When you first see this slender, splendidly colored swordtail wild form, you involuntarily think: this is no X. hellerii! And yet, when X. hellerii was first described in 1848, exactly such animals became the type specimens. The traveler of the royal imperial horticultural society Karl Heller discovered and collected the animals in clear streams of the mountain Orizaba in Mexico (the highest mountain of Mexico and third highest of North America) and was already enthusiastic about the colorfulness of the fish at that time. At that time, however, aquaristics did not yet exist, so Heller could only send his new discovery to Vienna dead and faded in alcohol.
About 50 years later, in 1902, Meek described the Jalapa swordtail again under the name Xiphophorus jalapae, which is of course a younger synonym for the typical X. hellerii. On the other hand, it’s not so sure whether the “ordinary” Green Swordtail, which we have in the aquarium since 1909, is actually the same species as the “real” X. hellerii (the Jalapa form).
In comparison to “ordinary” green swordtails, the colors of the Jalapa swordtail look like painted on the body with neon pencils. They are really wonderful fish. Regarding care and breeding the Jalapa swordtails do not differ however from the “usual” green swordtails.
We get our specimens from a German breeder.
For our customers: the animals have code 476595 on our stocklist. Please note that we only deliver to wholesalers.
From a German breeder we received this extraordinarily attractive wild form of the swordtail. Unfortunately we could not find out where exactly and by whom these animals were collected. It could only be determined that they were originally brought from Yucatan (Mexico). As a distinction to the completely different looking X. hellerii “Yucatan” (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/xiphophorus_hellerii_yucatan_en/) the animal is called Xiphophorus hellerii “Yucatan 2”.
Besides the attractive coloration Xiphophorus hellerii “Yucatan 2” stands out due to its peaceful nature. It is well known that males of the swordtails can be quite incompatible with each other, but the males of “Yucatan 2” are a laudable exception to this rule, according to the breeder!
For our customers: the animals have code 476759 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The pretty swordtail breeding form Xiphophorus hellerii Wagtail Red White is still young, it was only created in our millennium. The animals are descendants of the red and white “Koi swordtails”, which by the way are mostly born red and in which the white areas only develop with increasing growth.
These fish have less silvery scale dye (guanine) than “normal” swordtails, therefore the gill covers appear transparent, the blood-red gills shimmer through. The red body colour in the red-white Koi swordtails – and thus also in the black-finned Wagtail variant – appears for the same reason as a kind of transparent orange-red, which gives it its special charm.
For our customers: the animals have code 420043 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Breeding marbled swordtails with red basic colour is a challenge. With the “Tiger”, which we can offer for the first time, this goal has succeeded. In every “tiger” the body spotting is individually different. So far that type of swordtails were offered almost exclusively with whitish body-basic-coloring (then one calls them Marble). Many of the black scales have a blue glimmer (in breeder circles one calls that the “mirror”) what shines splendidly and glitters with lateral incident light. In the age, the black coloring of these sword-bearers increases more and more. They are beautiful animals, which a German breeder could deliver to us.
For our customers: the animals have code 420409 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Only very rarely one of the most beautiful breeding forms of the swordtail comes to us: the black Simpson with orange fins. Among fish lovers Bayreuth is known as the spade for this very distinctive swordtail breeding form and is called “Bayreuth Cross”. In Germany, this variant was first exhibited in 1968 (report by the Nordbayer Kurier on 11 October 1968). As with other swordtails – Hamburg, Wiesbaden, Berlin – the name of the city was adopted for this helleri and thus it became the Bayreuth swordtail.
However, this was not the first time that a swordtail of the “Bayreuth type” was bred. In fact, five years earlier, Hawaiian fish breeders Eric and Larry Nishida crossed a red Simpson fin male with a normal fin Hamburg female. Hamburgers are black swordtails whose scales have a green or blue sheen. The result of this crossing had the high Simpson fin, the body coloration of the hamburger, a well developed sword, a bright red throat region and red fins. An article about this “Nishida Highfin-helleri” appeared in the American magazine “The Aquarium” in November 1963.
Our fish are offspring from Vietnam.
For our customers: the animals have code 420972 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Red-white, koicoloured livebeares are very hip currently. Usually the commercial breeders do not name their creations by their genetic compostion – like private hobbyists do -, but name them instead with as fancy names as possible. The „Kohaku“ is a white albino swordtail with a bright red patch on the front part of the body. This sport is known for some time already with black eyes. This was named „Marlboro“ and the selection with the red patch on the front part of the body „Tanchu“. No doubt: the albino selection called „Kohaku“ is a real eyecatcher!
For our customers: the fish have code 421273 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply e wholesale trade.
Lyretail swordtails are a sport of Xiphophorus hellerii and rather difficult to breed. Usually only the females can be used for breeding. They need „normal“ males for mating, because in most Lyretail males the fin that is used for insemination in livebearers, the so called gonopodium, is much prolonged and useless. Among ornamental fish breeders the word of „playing Mikado with cooked spaghetti“ is well known… If one uses „normal“ males for breeding Lyretails only a part of the offspring has the Lyretail phenotype. This is the reason why Lyretails are usually more expensive than other sports of the swordtail.
But very rarely Lyretail male swordtails appear that have polonged fins, but a normal gonopdium. These are called „King Lyretail Swordtails“. Dieter Bork has bred King Lyretails for us that are already offspring from King Lyretail fathers. The latter have been selected by us from imported Lyretails. Most of the fish belong to the sport „guentheri red“, but some other sports are also among our fish. The King Lyra females usually develop a small sword when fully grown.
The King Lyra swordtails we currently have in stock are most probably the very first ones that appeared in the ornamental wholesale trade at all, they are a real top-rarity!
For our customers: the fish have code 420823 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusvely supply the wholesale trade. Available in limited numbes only!
What is a Broccoli swordtail? A green swordtail that smells like cabbage? No, not at all! If one crosses a simpson swordtail – simpsons are the swordtails with the long dorsal fin – with a lyretail swordtail – lyretails have prolongations in all fins – some of the offspring have a very long simpson dorsal fin. In these fish single rays of the dorsal fin are longer than the remaining ones. This was felt not to be attractive for a long time and the cross was also excluded from competitions. But in Asia people saw the things different. They continued developing the cross and finally the result was a fish in which the extraordinary large simpson dorsal had wavy structures along the edge. The breeders named the new sport „broccoli“. We now have received for the vey first time some of these swordtails, bred on red albinos. The red albino sport in X. hellerii is called the „Vienna cross“.
For our customers: the fish have code 420964 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Once more we can present to you an interesting and beautiful wild variety of a livebearer: Xiphophorus hellerii „guentheri Golden Stream“, This unusual Green Swordtail originates from the surroundings of the Golden Stream preserve in Belize, Mexico. This presevere covers an area of about 61 km2 and contains a large number of rare and endangered species. Our specimens of Xiphophorus hellerii „guentheri Golden Stream“ are bred ones from Southeast Asia.
In Germany usually spotted swordtails are called „guentheri“. The subspecies Xiphophorus hellerii guentheri has been described from Guatemala. The „Golden Stream“ does not fit to what we think is a guentheri, but the name has been accepted widely in the community of liveberaer enthusiasts so we feel that the name should not be changed without eager need. It is by far more important that such animals are bred in pure strains. Only under these conditions it will be possible in the future to study behaviour and genetics of wild fish. There do exist already enough artifical sports and crosses.
One of the pecularities of the „Golden Stream“ is that there still exists a natural polymorphism in males. One can obain from the same brood small, tiny, often very colourful males and real bulls that have about the double body mass compared with their small conspecifics. These so called early and late males appear initially in any population of swordtail, but in the domesticated strains the breeders often eliminate the small early males and so only large, late males exist.
The males of the „Golden Steam“ often exhibit dark vertical stripes on the shoulder. All in all the „Golden Stream“ is a wonderful wild type of swordtail that can be recommended warmly to all hobbyists interested in studies of behaviour and genetics; but a hobbyist that simply enjoys beautiful fish will also make a good choice in buying Xiphophorus hellerii „guentheri Golden Stream“.
For our customers: the fish have code 421268 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer