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Swordtails
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Swordtails are a popular beginner's fish because of their hardiness and the ease with which they breed.  Swortails originally came from South America.  Although originally a drab olive green in appearance, they have been bred into a number of variations, such as the Tuxedo (black on the body), Lyretail (forked tail) and Red Swordtail.  They are closely related to the Platy, but differ in that they have the distinctive swordtail on the males.  In fact Swordtails and Platies can interbreed.  Swordtails like brackish water, so it is advisable to add about a teaspoon of salt for a 5 gallon aquarium.  They eat flake foods, but will enjoy live brine shrimp and bloodworms.

More than one female should be kept with each male, to help reduce the stress on females from harassment by the male.  In addition to the sword tail, males have a gonopodium which is used to fertilize the female.  Females are larger and broader.  One fertilization can result in several sets of births.  When pregnant, females have a dark gravid spot near their anal fin.  Females can have young every 4 to 6 weeks.  They will seek an area of seclusion to give birth and can have anywhere from 10 to more than 50 young.  Swordtails will eat their young, so it is important to either have a heavy plant cover or a separate breeding tank.  Java moss will work well or a simple plastic breeding trap can be purchased at aquarium stores.  The young can be fed finely crushed flake food.

 Scientific Name:   Xiphophorus hellerii
 Family:   Poeciliid
 Temperature:   21 - 27 C; 70 - 81 F
 PH   7.0 - 8.0
 Size:    13 cm; 5 inches
 Life Span:    3 - 5 years
 Breeding:    Easy, Livebearer

Compatibility:

Angelfish, Barbs, Betta, Danios, Chinese Algae Eater, Clown Loach, Corydoras Catfish, GloFish, Large Tetras, Mollies, Platies, Plecostomus, one Red Tailed Shark, Silver Hatchet, Swordtails

Assorted Swordtail

(Xiphophorus helleri)
  Click here for a larger image
Assorted Swordtail
Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 64-82F; pH 7.0-8.3; KH 12-30
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 4"
Color Form: Black Nubian, Marigold, Neons, Pineapple, Red Velvet, Red Wag
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Farm Raised, Singapore
Family: Poeciliidae

The Swordtail is an easy to keep, peaceful, live-bearing fish. They come in many color 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 males have an extension on the lower part of their tails, resembling a sword. Swordtails are jumpers, so be sure to provide an adequte cover the aquarium. These fish are very popular with all aquarists, from beginners to advanced.

Swordtails require a tank of at least 20 gallons that is well-planted with plenty of room for swimming. Because of their peaceful nature, Swordtails are well suited for the community aquarium, although they will sometimes eat fry. Males can be aggressive toward one another so care should be taken when housing more than one.

Swordtails are livebearers and can give birth to as many as 80 fry at one time. A spawning box is recommended, or if one is not available, 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 flaked foods and algae as well as freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.

Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail

(Xiphophorus helleri)
  Click here for a larger image

Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail

Quick Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Tank Conditions: 64-82F; pH 7.0-8.3; KH 12-30
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 4"
Color Form: Orange, Red, Yellow
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet:  Omnivore
Compatibility: View Chart
Origin: Farm Raised, Singapore
Family: Poeciliidae

The Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail is a fin variation of the Xiphophorus helleri Swordtail and is an easy-to-keep, peaceful, live-bearing fish, available in many color variations including red, yellow, and orange. The male Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail has a feathery, lyre-shaped tail and flowing fins, with an extension on the lower part of their tails, resembling a sword. The fin variations of the female Lyretails are not as impressive. Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtails are jumpers, so be sure to provide an adequate cover over the aquarium. The Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail is a very popular fish with all aquarists, from beginners to advanced and makes a beautiful, graceful addition to any aquarium.

Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtails require a tank of at least 30 gallons that is well-planted with plenty of room for swimming. Because of their peaceful nature, Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtails are well suited for the community aquarium, although they will sometimes eat fry. Males can be aggressive toward one another so care should be taken when housing more than one.

Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtails are livebearers and can give birth to as many as 80 fry at one time. A spawning box is recommended, or if one is not available, 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 Hi Fin Lyretail Swordtail is an omnivore that will eat commercially prepared flaked foods and algae as well as freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp

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