Swordtails – The Most Popular Freshwater Fish


The swordtails are a very popular freshwater fish. This popularity is due to its ease of care and peaceful nature.

They have quite unique types of fins with a wide variety of colors. Nowadays, they are bred to achieve various colors and, as a result, great offers of different types exist.


The swordtails are a small freshwater fish, native to Central America and North America. Its native range extends from Honduras in the south to central Mexico in the north.

But now they can be found on almost every continent. The swordtails prefer fast waters with dense vegetation.

But they can also be found in numerous other habitats, from small ponds to slow-draining ditches.


Due to their diverse habitats, they can adapt to a wide range of conditions in captivity. This means that they will do well in most water conditions.

It is important for anyone who considers buying swordtails to know that they grow much larger than other fish of their type.

It is not uncommon for male swordtails to reach more than 15 cm in length. Also, you should know that the females are not much smaller.

Most females will reach about 14 cm in length. So obviously the breeder will need to provide a larger tank for swordtails than for guppies or discs.

The swordtails are also relatively long-lived. And it’s not uncommon for a fish of this well-groomed kind to see its fifth birthday.

Some have even lived longer. With that said, you can expect a normal swordtail to live between 3 and 5 years.


The swordtails are relatively large tropical fish. This is why they should never be considered as a candidate for the very common 45-liter tank that many people start with.

Although it is not difficult to find people who say they will do well in a tank of this type, they really need something bigger.

This helps prevent stunted growth and potential diseases. The minimum recommended aquarium size for swordtails is 130 liters.

But that’s only if you do not plan to raise them. However, that is easier said than done.

And like any other fish of its kind, any tank that contains both males and females will quickly fill with fry. So if you have the budget for it, you might want to start with something bigger than 130 liters.

Although it is not an absolute requirement, you should try to provide live plants for your swordtails fish.

A heavily planted aquarium closely mimics its natural habitat. And it also provides cover and curtain for the fish.

Although fake plants will also work, they do not offer the dual benefits of improving water quality and oxygenate the water that living plants provide.

When choosing a filter for fish swordtails, bigger is usually better. If the breeder can do it, he should always try to filter the tank.

In addition to that fish will enjoy the current that an over filtrate tank brings with it.


The swordtails are hardy tropical fish that can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures.

They can be well at any water temperature between 65-82 Fahrenheit. Although they are adaptable and quite durable, avoid sudden drops in temperature. This can harm your fish and make your immune system more vulnerable. These fish prefer very hard water of 12-30 dGH and an ideal water pH between 7.0 and 8.4.

In general, they prefer moderately alkaline water. Always be careful that your water properly filters.

In addition, the filtration system must be adjusted correctly, the water parameters will remain strong.

Always keep a record of the parameters of the water so that the breeder can react and prevent possible complications.

Your fish will prosper happily and live to full potential.


In the wild, swordtails are omnivores. They feed on a variety of invertebrates, insects, plant material and algae. This diet should be reproduced as close as possible in the home aquarium.

And this can be achieved through the feeding of a variety of foods. The main portion of its diet should consist of high-quality flake food.

And this must be supplemented with bleached vegetables and live or frozen foods.

This is not an exhaustive list, but some vegetables that are voraciously accepted are zucchini medallions, cucumber medallions, peeled peas, and broccoli.

All vegetables should be bleached in boiling water first. And they should be left to cool before being added to the aquarium.

The best live foods to feed the swordtails are daphnia, blackworms, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. Its flavor in frozen foods is quite similar and can be fed frozen.

Aquarium mates:

The swordtails are a peaceful and active species. They are very social and enjoy good company. Especially when they are staying with other swordtails or similar passive species.

The swordtails fish can find a great companion in similar cousins, such as platies, mollies, or angelfish.

The peaceful types of Cordilleras are also as great as their companions. Some larger types of tetras can be a good idea. But they must be kept in groups of five or more to prevent possible harassment.

Male swordtail fish are almost always aggressive towards other males of the same species.

If the tank is not huge, the breeder should definitely choose to keep only one male along with two or three females in a tank. You may also like to read killifish.


The swordtail fish are excellent at breeding efficiently and very quickly, without any intervention by the aquarist.

Once a female has become pregnant, you should be able to clearly see a huge belly with a dark spot near the anal fin.

Once the fry is born, you must take some protective measures to keep them alive otherwise they will be consumed by their parents or other tank mates.

The breeder can add more plants that will serve as hiding places for young fry. Or physically remove the adults from the tank.

The latter is much more efficient since only some of the young will survive if they are not separated from the adults. When the fry become large enough not to be seen as food by adults, introduce them to the tank.


The swordtail fish are relatively resistant and have no particularly strong weakness for certain diseases.

However, this breed is subject to the same diseases as other tropical fish. One of the most common of freshwater fish is white spot disease.

The best way to proactively prevent the disease is to give them the proper environment and a well-balanced diet. You may also like to read Mollies Fish

The more the aquarium resembles its natural habitat, the less stress the fish will have. This makes them healthier and happier. A stressed fish is more likely to get sick.

Anything the breeder adds to the tank can introduce the disease. Not only other fish but plants, substrates, and decorations can harbor bacteria.

Care must be taken to make sure that the breeder is properly clean or quarantine anything you add to an established tank so as not to upset the balance.


The main characteristic that catches the attention of the breeders, is the tail so different. So adding this species to the aquarium adds a different species and with great elegance.

As several species, the swordtails are prone to diseases and are why they require certain care.

In addition, they reproduce easily, without needing the help of the breeders. These characteristics make the swordtails fish one of the favorites to consider in an aquarium.

As a reference: Wikipedia 


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