Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Xiphophorus Helleri

     Xiphophorus Helleri is original from north of South America and Central America. In the present about 1000 species are known (different colors, crossings, fin forms, eyes, other).

     Conditions. Withstand temperatures between 18°C - 28°C (64°F - 82°F) but is recommended to be kept in water temperature between 22°C - 26°C (71°F - 78°F), supports a pH water chemistry between 6.8 - 9, but it is preferable to be held in a neutral water with an average hardness ranging from 10 to 15 dGh, therefore is recommend that in the livebearers freshwater tanks to introduce a teaspoon of non-iodized salt to each 10l of water.
     This fish needs more space (minimum 90 cm length tank), being a fish with high metabolism, reaching considerable size even in an aquarium at maturity (8-14 cm). The aquarium should be well planted, rear and side, with a lot of swimming space in the center area and a few plants for babies to hide, because parents tend to eat their babies (this in case the female is allowed to stay in tank and not separated).
     It is recommended that these fish to be kept at least three 1m to 2f, but experts say the best is to 2m to 3f, it remains up to you how you choose to keep them and if you hold too many females or only females, they tend to  metamorphose from female to male (this male result is infertile). Some say that other values of pH and water chemistry may influence this phenomenon.
     Differences. The male is easy to distinguish from female because has the caudal fin extension in the form of sword or lyretail at veiled species. Males are generally aggressive especially with rivals, thus forming a hierarchy between them in which the strongest is privileged at females and first to eat.

     Food.  Xipho are omnivores (plant and meat) and when there is more plant material with a high content of carotene in the content of food, the red color become more intense.

     Breeding. They are livebearers, so it is fairly easy for them to breed. Males fecundates the females and after 6 weeks from fertilization  females give birth to babies fully developed, hatching being done in its belly.
     As a curiosity, Xiphophorus helleri and Xiphophorus maculates (platy female and xipho male) can cross  as shown below.

     Xipho's original form is green, so-called "green swordtail", but after repeated selctions appeared more color varieties (about 1000) of which recall the most common: xipfo red, red with red eyes, xipfo yellow, xipfo wagtail (black tail), red rot (golden tail and a golden longitudinal stripe on the body), red gold, red Tuxedo (halh black and half red), berliner (one color with black dots), xipfo neon, xipfo schwarz, rot albino, doppel, etc..