Cost: $5-19, the higher end Swordtails are ones with rarer colors and unique tail shapes.
Swordtails are very hardy fish when cultivated, and are most often found in a community tank. Be warned that large individuals can become bullies over time, mainly males chasing other male swortails. There are many various combinations of colors and fin shapes available. With line-breeding being a specialist activity.
Central America, Atlantic drainage from Veracruz, Mexico, south into Belize. Feral populations are spread throughout the world.
Excluding the sword, a male can get up to 3.1 inches (8 cm) and the females being larger at 4.7 inches (12 cm).
Males take quit some time to sex, but at a point the anal fin changes shape and forms a gonopodium. The easiest way to tell a male from a female is the male will have a swordlike extension on the lower part of the caudal fin. Sometimes this sword can be as long as the body.
First the tank size should be at least 36 x 12 x 12 inches (90 x 30 x 30 cm).
Temperature 68-79 degrees Fahrenheit (20-26 Celsius). The water should have a reading of medium to medium-hard, and neutral to slightly alkaline. A Ph reading of 7-7.4. The water should be well aerated with some form of bubbler. The tank should have some plants with plenty of open swimming space. Don’t add decorations that will acidify the water such as bogwood. The swordtail prefers to swim in the middle of the tank.
Tank mates for the swordtail should be of “robust species.” Or if the species that it’s going to sharing a tank with should be able to at least stand up for itself. It’s just that the swordtail with use it’s size to push around smaller, weaker species. No real damage done.
Will eat just about anything, flake, frozen, and live foods are all good.
The swordtail is a very active and boisterous species, and behaves well when not the dominate species in the tank.
Will readily bread in a community tank, gives birth to live young that look like miniature versions of the parents. It’s been reported that larger females can give birth to 200 fry at a time.
There was a story that I heard a few years ago where there was a wild Swordtail that someone put into their fish tank and it was around 7 inches in length and could give birth to a few thousand fry at a time.