At what age do swordtails get their "sword"?

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Chenpoes

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My swordtails had some babies maybe 2-3 months ago, and the fry are now roughly the size of neon tetras, however none of them have swords. Are they all just females, or do their tails develop later in life?
 

CoryFan

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They won’t develop swords until they are full grown
 

Oriongal

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About 4-5 months for early-developing males, and up to a year or more for late-developing males.

Early-developing males will tend to be smaller and more slender in body, like this:
20200225_221132.jpg

Late-developing males will usually be deeper-bodied, like this:

20200225_221210.jpg

and they will usually reach a larger total size than the early-developing males will.

Until they transition, they'll look like females; late-developing males can even look like pregnant females. Some photos of one of my late-developers is here: Swordtail male acting weird | Swordtails 441042
 

emeraldking

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There are three kinds of swordtail males when it comes to show the male characteristics:
early males, regular males and late males.
Early males are very small and can even show a sword and gonopodium between 1-2 months old. The regular ones will show male characteristics after 3-4 months. Late males however can show the male characterictsics between 5-12 months. Generally speaking, early males show up when the tank is overcrowded or when there's hardly a male around. In last case these early males will develop to ensure reproduction of the species.

What Oriongal has listed as being an early developing male is in fact a regular male. Early males are smaller than this one.

But a definite age when a male show the male characteristics is hard to say anyways. For there are more factors that growth depends on. Temperature and food are also parameters of growth speed.
 

Oriongal

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True, they are almost miniatures of regular males. I didn't have a pic of one handy, and wasn't sure that it would illustrate how much smaller they are without another fish in there for size-reference.
 
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