Scientific Name: Xiphophorus helleri
The Red Wag Swordtails get their name from the shape of their tail fin. The lower part of the Red Wag Swordtail's tail fin is elongated, and has the appearance of a sword. Red Wag Swordtails have dark, black rays in their fins and black lips, with goldish, red bodies. These color variations create strong contrasts. At maturity, Red Wag Swordtails will reach a size of two inches. The elongated, sword shaped tail fin will be less prominent on females, and females will tend to be larger than males.
Red Wag 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 bloodworms, glass worms, and tubifex worms occasionally as a treat. They will also eat algae that grow in their tank. Red Wags are susceptible to Fin Rot and Mouth Fungus.
Red Wag Swordtails are not difficult to breed. Red Wag 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
Red Wag 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.
Red Wag 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. Red Wag 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 Red Wag Swordtails should have a few hiding places, but they also need plenty of space to swim.
The Red Wag Swordtail comes from the Green Swordtail, which was originally from Central America, including Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The Green Swordtail was brought to Europe, where many varieties were produced, including the Red Wag Swordtail.