MS Livebearers

Swordtail Info

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Here's some good information on the great breed of Swordtails!


Xiphophorus helleri

Size: females: up to 4.5 inches (12 cm), males: somewhat smaller at 4.0 inches (10 cm).

pH: 7.0-8.0

Temperature: 72F - 82F (22C - 28C)

Tank Size: 10 gallons or larger

Tank Range: Top, Middle, Bottom

Care: Since they are omnivorous, the Swordtail will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance, give them a high quality flake food everyday.  You can feed them brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.

Sexing:  The male has the "sword" extension on the bottom of the tail fin. The male is also slimmer and has a "straw" shaped anal fin called a gonopodium. The female has a fan shaped anal fin, is rounder of body, and will have a spawning patch at breeding time.


Breeding: Livebearer: A female swordtail can store sperm for up to 3 months and generally drops fry once every 28 days.  Drops can consist of 20-100 fry.  Lots of floating cover will give the baby swords a better chance at survival.  You could also put the babies in a separate tank or breeding net to raise them large enough that the adults will not eat them.  Males will stress females in trying to breed them, so it is best to keep them in groups of 1 male to 2-3 females, or larger.

Murray, NE