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Swordtails

This is a discussion on Swordtails within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> So, I just got three swordtails for my 16 gallon bowfront aquarium. I have a few questions about them as I don't really know ...

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Old 03-06-2009, 01:53 PM   #1
 
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Swordtails

So, I just got three swordtails for my 16 gallon bowfront aquarium. I have a few questions about them as I don't really know anything about them.

The guy at the pet store said that they were not really aggressive but were a community fish. But, when I got them home, one of the swordtails is really aggressive to the other two swordtails. I have noticed though that this is only really when the he/she thinks there is food coming.

I am pretty sure that I have three different kinds of swordtails, they all look pretty different from each other.

So, I was wondering, should I try and net the aggressive one out during feeding time and feed him/her separatly? Also, how do you tell between a male and a female swordtail?

And, I am really afraid I am feeding them too much. I am really confused on how much to feed these little guys/gals. They are so much fun to watch though. And, they really don't mind when I put my finger in the water, they're just really curious. I only put my finger in the water when I put food in it. I try to let some of the flakes fall so the "lower" fish can get some. The aggressive one won't really let them get closer to the top of the tank where the food is. I think it's kind of funny how he/she kind of shoots up his/her top fin and wiggles around really fast when he/she's mad.

So anyways, any advice on these type of fish would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :)
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:26 PM   #2
 
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Well, I will answer what I can.
This will give your post a bump, so someone else will see it.

A male will have a gonopodium, it a long pointy anal fin. If you have both males and females, you will notice a difference.
They really do not need to eat allot to stay healthy and grow. If they all get a couple flakes each a day, that is plenty. Giving them a variety of food would be good.

Aggression, I will not comment on. I have never kept them. I am guessing that they do no real damage? That trying to seperate at feeding time could cause allot of stress on the fish. Maybe if no one is getting hurt, just let the fish work it out.
You can always try dropping food on both sides of the tank at once.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
 
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Dropping food on each end of the tank works well. No one would get any food in my tank other than my clowns if I didn't to that. Clowns can be absolutely voracious and create quite the frenzy when feeding. Staying on opposite ends of the tank when feeding ensures everyone gets meal. I'm sure doing this would allow all your swords to get fed.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
 
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Thanks! I will try that. Yeah, it's funny, the semi-aggresive one is actually always that way or most of the time, its really not just during feeding time. But, it has been getting better I think and it's only been one day so I'll see how it goes.

Also, I was wondering, should I leave a lamp on at night or something for them. I know I probably don't need to leave their florescent light on but, I think that may have been one of the reasons why my first fish died because, it is like pitch black in the house when all the lights are off in the house and I tried turning off their florescent light as well as all the lights, and then I turned it back on after a few minutes and they were kinda going crazy, they definitely weren't relaxed I don't think. Is it alright to turn off the light at night?
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:32 AM   #5
 
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The females usually don't have the tail extensions. If multiple males are kept together, they can get aggressive.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:42 AM   #6
 
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Its ok to turn out the lights.
The lights going on and off does startle some fish, but they live through it.
I put some led lights on some of my tanks for night lighting, not needed, but it does seem to relax some of my fish.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
 
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Oh okay, thanks. Yeah, I am pretty sure that they are all males. But, I am going to take a video of them swimming around and put them on Youtube so if you can look at the video I could be sure from you all. They seem like they are working it out now. They are now all able to come to the top of the tank for food.

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:51 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammies4787 View Post
Thanks! I will try that. Yeah, it's funny, the semi-aggresive one is actually always that way or most of the time, its really not just during feeding time. But, it has been getting better I think and it's only been one day so I'll see how it goes.

Also, I was wondering, should I leave a lamp on at night or something for them. I know I probably don't need to leave their florescent light on but, I think that may have been one of the reasons why my first fish died because, it is like pitch black in the house when all the lights are off in the house and I tried turning off their florescent light as well as all the lights, and then I turned it back on after a few minutes and they were kinda going crazy, they definitely weren't relaxed I don't think. Is it alright to turn off the light at night?
It's perfectly ok to keep all the lights out for periods of time, I usually keep my lights off tbh, because my tank sits 2-3 feet from a window. Thankfully the sun isn't at the window for a long period of time but it get's medium light throughout the day. It also slowly raises and lowers the lights, not automaticaly, which is good for lower stress. My Lights are only used for viewing.

I'm not telling you to put your tank near a window though unless you have some good blinds b/c I'm probably 2-3 months in an I already have a considerable amount of algae.

Anyway, back to the lights. When you turned the lights on, from pitch black, that was most likely the only reason you saw your fish going crazy..
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
 
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Swordtails are easy as pie to sex. Apart from the gonopodium, males also have a sword. This is a long, brightly colored extension on the lower part of the tail (caudal) fin. Females don't have this feature.

You could also try turning on the lights in the room for a few minutes before turning on the tank lights in the morning. This creates something like a dimly lit "dawn" for them so they aren't as startled when the tank lights come on.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:30 AM   #10
 
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so, what if they eat like maybe 5-10 flakes a day, is that too much?
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