Green Swordtail Nipping?

  1. M

    MikeB New Member Member

    I have a recent 10g setup. I have 2 male Green Swordtails. Ive noticed this morning one of the males tail fins is completely eaten off. Its only been 2 days and its gotten worse. The only other fish in the tank are 2 x-ray tetras that were introduced yesterday, who are not to blame here I dont believe.

    Im pretty sure the dominant male sword is eating the other males tail. The pet store did not tell me to get 2 females for each male, so I wound up with 2 males. What should I do now to keep this one male sword from anymore damage?
     
  2. Demeter

    Demeter Well Known Member Member

    Well, in such a small tank (20gal long is the min IMO) and two males it's no wonder the two are fighting. They must be separated to prevent more damage to the one.

    Sword tails are not tiny fish and don't belong in smaller tanks. I'd either upgrade the tank size or return both sword tails and look into more appropriate fish. Unfortunately the list of fish suitable to a 10gal is rather short, limited to mainly guppies, endlers, bettas, and nano type rasboras and tetras. The pristella (x-ray) tetra should be in groups of no less than 6 as they are schooling fish. If not kept in proper numbers they get nippy and will go after each other and possibly the swordtails.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    M

    MikeB New Member Member

    Dang it. Two pet stores (as well as care sheet on this site: www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Swordtail.htm) said I could keep them in a 10g for now. But it makes sense theyd need more being such active swimmers. Unfortunately, I cannot upgrade at the moment as I just bought the 10 & set it all up. They are very small right now (1"?) and I understand at full grown ill have to upgrade.

    Im definitely going to bring the one back and separate them, Ive never returned a fish before so hopefully it works. haha. Ill talk to store and if they let me return both i will certainly look into smaller fish. I got the 2 tetras for now since the tanks only been up and running a few days, the guy at pet store told me to wait a bit longer to add more tetra but i plan to get a school together, yes. Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Mcasella

    Mcasella Fishlore VIP Member

    While i agree that swordtails need a large tank (males generally don't get along with other males and go out of their way to attack them) I will say there are more options for a ten gallon than you think, however, x-ray tetras are not one of those fish that can go in a ten.
    Stocking List for 10 Gallons
    Some in the list are harder to get a hold of but some LFS will help by ordering the fish you want.