Swordtail Facts:

Scientific Name : Xiphophorus helleri
average adult size:3 to 5 inches long
average life span:3 - 5 years
diet:omnivore - flakes/pellets
minimum aquarium size:10+ gallons
water parameters:


pH: 7-8


A well-balanced Swordtail diet consists of:

  • Food may be flaked, pellet, frozen or live.
  • Avoid exclusive food which is not nutritionally complete.


Things to remember when feeding your Swordtail:

  • Feed small amounts 1-3 times daily, no more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen foods if you choose to feed frozen.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plants for hiding, various species may prefer sparse or thick vegetation.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Home Aquatics offers water testing.


  • All Freshwater Livebearers do best in groups of three or more of the same species.
  • Females are usually larger but less colourful than males.
  • Males have a large sword fin, which makes identifying them very simple.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily: Check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: Check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: Change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


Swordtails are compatible with most species. Swordtails may eat very small fry.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Healthy appetite
  • Bright, even coloring
  • Clean in appearance

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color or appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • erratic swimming
  • frayed fins

Common Health Issues

Health IssueSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action
Fin rotFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens.Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
IchWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly.

Quarantine fish immediately; use a commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks

The Swordtail comes in many different colors with the males being easily identified by their signature sword like tail. The Swordtail is an extremely hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions.

They are livebearers which means that the baby fish come out free swimming. Like their livebearer counterpart, the guppy, the Swordtail is a prolific breeder and a female will give birth about once every 28 days. 

Some hobbyists have reported problems with aggression among male Swordtails when keeping multiples. It may be a good idea to limit the number of male Swordtails in your tank. A good mix may be three females to one male.

They will eat most fish foods including flakes, frozen, freeze dried and live foods such as brine shrimp.

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Mixed Swordtails

  • Brand: Home Aquatics
  • Product Code: HA002
  • Availability: Pre-Order
  • $3.99

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