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Green Swordtails

Fry raising

Pair of Green Swordtails, male above


Raising livebearers is not one of my strong points, since most of my tanks have softened water, and at times I have had trouble keeping guppies alive!  For a club Fry-Raising contest, I accepted the challenge of 5 Green Swordtail fry anyway, hoping my luck would change.  I placed them in a conditioning tank with some smaller tetras at about 77 degrees.  After 2 weeks, I knew this tank was not for them.  They were shy and would not eat their fill. 



Then I moved them to a 20 gallon tank with upside-down catfish and 3 pairs of Blue Rans.  It was heated to 82 degrees and had a fairly strong light, live plants, and strong undergravel filtration.  Although the rams and catfish were much larger, they all got along fine.  I fed them twice daily, knowing the catfish would clean up afterward.  Water changes were made at least weekly.  They grew well and looked healthy, so I left them there.  When I brought them in for the contest, I thought for sure there would be larger fish than mine.  I probably lucked out since there were fewer fish returned for the contest than normal.  Heat, light, frequent feedings, and clean water seemed to be the “four basics” of fry raising.  If I can do it with livebearers, anybody can!