Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Nov 08, 2014
The swordtail has become one of the most popular tropical fish ever and with good reason. It is a live-bearer and is exceedingly easy to breed. It also comes in a range of colours, and it is suitable for the community tank. My favourite type is the red wagtail swordtail which has an orange-red body and blackish fins that provide an attractive contrast.
Swordtail males have a long sword-like projection from their tail-fins and hence the name of the species.
Male fish need no encouragement to fertilise females and if you keep both sexes together then the females will become pregnant. This is easily visible because they become a lot fatter and may have a darker marking at the bottom of the belly known as the gravid spot.
Females drop the baby fry wherever they are swimming at the time and it is best to provide either a lot of vegetation the fry can hide in or to use a breeding trap to make sure the babies cannot get eaten by the mother. The young swordtails are easy to rear.