Aquarium swordfish: varieties, maintenance, care, reproduction

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Aquarium swordfish: varieties, maintenance, care, reproduction
Aquarium swordfish: varieties, maintenance, care, reproduction

Video: Aquarium swordfish: varieties, maintenance, care, reproduction

Video: Aquarium swordfish: varieties, maintenance, care, reproduction
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Aquarium swordfish is the most popular of many exotic species. It can be safely called an old-timer of aquarium lovers. This species is liked by both beginners and experienced lovers of underwater fauna due to the variety of colors, shapes, cheerful nature, unpretentiousness in nutrition and conditions of detention. But any living creature needs to be looked after and paid attention to, and fish are no exception.


Xyphophorus galleri was first described by taxidermist, zoologist and ichthyologist from Austria, Johann Jakob Haeckel. The viviparous fish belongs to the family of pecilia, suborder carp-toothed, class ray-finned. The species was named helleri in honor of the naturalist and famous botanist Karl Bartholomeus Heller. In Mexico, he collected exhibits for the Vienna Botanical Garden, and did not disregard various small living creatures.

Once, having caught fish from a stream, he was delighted, as suchhe had never seen unusual specimens, so he decided to bring this miracle to Europe.

From Greek xiphos means "sword" and pherein means "carry". It turns out "carrying the sword." The scientist collected and brought future aquarium fish of the swordtails. Today, there are already several species, representatives of the underwater world.

Unfortunately, they are endangered and listed in the Red Book. So if there are such fish in the house, you are the owner of a rare specimen.

fish in the aquarium
fish in the aquarium


These creatures are quite peaceful and playful, despite their warlike name - the swordsman. A photo of an aquarium fish shows a distinctive feature - the bottom is longer than the top and looks like a sword.

The swordsman has an elongated body measuring 5-8 cm, with a blunt nose, flat sides are decorated with thin stripes. The mouth of the fish is slightly upturned, so it is easier for individuals to grab food from the surface of the water.

Coloring pleases the eye with a rich palette. Sometimes there are quite unusual colors - the body of a fish of one color, and the fins of another. The female is slightly larger. Males are smaller, but brighter, with rays on the caudal fin.


Thanks to the high-browed male breeders, beautiful species of aquarium swordtails turned out. Individuals have developed different shapes of the tail fin and a magnificent coloration.

A whole group of breeds living in the water of pets combines several species that differ from each other:

  • according to the color of the scales (monochrome);
  • byoriginal fins;
  • by the presence of a pattern on the body.

All fish are very beautiful, each can boast of its unique appearance.

fish species
fish species

Solid colors

One of the varieties of aquarium swordtails is distinguished by a solid color scheme. These include:

1. Red swordsman. As a result of crossing a green swordsman with a red pecilia, a hybrid species was obtained with bright red scales. The result was achieved thanks to the careful selection of adult fish.

2. Green. This handsome man was brought from Central America. The color of the fish is simply unique - olive brown. There are specimens of gray-yellow color with an emerald tint. A purple stripe runs through the entire body, there are still two narrow stripes in parallel. The dorsal fin is tinged with brown, the tail shimmers with blue and green hues. The original representative of this species can only be found in the natural environment, as it was separated and taken as a start when breeding different breeds of hybrid fish.

3. Black. The description of an aquarium swordsman of this color is not difficult. The species arose after crossing the black platy and the green swordsman. The result was a specimen with an elongated narrow body, like the rest of the species, but with a black velvet color and a blue tint. Unfortunately, the species is problematic for breeding, because female black swordtails often suffer from an ailment in which excessive skin pigmentation is manifested - this is melanosis. Often found infertilefemales.

black swordsman
black swordsman

4. White. The scales of the fish are of a beautiful white mother-of-pearl color, it can be considered an albino. With original fins. Not so long ago, fish with an interesting tail shape were bred.

5. Photos and names of aquarium swordsmen speaks for itself: forked. The fish has a tail similar to a fork, it has processes from both the lower and upper parts of the tail.

forked tail
forked tail

6. Flag. The dorsal and caudal fins of the fish are almost fused, resulting in a beautiful flag. Such individuals will decorate any collection of lovers, excellent representatives, of the underwater world.

Spotted scales

Description and photo of aquarium fish swordtails shows that specimens can be not only of a single color, but also with spots, stripes, pineapple. For example:

  • Koi Kohaku. These fish are the most popular variety with a beautiful two-tone color. A striking combination of white and bright orange scales, they are also called santa claus. In content, they are unpretentious, however, there are difficulties in reproduction, as defective units often come across.
  • Cuban swordsman. There is a red fish with a black tail or a black fish with a red tail. A beautiful specimen with great grace.
  • Rainbow. The species was obtained using white Bulgarian swordtails. They have a grayish-green color with a delicate orange tint and red-brown stripes on the sides. The fish is decorated with bright, red-orange fins.
  • Brindle. The pride of Moscow zoologists whothis species was bred in the 40s. The fish has ruby scales with black specks all over the body and elongated lower tail rays. In rare cases, melanosis is possible. For breeding work, individuals with a black caudal fin and a black pre-caudal field are preferred. The fish species with the fiery red body and black tail are in the greatest demand.
  • Koi Sanke. Aquarium swordfish with a tricolor color. The scales are orange, black and white. Orange and white are the basic shades, black spots are randomly arranged on them.
one of the types of swordsmen
one of the types of swordsmen
  • Calico. The species of fish was bred in the USSR in the 50s. Now it is very rare. The main background of the fish is white. Red and black blotches are scattered over it. Getting offspring from fish is accompanied by certain difficulties.
  • Pineapple. Aquarium swordfish is famous for its beauty. White-yellow mother-of-pearl body fades to orange on the fins.
two swordfish
two swordfish

Scientists are still working on the color and shape of the fins. It happens that without the participation of breeders, if there are fish of other species in the aquarium, beautiful individuals with an intriguing color can appear through reproduction.

Natural environment

The swordtail fish is native to southeastern Mexico, central Guatemala, southern Belize and northwestern Honduras. Under natural conditions, it lives in rivers, warm springs, streams, ponds and canals, with overgrown algae.

Young individuals settle incalm waters, while adults prefer strong currents. The main thing is that the reservoir is not deep, since there are more small vegetation, insects and algae, which means that the composition of the food is better.

Aquarium swordfish at home slightly larger than in captivity:

  • male - 10-11 cm (excluding sword);
  • female - 13 cm.

The swordtail is considered one of the fish that are popular with lovers of aquatic fauna. Many different specimens can be seen in the aquarium with amateurs.

Aquarium keeping

The swordsman is not cocky, hardy, gets along well with neighbors, the same good-natured, cheerful fish, and is quite suitable for life in a common aquarium. The best neighbors:

  • pecilia;
  • molynesia;
  • scalars;
  • catfish corridors;
  • catfish suckers
  • black thorns;
  • minors;
  • tetras;
  • zebrafish;
  • guppies;
  • neons.

Don't place swordtails with large and aggressive species:

  • astronotus;
  • akarami;
  • cichlazoma;
  • goldfish.

Swordmen can't always make peace with shrimp and eels - it's a 50/50 lottery.

conditions in the aquarium
conditions in the aquarium

Keeping an aquarium swordsman and caring for him will not cause much trouble. But some effort is still needed. Basic aquarium requirements:

  • The volume must be at least 50 liters to give the fish enough room to swim.
  • Water - clean, moderately hardaround 15-30 dGH. Changes every two weeks for 30%.
  • The water temperature is about 24-26 degrees, at a temperature of 16 degrees the fish will not live long.
  • Water filtration will be required, one filter for such an aquarium will be enough.
  • Aeration is necessary if there are many inhabitants in the fish house, if there are few, then do not worry.
  • The composition and color of the soil does not matter, since the fish are mainly in the upper or middle layers of the water.
  • There should be plenty of vegetation. In it, the fish will hide, play and throw fry.
  • It is better to cover the aquarium, swordtail males are jumpy and sometimes jump out of the water.
  • Male individuals can sort things out with each other, so the smaller the population of the aquarium and the more females for males, the friendlier the situation will be.
  • Algae should be abundant, dense thickets can be made by planting kabomba, toothed elodea. On the sides, small-leaved and long luster, pinnate are planted. Riccia will decorate the surface of the water well.

Antique figurines, pebbles, shells can be put at the bottom of the aquarium - this will please the eye.

Possible problems

Keeping and breeding swordtails in an aquarium with small fish is best avoided. The big ones can hurt the little ones. Neighborhood with calm and inactive fish usually ends in trouble in the form of damage to the fins. An overplayed swordsman can bite off a piece of a fin from a calmer fish.

A large number of males leads to the fact that inthe aquarium starts a fight. In such cases, a male with a harem is settled in a separate aquarium - life will be calmer without an opponent. Or they organize a group of 4-5 males, then the attention of the swordsman will not be focused on one opponent, and the number of conflicts will noticeably decrease.

The best option is to start a family. One male and 3-4 females. He will miss one.


Aquarium swordfish, like all living creatures, needs good care and a balanced diet. One of the advantages is unpretentiousness in food. In their natural environment, fish feed on algae. In pet stores, you need to purchase special flakes for them with a plant component. Swordtails are suitable for the following categories of food:

  • dry;
  • vegetable;
  • live (bloodworm, tubifex, brine shrimp, daphnia).

You can make your own food. Knowledgeable people recommend offering fish:

  • boiled squid or fish;
  • lean meat;
  • chicken yolk;
  • crumbs of dry bread.

Vegetable food should be thoroughly poured over with boiling water before grinding. It is necessary that these were young plants. The diet includes:

  • nettle;
  • spinach;
  • salad.

Under unforeseen circumstances, fish can be left without feeding for a maximum of two weeks. In the absence of the owner, the swordtails will eat the fouling that forms on plants or on the glass of the aquarium, they will not disdain tiny snails.

This is for emergencies, but usually the fish are fedno more than once a day.

Gender differences

The male, unlike the female, has a “sword” adorning its tail. If in a male this sign is not pronounced, then the gonopodium will come to the rescue - a slightly modified anal fin. The female has a rounded shape, while the male has a pointed one.

fish in the aquarium
fish in the aquarium

A photo of an aquarium swordtail fish clearly demonstrates this difference. The fry develops gonopodium by about four months, and the final puberty is completed by five months. Here you need to be careful and careful, it will depend on the temperature of the water who the little fish wants to be - a boy or a girl, if the water temperature is about 29 degrees, then the company of cheerful guys will be provided, if the water temperature is much lower, then you can become a happy owner of a harem.

The appearance of offspring

The swordtail is a viviparous fish. Tiny, but fully formed fish are born. The male fertilizes the eggs inside the female, she wears them until they are fully mature. If a female's tummy grows, then there will be offspring soon.

pregnant fish
pregnant fish

The gestation process lasts 4 weeks. Before the fry appear, it is better to put the mother in a separate container with a large amount of algae and leaves, so that the new generation has somewhere to hide. During breeding, aquarium swordtails can give birth to up to 50 fry at a time.

After giving birth, it is better to return the mother to the general aquarium in order to reduce the risk of eating her own offspring. Sometimes due to lackthe feeding female can look at the cubs from a gastronomic point of view.

Interestingly, ladies of the swordtail can bear offspring without the participation of a male. The female retains "frozen" milk and fertilizes herself.

When a detachment of small fish appears, you should think about their food. The menu is better to choose this:

  • tiny microorganisms ("live dust");
  • microworm;
  • cut tubifex;
  • rotifers.

After a delicious lunch, you can play. The fry happily dart around the algae, hiding here and there.

Fish diseases

Aquarian swordfish rarely get sick, these individuals are in good he alth, but it happens that the fish does get sick. The main causes of the disease can be:

  • inappropriate containment conditions;
  • infections;
  • fungi;
  • cold.

Before you buy a fish, you should carefully inspect it, whether everything is in order with it. There should be no plaque, fluff, sores or rash on the body of the fish. If there is something like that, then the individual is sick.

Fungal diseases are cured by quarantine in s alted water. Thanks to this, the outer integument is cleansed of parasites and harmful microorganisms.

A s alt bath is prepared at the rate of one tablespoon of s alt per liter of boiled water. The fish is placed in the solution for 20 minutes. This will help her heal and you will prevent the spread of the disease to other fish in the tank.

To consolidate the effect, it is better to place the fish in a solution for a couple of daysmethylene blue of low concentration in compliance with the temperature regime of 25 degrees.

In diseases of the gills and scales, trypaflavin and biomycin are used in solutions. When the fish is cured, it can be put into a common aquarium, where it will swim among its relatives.

species of swordsmen
species of swordsmen


Statistics show that fish in aquariums live less than in the natural environment. The average lifespan of a fish in an aquarium is 3-5 years. In order for the swordsman to live longer, his house must be free. Another factor that affects the life span of pets is water temperature. The body temperature of fish and water is the same. The warmer the water, the faster the metabolism in the body of the fish, shortening their life.

Swordsman is a beautiful fish that has been decorating the aquariums of many families since the times of the USSR. "Little Princes" with a sword fell in love with both adults and children. Fish to this day remain welcome residents in the aquariums of lovers of the fabulous underwater world.