Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Swordtail

Information and Pictures

A school of sunrise swordtail fish are at the top of a water tank that has a blue background with green plants below them.

Sunrise swordtails

Scientific Name

Xiphophorus helleri (Xiphophorous means "bearing a sword")

Type

Livebearer

Family

Poeciliidae

Subfamily

Poeciliinae

Other Names
  • Black Swordtail
  • Black Velvet
  • Gold Tux
  • Green
  • Lyretail
  • Neon
  • Sunrise Swordtail
  • Red Simpson
  • Spotted
  • Red Velvet Swordtails
  • Belize
  • Atoyac
Minimum Tank Size

10 gallons

Tank Level

Top, middle

Care

Easy, good for beginners.

Behavior

Peaceful, good community fish, although they will sometimes eat fry (their own and from other fish).

Compatibility

With other peaceful fish. Some have reported aggression toward other males when kept in large numbers. It may be wise to limit the number of males in a single tank.

Life Span

3 - 5 years

Size

Up to 5 inches (13 cm)

Aquarium

Covered tank, likes lots of plants with some open space.

Water Chemistry

Freshwater, like other livebearers, they like a bit of salt, but it is not necessary.

pH

7 - 8

Hardness

9° - 15° dH

Temperature

72° - 82° F (21° - 28°C)

Feeding

Prefers live food, but other diets are accepted. A vegetable component is important. They like flakes, frozen, freeze-dried and live foods such as brine shrimp.

Sexing

Males have long sword tail, females do not.

Breeding

Up to 200 fry are produced every 4-6 weeks.

Origin

Central America

Extras

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