The Showa Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri) is a rather uncommon and very colourful swordtail variation that has extremely vivid orange and white/silver koi-like coloration. As is typical with swordtails, males often have a long "sword" extension at the bottom of the tail, although some females can also develop a sword. Reliable sexing can be done by checking the anal fin area for the male gonopodium, a tube-like organ used in fertilization during spawning. Like most swordtail varieties, the Showa Swordtail is a variant of the wild Green Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri), but it also has genetics of other Xiphophorus species (such as X. maculatus and X. variatus platy varieties) to achieve new colour patterns.
Swordtails typically occupy the top level of the water column, although they can often be seen swimming and feeding in the middle and bottom levels as well. They are also not afraid to jump, so they must be kept in an aquarium with either a lid/hood/canopy or at least a significantly lowered water level. They will not eat or bother plants. They are safe with other peaceful fish as long as the other fish are not known to nip at the long tail of the male swordtails. Adult dwarf shrimp may be safe as well, some swordtails will attain a size large enough to consider such small shrimp prey. Larger, peaceful invertebrates can also make good tank mates. Swordtails are best kept in groups, particularly groups where females outnumber males since mature males will constantly pursue females for breeding.
While not a picky eater, the Showa Swordtail will thrive and remain very colourful on a varied diet of meaty foods. High-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or freeze-dried tubifex and bloodworms will all be readily accepted.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Uncommon variety with deluxe coloration
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Hardy and adaptable
- Excellent for inhabiting the top of the aquarium
- Very undemanding and perfect for beginners and experts alike
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 64° - 82.4° F (16° - 28° C)
- pH: 7.0 - 8.0
- KH: 10 - 30 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons
- Diet: Omnivorous. Will easily accept high quality dry and frozen foods.
- Social behaviour: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.