Acquired: Fish / pet store
Posted Sep 06, 2015
I always had aquariums growing up thanks to my fathers enthusiasm for them, and now that I'm an adult I've continued that tradition. During the years and years I've had fish, swordtails are the only fish species I've owned multiple times.
It's a given that freshwater fish are generally not as brightly colored or fanciful looking as their saltwater brethren, but swordtails can definitely have nice colors and a sport a unique silhouette. In the past I had a pair of red wag swordtails, one male and one female, that had extremely long lives. Their red color let them stick out in a large tank with of other fish, plants, and decor, and they seldom hid. They also survived two moves, something not all of my little guys can say, which speaks to their robust nature.
Currently I own a male/female pair of neon swordtails, and I must say, despite their names, I'm not as happy with their look. Despite what their name would imply, they're a semi-opaque creamy color with dull orange fins and highlights. They don't look bad by any means, but they aren't as attractive as the red wags I had when I was younger. It's also worth noting that, at lest for the pair I have now, they breed extremely easily and often. This summer alone they've had two batches of 25-30 babies, and the female looks to be pregnant again. While many of them die out in the first few weeks, a handful from each group are growing up nicely. It's no problem for me, but if you don't have the willingness or capacity to deal with babies I'd highly recommend going for two females or a lone male.
Overall swordtails are a nice, attractive fish for being freshwater that are robust enough to handle just about anything within reason, and look different enough to mix the look of your tank.