Does anyone keep swordtails? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-11-2010, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
Does anyone keep swordtails?

I have been reading a lot about them as I plan to get a couple in the next few weeks, but I would really like any advice/observations/opinions from people who actually keep them!
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-11-2010, 08:31 PM
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I don't right now but I have in the past. If you've ever kept platies, swordtails aren't a whole lot different other than being slightly larger and a little more prone to jumping. They're usually pretty docile, friendly fish that will eat most staple tropical fish foods. Keep them in typical livebearer ratios (one male to two or three females) to prevent the males from stressing out a particular female, or keep all males if you don't want to deal with fry.

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
I have never kept platies either. Are these two actually different species or just variations of the same species? They can interbreed right?
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 12:54 PM
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I have four platies, I'm staring to think one or two might be swordtails...
There are swordtails that can easily be distinguished from platies, and then there are those without the long tail. Even if I do have a swortail or two, they school with the platies and you practically cannot tell the difference, thats why I'm not even sure.
They are not VERY active, not agressive, only chase each other around sometimes. Sometimes they swim in pairs, which is very cool.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
Yeah I have been looking at photos of lots of different types, I'd like to get a male with the long tails. I have seen photos of lyre tail or double tail swords but I doubt my lfs will stock them lol
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 03:37 PM
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I have one for now but plan to get a pair of "red brick" . The one I have really likes to eat the algae off of the plants and the wood. For a while I had a problem starting with the algae and she was constantly eating and constantly pooping too. It was a constant flow in and out. Funny. They like hard (100-150 mg/l) alkaline (7.5ph) water. Males are often quarrelsome. They are hardy and will have babies often, once, I bought a sword tail pair and that same night she had babies. I was a child and was just thrilled over that.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
Aww I bet! I don't have any algae but I will be keeping my catfish in the same tank - my guppies love to peck at his algae wafers too. I can't wait to go to the lfs tomorrow, I'm going to take some guppies and my mollies to trade.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-12-2010, 06:26 PM
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Swordtails and platies are different species but can interbreed. I'm not sure about the fertility of the offspring, though.

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post #9 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
Well I ended up getting a pair of platies lol, the male doesn't really seem interested in the female so hopefully he won't harrass her, I will keep an eye on them though. How do I tell if she is already pregnant other than being fat?
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-13-2010, 05:53 PM
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She gets fat and I think her belly shows a different color... How do you tell male from female?
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