Water Conditions- Not critical.
72-78, moderate to strong aeration, some water movement,
Behavior- A shy, peaceful community
fish. Best kept by themselves so their swords aren't nipped by
Breeding- Can separate gravid females
or leave in tank, not big fry eaters.
10-30 Young after approx.30 days.
Size- Males with sword- 5.5 inches,
females 3.5- 4 inches. Larger in the wild, may grow larger in
100 gal+ tank.
This magnificent swordtail needs to be kept by anyone
with an interest in wild swordtails. Still "wild-like" in its
it can be a fish that will also show off, well
aware of the effect its sword has on its audience.
The males are competitive with one another, and can
expend much of their energy sparring and chasing one another.
They can be skittish, but do settle down when their
routine is established, and they become familiar with you. This
a fish that shows its wild nature in that it can be
shy, is fast, and can be difficult to catch with a net.
A male with 2 or 3 females in a 20-30 gallon tank
provides the greatest yield of fry. Supplied with Java moss or
fine leaved floating plants, the adults can hide while
there is refuge for fry to feel safe. As a rule, these do not
fry, but removing them allows the young to be raised up
separately, where they do not need to compete with the adults
When a female is put
into a net breeder to drop her fry, she will often do well, but
the fry will often develop problems
within the first week if born into a net breeder, and
should be born into a moderately planted aquarium.
They get along well together, and though active there
is never any fin damage or injuries. They are quite hardy, and
over many years of keeping them I do not believe I have
ever encountered a single case of ich or finrot with them.
A close eye on their behavior and health will show
quickly when conditions are not to their liking.
This is a fish that benefits greatly from occasional
live or frozen food. Twice weekly feedings of at least baby
shrimp is highly recommended. Fresh or frozen daphnia,
bloodworms, etc. are all great options.
Their time to full maturity and relatively low
reproductive rate (when compared to X. helleri) has kept this
being bred commercially. However, other
populations of this fish had been used by the Florida fish farms
past during attempts to breed large size and longer
swords into domestic lines.
The rate of growth of the montezumae is the same as it
is for any other swordtail, where the fish will begin to
mature around 4 months, and may begin breeding shortly
thereafter. Their sword grows quickly at first, and seems to
grow throughout its life, sometimes reaching twice its
body length, and the sword is generally at about 1.5 times its
body length. Their distinctive look is reached at about
8-10 months. The females produce from 10 to 30 young
approximately once a month. Good luck with them, this
is a majestic, regal fish that needs to be kept in the hobby!
other Care Guides Here