Any Swordtail Breeding Advice? Question

Discussion in 'Breeding Fish' started by clovervalley, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. clovervalley

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    I have two gorgeous green swordtail males in my 46 gallon bow front along with an angel and red wag or Mickey Mouse platy, and I would love to get a good amount of females to balance out the tank.

    First, how many females should I get? I know swords poop a lot so I would like the minimum amt but keeping the male to female ratio balanced. I do 25% water changes every week which can increase if needed, and I run a quiet flow 30, a aquaclear 300, and my quarantine filter (quietflow 10) just to keep it cycled. My tank is very under stocked currently but I may be getting a schooling fish in the future.

    Second, how much of a concern is cross breeding between the platy and swords? I’m assuming the platy is a male since he’s not pregnant. I’m okay with hybrids as long as I could tell the difference between them and the full sword fry

    Third, would it be okay to raise up the surviving fry (after the angel gets most of them I assume) in the same tank? I don’t want a big breeding operation, just thought it would be cool to keep this strain going and possibly sell some to my lfs

    Fourth, What is the timeline I should expect with fry? How big are they and what do they eat when they come out?

    Fifth, any plant recommendations to keep fry happy? I’ll link my tank specs here so you can see what I already have! Clovervalley’s Fish “room”’s-Fish-“room”.413807/

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
    Also, any idea what type he is? Possibly Neon but the black markings is what confuses me!
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  2. SaltyPhone

    SaltyPhoneWell Known MemberMember

    That’s a beautiful swordtail; sounds like you need another tank! Unless you heavily plant say guppy grass or wisteria the Angels will definitely consume practically all the fry the parents don’t get. They definitely can and will breed with platys. Livebearer fry are super easy to feed. If you don’t hatch brine shrimp just powderize whatever flake food or pellets you normally feed
  3. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Floating plants will help the fry but I also suspect the angel will get all fry .
    Powdered food should work fine for fry .
    The platy and sword can cross but probably won't ..
    Any color sword can be breed with green as they are the 'base color' of all swords ..
    4-6 females would be my guess at decent stocking .
  4. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Agree. Beautiful looking fish.
  5. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    That’s what I thought! Unfortunately my parents will be caring for my tanks in about a year for a while so I don’t want to burden them with another tank (plus I promised them I would stick to two while living in their house!) I think that I am still going to stock with some female swords just to keep a balanced population and it’s okay with me if I don’t even get one baby! As bad as it sounds it’ll be a great source of nutrition for my angel and who knows, maybe she’ll let one go they’re really pretty, so I would enjoy looking at some females anyway! I will add some more floating plants and potentially guppy grass/wisteria, I have wisteria in my 10 gallon that is overflowing.

    So if I breed my green with a red one, I would still be able to keep some green genetics strong? I know that there would obviously be some stronger coloring with the dads genes, but would it go away eventually? (Saying i even have surviving fry)

    Thank you! They were kind of a whim purchase a while ago which I’m glad happened (although maybe two males wasn’t the best idea with the fighting.)

    Also, would the tank be overstocked with the additional 4-6 females as well as a schooling fish? If the middle would be taken up too much I could try a school of bronze Cories instead
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2019
  6. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    With green as the natural start almost any color sword can still throw green.
    About every 100 fry from my Ed Parker jet blacks I get a straight green ! Kind of cool ..
    I would think red and green would enhance the pineapple coloring through the body also .
    I don't hold a lot of genetic info in my head but one of my discus books [Andrew Soh / Discus The Naked Truth ] swordtails are used to know what mixing colors in discus will produce .
    Their genetic common ground is close enough and swordtails grow faster so they used them for color combos ..The book list out what gets you what but I never really got into custom swordtails too much ..Trying to keep my lines true is hard enough and takes multiple tanks so cross breeding colors only adds even more dedication ..
  7. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    I’ll have to check out that book, honestly with the platy in there there will be cross mixes anyway so I’m not too concerned about keeping the line true. I think it’ll make an interesting experiment! I am increasing the bacteria in my quarantine to make sure it can handle the poop of a few swords! I think I will add them 2-3 at a time so I don’t shock my filter and bacteria.

    With my stock (angel, 2 swords, 1 platy, 1 Cory and snails) would you think adding a schooling fish of 7-10 alongside the new 5-6 swords be too much? I am adding another filter to my quietflow 30 and aquaclear 300 to increase my space for bacteria and gph but as of now the tank stays under 5ppm nitrates each week.
  8. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Swords can grow pretty big .
    Another schooling fish may crowd thimgs ?
    What fish are you thinking ?
  9. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    I’m thinking the same thing. The fish I was looking at are rummynose, cherry barbs, or harlequin. I may just do a bottom school of Cories if I can find some that will do well in my tank! I had a bad experience with a bunch of false bandit Cories, I still don’t know to this day what happened but all of them but 4 died and then slowly the other 3 died and I’m left with one. All of the parameters were perfectly fine, the pH between the fish store and here was less than .2, so I’m assuming they just were a bad stock because I didn’t see any sign of illness other than death! The store also didn’t give me and money back even when there wasn’t a problem with the water parameters :( needless to say I’m not buying fish from there anymore! I hope I’ll have more luck with Cories if I do decide to go that route again
  10. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    Alright, so according to my lfs’ website he has Berlin Swords, Blue Marble Swords, Pineapple Swords, and Red Tuxedo Swords in stock. I can also go see if they would be willing to order some green neon swords for me to purchase but any insights on those different types and how they would look with my current ones? I know some people have suggested pineapple to keep the yellow/orange color
  11. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    Sad news, one of my male swords died last night. The water parameters are fine so I think it might’ve just been his time to go, there are no other signs of illnesses
    :( the dominant male seems healthy and happy so I will continue with my plan to purchase females, only I will buy 4 altogether I think instead of 6.
  12. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Sometimes males are so mean there can only be one .
    I had a black male that killed all other males if there was less then 10 in a 75 g ..For real mean !
  13. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    I did think of that, there was no physical damage on the sword that died but he was always being picked on and that could have lead to his death. He was stressed and just finally gave up on life (yikes, how morbid!) I know now that two males probably wasn’t the best idea without females to distract them and definitely won’t do that again. I’m doing a large water change just in case something in the water caused his death but most likely it was just time for him, esp because he was stress.
  14. OP

    clovervalleyValued MemberMember

    I picked up 3 female (pregnant) Marigold swordtails and one female pineapple swordtail from my lfs today! They also said that if I raise up the fry to selling size they would buy them back from me! I am very excited with the prospect of a “breeding project” (if it works out). The pictures are crappy because it’s my quarantine and there’s no light on the tank but you get the idea, they’re nice looking :)