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Aquarium Fish Species: Swordtail

swordtail
Swordtail is a type of freshwater aquarium fish which is considered one of the hardiest and easy to care for. It is a live bearer meaning that the fry is born as free swimmer and the fish is easily identifiable from its tail fin which extends like a sword and ends with a sharp point. However, this characteristic is only present in the male but not the female, which only has a round fin and also a thicker body. The average size of the fish is only about 2-3 inches long minus the tail fin while some can even grow up to 4 inches length.

The fish can be found in different colors ranging from yellow, orange, red and even black. Perhaps one of the most beautiful variants of the Swordtail is the bright-red colored species having a fierce look. This type is the most aggressive of all, as it will usually fight with each other especially during mating and competition for the females. There is also an albino variant with red colored eye, which is considered one of the rarest. Swordtail is generally not a preferred choice for a community tank due to its aggressive nature especially if there’s presence of other smaller fishes such as neon fish and guppies.

Swordtails are very tolerant to changes in water parameters and basically they can withstand and adapt easily to new aquarium environment with much better chances of survival. Wild Swordtails can be found in rivers from Central America but today it is also bred in colder climate areas and the temperature can be a low as 18degC compared to its cousin in the wild surviving in temperature as high as 28degC. It is also a good idea to get a large aquarium size due to its active nature and one of reason is also because it breeds easily and soon you will find that the whole aquarium will be overrun by this fish.

Comparing between swordtail and platy fish
Although swordtail and platy are closely related to each other and can easily interbreed, you can still tell the differences apart if you happen to come across one in a pet shop. Platy generally has a rounder and shorter body regardless of whether the fish is male or female. On the other hand, when you compare that to a swordtail, the fish seems to have an elongated body and overall, compared to platy, it looks narrower.

Between a male swordtail and a male platy, it can be straightforward to tell them apart as male swordtail has the sword-like tail fin while for the male platy, there is none. For females, since the swordtail also has round tail fin, you just have to rely on the body shape to make out the difference. This can be tricky because even experienced fish keeper can make mistakes. This is due to the extensive hybridization process taking place to produce desired traits for the pet fish.

Other aquarium fish species: Goldfish, Clown Loach, Catfish



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

How to Create a Stunning Community Aquarium

A Community Aquarium is a fish tank made up of different species of fish and live aquarium plants to form a well-balanced thriving community, which can co-exist with each other. Rather than one single type of fish, having different species interacting with each other in a small ecosystem and living in harmony is much more fun and entertaining. One main criteria towards setting up a successful community aquarium is that, all the fish must be compatible with each other and able to tolerate the same living condition without exhibiting aggressive behavior towards another species.

The most important prerequisite towards creating community aquarium is that one must have large aquariums to start with. Usually aquarium tank measuring 30-50 gallon is the most ideal size to begin with and all the aquarium equipments such as filter, heater, must be put in place and have the capacity to treat huge volumes of water. This will ensure easy maintenance and therefore more attention can be focused towards other aspects of maintaining the community aquarium such as careful observation for fish compatibility issues and monitoring for early signs of fish disease which is very common in large aquarium community. Be forewarned that since all of them live together, outbreak of disease is very detrimental and it could bring disastrous effect.

The key aspect towards creating successful community aquarium is the careful study and observation of fish compatibility. You must choose the right tank mates or else risk aggressive behavior or in worse case, smaller fish getting eaten by larger fish. Live aquarium plants also play an important role because they provide natural hiding place for the different species of fish and it will be much easier for them to adapt to the environment and thus avoiding stress. There are different types of community fish you can choose and basically there are few combination, which you can consider.

community aquarium

Types of fish recommended for community aquarium:
The Corydoras Catfish: Pleasant little catfish, which are bottom dwellers with non-aggressive nature
Danio: Hardy shoaling fish, which moves around in group and considered friendly fish.
Neon tetra: Another fine specimen of shoaling fish with its neon blue horizontal color that blends well with the environment
Guppies: Small size. Select only the males because of its colorful caudal fin. Comes in varieties of color ranging from red, blue to green.
Clown Loach: Ideal community fish, which are generally peaceful.

Fish that still fits into community aquarium but with caution and care:
Angelfish: Although their name seems to imply that it is a peaceful fish, in actual fact, the fish is known to exhibit aggressive behavior during spawning. They can also grow to be very large size
Gouramis: Often territorial and can also grow quite large
Tiger barb: Notorious for its fin-nipping behavior
Red tailed black shark: Often show aggressive behavior and is very territorial.
Goldfish: creates a lot of waste and fouls the water easily. Usually not recommended.

To avoid all these issues especially aggressive behavior, it is best that the fish should only be kept in large aquarium (best aquarium size at least 30 gallon) and even then one must still exercise extreme care and act fast to separate the small fish if things start to get worse. Read more about fish compatibility and different setup in community tank.

Related topics: Learn how to setup your fish tank by first finding the right location.



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

Aquarium Maintenance: Periodic Water Testing

aquarium pH test kitPerforming periodic aquarium water quality checking is a must if you intend to ensure that your fish stays healthy and the whole small ecosystem remains well balanced. The most basic testing for your aquarium involves checking for water parameters like pH, ammonia and nitrites. Water test kit is usually available to help you to give fast and accurate reading and all these can be readily purchased at your local fish shops.

Ammonia and nitrites remain the most lethal natural toxins that can harm your home aquarium. Both chemicals are generated from the waste produced by the fish and also rotting aquarium plants especially leaves. During the initial stage after aquarium setup and before beneficial bacteria starts to propagate, you can be sure that ammonia level during this critical period is very high. Ammonia levels are usually measured in ppm (parts per million) and usually concentration as low as 0.2 – 0.5ppm is lethal enough to cause instantaneous death to your aquarium fish. Don’t worry too much if you do not understand what the figure means and in particular the unit of measurement. This is because a cheap (usually cost between $5- 10) ammonia test kit can easily give a rough indication on your current toxicity levels just by doing a simple color matching. The nitrite test kit also works the same, using similar principal of testing just like your ammonia test kit and I would recommend investing a small amount of money for these must have items. This can potentially save you a lot of hassles later part dealing with dead fish as a result of the chemical poisoning.

pH checking is also another integral part included as part of your periodic water checking. Unlike ammonia and nitrate whereby both must be kept to the minimum level, there is no specific pH which is considered the best. This is because pH suitability varies from one aquarium fish species to another and usually there is a desirable range at which your aquarium fish prefers. Below is a simple list that you can use as a guideline to check out the suitable pH range for your aquarium fish.

Types of FishpH range
Goldfish6.5 to 7.5
Neon Tetra 5.5 to 6.5
Guppy 7.0 to 8.0
Swordtail 7.0 to 8.0

Related topics: Preparing fresh water and performing water change
Tips for successful aquarium fish keeping
The Nitrogen Cycle



comparison between fluval and eheimComparing Between Different Fish Filters (Advantages and Disadvantages). How about other brands like the BiOrb?

About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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