Swortails and Platys

Silencedogood

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Hi all-
I currently have a female swordtail, eleven guppies, five neon tetras, and a pleco. I am looking to add some platys but I have been told that platys and swordtails hybridize. I personally don't care but was wondering if that is okay for the fish. Thank you!
 

Colin_T

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platies and swordtails come in the same colours and patterns. Why do you want platies and swords in the same tank?
 
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Silencedogood

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I would get platies that have different coloring from the swordtails.
 

Byron

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There were a couple of issues raised in your other thread on swordtails, so that will form the background to this thread. The GH seems to be 10 dGH, which is minimal for these fish, and you have neons and pleco that will not appreciate or benefit from raising it. The tank size is also limiting, a basic (= high) 20 gallon. The female swordtail is also "under the weather." I would not recommend platies (or anything else) until this has been sorted out.

But, there is something to say in response to your question about platies and swordtails...you need either all males, or all females, or a ratio of 2-3 (minimum) females to a male. This tank is not sufficient space for this if male/female are included (and the swordtail is a female, already suffering from the advances of the now-dead male). These two fish are very close genetically, Xiphophorus maculatus (platy) and Xiphophorusd hellerii (swordtail) so yes they will breed, meaning the ratio issue is major here.
 
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Silencedogood

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My tank is a high 30 gallon. I am rehoming my pleco on Saturday. My swordtail doesn't seem sick; she was just hiding a little but has no external signs of anything. I know the female was suffering because I had only one female to one male but that was because I didn't have the funds for more females.
If they do breed, I would not be keeping the fry. I would either sell them or rehome them to a LFS.
 

Byron

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My tank is a high 30 gallon. I am rehoming my pleco on Saturday. My swordtail doesn't seem sick; she was just hiding a little but has no external signs of anything. I know the female was suffering because I had only one female to one male but that was because I didn't have the funds for more females.
If they do breed, I would not be keeping the fry. I would either sell them or rehome them to a LFS.

It is not so much the number of fry that is of concern, but the number of fish. One male and four or five females may spread out the advances of the male, or it may not. You certainly do not want this many swordtails in a 30g. But with male/female there will be fry, every female will produce a batch roughly every month, and not all will get eaten. Disposing of fry is not as easy as it sounds; stores usually don't want them for long.
 
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Silencedogood

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It is not so much the number of fry that is of concern, but the number of fish. One male and four or five females may spread out the advances of the male, or it may not. You certainly do not want this many swordtails in a 30g. But with male/female there will be fry, every female will produce a batch roughly every month, and not all will get eaten. Disposing of fry is not as easy as it sounds; stores usually don't want them for long
Why can't I keep five swordtails in a 30 gal? If any female were to get pregnant, I would move her to my QT tank. That way the babies wouldn't end up in my main tank.
 

Byron

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btw, my swords are rather small; they are 3 inches long.
They will (or should) grow. Four to five inches is normal in an aquarium, with some reporting six inches. They need space to swim. I have a 30g basic tank as one of my aquaria, and I cannot even imagine five-inch fish in this space.

Why can't I keep five swordtails in a 30 gal? If any female were to get pregnant, I would move her to my QT tank. That way the babies wouldn't end up in my main tank.

Females should not be moved like this, it can damage them. You are better to remove the fry; if you have floating plants the fry will readily swim at the surface among the plants.
 
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Silencedogood

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They will (or should) grow. Four to five inches is normal in an aquarium, with some reporting six inches. They need space to swim. I have a 30g basic tank as one of my aquaria, and I cannot even imagine five-inch fish in this space.
I have a 9+ inch pleco in my 30 gal. I know that is a little big but it has been doing fine so far. ( I am rehoming her though). Is that different?
 

Byron

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I have a 9+ inch pleco in my 30 gal. I know that is a little big but it has been doing fine so far. ( I am rehoming her though). Is that different?

Yes, it is different, but still not good. A 5-inch fish that basically sits on the substrate or wood or rocks, grazing algae and aufwuch, obviously needs less physical space than a 5-inch fish that actively swims during daylight. That is the physical space aspect of fish size/tank size. The water quality aspect is of course completely different. Some discus breeders are well able to raise dozens of fry in relatively small tanks but only because they perform 90% partial water changes once, sometimes twice or three times a day. Eventually of course the physical space becomes too small for these fry and they would become stunted if not moved, but initially the water quality aspect is more crucial and can be handled.

Most of us with home aquaria acquire a fish that will remain with us for its entire life, until it dies--hopefully from age and not due to an inappropriate environment. If we as aquarists are concerned that we provide the best environment and related conditions for the fish we acquire, and only acquire those for which we can do this today, we will have healthier fish. Anything less is not fair to the fish.
 
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Silencedogood

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As far as platies go, aren't they around four inches long? Is that too big also?
 

Byron

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As far as platies go, aren't they around four inches long? Is that too big also?

Male platy attain 2 inches (5 cm), females up to 3 inches (7 cm). A 30g that is 30 inches in length is suited to a group of platies, though not many if both genders are included.
 
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