Fans of aquariums should be well known fish, which is called the swordtail. Sword-bearers are aquarium fish, but their habitat is not limited to beautiful glass containers, they can live freely in open ponds. In 1848, Dr. I.Ya. Hekel named these beauties in honor of the famous botanist KB Geller. Xiphophorus helleri. And in the same year, for the first time, he provided nature lovers with a description of these fish.
What Swordsmen Look Like. Aquarium Fish
Sword-bearers live for four to five years and can reach sizes of 8-12 cm during this time. This is the length of the body without a sword. This applies to males, since the nature of the females did not reward such interesting property. The size of the fish largely depends on the size of the aquarium; under natural conditions, they can grow up to 13 cm, with an aquarium content, on average, the length of the swordtail is 4-7 cm. The body is elongated and oblate from the sides. Thanks to breeding, Swordtails can please us with a large variety of colors and shapes of fins. These fish are black, red, yellow, orange color, in addition, the colors on their body can be beautifully combined. For example, red body and black fins. There are swordtails who have one sword in the lower part of the tail, and another sword in the upper part.
Swordtails in nature
Types of Sword
There are many different types of swordtails. Sword-bearers (aquarium fish), if their different species are kept together, can mate, as a result of which they can turn out very beautiful, with interesting coloring fry. In some cases, to the great joy of the owner of the aquarium, a new species is born. Among the already existing ones, I would like to mention some, especially distinguished by their beauty. Lemon Sword, for example, is distinguished by its beautiful yellow-green color. Unfortunately, such fish breed badly. Another type of swordtail with an unusual color. calico swordtail. They called him so because of the white color with black and red spots. The tiger swordsman looks very beautiful in an aquarium. This fish is painted red with black spots, and it also has a strict black sword. Each species is beautiful and is able to please fans of aquarium fish.
How to keep swordtails in an aquarium
There are such types of fish, which are very difficult to care for, but this is not the case with everyone. For example, you have an aquarium fish swordtail, the content of such a beauty will give you more pleasure than trouble. For one pair of such residents will require a minimum of 6 liters of water. Water temperature should be 23-25 degrees, hardness. dH 8–25, acidity. pH 7-8. It is recommended to add 1 tablespoon of salt or table salt to 10 liters of water. Once a week you need to change water by 1/3 of the volume. Sword-bearers also like algae thickets, for this purpose valisneria or jagged elodeia would be ideal.
Sword-bearers (fish): with whom do they get along in the same aquarium?
The aquarium is a large glass house with many fish neighbors. Each neighbor has its own character. Small aquatic inhabitants are calm, but they are also snooty. Handsome swordsmen (fish): with whom do such nimble neighbors get along? They love to adjoin with peaceful, kindly fish, as they themselves are calm. In one aquarium it is better to keep the fish of the same size and with the same peaceful nature. It is not recommended to move the fish too sluggish and with large fins, the swordtails must bite them, and they will not give rest to the fish, which are smaller than themselves in size. In one aquarium you need to contain more females than males, the male must be one, or there must be more than three. Otherwise there will be fights in the glass house.
How and what to feed
Feeding the swordsmen also does not take much trouble and does not take much time. Swordtails. fish, care for which does not complicate even people who often leave on business trips. If you have to leave the house for a long time, they can do without feeding for two weeks. Leaving them unattended for so long is still not recommended, but with great need it is possible. At this time, the Swordtails will feed on small snails or algal formations on the glass or on the leaves of the plants. The rest of the time for the swordtails any food will be suitable: dry, frozen, canned. We should not forget that the fish need a live feed, such as a pipe builder, bloodworm, daphnia. It is also a good idea to include nettle, peas, spinach, and various types of lettuce in this diet. If a fry appeared in your tank, you need to increase the amount of protein in the feed. Use for this rotifers, microworms, cyclops nauplii. Emerging young animals need frequent feeding.
How breeding swordtails
Swordtails are viviparous, so breeding them is easy. In 5-6 months in your aquarium farm there will already be swordfish fish ready for mating.
Mating and gestation
The mating of the swordtails occurs with the help of the male sexual organ. The sword-bearer (male fish) lays eggs in the female’s abdomen. This process can go unnoticed by the owner, but if you still notice that the pairing has taken place, note the time, and in five weeks you will have a replenishment in the water kingdom. During the breeding of the fry, it is necessary to closely monitor the temperature in the aquarium and the quality of the food, the health of the newborn fish will depend on it, and even what sex they will be born. If the water temperature is about thirty degrees, then the ratio of females and males will be 1:10, but if the water will be about twenty degrees, the ratio will change in the opposite direction. Try 3 days before delivery to place the female in a separate container, you can simply in a glass jar. Approaching childbirth you notice noticeably rounded abdomen.
How to save newborn fry
In order to save the fry, there are different ways. You just need to be careful, do everything quickly and in a timely manner, then you will save the kids from careless and cruel parents. All ways are simple! It is possible immediately after spawning to sow the female into a common aquarium, because the little swordtails are born completely ready for life. They immediately swim and eat on their own. If you do not have time to plant a female, then you can prepare in advance a special device for spawning, like a funnel. When the fry are born, they fall through the funnel into the aquarium for spawning, and the female remains in the funnel. There is a way that suits all occasions. In the aquarium for spawning there should be a lot of algae both at the bottom and at the top. These algae will serve as a shelter for the little ones, where they can hide from their parents. With the right content at the age of two months, young people will begin sexual changes, and in three months, males can be distinguished from females. At this time, the "boys" will begin to grow a sword.
What are the swordtails, and how to prevent it
Fish, like all living things, sometimes get sick. Subject to various diseases and swordsmen. Fish whose diseases are known to their owner are safer. After all, if he is familiar with the problem and was able to notice it in time, then it is much easier to deal with it. Swordsmen can get sick with a viral or fungal disease. If you purchased a new fish, you risk bringing an infection with it to the aquarium. Therefore, a new acquisition must be quarantined for 10-12 days. If the fish is sick, then during this time the disease will be felt. Immediately after the purchase, place the swordtail for 20 minutes in a jar of salt water (take 1 tablespoon of salt per 1 liter). During this time, harmful microorganisms will die. To avoid fungal diseases, you need to thoroughly and regularly clean the aquarium and promptly remove food residues from it. Buy live food only from sellers you know and trust them. With live food, you too can bring viral infections to your fish. If, however, your pet is sick, then urgently drop it to another aquarium and begin treatment. If you hesitate, you will lose not only one diseased fish, other inhabitants of your aquatic world may become infected.
Curious about the life of the Sword
If you watch closely the life of the fish, you will notice a lot of interesting things. Swordtails. aquarium fish, in the history of which there are many interesting facts. Do you know that, due to certain circumstances, a female swordtail can change the sex and grow a sword? After that she will behave like a male, pester other females, fight males, but will not be able to fertilize. The nature sometimes jokes a little and gives curious surprises!