How to Take Care of Swordtail Fish in the Aquarium - fish-hobbyist

How to Take Care of Swordtail Fish in the Aquarium

Description: keeping swordtail fish in the aquarium requires special water and tank treatments. Here is the basic guide.

Keeping swordtail fish is a popular hobby, especially since swordtails require less difficult efforts to keep than more exotic fish. However, taking care of swordtail fish in the aquarium still requires proper maintenance, especially if you want to breed them for business. Here is what you need to know about keeping swordtails.

Ideal Water to Keep Swordtail Fish

Swordtail fish are natives to rivers in North and Central America, and they prefer warm or tropical water. However, they can adjust well to water with 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (around 18 to 28 degrees Celsius). Their natural habitats have enough underwater plants to nibble on and hide, especially for the newly-born fry. 

The best water pH for the optimum living condition is between 7.0 and 8.4, with moderate alkaline level. Swordtails also live better in hard water with 12 to 30 dGH. While the fish can thrive easily, make sure to prevent temperature shocks, such as sudden temperature rise or drop. Setting up water parameter and proper filtration will help your fish reaching the long age of three to five years.

Aquarium Setting for Swordtail Fish

Swordtails are active, have an average size, and breed easily. You need to provide enough place for them to swim peacefully without getting aggressive with each other, especially if you want to breed them. Here are several setting requirements to fulfill for an ideal swordtail’s aquarium:

1. Minimum 15-gallon tank

If you keep swordtails for a personal hobby, the ideal minimum volume of the aquarium is 15 to 29 gallons (around 57 to 132 liters). You need to have bigger tank volumes than 29 gallons for breeding, and perhaps multiple tanks as well (including special breeding tanks for the females to give birth).

2. Add hiding places and plants

Adding live plants to the aquarium gives your fish hiding places, especially for fry (if you have no time to move the pregnant female fish to the breeding tanks). You can use plants such as Java moss, hemianthus, and anublas. You can also add driftwood, but make sure it is properly cured to prevent the tannin from contaminating the water.

3. Choose the right aquarium mates

Swordtails are active, so make sure you choose slightly passive species to accompany them. Angelfish, mollies, and platies are popular companions for swordtails. Also, keep the 1:3 ratio between male and female swordtails to prevent aggressive behaviors.

Taking care of swordtail fish in the aquarium is not too difficult if you follow these rules: have a large tank, keep the water in ideal condition for the fish, and choose the right plants and companions for them.


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