Common Name-The Swordless Swordtail
Water Conditions- Water movement,
water changes, Temp. 73-80,
Behavior- A Peaceful community fish.
Breeding- 10-20 young
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
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
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