Animal Stories - Swordtail Fish


Animal-World Information about: Swordtail Fish

   The most popular fish next to the Guppy is most certainly the Swordtail!
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Dave reeve - 2013-11-03
I have two breeding pairs of swordtails but one of the males seems to like laying vertical in the weeds and even swimming vertical most of the time, is there a problem? Come feeding time there is no problem ......

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-11-07
    There are many things that can cause a fish to show abnormal swimming movements. I would suggest the fish is stressed due to environment, but take a good look at the fish to see if you can identify anything unusual in its appearance. Abnormal swimming is often caused by Swim bladder disease (bacterial infection). More extreme problems could be parasites in the blood capillaries of the brain (Myxosoma) or nodules in the brain and spinal cord causing an abnormal position of the body and zigzag movements in swimming (Ichthyosporidium). As you can see, its hard to pin down, but swim bladder disorders are one of the more common illnesses.
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Anna Hermosillo - 2013-08-03
We have a Twinbar Solar Flare Swordtail that is giving birth right now and don't know what to do or how long it's going to take her. So far she had 2. How many will she have? Please help.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-04
    They usually have upwards of 80+ young! Has she had any more? The most important thing you can do is to remove the mother (and any other fish) from the tank or at least provide plenty of plants and other hiding places for the babies so they don't get eaten!
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Theresa - 2013-03-26
I have a Swordtail that I separated because she was about to have her babies. She had one that was born dead. About 2 hours later she had another stillborn. It has been 2 days and nothing else has happened. She still has the dark coloration like there are still babies there. But so did my Platty when she was done. Is it ever the case that it takes days sometimes for them to finish giving birth or can I assume she is finished at just 2 born dead?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-26
    I have never seen 2 days but anything possible.  Any changes in water? Temp?
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janj - 2013-01-28
My dead swordtail has a worm by its gills. This is the second time it's happened, what is it please?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-28
    Whats the worm look like?
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-31
    It sounds like your fish may have had anchor worm. The anchor worm (lernea spp.) is a true parasite that embeds in either the gill or body of a host fish. It can do considerable damage to its host, and it very contageous. This is actually a copepod (crustacean arthropod) rather than a true worm. It looks like a small whip (just a few mm to under an inch in length) with a forked tail. It attaches to the fish with its 'anchor' shaped head.



    For future reference... it is rather stressful for a fish, but the parasite can be carefully removed. Hold the fish on a damp cloth in your hand, then extract it with a pair of household tweezers. Gently press the tweezers as close to the skin as possible, but only extract the worm, not the flesh of the fish. Treat the infected area with an antiseptic (I've used iodine) after removing the parasite. Then return the fish to its tank.
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Bonnie Spielman - 2012-12-26
Do the female become infertile when they get older?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-26
    Most will either loss fertility or slow down a bit.  A lot depends on health and environment.
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J - 2008-07-22
I'm wondering how people tell if the swordtails are pregnant, since I have 2 males and 3 females.

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  • Margaret - 2012-09-16
    The bellies of pregnant livebearers get very large, just as humans!
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-09-17
    They will get large and you will be able to see the babies in the back portion of the belly there is a black spot that will expand as they grow!
  • Anonymous - 2012-12-07
    yes u can
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vivek - 2012-06-19
Can I put sword tails in a community tank containing guppys and its frys ?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-20
    Swordtails and guppies will eat their fry.  Fry should be removed if you are trying to keep as many fry alive as possible.
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Deb - 2012-05-18
What should I do if I have overcrowd of swordtails. Can I slow down or prevent them from breeding?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-18
    Not really. ometimes pet stores will take them in trade.
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Anonymous - 2012-05-12
Will swordtails also eat live plants, or only blanched lettuce?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-13
    They should. Get an aquarium clip for the lettuce.
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victoria - 2010-03-13
I was wondering how big are sword tails? I have fish that died recently because they got sucked up by my filter because my filter has openings around it, but it's too small for bigger fish than platys to get in it so my mom was going to buy some sword tails. I am wondering how big are they because I have to have a fish that is bigger than a platy! What do you think?

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  • nm123 - 2011-11-10
    about 2 inches
  • Rick - 2012-04-11
    Swordtails can grow up to 4.5 inches, depending on the variety purchased and care given. They usually have a life span of 2 - 4 years.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-12
    You can get screens for you filter end that would help prevent this. Do you have the tip on the end of the filter or is it wide open?
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