ientific Name: Xiphophorus helleri
The Painted Swordtails get their name from the shape of their tail fin. The lower part of the Painted Swordtail's tail fin is elongated, and has the appearance of a sword. Painted Swordtails have a variety of random colors; each one is unique. At maturity, Painted Swordtails will reach a size of three to four inches. The elongated, sword shaped tail fin will be less prominent on females, and females will tend to be larger than males.
Painted Swordtails are an easy fish to care for. They need little attention, and are rather hardy. Their water temperature should be in a range between 70 and 79 degrees fahrenheit, and the water should be hard and slightly alkaline, with a pH between seven and eight. They are not picky eaters, and can be fed flake foods regularly. They should be given live foods, such as blood worms, glass worms, and tubifex worms occasionally as a treat. They will also eat algae that grow in their tank.
Painted Swordtails are not difficult to breed. Painted Swordtails are livebearers, and when breeding, they will produce 20 to 80 fry. Females should be separated before giving birth. Once born the fry should be separated from the mother, because she may eat them. Fry should be fed powdered flake foods.
Fresh water fish
Painted Swordtails make great community fish. Their exotic appearance makes them a highly attractive fish for any aquarium. They are a small size, hardy, and generally peaceful fish.
Painted Swordtails are a peaceful non-aggressive fish. However, if more than one male is kept with one female, the males will become aggressive towards each other. This should be avoided if possible. Otherwise, they make great community fish. Painted Swordtails should not be put into tanks with fish that like to nip at fins, like Tiger Barbs. Their large fins become great targets for these fish. Their tanks can be small to large sized, with light to moderate rock and plant decorations. The Painted Swordtails should have a few hiding places, but they also need plenty of space to swim.
The Painted Swordtail comes from the Green Swordtail, which was originally from Central America. The Green Swordtail was brought to Europe, where many varieties were produced, including the Painted Swordtail.