People generally mistake swordtail fish for guppies due to slight resemblance. But if you are an expert tank keeper who has some knowledge about fish, you will never make such a mistake. The swordtail fish is indeed one of the easiest fish to take care of. Therefore, most beginner level tank keepers who are setting up their first tanks often opt for swordtail fish.
They come in a wide range of color varieties and the most significant feature of these fish is their tails. Other than this, they have a peaceful temperament which makes them an ideal choice for community tanks. They are medium-sized fish as swordtail fish size can reach up to six point five inches.
What Is The Typical Behavior Of Swordtail Fish?
Swordtail fish has a very peaceful temperament. Therefore, tank owners can add it to their tanks without any issue. You can keep swordfish in a tank with their own species or even add them to a tank containing a variety of other fish. Since the swordtail fish likes to mind its own business and does not cause any hassle in the tank, the owners will not find themselves dealing with chaos and trouble.
Since they are medium-sized fish, the ideal swordtail fish tank size is at least fifteen gallons and above. Any tank smaller than this size will not be able to house the fish properly. The swordtail fish likes to swim around in the middle section of the tank and will rarely make its way to the bottom.
The swordtail fish itself is active and loves to swim in the tank actively. However, if you add some boisterous fish to the tank, it may feel anxious and hideaway in plants and the corners of the tank.
What Does The Swordfish Tail Look Like?
The most prominent feature of any swordtail fish is its caudal fin. The fish get their name i.e. swordfish because of the appearance of their tails. The lower part of the tail has a long lobe which gives it the look of the sword, therefore, the name. The female lacks this tail shape therefore, this feature can be used to distinguish between male and female fish.
The swordfish comes in a number of different color variants. The green swordtail is especially very popular. It is not only green in color but also has a lateral strip that is either red or brown in color on their body. This strip goes along the length of their entire body.
When kept in a tank that meets their requirements, the colors of the swordtail fish intensify. When in stress or sick, the colors tend to fade away. In terms of size, the female is longer as compared to the male. The female can reach a maximum length of six point-five inches whereas the male swordtail can only reach five and a half inches.
What Are The Perfect Tank Conditions For Swordtail Fish?
The natural habitat for this fish is freshwater. They are commonly found in free-flowing rivers. Therefore, when setting up a tank for swordfish, your goal should be to replicate the environment of their natural habitat as much as possible.
Since this fish rarely ever make their way to the bottom of the tank, there is no need to be picky about which substrate to use. However, their natural habitat has a sandy bottom therefore using sand substrate is definitely a plus.
Adding plants to the tank is also a great idea. They not only enhance the aesthetics and the overall look of the tank but also provide hiding space for the fish. This fish loves to take refuge in plants if it feels threatened or insecure.
You can also choose to use ornaments, driftwood, and rocks as decorative items when setting up a tank for giant swordtail fish. These also serve as hiding spots for the fish. However, make sure that there is ample room for the fish to swim around freely. The tank should never be overfilled to an extent that the fish feels captive and congested.
His tail is very sensitive when it comes to tank water conditions. The pH level of the tank should be maintained within the range of seven to eight point four. Make sure that the temperature remains within seventy to eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. Other than this, control the water hardness and have it between 12-30 dGH. If these values fluctuate a lot, this may lead to serious health problems for your fish.
Which Fish Are Best Swordtail Fish Tank Mates?
Since he is very peaceful, you can choose from a range of swordtail fish tank mates. The best tankmates are the fish that like to occupy the bottom part of the tank. The swordtail fish will never come in the way of such fish and both species would be able to coexist happily. Kuhli Loaches, Zebra Loaches, Dwarf Corydoras, and Otocinclus are great options in this regard.
Other peaceful fish like Dwarf Gourami, Pearl Danio, Neon Tetras, Mollies, Rosy Barbs, and Angelfish also gel in with the swordtails happily. Aggressive, predatory fish like Convict Cichlids and Jack Dempseys should never be placed in the same tank as the swordtail fish as they can attack and injure them.
It is not necessary for swordtail fish to be kept in a shoal or a school. But if placed in the tank with their own kind, they tend to get along well and don’t cause any issue. The male is more aggressive as compared to the female sex but if you make sure there is only one male per group, this issue will be rectified.
In a larger group of swordtail fish, maintaining one male to four female ratios tends to do well as it provides one with ample swordtail fish breeding opportunities but still helps avoid aggression and conflict amongst the male fish.
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