Beginner Care Guide of Swordtail

Date Posted: 2022-05-04 15:41:29

Common Name: Swordtail

Scientific Name: Xiphophorus hellerii

Average Size: Up to 10cm/4 inches

Life Span: 3-5 years with proper care

pH: 7.0 - 8.2

Temperature: 24°C - 27°C

Water Hardness: 5 - 1dH



Swordtails are omnivores. They consume both vegetable and small live food.

Swimming Behavior:

Swordtails like to swim at middle and top region of the aquarium. For better view, it is recommended to rear some bottom swimmers.

Live Bearer:

Swordtails give birth to babies rather than lay eggs. Therefore, floating plants is hiding place for babies fish can be added to aid in their survival rate.


Aquarium Placement:

Keep away the aquarium from direct sunlight and electronic goods.

Aquarium Size:

Swordtails need at least an aquarium size of 45 Litres with surface area being more important than depth.


Decorate the aquarium with plenty of live and bunch of plant. However, besure that centre of the aquarium is free flowing.


They do need well oxygenated water but refuse to have forceful water motion. Filter help to clean the water of debris, removes the toxic buildup of ammonia and nitrates and aerates the water.


6 - 8 hours of lighting is recommended. Avoid extended exposure of lighting to prevent the growth of algae.

Water Temperature:

Maintain the water temperature to between 24°C - 27°C. Water temperature can be measure by using ISTA Thermometer.

Water Change:

Advise weekly change 10% of your aquarium water, at least 30% of aquarium water monthly by using cleaning tools.

General Compatibility:

Cory cat, Plecostomus, Loach, Danios, Rasbora, Minnows, Tetra, Guppy, Swordtails and Mollies.


Staple diet:

TetraMin Flakes, Tetra Guppy and JBL Novo Granomix complete food with advanced nutrient for all tropical fish are ideal for swordtails.



Feed them once a while with Tetra Rubin to boost up their immune system.


Feed small amount 1 - 2 times daily with no more than they consume in 2 - 3 minutes.


Sign of healthy:

- Clear eyes

- Smooth and clean in appearance

- Healthy appetite

- Calm and steady gill movement

- Bright and even body coloration

Sign of Illness:

- Loss of body coloration or appetite

- Lying on the bottom of aquarium

- Poor growth or weight loss

- Fins clamped to sides

- Scraping body on rock

If you notice any illness sign(s), please to test water quality and improve it if necessary.


- Avoid fish tank from being overcrowded as it may cause stress to fish and higher chance for them to get sick.

- Regular water change and an appropriate filtration is needed to maintain a good water quality.

- Check water quality by using JBL Test Kit at lease once a week.

- Wash hand with soap after each time handling your aquarium.