Black Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) Tank-Bred!
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This classic swordtail variety is still one of the most beautiful varieties of them all!
The Black Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) is a longtime classic that has stayed consistently popular in the aquarium hobby for many decades. It has exquisite overall black coloration with iridescent blue-green flecks across its body. As is typical with swordtails, males have a long "sword" extension at the bottom of the tail. The extension is almost always yellow with this black variety. Like most swordtail varieties, the Black Swordtail is a variant of the wild Green Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri), but it also has genetics of other Xiphophorus species (such as X. maculatus and X. variatus platy varieties) to achieve new color patterns.
Swordtails typically occupy the top level of the water column, although they can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. They are also not afraid to jump, so they must be kept in an aquarium with either a lid/hood/canopy or at least a significantly lowered water level. They will not eat or bother plants. They are safe with other peaceful fish as long as the other fish are not known to nip at the long tail of the male swordtails. Adult dwarf shrimp may be safe as well, some swordtails will attain a size large enough to consider such small shrimp prey. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tankmates. Swordtails are best kept in groups, particularly groups where females outnumber males since mature males will constantly pursue females for breeding.
While not a picky eater, the Black Swordtail will thrive and remain very colorful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried tubifex and bloodworms will all be readily accepted.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Elegant black overall coloration with blue-green spotting
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Hardy and adaptable
- Excellent for inhabiting the top of the aquarium
- Very undemanding and perfect for beginners and experts alike
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 64° - 82.4° F (16° - 28° C)
- pH: 7.0 - 8.0
- KH: 10 - 30 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons
- Diet: Omnivorous. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods.
- Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to Mexico.
- Average adult size: 2.5 - 3 inches (6.3 - 7.5 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm) or larger
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