Swordtail Fish – Tropical Aquarium Fish Care Guide


The swordtail fish is easy to breed, peaceful and a bearer of life. It can be obtained in many color variations, as well as fin and tail variations. The most common varieties of them areRed Wag Swordtail


Red Velvet Swordtail

Marigold Swordtail

Black Nubian Swordtail

Pineapple Swordtail

Neon Swordtail

The male has an extension at the bottom of the tail, similar to a sword. Ensure that you provide adequate coverage to the aquarium because Swordtail is a jumper. This fish is very popular among all aquarists, from beginners to advance.

The male is generally aggressive towards other males, therefore special care and attention must be given when keeping more than one. It is a livebearer and can give birth to up to 80 fries simultaneously. In order to protect the swordtail fry from adults, a laying box or a thick floating cover is recommended.

Ideal tank mates include Guppies, Platies, Mollies, Tetras, Rasboras, Gouramis, Rainbowfish, Danios, Angelfish,  Plecos and Scavenger Catfish.

Facts About Swordtail Fish

1. Family: Poeciliidae

2.Range: Mexico, Central America

3.Size: Up to 4.5 inches

4.Diet: Omnivore

5.Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Well-planted, open areas

6.Tank Conditions: 64-82°F; pH 7.0-8.3; dH 12-30

7.Minimum Tank Capacity: 20 gallons

8.Light: Medium

9.Temperament: Peaceful

10.Swimming Level: Top to middle

11.Care Level: Easy

12.Reproduction: Livebearer

In today’s time, they are referred to as one of the most popular tropical aquarium fish. The number of blood relatives for color perfection has reduced their potency. However more recently, a recovery in aquarium tanks has seen of wild-type of Sword tail. This is due to their capability to survive well in public tanks.

Housing and the Stocking of Fish:

Swordtail fish are of medium-size. They do not need plenty of areas to live in because of their small size. However, since they’re very active, they need comparatively great area than other fishes which is enough for swimming.

If you intend to feature a lot of fish for a decent company, decide to host them in a minimum of one 29-gallon fish tank. The perfect fish tank ought to have lots of area for swimming and plenty of plants. The tank ought to acquire a cap to stop the fish from jumping out and dying.

Also, Have A Look At 75 Gallon Fish Tank Guide(Equipment, Fishes And Setup Ideas).

But the male may be territorial and can fight against different males within the tank. Thus you must not keep a fish tank filled with males, regardless of how stunning they will look. The most effective ratio between male and feminine is one male and 3 or four females. In such a manner, the males will not overly harass the female swordtails.

By this, the harassment is going to be distributed equally. You ought to set up your fish tank with plants and different coverings that the females hide from the males and conjointly that the males hide from one another.

However, watch out to not use too several fish tank woods in your tank because they might cause the water to become acidic. They like saltwater conditions between pH scale seven and eight. They are fantastic jumpers, therefore think about covering your fish tank to stop potential suicide tries.

Also, Check Out How to Setup Saltwater Aquarium?

Water Requirement of Swordtails:

They are tropical aquarium fish and are sturdy. They can survive at 65-82⁰Fahrenheit water temperature.

Though they’re adaptable to any environmental conditions and are quite sturdy, they avoid abrupt and violent temperature changes. This is because these sudden temperature fluctuations may harm the fish. Also, these temperature fluctuations can weaken their immune system.

They prefer a perfect water pH scale from 7.0 to 8.4. Also, they prefer hard water ranging from 12 to 30dGH. In short, they like soberly alkaline hard water. Always make it certain that the water is filtered.

Type of Fish Feeding for Swordtail


They can follow a diet consisting solely of tropical scales or pellets just like most tiny tropical fresh fish. Sadly, this is the only option a person sees to feed the swordtails in their homes. An easy logic can recommend that a varied diet can do wonders for the development of your fish.

Also, Have A Look At Oscar fish(Care, Breeding, Food, Tankmates).

The best food for them is blood worms. This is because; these blood worms are rich in proteins and contain omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are healthy for the fish. They can eat a wide range of foods. You can provide them foods like:


2.Pickled shrimp

3.Two-winged insect’s larvae such as a mosquito.

Do not overlook their want for adequate herbivore food. Make it certain that you provide them with a perfect mixture of protein and plants to perfectly meet their daily dietary needs. You have to consider whether your swordtail float or sink while you are choosing fish food for them.

Feed them about a pinch of food every day. You can select a particular time for feeding but generally, try to feed them in the morning. Try to avoid doing it after changing the water because it will just cloud it up.

There will also be debris floating around so if you put in food, they might mistake the debris for food that started sinking to the bottom and eat it and get a fungal infection and finally die. That would be awful! Whatever they can eat in 2 minutes is best for daily feeding.

Swordtails Fish can go a long time without food but it’s not a good idea to try. They will eat themselves sick if they are overfed. It will also cloud up the water. Any uneaten food can be removed with a net to keep the water clean for longer. Quick Read: How to clean a fish tank?


Origin and Swordtail Fish Care

Taking care of them is a simple task. The only issue you actually ought to make sure of is that the size of the tank. Though in a 10-gallon fish tank they will live totally different lines of swords, it might be better if they had a bigger area to move.

They love swimming for which they want a large area. The minimum capacity of a fish tank for swordtails is 20 gallon. However, they can also live in bigger tanks and would rather be more welcome.

They produce offspring only in 3 months and are still capable of reproducing more every 4-6 weeks. Another chance to think about is that the undeniable fact that this fish will turn out 150 babies during birth.

Most of them come from Central American country, Central American nation, and Mexico, wherever they’re found in the majority of places that have a supply of freshwater – like mountain creeks, streams, and rivers in the lower part of these countries.

The waters in these areas have high oxygen content, move quickly and have an acidity varying from 5.5 to 7.8. The hardness of water ranges from 1 DH to 24 DH. The water temperature is 75 degrees which are same in all those regions. In their captive condition, they seem to be at best at home with water that has 10-15 DH, is moderately alkaline (at 7.2) and with a temperature ranging from 72 to 79 ° F.

Swordtail Breeding:


They reproduce solely in the perfect water conditions like most other fishes. No fish takes the risk of wasting valuable resources by having the young ones in poor conditions in order to survive the fry. Once the atmosphere is best suited for them to live in the correct breeding conditions for the fish tank takes place.

In general, they survive well in salt waters with a pH between 6.8 and 7.8. Whereas adults can survive in a very wide pH range, the swordtail fry is much more vulnerable and survive below more stringent conditions. That is why they should have the most effective potential atmosphere before it starts to breed.

They are livebearers and can provide life to young people. Livebearers are a wonderful fish for breeding as a result of they typically reproduce with negligible intervention by the house owners. Live-bearded offspring are free to swim and are quite massive when they are born. They have a much greater probability of surviving better and going to adulthood as compared to egg-raised fish.

What If You are planning to breed them?

If you are planning to breed them, the fish tank should have a lot of females than males. One male in 3 females is typically suggested for the best chance of success of the swordtail breeding to take place. Also, this increases the probability of having a better offspring’s.

During sexual practice, the males swim endlessly beside and break the females. This is stressful for the female and also the male’s continuous movement can wear down the females. That is why it is vital to accommodate a large number of females than males in order to reduce stress on individual females.

The males tend to fight when in larger numbers even though when they are kept within the breeding tank. It’s vital to possess solely a few males and lots of areas to swim. Never increase the number of males in the breeding tank as this will only intensify the strain in the fish further.

The pregnant woman shows a swollen belly and a dark and pregnant spot during pregnancy. It will obviously become obvious that the female is bringing young people near birth. The belly is going to be a lot larger than usual and also the female swordtails can often struggle to move around within the storage tank.

They will become lethargic within the days before birth. It might not eat properly or swordtail fish will tend to hide at the back of the fish tank and will become very territorial. It is important to get rid of the mother from the breeding tank after giving birth. This makes sure that the survival for the young fry is most effective.

Also, Read Out African Cichlid Care Guide.

Some house owners value more highly to let the fry attempt to survive alone within the larger tank. However obviously, you will also have to offer hiding places within the tank for fried fish to have an opportunity. Or else, no matter how fit the fry is, no one can survive.


Swordtail Fish Tank Care:


Special care for the storage tank is not required for swordtail fish care. Also, they aren’t too demanding all thanks to their body adaptation. However, the tank ought to have regular water changes of 25th every 2-4 weeks. The tank might need a lot of or less frequent water changes depending on the number of fish present and also the water conditions.

As with most of this family, it’s conjointly recommended to feature 1-1.25 teaspoons of fish tank salt per gallon. Make sure during water changes, you exchange the normal water with salt water.

The water that evaporates will leave the salts behind; therefore it’s not necessary to feature a lot of salt if the gaseous water is being topped up. Change the water monthly. Make 25% water changes in every 2-4 weeks, or more often with severely kept tanks.

Also, Check Out Molly Fish Care Guide.

Common Fish Diseases:


Swordtails fish are comparatively resistant to diseases. They do not have any particularly sturdy weaknesses for certain diseases. Still, they’re subjected to some identical diseases same as that of other tropical aquarium fish. One of the most common freshwater fish illnesses or disease is itch.

The most effective way to prevent or stop this disease is to provide them with the right atmosphere and a well-balanced nutritious diet. It is important that the fish tank closely resemble their natural environment. This is because it will lessen the stress on fish, making them healthier and happier. Illness is most likely to occur in a stressed fish.

Things which you add to your tank can introduce illness. Not only the other fit fishes will get ill but also the plants, substrate, and decorations will harbor bacteria. You have to take great care and attention to this. Ensure to properly clean or separate anything that you simply add to a well-known tank in order to not upset the balance.

Some of the common bacterial and parasitic infections found in swordtail fish are described below:

Bacterial Rot of the Fins

In bacterial rot, the fish can have broken fins that can be torn or frayed. At times, the fish may have a white lining on its edges. However, the rotting of the fins can occur with any fish fight

Body Fungus:

Body fungus is usually referred to as the mouth fungus. The primary sign of the illness is at times cotton-like growth around the mouth region.

White Point Ich:

It is similar to as an individual had ants crawling on his/her body. It’ll conjointly scratch the surfaces within the fish tank.

These were some of the common diseases in a sword tail. These diseases can be cured or treated with medicines the medicines are easily accessible at your native fish store. However, you should be able to identify these medicines properly and in advance so that you can easily administer the right treatment.

Life Span

Swordtails Fish are bearers of life, which implies that the method of giving birth can put a strain on their very little bodies. As they age, they tend to become more lethargic. Also, their colors seem to become more opaque, even though they do not die.

All thanks to their fit body type. They begin to diminish as they age, however, what kills them is typically an illness or physical stress. The common life span is 3-4 years. Some of them die at early stages due to the stress they get from giving birth.


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