The Swordtail is an easy-to-keep, peaceful, live-bearing fish. It can be obtained in many colour variations, as well as fin and tail variations. The most common varieties include Red Wag, Red Velvet, Marigold, Black Nubian, Pineapple and Neon Swordtail. The male has an extension on the lower part of its tail, resembling a sword. The Swordtail is a jumper, so be sure to provide an adequate cover over the aquarium. This fish is very popular with all aquarists, from beginners to advanced.
The Swordtail requires a tank of at least 80 litres that is well planted with plenty of room for swimming. Because of its peaceful nature, the Swordtail is well suited for the community aquarium, although it will sometimes eat fry. The male can be aggressive towards other males, so care should be taken when housing more than one.
The Swordtail is a livebearer and can give birth to as many as 80 fry 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. Once sex is determined, the males should be separated because swordtails can begin breeding at as young as three months of age.
The Swordtail is an omnivore that will eat commercially prepared flake foods and algae, as well as freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.
Ideal tank mates include Guppies, Platies, Mollies, Some Tetras, Rasboras, Rainbows, Danios, Gouramis, Bristlenose, Plecos and Scavenger Catfish.
- Species – Xiphophorus hellerii
- Common Name – Swordtail (black)
- Origin – Mexico, Central America.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 7 – 8.3
- Temperature – Tropical and Coldwater 16°c – 29°c
- Breed Type – Livebearer
- Current Size – approximately 5cm (Grows to approximately 12cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed