inch & half longer when fully mature.

It is crucial to find the sex of swordtails, & make sure you have social distance between male & female in case you don’t want breeding.

If keeping both male & female swordtails together, then ensure you have 2 to 3 females for a single male. Because males have habit of chasing females for mating, if you keep more male swordtails than females, then females may get stressed due to excessive chasing & could get exhausted. Stress causes fish to get ill.


Swordtail
Swordtail
Image Credit: aquariumnexus.com

There is no purpose of having a sword but male swordtails look beautiful with swords. Swords of the male commonly have a black band along the bottom edge.

It is interesting to know that you can breed swordtails with platies.

Plants & decorations in the tank will provide babies a place to hide soon they hatch. Fries might be eaten up by fish if they do not find shelter quickly after they are out of female bodies.

Swordtails need simple care, they are peaceful in nature, & they have beautiful diverse fin & a number of varieties in colors.

They need a tank that contains at least 15 gallons of fresh water. It must be planted well & should have enough space for free swimming. They like to live in community tanks due to their peaceful nature. Male swordtails can exhibit territorial aggression towards other males so make sure you do not add many males in the same aquarium.

Swordtails like to eat omnivorous diet including flake food & algae grown up in the aquarium & frozen dried worms, tubiflex & brine shrimp.

Approximate buying size of the fish is from one & half inch, to two & half inch.

 

Swordtail Aquarium Size:

If you want to keep them with the same species in tank or put them in a community tank with other species, make sure you satisfy their general needs.

Swordtails are non-aggressive fish. They like being in peace in community tanks & their requirement is not high. By adding more male swordtails than females, you may experience fighting in the community.

Swordtails are hardy & they are a great addition to the aquarium. It is simple to breed them, & they can grow unique color offspring if you want to breed them selectively. Swordtails look beautiful & add a variety of colors to your aquarium, & they are a great addition to a community aquarium.

Swordfish can achieve an average size & they do not require more free space due to their small size, but it is an active fish, & make use of the free space it has in tank to swim around. Make sure you have a minimum aquarium size of 15 gallons. Adding more community fish into the tank, will need a tank size of 29 gallons. Top ratio for male to female is one male for three or four females. Hence it would be difficult for males to chase females more often. They like to jump outside of water, so cover your tank with a lid.

 

Swordtail Water Parameters:

Swordtail are hardy & can live in a wide range of temperatures. Swordtails are best for any water temperature b/w 65 to 82 Degree Fahrenheit. Even though swordtails can live in a variety of temperatures, avoid quick change in temperature, as this could be harmful for swordtails & their immune system could be weaken.

Swordtail likes hard water from 12 to 30 dGH & the best pH could be between 7 & 8.4. In general, they prefer to live in moderately alkaline, hard water.

Ensure that aquarium water is well filtrated. Setting up right filtration system, could result in strong water parameters. Aquarium inhabitants will love to thrive & live to the full potential.

 

Feeding Swordtails:

They like to eat a variety of diets. Feed them flake foods or live foods including worms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimps & more treats, as they like eating almost anything you offer them.

Swordtails are omnivorous & hence love to eat both plants & small crustaceans, insects & worms.

They are popular for eating algae & plants too. Make sure you feed them herbivorous food. Provide them a mix of protein & vegetables to please them.

 

Swordtail Tank Mates:

Swordtails are peaceful community fish that live active. They are local species & like to have a better company, when they are kept with rest of the swordtails or similar passive fish. They like to be with other livebearers including platies, guppies & mollies. Peaceful corydoras are also their best buddies. Bigger types of tetras are the best friends of swordtails, but they like to be in schools of 5 or over to stop harassment.

 

Breeding Swordtails:

Swordtails are simple to breed & beginners can easily breed them, if aquarium conditions are appropriate & if it consists of both males & females, reproduction will happen naturally.

Swordtails are live bearers like other fish such as mollies, guppies & platies. Female swordtails can even give birth to 80 babies at a time. Use a breeding box to save babies from mother. Adult swordtails may eat up even their own fries so protection is required. Separate a male swordtail baby from female once they grow up & their sex is recognizable. They can start reproduction once the fry reaches 3-month age, & can overpopulate your aquarium quickly.

Being livebearers, swordtails are the best companions at breeding efficiently & quickly, without the need for interference from the hobbyists. Once female of swordtail gets pregnant you would clearly witness a huge belly with a dark gravid spot close to the anal fin.

Once swordtails mother give birth to babies, then you must protect them from adults otherwise adult fish & parents might eat them. This can be done either by introducing plants that can provide hiding spots for the fries or by setting up a baby tank for fries. A lot of aquarists also use breeding box for breeding them to a younger age. When young swordtails are no longer looking like foods to the adult swordtails then it is the time to keep them in the same community aquarium with adult swordtails.

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