Swordtails are considered one of the most unpretentious and popular fish among aquarists. Hiphophorus helleri belong to the family of specials.
They quickly adapt and survive in different environments. Swordsman is able to multiply at home.
The fish is peaceful, capable of living together, some males may be aggressive towards their congeners. In order to obtain high-quality offspring in the wild, the female sword bearer spawns in spring.
In aquarium conditions, the swordtail is capable of breeding year round.
Sword bearers viviparous fish, so the fry are born completely ready for independent living. The way the female will bear the young, their quantity and the quality of the fry directly depends on the conditions of the fish.
The diet of adult offspring should include plant and live food. It is not recommended a high content of algae, as these plants can enrich the water with an excessive amount of ammonia and nitrates.
And the food containing protein, on the contrary, will provide healthy posterity.
A pair of swordsmen
When growing and breeding swordtails, it is necessary to regularly replace water (once every 7 days, by no less than 25%), try to make the water temperature a few degrees higher than usual. The better the quality of the aquarium water, the more females will produce offspring, since pure water, saturated with oxygen, provokes mating games in fish. And you should also provide filtering, at least internal.
The aquarium should be high and covered with a lid, as these fish are very active in their movements and able to jump high.
By breeding swordtails in a general aquarium, you can plan how many females and males in the offspring will be:
- when water temperature is less than 24, more females will appear in the brood;
- When water temperature exceeds 25 degrees, more males will appear in the brood.
Recommended conditions for keeping fish for breeding:
- temperature conditions, depending on the desired result;
- permissible acidity from pH 7 to pH 8;
- water hardness from 10 to 12;
- ammonia and nitrate levels should be as low as possible.
How often swordtails will produce offspring depends on the conditions created by an aquarist. It is recommended to contain one male with three females.
An interesting fact is that a female can give birth to offspring several times without the help of a male; it is for this reason that the Swordtails breed in large numbers and multiply even after transferring the female to a separate container without a male. This happens due to the fact that the female can keep the milt inside of itself male and after some time re-independently fertilize.
To save offspring, the female swordtail before birth is important to transfer to another container or place it in an oven inside the main aquarium to avoid devouring fry by other fish.
The color of the aquarium and breeding fish is slightly brighter than the representative of the wild nature.
Newborn swordtails do not have pronounced sexual characteristics, so sex is initially difficult to determine, sex differences become noticeable only by 3-6 months of life. Some females are capable of breeding as early as 3-4 months.
It is easy to distinguish the female sword bearer from the male. The male on his fin in the tail has a long outgrowth, resembling a sword, by which one can unmistakably distinguish the sex of the fish and by means of which the reproduction of the swordsmen occurs.
In the male, the anal fin is pointed and narrower than the female.
An interesting feature is that the fish can change the sex during life. This happens due to the lack of chromosomes responsible for sex.
However, gender reassignment takes place only under the threat of extinction, thus the swordtails are trying to preserve their population. If a male living in an aquarium dies, then after a while one of the females can turn into a full-fledged male. If you breed the offspring at home with the help of a female who has changed sex, then the descendants will be exclusively female, therefore, to fully dissolve the population of these fish, you need a real male.
The female, having changed the sex in behavior, copies the male, she cares for other female individuals, but she herself becomes incapable of childbirth.
Usually the female matures to the process of childbearing by 8 months of life. It is during this period that it is necessary to create all the necessary conditions for spawning of the Sword.
How long the process of fertilization takes for swordsmen depends on how often the female mates, if for the first time, it can last up to 48 hours, the pregnancy itself lasts 4-6 weeks. The term of gestation depends on the conditions of detention:
The male fertilizes the eggs inside the female.
It’s an experienced breeder who can know that the fish is pregnant, but it’s difficult to confuse a pregnant swordtail with a sick person.
A pregnant swordtail female looks and displays the following symptoms:
- closer to childbirth, the belly becomes large and clear;
- square shapes appear;
- a dark spot appears, closer to the anal fin.
The birth of the Sword bearer usually begins in the morning. The female gives birth to fry in the amount of up to 200 pieces.
Newborns can be left in the same tank with the female. If the fish belly got a clear square shape, and the swordtail began to move vigorously around the aquarium, then the birth will begin soon.
Under certain conditions, such as water temperature not lower than 26 degrees and high-quality abundant food, reproduction can occur regularly. It is necessary to ensure the presence in the aquarium bushes in which the female will hide during childbirth.
Malkov can be left in the aquarium, where they were born until it is time to mate, after this it is better to divide the swordsmen.
The fry of the swordtail have a large size, they are active and need good nutrition.
The first 7 days of life are decisive for future health, at this time lay the makings of adult fish, and the life span of the individual will depend on the first week. Therefore, after the swordtails gave birth, you should immediately begin to care for the fry.
Experienced aquarists recommend selecting the strongest and most beautiful of young stock in order to actively grow them, and to destroy the weaker individuals. Growing fry throughout life, but the intensity of growth will gradually slow down.
The amount of food needed depends on age and growth rate.
If you do not properly care for the fry, the color of the fish will change, defects will appear on the fins. It is recommended to provide them with an aquarium with a large number of plants and a place for active swimming.
It is important to create good conditions for fry of swordtails in the first days after birth, feeding at this time should be carried out at least 4 times a day. Before the age of 2 months it is recommended to feed the fish 3 times a day.
List of products needed fry:
- chicken egg yolk;
- grated flakes with fiber;
- naupilia artemia.
If you combine live food with spirulina, the fish will quickly grow and acquire a bright color. Food should contain a sufficient amount of fiber, as in nature they are most eaten by plants. Lack of substances replenished with special flakes of plant origin.
Meals can include not only fresh food, but also frozen.
Flick of the sword bearer
Watch for the amount of food in the form of egg yolk, this product is a good base for the development of harmful bacteria, as a result of which water in the aquarium is heavily polluted. In substandard water, young animals will not be able to live for a long time, and changing the water in more than the recommended amount will cause severe stress and also lead to the death of offspring.
Therefore, this product in the diet should be included in minimal quantities, without harm to the environment.
Malkov recommended to feed with yogurt, it is useful and does not spoil the quality of the water. To prepare food from yogurt, it is necessary to pour boiling water, mix, and then catch the coagulated casein. Casein should be well rinsed with water and run with a net into the aquarium.
This product can be stored in the refrigerator, but not longer than 4 days. It is desirable that all food in the diet of fry be as fresh as possible.
The older the fry become, the more varied their diet should be.
Swordsman is a great option for breeding in aquarium conditions. This aquarium fish is suitable for living with other inhabitants, reproduction can occur both in a separate place and in the general aquarium.
It is easy to get fish by offspring; it is enough just to provide them with the necessary environmental conditions.