The swordtail is almost the most unpretentious aquarium fish. For the first time this species appeared in 1964 and since then it is only gaining popularity. The long growth on the tail of the males gave the name to the fish.
They are loved for their simplicity, beauty, variety of species and ease of breeding.
In general, the aquarium fish, the swordtail, is peace-loving, individuals perfectly coexist in aquariums with other species. But their characters may differ, they are caught by teasers, mostly it concerns males.
Most often they show aggression towards each other.
It is recommended to keep the fish in the aquarium, which is densely planted with plants, but also with the presence and free space for swimming. The presence of algae floating on the surface of the water will help dispel the light and will provide an excellent shelter for future fry.
Like other viviparous fishes, these individuals live well in salt water, but it is not necessary to do it on purpose.
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish small females and male swordtails from each other, but it is possible with certain knowledge. Naturally, at first it is important to pay attention to the fin on the tail, which is long in the males and resembles a sword.
Females do not have this difference.
In addition, you should inspect the fin near the anus, which is located at the bottom of the abdomen. In males, it has an unusual shape – stretched out and resembles a tube. Thanks to him, he fertilizes the eggs in the abdomen of the female.
The same fin in females is rounded in shape.
By color, males and females do not differ among themselves. And because of the many crosses, hybrids of any color are bred.
The fishtail aquarium fish is unusual in that females are able to turn into males. The floor of the fish is formed in several stages.
Among the 4 month old fish, small males first form, and after a while, some of the females also become males. Some of these females first spawned at first.
But if you keep the Sword in favorable conditions, then they will not change the floor.
- Green Swordsman – distinguished by its olive color with a greenish tint. Horizontally, the body has a bright red stripe and a few more light ones. The body is oblate from the sides, and the sword on the tail of the males is beautifully bordered. Females are slightly larger, their shades are lighter.
- Lemon –Albine a variation of the previous species. Its difference lies only in the yellowish shade of the body. They do not survive reproduction.
- White Bulgarian swordtails – Also an albino variety, but they are more viable than lemon.
- Black – a hybrid from the crossing of green swordtails and black pelicia. Their body is somewhat wider compared to the usual species. Color – black with a greenish or bluish tinge. Fish often suffer from diseases associated with an excess of pigments in the body. This complicates their reproduction.
- Red – were obtained as a result of crossing green swordtails and red pellits. The view features a bright red hull.
- Calico Sword – They were called so due to the tricolor color – the main white color of the body is complemented by several large black and reddish spots.
- Rainbow colored – similar in color to Australian rainbow fish. Their body is a gray-green color with an orange glow. Along the red-brown stripes. The fins of the fish are bright orange.
- Tiger swordtail – they got their name because of the pronounced black spots on a red background. On the tail of the males is a long sword.
- Mountain – their body is creamy yellow in color, and on the sides are small specks and barely noticeable zigzags.
- The Swordsmen of Cortez (Xiphophorus cortez) – the birthplace of this species in nature – the country of Mexico. The size of individuals is from 5 to 5.5 cm; females are also larger than males. On the body from the tail to the eye is a brown strip in the shape of a zigzag. The scales of the fish are gray-yellow, and there are specks on the fin of the back. The sword on the tail of males grows up to 2 cm in length and is distinguished by a yellow color.
- The Micromachine Sword (Xiphophorus xiph) How to feed the Sword
It is acceptable to feed these fish with flakes, fresh live or frozen food, as well as other suitable feeds for aquarium fish. They need a varied diet with the inclusion of plant foods with a high concentration of fiber.
The fact is that in natural conditions, almost the entire diet consists of algae and their fouling.
In the aquarium it is impossible to plant a huge number of plants, so you can always buy a special bait based on plant components. These flakes are recommended to make the basis of the diet, and live food should be given only as a supplement in a small amount.
You can choose any live food, as the fish are completely unpretentious in food.
Swordtails are viviparous fishes, the fry appears already fully formed. Caviar is fertilized inside the body of the female and harvested to full maturity.
This time is about 30 days.
Breeding fish in a home aquarium is very simple. Males are constantly active.
The main thing in time to set aside the female to protect the fry and they became food.
When the female sword bearer becomes fatten and a dark spot appears on her belly, it means that the time of birth is approaching. It can be left in the general aquarium, but too few fry will survive, as other fish will quickly eat them.
If you wish to breed a large number of fry, you need to deposit the female before giving birth and equip this place with a large number of dense plants. She gives birth most easily in the thickets, and after giving birth, chases the fry, so they will be calmer in the shelter.
So, after getting acquainted with the characteristics of care, maintenance and breeding of the Sword, even novice aquarists will be able to create suitable conditions for the life of the fish.