Common Name:  Swordtail

Species Name:  Typically Xiphophorus Helleri

Approx. Size:  3.5" - 4.5"

Compatibility:  Community

Temperature:  20 - 28°C

Water Chemistry:  6.5 - 8 pH  {Preferably in higher range.}

Diet:  Omnivores
Swordtails are a very popular fish amongst hobbyists and is often one of the first fish purchased.  They
come in a variety of colors and finnage types, including Albino, Hifin and Lyretail varietes.  The vast
majority of the Swordtails seen at the commercial level are Xiphophorus Helleri.  However, many
Swordtails have been crossed to Platies {Xiphophorus maculatus and Xiphophorus variatus}
somewhere in their lineage, in order to obtain certain color or finnage traits.

There are Swordtail strains in which all of the fry (babies) will look much the same as the parents (true
breeding) as well as mixed Swordtails, who produce a seemingly unlimited variety.  Premium
Swordtails are much more expensive as they are bred to show quality standards and come in true
breeding pairs.

Swordtails are Livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young as opposed to spawning eggs.  They
are easy to breed and give birth approximately every 30-45 days to at least 20-80 fry, often many more.  
This reproduction rate can quickly overwhelm the hobbyist with a small tank.  If you would prefer to not
have a population explosion, it is better to purchase only males.  Females can inseminate themselves
for up to six months from one fertilization.  For an illustrated guide to sexing your Swordtail, please

These elegant Livebearers are easy to care for, requiring only very clean conditions, good
filtration and a
proper diet. They benefit from both protein and vegetation in their diet.  Pealed, quartered peas, cooked
slightly to soften, is a favorite vegetable.  High quality
flake, freeze-dried, fresh and frozen foods are all
eagerly devoured and contribute to a healthy diet.  They appreciate slightly alkaline water, but are highly
adaptable.  You will find many
books available, which will provide you with more detailed information
and guidelines should you require them.
Content and original photos:  Copyright © 2006 - Pacific Aquatics Ltd. All Rights Reserved