Is Swordtail beginners fish? Can I keep Swordtail fish in a bowl?

Swordtails need simple care because they can adapt to a variety of aquarium conditions. Swordtails are from the same family as Guppy, Platies etc. They are livebearers, which means they give birth to babies directly instead of laying eggs. Babies swim freely out of the bellies of mothers.

Swordtails can adapt to a variety of conditions & they don’t need special equipment. You can simply keep them healthy. They can tolerate common mistakes usually made by beginners so Swordtails are good for starters who have little or no experience of fish keeping. However, like other freshwater fish, Swordtails have their own requirements too.

Can beginners start with low maintenance Swordtail fish?
Can beginners start with low maintenance Swordtail fish?

How to setup an aquarium or bowl for Swordtail fish?

The initial consideration should be to select an appropriate tank size for Swordtails. Usually aquarists suggest a 15-gallon aquarium for Swordtail but if you want to keep multiple Swordtails, then go for a 30-gallon or bigger aquarium. If you are keeping Swordtail fish in a bowl then you can choose a 10-gallon fish bowl for keeping few Swordtails. Swordtails are active fish & they love swimming so if you provide a large open area, then they will appreciate it. Aquarists usually keep Swordtails in community aquariums that contain different types of fish due to the small size & peaceful nature of Swordtails. Community tanks are large, & Swordtails live happily with other peaceful freshwater fish. I have kept a few Swordtails in a 15-gallon fish bowl, & they started breeding so I shifted the babies to a separate tank. My Swordtails performed well in a bowl because I offered them plantation with enough open area for swimming in a 15-gallon fish bowl. Swordtails love plants, & they hide in them when they are stressed.  


Lifespan of Swordtail:

The average lifespan of Swordtail is from 3 to 5 years. If you keep your Swordtail in ideal conditions, then it can live a longer life.


Swordtail fish like aquatic plants:

In the wild, Swordtails like living in streams with heaps of aquatic plants. Swordtails like abundance of aquarium plants, & plants can help filter waste, leftover food & other debris in Swordtail aquarium. Aquatic plants absorb CO2 produced by fish & provide oxygen for fish during the day. Swordtails need hiding spots & they love to hide in aquarium plants. When Swordtails are hiding, they are not stressed. If there are no or less hiding spots in the aquarium, then your Swordtail will be stressed.


Add a filter to the Swordtail fish tank:

Swordtails also need a filter that wipes out fish waste as well as other detritus. New fish keepers should consider adding a filter in their aquarium as the filter traps solid debris particles that would otherwise rot & release ammonia. Another role of filters is to remove ammonia & other toxic chemicals from the water using biological filtration media. I have setup a power filter in my bowl that keeps it clean. Swordtails are small fish so they do not make big mess like bigger fish.  


Add a heater to the Swordtail fish tank:

Swordtail fish need to be kept ideally in warm water that has a temperature range between 65 °F – 82 °F. In the wild, Swordtail fish live in warm streams. A heater is mandatory for Swordtail if you are living in a cold region. You can avoid a heater if your area temperature is within the ideal temperature range for Swordtail or if you have setup your aquarium in a warm room. I have used a heater in my bowl as Swordtails are tropical fish, & they need warm water for survival.


Water Parameters for the Swordtail fish tank:

  • Temperature Range: 65 °F – 82 °F
  • pH Range: 7.0 to 8.4 (little alkaline)
  • Hardness: 12 - 35 dGH (very hard)

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