Tag Archives: Xiphophorus

Xiphophorus signum

12. August 2022

This species of swordtail is only very rarely offered in the trade. At the first glimpse one may think that they are a variety of the common swortail X. hellerii, but the species X. signum is much more slender. The mark that is responsible for the scientific name (latin signum = sign) is always good visible in females on the caudal fin base, while in males it is covered by the dark border of the sword.

Xiphophorus signum is, like most wild types of swordtail, quite demanding. It needs clear, bacteria poor water and a proper feeding with different types of food, including frozen and live food. Our specimens are German bred ones. We can currently offer XXL animals.

We have also made a small film about these fish, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFpvzF09W-k

For our customers: the fish have code 476655 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus hellerii “Jalapa”

5. January 2022

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.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus nezahualcoyotl

20. December 2021

We have just obtained very attractive offspring of the “Northern Mountain Swordtail”. The fish are young adults, i.e. the sword of the males is still relatively short. For comparison we show here also an adult pair of another strain.

In former times X. nezahualcoyotl was considered as a local variant of X. montezumae. The name refers to Nezahualcoyotl,the poet philosopher emperor of Tezcoco (Texcoco), considered to be coequal with Montezuma, monarch of the Aztecs in the Aztec Triple Alliance, because the species is to be considered a sister taxon of X. montezumae. X. nezahualcoyotl is found only in the headwaters of some rivers in the state of San Lous Potosi in Mexico. The water there is clear, the soil stony, the temperatures moderate (22-24°C). Care of this small-bodied swordtail – body length rarely exceeds 4 cm (the largest wild-caught male measured had 48 mm standard length), plus fins – is not very difficult, but care must be taken to maintain good water hygiene.

The species may appear with or without black mottling. The black speckling, as shown by the animals of our currently stocked strain, is linked to the Y-chromosome, so it is inherited from the father. 

For our customers: the animals have code 476562 on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus signum

24. September 2021

This species of swordtail is only very rarely offered in the trade. At the first glimpse one may think that they are a variety of the common swortail X. hellerii, but the species X. signum is much more slender. The mark that is responsible for the scientific name (latin signum = sign) is always good visible in females on the caudal fin base, while in males it is covered by the dark border of the sword.

Xiphophorus signum is, like most wild types of swordtail, quite demanding. It needs clear, bacteria poor water and a proper feeding with different types of food, including frozen and live food. Our specimens are German bred ones.

For our customers: the fish have code 476655 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Platy Wagtail Pointed Tail

16. August 2021

The “pointed tail” mutation, in which the middle caudal fin rays are elongated, appeared relatively late: the first specimens appeared on the market in the 1980s. It originated in the Southeast Asian large-scale breederies.

The characteristic, which first appeared in the Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus), can also be transferred to other Xiphos, but the pointed tail has really become established in the long term only in Wagtail Platys. Here it is especially the red breeding forms, which are offered with pointed tail. Because with very large and old animals the innermost rays can grow somewhat over the fin, one calls this breeding form sometimes also “brush tail”. Apart from the fin shape, the pointed tails are quite normal platys: lively, colorful and robust. 

For our customers: the animals have code 442103 on our stoclist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Xiphophorius variatus “Hotel Taninul” and “Code 1243”

2. July 2021

We have already introduced several wild strains of Xiphophorus variatus, which rightly bears its scientific species name (variatus = variable). 

Now we have again two new variants on offer, both are German bred ones, descended from wild populations. The first is a pretty speckled fish discovered and brought back on a scientific collecting trip in Mexico. It comes from the area around Hotel Taninul (Carretera Km. 15, 79250, Tampico, Valles, 79250 Cd Valles, S.L.P., Mexico). Located in a natural park, “Set inside the Huasteca, a 740-acre ecological preserve, this rural resort hotel surrounded by tropical forest is 17 km from the town of Tamuín and 19 km from the center of Ciudad Valles.” (quoted from the hotel’s promotional website). Near the hotel grounds flows a nameless sulfurous brook and from it came the said X. variatus. Other fish species living in the brook were Poecilopsis gracilis, Astyanax mexicanus, Poecilia formosa and unspecified aquatic turtles.

The second form was found by the same expedition along road 85 in a drainage near Mante towards Victora (11 km north of Mante at km 105). There is no publication on this so far, this information was passed on orally. Therefore, so far there is only the provisional designation “1243” made in the field notes. This Platy is rather interesting than beautiful, because one looks for color with him in vain. Interesting are the strong melanophores in the front half of the body and the dark reticulation in the middle of the rear, which gives the impression of a longitudinal band. This variety will hardly be able to establish in the hobby, here is probably an unique buying opportunity for specialized friends of livebearers, while “Hotel Taninul” will certainly find its friends, especially since the males with increasing age develop increasingly strong yellow tones in the fins and back, as the breeder told us.

For our customers: “Hotel Taminul” has code 443095, “1243” code 443093 on our stocklist. There are limited quantities of both varieties available. Please note that we only supply to wholesalers.

Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus maculatus “Tabasco”

23. April 2021

Hearing the name Tabasco, the first thing that comes to mind for a Central European is the spicy chili sauce. However, the Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) that bears this name is neither particularly fiery nor particularly red – it merely originates, like the chili sauce, from the Mexican state of Tabasco, where this population was first found by Dutch ornamental fish enthusiasts and brought to Europe (more informations on that are in preparation). 

The basic coloration of the animals is an inconspicuous gray; what makes them very special is the golden bordered shoulder spot, which many (but not all) animals show. This characteristic is also known from populations from the Mexican state of Veracruz. So far this “Admiral´s epaulette” has not been crossed into breeding lines. Other interesting features of this wild platy from Tabsco are the partially transparent gill cover, resulting in a red spot, and a highly variable tail root pattern that can be completely absent, form a double crescent, or a Mickey Mouse pattern. 

The particular challenge in long term breeding of such fish is to maintain variability. It is all too easy to succumb to the temptation of selecting particularly pretty specimens, which results in a uniform type after only a few generations that no longer has much in common with the wild population. To avoid this, as many color variants as possible from the respective population should be allowed to swim in the largest possible mixed shoal. This at least increases the probability that the diversity of forms of a population prevailing in nature will also be preserved among the offspring born in the aquarium.

For our customers: the animals have code 476577 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus hellerii “Yucatan 2”

1. April 2021

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.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus montezumae

4. December 2020

With the swordtails (Xiphophorus), the males carry a sword-like extension at the low end of the tail fin in many species. This is a luxury structure, that serves the intraspecific communication. Sword-bearing males appear especially sexy on the females and especially intimidating on male conspecifics. The also with primates (the ape-like animals) well known game “who has the longest” always wins Xiphophorus montezumae with the Xiphos. 

We have now once again received a small number of offspring of this magnificent swordtail, which has a comparatively limited distribution area in nature (rivers in the state of San Lous Potosi, on the Atlantic side of Mexico). Since the Montezuma swordtail prefers relatively low temperatures (18-22°) for permanent keeping – it does no harm if the temperatures climb above 24°C in summer – it grows rather slowly. The species is also by far not as productive as for example Green Swordtails (X. hellerii), the litters usually include much less than 20 young. This explains why this beauty will always remain a rarity in the hobby.

For the care it is important that one has to pay attention to constantly good water quality. Generous weekly partial water changes are therefore absolutely necessary. The water should preferably be hard and the pH should be in the slightly alkaline range (8 – 8.5). A good flake food can be the nutritional basis, in addition one feeds frost and live food of all kinds. Regular feeding of Artemia nauplii (also to adult fish, 2-3 times a week) has proved very successful.

For our customers: the fish have code 420143 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Xiphophorus xiphidium

13. November 2020

The sword platy, Xiphophorus xiphidium, belongs to the top rarities among the live-bearers. The species is found on the headwaters of the Soto La Marina River and its tributaries, Tamaulipas State, on the Atlantic side of Mexico. The very pretty species remains with approx. 3 cm (male) resp. 4 cm (female) clearly smaller than the common Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus). Since both species can cross in the aquarium, one should refrain in view of the rarity of X. xiphidium from maintaining it together with its close relatives.

There are sword platies that look slightly different, for example those with a circular spot on the tail base, those with two small dots or with a crescent moon. Since these different colour forms also represent different populations, one should also pay attention to pure breeding on this level. Currently we have a variant without any tail pattern in stock.

Young males look very similar to females, also because they also have a “pregnancy spot”. Fully developed adult alpha males are very attractive fish with their tiger pattern.

The care and breeding of the sword platy is much more demanding than that of the ordinary platy. Above all, X. xiphidium should not be kept too warm, preferably at room temperature without additional heating.

For our customers: the animals have code 476702 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer