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Maintenance and care of aquarium fish Swordtails

People often bring home aquarium fish for peace of mind. Frequent guests of artificial reservoirs are swordtails.

Active and beautiful underwater inhabitants are distinguished by species diversity and ease of care. Pets with a peaceful character are ideal for general aquariums.

But even the maintenance of the Swordsman fish requires a competent approach, so beginners should learn the necessary information about this species.

Swordtails fish are quite frequent inhabitants in home aquariums

Swordtails live in Central and North America. Most often they can be found in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. They live in swift rivers, calm waters, fresh and brackish waters.

Fish keep in abundant thickets, where they find to feed various insects and algae. The color of individuals living in nature is much paler than that of artificially bred forms.

The Sword-bearer (lat. – Xiphophorus) refers to a viviparous species, consisting in the family of the Pecillium detachment of the Car-toothed order. The German naturalist Karl Bartholomeus Geller discovered these underwater inhabitants.

Fish are characterized by an original tail, shaped like a sword. It is because of this distinctive feature of the representative of the fauna and called the sword. The tail of the fish may be rounded or in the form of a beam.

Elongated body at the sides is flat. The mouth of an unusual shape is slightly raised.

This makes it easier for fish to swallow food from the water surface. Coloring can be any.

In some species, the fins and body are different in color.

Swordtails fish are characterized by an original sword-shaped tail.

Females are usually larger than males and are characterized by rounded fins. Males have a brighter color and an elongated tail. Under natural conditions, fish reach a length of 12 cm.

Specimens living in artificial reservoirs grow only up to 7–8 cm, but under the most favorable conditions they can be larger. On average, swordtails live 4−5 years.

These fish have another feature. If females significantly predominate in the flock, they can change their gender to males. They have a xiphoid tail fin and gonopodia.

Changed individuals behave like males and care for females, but they do not bring offspring.

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The natural color of fish with a sword-like tails is green with a gray tint. As a result of crossing them with the plots, many other varieties have been bred, which can be bright or dark shades.

And they differ in the shape of the body and fins.

Varieties of aquarium fish Swordsman:

  • Green. It is characterized by an olive-brown color. On the body there is one or more light stripes along the body. The sword is different colored edging.
  • Citric. Albinist form of the green swordtail has an unusual yellow color with a greenish sheen. This subspecies is difficult to breed, since offspring rarely retain the characteristics of the parents.
  • Bulgarian white. Another albino who is unstable when bred. Children usually differ by species from manufacturers.
  • Red. Sword bearer was obtained by crossing a green species and a red plaza, from which he received a scarlet pigment.

The Red Sword was bred by crossing a green species and a red petsilia

  • The black. Hybrid of green swordtail and black petilia. The fish are distinguished in black with a blue or green tint. Excess pigment negatively affects the reproduction of individuals that often get sick.
  • Calico, or tricolor. This species is characterized by a white body, on which large black and red spots are located.
  • Rainbow. This variety is rarely sold in pet stores. The fish may be of different colors, but most often there are specimens with a gray, orange and green shade, on the sides of which there are red stripes.
  • Yellow, or mountain. Fish with a creamy yellow color is distinguished by small specks and pale zigzag stripes on the sides.
  • Brindle. This subspecies least prone to disease. Differs black sword. On the red body there are dark specks.
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    As well as breeders bred blacktail, lyretail, vysokoplatnichnogo, Viennese and other forms of swordtails. Some varieties have voile or three-blade fins, while others have double xiphoid tails.

    It is difficult to select the best species among a wide variety of aquatic pets, but often aquarists give birth to red individuals. In one tank can contain several types of swordtails. Their offspring is obtained with a variety of color and patterns.

    But it is difficult to consolidate the signs of new copies, so only professionals are engaged in their selection.

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    The unpretentiousness of the Swordtail fish to maintenance and care makes it one of the best aquarium pets. But for the healthy growth and development of underwater inhabitants it is recommended to create all the necessary conditions.

    Aquarium pick a rectangular shape. For 4−5 swordtails need a capacity of at least 30 liters. In such conditions, they will be able to move freely and not interfere with each other. It is best to put the tank in a well-lit place, but away from the direct rays of the sun and the battery.

    Since the fish often jump out of the water, the aquarium should be closed with a lid.

    The optimal temperature for the swordmen will be + 23−26 degrees. Fish withstand lower rates (up to +17 degrees). Water should be with a pH of 7–8 pH and a hardness of 8–25 dH.

    As the soil fit small seashells, pebbles or decorative stones.

    For a large aquarium with a large number of fish, you will need a special device to enrich the water with oxygen. If the tank contains no more than 5 pets, then you can do without an aerator.

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    In an artificial reservoir, it is imperative to plant algae, which will not only decorate it, but will also produce the oxygen needed for fish. In addition, this green is useful as an additional power for the Sword.

    Thickets of plants will be an excellent shelter for fry hiding from adult individuals, but they should be made too thick.

    Swordtails need a balanced diet. Since they are unpretentious in food, their diet can be varied. They eat any food: vegetable, live and dry.

    With proper feeding, the fish develop well and live long.

    The following food is good for swordmen:

    • bloodworm;
    • daphnia;
    • Cyclops;
    • artemia;
    • spinach;
    • salad;
    • nettle;
    • pipemaker;
    • egg yolk;
    • lean meat;
    • squids;
    • dried bread.

    Swordtails should be fed no more than twice a day.

    Products should be chopped beforehand, and the salad should be scalded in boiling water. Feed the fish should be no more than two times a day. In the morning they can be given dry food, and in the evening vegetable.

    Since the swordtails are voracious, they throw food in portions. Once a week, water pets are satisfied with a fasting day.

    From dry feed it is recommended to purchase Tetra. The company produces products for each type of fish separately.

    In the assortment there are also feeds for fry and enhancement of the color of underwater inhabitants.

    If the need arises for a vacation, the owner may well leave Swordtails out of food for 1-2 weeks. Although they can last so long, it is advisable to place more algae for them in the aquarium.

    During the absence of the host fish may eat fouling formed on the leaves of bushes and the walls of the reservoir. If there are small snails in an aquarium, swordtails can shake them out of their shells and eat them.

    Swordtails can live without feed for up to 14 days

    Keeping a swordtail in an aquarium does not cause problems if they live with their relatives. But sometimes skirmishes arise between males.

    This usually happens if there are two males in the tank that fight over the territory. Experts advise to acquire at least three males to avoid such situations.

    Neighbors in the face of other species of fish for the Sword should be chosen carefully, because they can not get along with everyone. You can share with them:

    • neons;
    • minors;
    • terration;
    • danios;
    • guppy;
    • mollies;
    • angelfish;
    • som

    Swordtails are not aggressive, but can pluck the tails of other fish species.

    Peaceful swordtails rarely show aggression towards other species of aquatic creatures, but they can pluck the fins and tails of the veilfish. Sometimes old males attack others, but such individuals are very rare.

    Swordtails can show aggression in close-sized aquariums. It is not recommended to plant fish with xiphoid tails to astronotus, akara, tsikhlazom and other violent species.

    Since the sword-bearers act as viviparous fishes, the fry appear in them not in the form of eggs, but already fully formed. For breeding take one male and three or four females. If there are more than five swordtails in an aquarium, then there should be no less than three males.

    Females choose the most productive males for large body sizes and fins.

    There is no need to encourage swordtails to breed., since males are always active. But you can slightly improve the conditions: in the tank set the temperature of the water to + 26−27 degrees.

    The level of nitrates and ammonia should be low, and acidity should be in the range of 6.8–7.8 pH.

    Stimulants do not need to be stimulated to breed, they are already active.

    The male fertilizes the eggs inside the body of the female, which she bears for 30–40 days. It is necessary to keep an eye on the future mom, who eventually gets stout.

    A dark spot soon forms around her anus, which is seen through flesh through her body. This means that the female should be transplanted to another container.

    If future offspring remain in the common reservoir, other adult swordtails can eat them.

    To save the fry, you should purchase a new aquarium or a small vessel for 15–20 l, where you need to add algae, among which future offspring will hide. In addition, in such thickets females easier to give birth.

    The number of cubs in one litter depends on the age of the female, its size and the surrounding conditions. At one time, the female can bring from 15 to 150 fry.

    After birth, it is transplanted back into the general aquarium.

    At one time, the female can bring from 15 to 150 fry.

    Fry of the Sword-bearers are distinguished by their activity and constant hunger. As food they are given egg yolks, frayed flakes and nauplii of Artemia. And they can also be given spirulina and flakes with fiber.

    Adding young individuals to a common reservoir should be when they are strong enough and grow to large sizes. Since they develop in different ways, they are planted in the aquarium in small groups.

    Sometimes females give birth to fry without males. They keep the male milt inside their bodies for several months and fertilize themselves with them.

    Such a fish can occur more than once.

    It is quite simple to breed swordtails in artificial conditions. If you do not plan to inhabit the aquarium with a large number of fish, then active males, constantly chasing females, should often be deposited in another tank.

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