Species group: Livebearers
Other common names: Lyre Swordtail,; Red Lyre Swordtail; Gold Swordtail; Red Wag Swordtail; Pineapple Swordtail; Marbled Swordtail; Black Swordtail; High-Fin Swordtail
Scientific name: Xiphophorus helleri
Swordtails have elongated bodies typical of the Livebearer species. The native color is orange but selective breeding has led to varieties that are red, black, gold, and marbled. The distinguishing characteristic of Swordtails is the straight sword-like extension of the lower edge of the caudal fin. The sword is present only in males. Females resemble males in all other aspects (they are as colorful) but are bigger and stouter, especially when mature and ready to breed. Variations include orange, marbled, reddish orange, orange and gold, reddish-orange, and black.
Swordtails are excellent for community aquariums because they are hardy, active, and colorful. Males can become aggressive, though, against smaller fishes, especially in crowded or small aquariums. As with other Livebearers, Swordtails are easy to breed, and are best kept in a more-females-than-males ratio to minimize harassment of the females.
Swordtails are active swimmers and tend to jump; therefore, they require large spacious tanks that have close-fitting lids. They prefer well-planted tanks especially for juveniles that need to hide from bigger or more aggressive tank mates.
various colours, bright orange, active centerpiece, popular live-bearers, Good beginner fish
huge bio-load, baby fish, occasional nipping, good jumpers, prolific breeders
genetically engineered, good toxin tolerance, freshwater livebearers