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Brass Swordtail

Xiphophorus kallmani

Tiger Limia pair, Male on left


This is a relatively newly discovered wild Swordtail (2003) from Lake Catemaco in Mexico.  Little information can be found about it on the Internet. It is one of the largest species of swordtails with females reaching up to 12 centimeters.  Maybe because of its’ adult size, males seem to be late maturing or few in number.  Males are very colorful with an iridescent brass color on the body and an attractive long sword.  Full maturity can yield very impressive fish! 


My fish still showed signs of not being domesticated, as they were spooky, shy, and slow, deliberate eaters.  Much of the time they sat motionless under the plant cover.  They can jump and swim fast, so keep them covered and give them plenty of plants to hide in.  I put 2 males and 3 females in a 30 gallon tank to give them lots of room.  After 2-3 weeks they were eating fairly well, but never overate or became vigorous eaters.  They were fed frozen brine shrimp, flake food (50% spirulina), daphnia, and beef heart.  This is one of the few fish I ever kept that never got excited when eating daphnia!  The undergravel filter had dolomite in it, so water hardness was kept up. 


It was 3-4 months before the females delivered any fry.  2 delivered fry (around 35) and the third female died trying to give birth.  The fry, which were delivered over several hours, were quite small and very slow-moving, hiding well in the plants.  I never once observed the parents go after the fry, but decided to remove them and begin raising them in a separate tank, since this fish is not readily available and I wanted to spread it around.  At the 2016 ALA Convention, bidding for this fish went well with good prices.