Swordtail (male)
Behaviour Peaceful, territorial, males will squabble
Typical size 8cm
Max size 10cm
Tank Area Middle, top
Min Tank Size 75cm
Temp Min: 22℃ Max: 28℃
Feeding Flake, frozen, live foods
pH Range 7-8.5
Hardness s,m,h,vh
Male Swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii
  • Male Swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii - thumbnail
  • Male Swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii - thumbnail

Swordtail (male)

Xiphophorus hellerii

There are many colour morphs of the Swordtail available and it is a deservedly popular aquarium fish. Swordtails are active, colourful, hardy, and in most cases good-natured making them an ideal fish for beginners or community aquariums. Some swordtails are starting to show the telltale signs of intensive breeding and a drop in natural immunity. To counter this, a little aquarium salt added to the water will increase the fish's disease resistance. Male swordtails will squabble and whereas two or three in a tank will result in one becoming an aggressive bully, if four or more are kept together the problem does not occur. It is quite common for young females to appear to turn into males as they age, in some cases this is a true sex reversal although in most it is simply a male that has not yet matured. Provide a few hiding spots amongst plants and mix with other similar sized fish.

Family Poeciliidae (Poeciliids) | Synonyms Mollienisia helleri, Poecilia helleri, Xiphophorus guentheri, X. guntheri, X. hellerii guentheri, X. jalapae, X. brevis, X. strigatus, X. ranchovii | Other names Green Swordtail, Red Swordtail | Origin North and Central America | Breeding Livebearer, females are fertilized internally | Natural Water Conditions pH 7-8, soft to hard, freshwater and brackish | Natural Habitat Heavily vegetated flowing waters, streams, rivers, pools, springs | Sexing Males are smaller, slender and have a pointed anal fin. Only males develop the 'sword' extension to the caudal fin

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