Red Wag Swordtail


The Red Wag Swordtail demonstrates a classic color combination notable among the widely bred color varieties of the Xiphophorus helleri Swordtail. The bold color combination of red and black gives the Red Wag Swordtail a sophisticated appearance. The Swordtail is perhaps the quintessential community aquarium fish. The time-tested popularity of the Swordtail can be attributed to its ease of care, peaceful temperament, and wonderfully diverse fin and color varieties. The most common Swordtail varieties include: Red Velvet, Marigold, Black Nubian, Pineapple, and Neon Swordtail. The male Swordtail is especially prized for its namesake feature, the showy extension on the lower part of its tail resembling a sword.

The Red Wag Swordtail requires an aquarium of at least 20 gallons that is well planted with plenty of room for swimming. Because of its peaceful nature, the Red Wag Swordtail is well suited for the community aquarium. However, the male Red Wag Swordtail can demonstrate territorial aggression towards other male Swordtails so care should be taken when housing more than one male. Also, the Red Wag Swordtail is an accomplished jumper, so be sure to provide a secure cover for the aquarium.

The Red Wag Swordtail is a live-bearing fish related to freshwater aquarium favorites including guppies, mollies, and platys. As such, a female Swordtail can give birth to as many as 80 fry at one time. A spawning box is recommended, or if one is not available, provide dense floating cover to protect the Swordtail fry from potential predation by the adults. Unless it is your intention to breed Red Wag Swordtails, the male Swordtail fry should be separated once the sex of the fry is determined. The Swordtail can begin breeding as young as three months of age and can quickly overpopulate an aquarium.

The Red Wag Swordtail is an omnivore that will eat commercially prepared flaked foods and algae, as well as freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and brine shrimp.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brendan January 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I got a supposed pregnant sword tail and her partner at Petland. She has not gave birth but just today i saw a black bump by the anial fin. I dont know if that is it. Can anyone help me, i need to know how big the gravid spot is usally when giving birth and how many broods it gives off

Bryna November 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I got a red wag swordtail. i thought it was a female at first but it has a black line on the bottom of its tail that looks like it might have been eaten off at the store. So question one… Could it be a male and if so will the tail grow back? Secondly. I’ve had this fish for about a month now with no problem. I have danios in the tank and I had a a couple of phantom catfish, a bumblebee catfish and an albino catfish. Oh and one male beta (who causes zero problems in the tank and I’ve only ever seen him frill his gills up for the first couple days when a new fish is introduced, but never attacking. I’ve had him for 3 months) Now i know my danios have breed a bit. I’ve seen them get pregnant and go down to the rocks to what I assume is laying their eggs. But I have 3 ghost shrimp in the tank so again I assume they get to the eggs before anything happens. I’m not really trying to breed them. Now one of them was just recently pregnent within te last few days and now the little belly is gone, and at the same time I think the male red wag swordtail platy starting attacking the catfish(except the bumblee. he hides) and eventually my flouresent red danio killing them all. after the initial attack the other danios joined in on the catfish but not the other danio. There’s only one red wag swordtail in the tank. Could it have been the danio laying eggs that set him off or something else? I know this is a lot of info but I want to know exactly what happened. I don’t want to get rid of the red wag swordtail. He’s been pretty cool until that happened and now he’s back to his old self. A lot of the fish stores are quick to blame the beta but he doesn’t attack anything. I know my little buddy. If anyone can help me I’d appreciate it.

vicky May 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I had a green sword tail and she had about 3 bunch of fry and then she stern in to a maile sword… But all the babys she had are all mailes and they are lear tail hi fins and i dont now any store that has a lear tail green sword, was wondering if any one has herd of hi fin lear tial green swords i never seen any at the stores. If i started something new if your a breeder and sel your fish to the stores can you let me now if this is a new tipe i started up and how much i shuld charge for them…

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