Female swords fighting! :(

Discussion in 'Swordtails' started by Kaylz, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. KaylzNew MemberMember

    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post so if anyone would like to know anything extra then please tell me what you need to know :)

    So we recently got a pair of swords, male & female.. I bought the male first and saw how sad he looked without the other and then had to go back and buy his partner, needless to say they both perked up and started swimming together etc, seeming perfectly happy :) I then sought some advice on the pair as this is my first time keeping Swordtails and was advised to add another female or two to keep them balanced.. We have just added a new female (I think she may be pregnant, but I'm not 100% sure) and the other has been fighting with her.. The original female now swims backwards up to the new girl and seems to hit her with her tail, also she's now starting to nudge her. The male is away from them both at all times now whereas before he was with the female constantly :/

    The male sword has now made best buddies with our Betta, and they now swim together o.0

    Can anyone please help as I'm worried about the new female :(

    Thanks in advance!
  2. SarahFishValued MemberMember

    I had 5, 4 females and a male. My male just died and my four leftover females are constantly chasing each other around in an aggressive fashion. I just leave them alone and let them do their thing.
  3. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    Were they nudging eachother etc? I'm worried that it may be because the new female could be pregnant, her stomach seems a lot more rounded than the original female but I've never seen a pregnant sword so not sure what to look for :(

  4. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Hi, welcome to Fishlore!

    I see that you are useing ammonia removing chips and you have a nitrite reading, this tells me your tank is not cycled. Living in a uncycled tank is stressful on fish, and can lead to agression. Your tank will not be able to cycle with the ammonia removing chips in the filter, the ammonia is a food source for the bacteria that cycle the tank. I would remove th chips and start doing daily waterchanges of at least 30% until your tank finishs cycling and you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates.

    Also I think your tank is a bit small for the fish you have chosen. Living in cramped quarters can lead to cranky fish as well.

    If the fish is pregnant( and female livebearers are always pregnant) it can lead to the pregnat fish getting aggresive, or other fish harassing the pregnant fish.
  5. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    It is fully cycled, I did our monthly 50% water change yesterday and added the stones, I was told they would be a good idea but I guess not! I'll go and change the filter now and also retest, those test results were from about a week ago after about a 30% change, and I didn't write down yesterday's after the water change :( Oops!

    The fish are quite small at the moment, the swords being at about 3/4cm each.. We are currently trying to find a place that can build a custom sized tank as we have a nice big area available but it's a bit of a funny shape :) We have seen a few 250L tanks but none will fit in the space we have reserved for the new tank. Hopefully we will have found someone to build us a tank soon so we can cycle and set up ready for the swords before they get too big :)

    Is there any way to stop the aggression? The new female seems very relaxed but the original female just keeps harassing her :( Not sure what to do, want to keep them happy and am worried!

    Thank you for replying!

  6. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    You could try rearanging the decor and adding more hiding places.

    I although the fish are small, being in a tank too small can also just mean not enough room to get away from eachother.

    Are your waterchanges monthly or weekly? Even a cycled tank should get a weely waterchange, this removes some of the nitrates from the water and addes nutrients back to the tankwater that the fish need.
  7. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    We have a large-ish cave that they like to hide behind, they also seem to like playing in the bubble wall.. They seem happy with the size, I made sure we got a tank bigger in length than height so they have enough swimming room just for now. The pair were fine until the new female was added to the tank, which is why I'm now thinking maybe I should take the new female and rehome her, leaving the pair as they were :/ I was a bit worried about adding a new one as the pair seemed so happy but I'm not sure what to do!

    I do a 50% water change monthly, and a 10% change usually bi-weekly (when I vacuum the substrate)

    I'll add details of the test soon :)
  8. Fall River

    Fall RiverValued MemberMember

    Good advice from everyone above. I'm not sure when you test, but it should be done BEFORE a water change. I would also recommend using a liquid type test kit. Strips (6in1) are notorious for being inaccurate. I have first hand knowledge of this fact, as do most others here. A 25% WEEKLY wc is the best option for keeping nitrates under control. You also said you are fully cycled, you nitrite reading says you are not.
    Best of luck to you. :)
  9. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    I usually test before and after but write down the 'after' results, am going through these strips so fast lol.. I've tried finding liquid testers but I can't find them anywhere :( I'll keep looking though! I'll increase the amount of water I change too :)

    We've had this tank for quite a few months, We had a case of white spot a couple of weeks ago and I changed the filter completely including a 75% water change and a good vacuuming, maybe that is why the nirites are there? I'm not sure :(
  10. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Yes if you got rid of all your filter media you probbily uncycled your tank. Some bacteria will grow on the decor and substrate, but it is a very small amount, most of the bacteria live in the filter media.
  11. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    Okay just done the test.. apparently everything is in the 'safe' zone but none are the same as the last test o.0 I'm not sure if these numbers are better or worse than the last ones, so I'll post both here (so you don't have to go back to my profile to check :p )

    Nitrite - 10 -> 0
    Nitrate - 1 -> 0
    GH - 16 -> 8
    KH - 6 -> 10
    Ph - 8 -> 7.6
    No chlorine

    After the white spot incident I took out our live plants and replaced with all artificial (I read somewhere that plants can hold diseases etc so didn't want to risk it)

    Will that affect anything badly? I noticed KH has gone up, is that anything to do with removing the plants?

    So in future I should keep some of the media in the filter still? I was just a bit panicked about the white spot and thought maybe it'd keep the parasites in the cycle somehow :(
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2012
  12. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Generally, you should not replace your media unless it is falling apart. Cabon cartridgs can be replaced monthly if you use them, but if that is your only media, you end up with the same problem.
  13. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    :eek: I made the mistake of "cleaning" my tank. In my zeal to be a good fish owner, I changed all the filter media at once and totally ruined the cycle in my 60 gallon tank. I was doing 50% water changes daily for the next 12+ weeks. My tank took that long to cycle. I have South American Cichlids in the tank which are very dirty, so I vaccuumed every day and did the 50% water change. I thought it would never end. But finally three or four days ago it cycled overnight. Now I vaccuum once a day and do a 10% water change daily, a 25% water change every three to four days, and a 60% water change once every 8 to 9 days.:-*
  14. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    Okay, I'll remember that in the future :) thank you! Have learned quite a lot already lol, glad I found this site :)

    I thought maybe leaving the original water in would be okay! But in the panic of white spot I went crazy cleaning lol, I won't make that mistake again :)

    If any diseases or anything do occur, what do you do in terms of filtration? Just treat the water and leave the filter alone letting it do it's thing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2012
  15. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    yes. Although some medications (mainly anti bacterial meds) will kill your cycle as well.
    The bacteria reside on surfaces in th filter and tank, not in the water colum.
  16. OP

    KaylzNew MemberMember

    Oh okay, that's great info to know, thank you so much!
  17. I_Have_Fissues

    I_Have_FissuesNew MemberMember

    It's been 5 days... has this problem gotten any better? I ask because my girls have started to get a little nippy with each other, which is new. They've been in the tank for 6 months now, and nothing has changed. All the levels are the same, all the fish are the same, etc etc etc. I'm curious.
  18. Fall River

    Fall RiverValued MemberMember

    It's been my experience that, generally speaking, female fish form a hierarchy. They may just be establishing dominance. Keep a close eye and if it gets too rough they may need to be separated.

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