Swordtail Fish Full Care Guide: All You Need To Know (2022)

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: December 26, 2021

The swordtail fish is a popular freshwater aquarium fish that is known for its long, colorful tail. There are many different species of swordtail fish, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. In this article, we will take a closer look at the swordtail fish and provide some tips on how to care for them.

Swordtail Fish Overview

Swordtail Fish
  • Scientific Name- Xiphophorus helleri
  • Common Name- Swordtail, Green swordtail, violet swordtail
  • Origin- Mexico and Guatemala
  • Size- Up to 4 inches in length
  • Life expectancy- 5 years in captivity
  • Difficulty level- Easy
  • pH- 6.5 - 8.0
  • Temperature range- 64°F to 78°F, although the optimal temperature for most swordtails is 73°F
  • Water hardness- 3d KH  
  • Minimum Tank Size- 10 gallons

The body of the swordtail fish is fairly long. It has a pointed snout with small teeth and also has two short barbels on its chin. On the top side of the fish's body, there is a long, colorful tail that can be red, green, or blue. The swordtail fish can grow up to 4 inches in length.

The swordtail fish is a member of the Cichlid family. They are colorful fish, with males typically having more vibrant colors than females. The most distinguishing feature of the swordtail fish is its long, colorful tail. Male swordtails have a "sword" on their backs, hence the name ".swordtail."

The swordtail fish is a popular freshwater fish that is known for its long, colorful tail. There are many different species of swordtail fish, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. Swordtails are found in Mexico and Guatemala in shallow ponds and streams.

They prefer water temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate to strong currents, so they make great additions to aquariums that include similarly-tempered fish like tetras and guppies. They get their name from the male's sword-shaped tail fin, which is used to impress females during courtship.

Swordtail Fish Facts

  • There are many different species of swordtails, including Xiphophorus helleri (Green Swordtail), Xiphophorus alvarezhollandiae (Alvarez' Swordtail), and Xiphophorus clemenciae (Clemence's Swordtail).
  • Male swordtails have a "sword" on their backs, hence the name.
  • Swordtails need their water to be between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Swordtails can be fed a diet of commercially-prepared fish food, as well as live and frozen foods.
  • Swordtails are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs.
  • Baby swordtails should be fed brine shrimp until they reach maturity when you can feed them a diet of small live and frozen food.

Varieties Of Swordtail Fishes

Several species belong to the Xiphophorus genus, and swordtail species can be broadly classified as either platies or swordtails. Platies are part of the sub-genus Xenophallus, while swordtails fall into the sub-genus Macrosemius.

Swordtails can be further broken down into three main types: short-fin, long-fin, and lyretail.

The most common swordtail is the short-fin variety, which has a tail that is significantly shorter than its body.

The long-fin variety has a tail that is twice as long as its body, while the lyretail has a tail that is twice as long as the short-fin variety and is also curved upward.

There are several different species of swordtail fish, including:

  • Xiphophorus helleri (short-fin, green)
  • Xiphophorus maculatus (long-fin, red)
  • Xiphophorus variatus (lyretail, orange)
  • Xiphophorus cortezi (short-fin, blue)
  • Xiphophorus clementine (long-fin, black)
  • Xiphophorus meyeri (lyretail, yellow/albino)
  • Xiphophorus pygmaeus (red lyretail)
  • Platypoecilus (four-spot)
  • Xiphophorus nezahualcoyotl (six-line)

How Does Swordtail Fish Look Like ?

Swordtail fish are very popular freshwater aquarium fish. They are colorful, peaceful, and relatively easy to care for. Their long tails make them attractive to both kids & adults. Males have a sword on their back, while females do not. The males are generally larger and have brighter coloration than the females.

Swordtail Fish Appearance

The swordtail is often confused with the Platy fish because of its similar appearance. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two species is that the swordtail has a "sword" on its back, whereas the platy does not.

Male swordtail fish are typically more vibrant than females. Males can grow to be up to 6 inches in length, while females generally only reach 5 inches at most. Swordtail fish come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, black, yellow, and green. They can be found in both salt and freshwater aquariums. Swordtail fish are named for their characteristic sword-like tail.

Males have a much larger and more colorful sword on their back than females do. The breeding process causes a female's dorsal fin to become pointed. Swordtails are one of the easiest fish to breed in the world, making them great pets for beginners.

Average Lifespan of Swordtail Fish

Swordtail fish typically live 5-8 years in captivity. Just like with other aquarium fish, there are things you can do to increase your swordtails lifespan. Some of these include providing them with the proper water temperature and ensuring they have an adequate diet.

Habitat of Swordtail Fish

The swordtail fish is a freshwater fish that is found in Mexico and Guatemala. In the wild, they live in shallow streams and ponds.

Swordtails are typically omnivores, eating both plants and other animals in addition to plant material.

Swordtails are easy to care for and maintain with a 20-gallon tank, a heater, thermometer, gravel substrate, and an under gravel filter.

Growth Rate Of Swordtail Fish

Swordtail fish can grow up to 4 inches in length. The rate at which they grow varies depending on the species and the conditions of their environment.

The swordtail fish is a popular freshwater aquarium fish that is known for its long, colorful tail. There are many different species of swordtail fish, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. Males are typically larger than females and have a "sword" on their backside.

Temperament Of Swordtail Fish

In the wild, swordtail fish live in shallow streams and ponds. They will school together to protect themselves from predators. In an aquarium, they can be quite territorial with other fish.

Males may also fight with each other if placed in an aquarium together. They are relatively peaceful fish, so it is best to keep them with other similarly-sized fish that cannot fit into their mouths or fins.

Swordtail fish are generally peaceful, but males may fight with each other if kept together in the same tank.

They are schooling fish that like to be around their kind. That means that you should never keep one swordtail alone, as they will become lonely and stressed without another companion.

Safely Breeding Swordtail Fish

The breeding process of swordtails is called spawning. To breed your swordtails, you will need to mimic a rainy season in their habitat.

This means that you should increase the water temperature and air humidity in your tank around mating time. It also means that you should feed them extra food, so they have the energy to mate successfully.

Swordtail Fish breeding

The pregnant female will become full of eggs and may have trouble swimming, while the male will develop a breeding tube used for transferring sperm into the female's body. The gestation period is about three weeks long, after which fries will be born.

A pregnant swordtail can give birth to anywhere from 100 to 300 fry, which will need their separate aquariums. You should keep them at a water temperature of around 76 degrees Fahrenheit and feed them small insect larvae or brine shrimp.

Swordtails are generally peaceful fish that make great pets for any 20-gallon tropical freshwater aquarium. They also make great tanks for breeding, as they are hardy and easy to care for. Males have a sword on their backs where females do not, though both sexes can be kept together or with other similarly sized fish.

Swordtail Fish Care Guide

The following points should be kept in mind for proper care of swordtail fish.

Setting Up Your Swordtail Tank

Swordtails should be kept in a tropical freshwater aquarium that is at least 20 gallons. Controlling the water temperature is very important, so you will need a heater and thermometer for your aquarium.

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An under gravel filter would also be beneficial, as it will help to maintain a healthy habitat for the swordtails.

Filter For Swordtail Fish In Aquarium

To keep your swordtail fish healthy, you will need to have a filter in your aquarium. The filter will help to keep the water clean.

A good quality filter is important for keeping your swordtail fish healthy. A canister filter or power filter should be used to keep the water clean and free from pollutants.

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A canister filter or power filter should be used to keep the water clean and free from pollutants. The best type of filter is one that hangs on the back of your aquarium. This will help keep your swordtails healthy and free from diseases.

Heater For Swordtail Fish In Aquarium

The heater will maintain a tropical temperature for your fish. You will need a heater to maintain the water temperature in your swordtail aquarium at 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

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You can use a heater that attaches to the side of your aquarium. If you use a glass heater, make sure it is shatterproof, as this will protect your fish from injury.

Lighting For Swordtail Fish In Aquarium

Swordtails prefer to be kept in an aquarium that is brightly lit. Fluorescent lighting would be the best choice for your swordtail aquarium, as it will help your plants grow and provide you with a good view of your fish.

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Swordtails require approximately 12 hours of light per day, so you should provide your fish with a fluorescent light fixture. If this is not possible, use an aquarium hood to block out the sun and other sources of light.

Cycling Aquarium Tanks

Your swordtail aquarium will need to be cycled before you add any fish. This can be done by adding a small amount of fish food to the water each day for a week.

The food will decompose and create ammonia, which is the main food source for nitrifying bacteria. Once the ammonia levels have stabilized, you can add your swordtails to the tank.

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You will need to cycle your tank before adding any swordtails by following the instructions for setting up a new aquarium. Once the tank has been cycled, you can add the fish.

Suitable Tank Mates For Swordtail Fish

Swordtails get along well with other similarly sized fish and can be kept in schools. Avoid keeping them with fish that can fit into their mouths or fins, as they may become injured.

They are compatible with Similar sized fish only. Swordtails are generally peaceful fish and should not be housed with fin-nippers or large, aggressive fish.

Males may fight with each other when breading, but it's unlikely that they will attack any other tank mates. Make sure your fish tank is big enough to house them and any other fish you plan on keeping.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is very important with all aquarium fish. Swordtail fish need their water to be between 64 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is too cold, it could result in shock or even death for your swordtails. If the water is too hot, your swordtails may develop burns on their skin.

pH Level

Your swordtails will also need a pH level of between 6.5 and 8.0 to be healthy. If the pH level is not within this range, your swordtails may become stressed and develop health problems.

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You can use a water pH test kit to check the pH levels in your aquarium. If the levels are not correct, you can use a water pH adjuster to change them. You should also use a water hardness test kit to check the hardness of your water.

If the water is too soft, you can use a water hardness adjuster to make it harder. If the water is too hard, you can use a water softener to make it softer. The swordtail fish is a freshwater fish that is found in Mexico and Guatemala. In the wild, they live in shallow streams and ponds.

Suitable Tank Size Of Swordtail Fish

Swordtails do well in a 20-gallon tank, as they are smaller fish. A heater, thermometer, gravel substrate, and an under gravel filter are also necessary to keep your swordtails healthy.

Substrate For Swordtail Fish

A gravel substrate is important in an aquarium as it provides a place for your fish to hide and play. Gravel also keeps the under gravel filter system working properly.

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An under gravel filter is a great way to keep the water in your aquarium clean and clear. It works by having air bubbles flow through it and push debris towards the gravel, where it becomes trapped in between the stones. This will keep your water clean and help keep your tank free of algae.

Decorations For Swordtail Fish

You can also add decorations to your tank to make it more fun for your fish. Your aquarium should be decorated with rocks, plants, and driftwood to make it look natural.

You can also add a few pieces of slate or other smooth rocks to the tank. The plants will help to reduce stress in the fish and provide them with some hiding places.

Feeding

Swordtails are typically omnivores, eating both plants and other animals in addition to plant material. Swordtail fish will eat a variety of things.

In the wild, they eat small insects, crustaceans, and plant material. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of commercially-prepared fish food, as well as live and frozen foods. It is important to make sure your swordtails have a healthy diet because malnutrition can lead to illness and other problems.

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Swordtails should be fed once a day--about as much food as they can eat in about three minutes. You should feed your fish both flake and frozen foods, as well as live foods such as brine shrimp. It is important to vary their diet because this helps them get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

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They eat worms, insects, crustaceans, and other fish in the wild, so they should be fed a mixture of all of these things in captivity. You can also feed them flake food and freeze-dried food as a supplement.

Diseases

Some of the most common diseases that swordtail fish can get are ich, fin rot, and white spot. If you notice any of these diseases in your fish, you should take them to a veterinarian for treatment.

  • Ich-Ich is a type of parasite that can cause your fish to develop white spots on their body. The white spots are the parasites themselves. Ich can be treated with medication, but it is important to get treatment for it as soon as possible to prevent your fish from getting worse.
  • Fin Rot-Fin rot is a disease that causes the fins of your fish to rot and fall off. It is a very serious disease and can often be fatal if not treated. Fin rot can be treated with medication, but it is important to get treatment for it as soon as possible to prevent your fish from getting worse.
  • Whitespot-Whitespot is a type of virus that can cause your fish to develop white spots on their body. The white spots are the virus itself. Whitespot can be treated with medication, but it is important to get treatment for it as soon as possible to prevent your fish from getting worse.

Treatment

You should take your fish to a veterinarian if you notice any signs of ich, fin rot, or white spot. Many medications can treat all three of these diseases, and you can also ask your vet about what he/she thinks is the best thing to do for your fish.

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There are several different medications you can use to treat ich fin rot and white spot. Popular choices for medication include Melafix and Pimafix.

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You should follow the instructions of any medication you choose exactly so that your fish has the best chance at recovery. If you do not know how to treat your fish with medication, take them to a veterinarian.

As you can see, there are a few common diseases that swordtails can get. It is important to be aware of these diseases and know how to treat them if they occur. By providing your swordtails with a healthy diet and keeping an eye on their health, you can help keep them happy and healthy.

Advantages Of Having Swordtail Fish In Your Tank

There are several advantages to keeping swordtails in your tank.

  • Hardy-Swordtails are hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making them a good choice for beginning fishkeepers.
  • Active-Swordtails are very active fish and will keep your tank lively.
  • Many Colors-Swordtails come in many different colors, so you can find one that will match the decor of your tank.
  • Livebearer-Swordtails are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs.
  • Easy To Breed-Swordtails are easy to breed and can be a good choice for those who want to breed fish.
  • Educational-Swordtails are schooling fish and can be a good choice for those who want to learn more about fish keeping.
  • Affordable-Swordtails are affordable fish that can be found at most pet stores, especially during the summer months.

Disadvantages Of Keeping Swordtail Fish In Your Tank

  • Swordtails can become very friendly with other fish and might be too friendly with other swordtails, leading to interbreeding and the strengthening of weaker genes. If you keep more than one male in your tank, they might fight with each other and injure themselves.
  • Swordtails are very messy fish and will produce a lot of waste that can make your water conditions worse if not monitored closely. They like to eat live food, which produces even more waste.
  • Swordtails are known to nip the fins of other fish, so they might not be a good choice for tanks with delicate fish.
  • Requires Warm Water-Swordtails require water that is between 73 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit, so you might need a heater if your tank does not maintain this temperature naturally.
  • May Be Hard To Find-Swordtails are not as common as some other fish and may be harder to find at your local pet store.
  • Requires Maintenance-Swordtails require a lot of maintenance, including regular water changes and the cleaning of their tanks.
  • May Be Prone To Disease-As with any other fish, swordtails are prone to disease and might require treatment if they become ill.

Special Point Before Leaving Them Into The Wild

You should never release your pet fish into the wild. This can be harmful to native species of fish and cause problems with local ecosystems. You should contact your state's environmental protection agency for information on how to safely release unwanted fish into the wild.

Conclusion

Swordtails and other fish will grow to the size of their tank, so placing them in a larger tank is not cruel. Swordtails are hardy, active fish that come in different colors and have many advantages over other kinds of fish.

If you plan on keeping a school of them in your tank, you should be aware of their special social behavior and the diseases they can sometimes get. By providing your swordtails with a healthy diet and keeping an eye on their health, you can keep your swordtails happy and healthy.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to keep swordtails in your tank.

They are hardy fish that come in many different colors and can be very active. However, they can also be messy and nippy. Make sure you do your research before adding swordtails to your tank.

Disclaimer

AquaMarinePower.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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