Xiphophorus birchmanni - To this species page
 

   
    Common Name-The Swordless Swordtail
    Water Conditions- Water movement, water changes, Temp. 73-80, plants
    Behavior- A Peaceful community fish.
    Breeding- 10-20 young approx. monthly
    Size- 2-2.5  inches


    If you are new to livebearers, or have not kept swords and other poeciliids that require relatively clean water,
    good filtration and regular water changes, you may not want to start with this fish. Commonly kept in the 80s
    through the early 2000s, they are not difficult to keep, but do require some attention to water quality. When
    happy, they are actually fairly prolific, and generally do not bother their young.

    They do best in slightly harder water, so we add crushed coral, crushed Oyster Shell or Calcium carbonate
    in a thin layer on the bare bottom tanks, to bring up the hardness and pH, which is about 7.4 and 90 ppm here.

    Unlike the velifera, the males will generally always carry their dorsals extended, but still often
    display for females or at one another frequently.

    They are kept here in 20 and 30 gallon tanks, with box filters for filtration and water movement,
    and 15% per day water changes. With a 20 or 30 gallon aquarium containing a few pairs, changing
    water about twice a week, amounting to 80 - 100% per week should keep them in good shape. But we
    did something here you may want to consider to help satisfy this fish's needs for a certain level of water
    quality.

    Here, we breed the Odessa barbs in a nearby 30 gallon tank that requires 50% daily water changes.
    The birchmanni appeared to be doing well, but their reproduction was not where I knew it should be.
    So I began to drain the used water change water from the Odessa tank nearby (Water was not that bad,
    as it was getting 50% daily changes) into the three 30 gallon birchmanni tanks set up nearby. This
    is in addition to the water changes they were already receiving. So each of 3 30 gallon X. birchmanni
    tanks receives about 5 gallons of aged aquarium water per day. (1/2 of 30 gallon Odessa tank over 3
    tanks.)

    The affect of putting aged but relatively clean aquarium water into the birchmanni tanks was obvious
    almost immediately. Batches of young started to appear, and the fish put on weight and grew more
    quickly. My tanks here are fairly heavily stocked - more than you would want in your home aquarium,
    so you may need to experiment a little to find the best water change schedule that works for you, but
    any extra effort is worth it for this unique, flashy fish!

    To help boost their health further, I increased the live or frozen foods, and that consistent routine
    has them doing very well today.



    See other Care Guides Here