how to breed swordtail fish

How to breed swordtail fish Looking to breed and produce a large volume of swordtail fish successfully to meet the market demand to supply pet stores and other ornamental fish resellers.

This is the approach and method that will help you breed and produce a large number of swordtail fish from 0 to over 1000 swordtails produced each cropping period.

1 Step one prepare Materials needed:

  • Breeding tank I used trapal pond madeup of bamboo frame for this
  • Breeding cage
  • Rearing/grow-out tank
  • Aerator, basin, pail, scoop net, hose

2 Step 2 Breeding procedure:

  • Prepare breeding tank and fill up with water (at least 30 cm)12 inches or 1 ft deep
  • Select good and sexually mature swordtail fish breeders.
  • Set breeders in a breeding cage inside the breeding tank.
  • The stocking density in the breeding cage is 100 pcs/sqm. The sex ratio is 1:4 (1 male swordtail fish: 4 female swordtail fish)

3 Step 3 . Grow-out culture:

  • Collect swordtail fish fry using a soft and fine-meshed scoop net and transfer it to a rearing tank. Stocking density is 100 pcs fry/sqm.
  • Cover the canvass tank to prevent predation by insects, birds, frogs, and cats.
  • Feed the swordtail fry with natural or commercial fish food feeds 3-4 times daily until marketable size.
  • Change the water once a week at 20-33% exchange rate. Siphon fecal matter and uneaten feeds daily.
  • After 2 months, separate male swordtail fish from female guppy fish.
  • Select good quality fishes. Cull out undesirable fishes (dull colored, rotten fins, deformed).
  • Market size of 5 cm length is attained after 4-5 months. Select good quality and marketable fishes.
  • Condition and quarantine marketable fishes in a conditioning tank 3-5 days prior to transport. Provide flow-through water and feed minimally during the conditioning period.
  • Pack the fishes in oxygenated bags. Transport the fishes early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Step 4 Disease Treatment Management

Use commercially available treatment chemicals.

  • For white spot disease/”ich” – 5 drops anti-itch (malachite green)/gal
  • For Anchor worm – 5 drops anti-anchor worm (trichlorfon)/gal
  • For bacterial infection – 5 ppm oxytetracycline or tetracycline HCL
  • For fungus – 5 drops methylene blue/gal


  • Add 1 teaspoon salt/gal water
  • Permanent (24 hrs) bath
  • Change water every day
  • For 5-7 consecutive days

Note: During treatment, provide vigorous aeration and avoid feeding.

Cost and Returns (25 sqm area, in Php based on 2010 prices)

a. Variable Cost – P7,337.00

  • Breeder (160 female, 40 male) – 2,000.00
  • Feeds (breeder and fry) – 388.00
  • Electricity and water – 1,200.00
  • Medicines – 1,000.00
  • Labor – 2,400.00
  • Miscellaneous – 349.00

b. Fixed Cost – P7,402.50

  • Depreciation cost of materials (investment of P23,490) – 5,178.00
  • Repairs and maintenance – 1,000.00
  • Miscellaneous – 1,224.50

c. Gross Revenue – 47,760.00

Sales (597 fishes/mo x 8 mos = 4,776 @ P10/pc)

d. Total Cost (A+B) – 14,739.50

e. Net Revenue Profit (C-D) – 33,020.50

f. Return of Investment (ROI) – 107.1%

g. Payback Period – 0.93 year

Other information in breeding swordtail fish below

how to breed swordtail fish What you need a breeding tank big enough to handle your fish the bigger the better having big tank will make the quality of the water clean for longer period

next is you need breeding cage or fish breeding box, I place the link in the description on how to make diy fish breeding box and where to buy

next get one male and three female matured swordtail fish breeders keep multiple females ratio

because female swowrdtail might die if you keep too much males because males always wants to breed

how old do swordtails have to be to breed
You can start breeding a swordtail fish when it grows on to become an adult after two to three months of age, when they gain sexual maturity.

How you can tell the difference between a male and a female swordtail

how to breed swordtail fish how to identify male swordtail fish
Male swordtail fish identification

its really easy to tell males from the well-known sword-like tail.

next is their Anal Fin (Gonopodium) — After the swords, .Only male swordtails have the tail fin extension.

Females have a rounded tail fin.

How to tell if a female swordtail is pregnant in livebearers you wont see any eggs when the fry are born they already able to swim and care for themselves

you could tell that female swordtail breeder is pregnant when her belly stats to grow and the black spot in the end of their stomach gets bigger

(In most livebearing fish, the gravid spot is an excellent marker to identify brooding females)

females can give birth once every 28 days!Although the swordtail’s gestation period is 28 days, it may be difficult to determine when she became pregnant.

Gestation can vary by a few days if the female is stressed or water conditions aren’t quite right.

How to keep the fry safe place the breeders in a breeding box and add also live aquatic plants

this will serve as the fry hiding place and provide them free natural foods from algae that sticks on the plants leaves

plus it will also serve as a hiding place for female from the males it will make them less stress

how to breed swordtail fish people also ask

Are swordtails easy to breed?
Swordtail breeding is a straightforward process. Like other livebearers, they are quick to spawn in captivity. In the right conditions, females can give birth once every 28 days! While they will readily breed in your primary tank without any intervention, it’s best to provide a separate breeding environment.

How does swordtail mate?
Swordtails mate very quickly, so if you aren’t watching them you could easily miss it. Typically the male will approach the female, often from the side, and may flare his fins in an attempt to impress her. He then swims up close to her and quickly touches her on the underside, near her anal fin, with his gonopodium.

Can male swordtails turn into females?
No, female Swordtails can’t change their gender. When there is a dominant male in a group of Swordtails, other less dominant males hold back their development, giving the appearance they are female.

How many babies can a swordtail fish have?
Swordtails can produce 50 – 100 fry every time and may give birth again four to 6 weeks after the first birth. It may take longer.

How long is a swordtail pregnant for?
28 days
Like other livebearing aquarium fish, swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii) give birth to live young, or fry, rather than laying eggs. Although the swordtail’s gestation period is 28 days, it may be difficult to determine when she became pregnant.

How many swordtails should be kept together?
Swordtail Fish Behavior and Temperament

They aren’t necessarily shoaling species, but they should be kept in a group of 5-6 to help them feel comfortable in the tank. Also, keep the ratio of females more in comparison to male ones.

Can two male swordtails live together?
As long as no females are present, males can harmoniously coexist in groups of six or more. The larger the numbers the better the chance you have of diffusing any potential aggression within the group, with no one fish bearing the brunt of another’s bullying.

check out also my article on how to breed koi fish

Author: Giovanni Carlo

Meet Giovanni Carlo P Bagayas, the founder and owner of Giobel Koi Center. With over 20 years of experience in the koi industry, Giovanni is a true koi enthusiast and expert. Giovanni began his journey with koi keeping as a hobbyist, but soon discovered a passion for breeding and raising high-quality koi fish. He spent years honing his skills and knowledge, and eventually decided to turn his passion into a career by starting Giobel Koi Center. At Giobel Koi Center, Giovanni's goal is to share his love and knowledge of koi with others, and to provide koi enthusiasts with the highest quality koi fish and supplies. He works closely with koi breeders in Japan to hand-select the best koi for his customers, and is always on hand to provide expert advice and assistance. Giovanni's dedication to the koi industry and his customers is evident in everything he does, and his passion for koi is contagious. He is always happy to share his knowledge and experience with others, and is dedicated to helping koi enthusiasts create the perfect koi pond. Thank you for choosing Giobel Koi Center and meeting the man behind the brand.

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