Green swordtail

Aquarium fish: Green swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)
Size: 12 cm
Origin: America
Water temperature: 24-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 100 l

Heller’s gladiolus (Xiphophorus hellerii) is a freshwater fish from the Poeciliidae family , one of the most popular aquarium fish.the ancestor of all breeding varieties. This fish is also used in genetic research and in medicine.


Heller’s gladiolus lives in Central America . It can be found in the smaller rivers and streams of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

Characteristics and disposition

Gladiolus is a herd fish, lively and mobile, it inhabits the middle tier of the reservoir.

Green swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii ) -shaped caudal fin. Females are usually larger and more rounded. Males can be aggressive towards each other.

Gladiolus are found in a large number of breeding varieties (e.g. red, orange, black, Berlin, wagtail, pineapple, kohaku) obtained by directional selection and crossing with the spotted variator.

Nutrition and feeding

Gladioli consume dry, live food, also plant food and algae. They eagerly hunt mosquito larvae, bloodworm or waterwort, daphnia and fry. Sexually mature females can be fed frozen and chopped earthworms.


A small group can be kept in an aquarium of about 100 liters, at least 80 cm long, which should be well lit. In smaller reservoirs, they dwindle , leading to disease and ultimately death. There should be 2 – 3 females per one male . Males mark out areas. The tank should be well planted along the side and rear walls to provide sufficient shelter for females and plenty of swimming space for other fish.

Gladioli can be kept with smaller cichlids or other oviparous carp. In a general aquarium with fish with similar environmental requirements.


Breeding gladioli is not a problem , but rational breeding requires patience, time and knowledge of the rules of inheritance. Females do not lay eggs, they give birth to fully formed young, ready for independent life. For reproduction, the water temperature should be slightly increased to approx.

26 ° C. Fertilization is internal, the male performs it with the help of a gonopodium, i.e. a transformed anal fin. It is best to place the female in the breeding box right before the birth. Gestation lasts 4-5 weeks, a large female gives birth to 70 to 250 young.

For young people it is enough to give food like adults, but more fragmented. The water in the aquarium should be well filtered and aerated.


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