The green swordtail is one of the varieties of fish of this family, which were bred back in 1908. For the first time, swordtails appeared in aquariums in the middle of the 19th century, while this particular species became known later. To date, swordtails are considered a completely decorative species. They are actively cultivated in order to obtain ever newer, more original colors.
Origin of the species and description
Swordsmen were first described in the middle of the 19th century. Then travelers began to notice representatives of this species in the Americas. They got this name due to the characteristic xiphoid process in the tail area. It is from this moment that their history begins.
At the very beginning of the 20th century, the first representatives of this species were brought to Europe, where they began to be actively bred for aquariums. Thanks to their unique features: a docile cheerful disposition combined with minimal requirements for keeping conditions, swordsmen have become so popular.
Video: Green swordsman
Aquarists also began to work actively to display all new species. By crossing representatives of various subspecies, it is possible to obtain unique original colors of fish that have won hearts for many years.
The green swordtail is quite possible to meet in natural conditions, but in the aquarium, representatives of this species still feel more comfortable. In the region of Central America, these subspecies are found, but at the same time, those green swordtails that are found in aquariums are hybrids – artificially bred. Now the view is regularly undergoing various changes, as work in the direction of crossing all the time continues.
Appearance and features
If we compare the type of green swordtail that is found in aquariums with the inhabitants of the natural environment, we can conclude that the latter are much larger.
The lower part of the tail of all swordtails disproportionately protrudes backwards. Thus, the process forms a kind of sword. Due to this, the species got its name. This feature is characteristic of absolutely all swordtails, regardless of subspecies. Green is no exception.
In addition, the fish has the following appearance features and distinctive characteristic parameters:
- the approximate body length of a standard swordsman is about 8 cm. At the same time, females are 1.5 times longer than males (that is, they can reach 12 cm);
- the body of the fish is slightly flattened from the sides;
- gray-green shade. At the same time, there is a pronounced red line all over the body;
- hybrids have a much brighter color. At the same time, it can also be noted that their body seems to glow slightly (which is why occasionally some representatives of the species can be confused with neon). Under natural conditions, the body of the swordtail is dimmer and seems to be transparent;
- the body is noticeably elongated;
- the muzzle of the fish has a pointed nose and large eyes.
Depending on the type of crossbreeding, the green swordtail can have a variety of hue characteristics, casting different reflections.
Where does the green swordtail live?
Central America is the natural habitat of this fish species. From Mexico to Honduras, these amazing fish have long lived. The swordsmen settled in the river basins that eventually flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
Today, it is becoming more and more difficult to meet a fish in natural conditions. It is much easier to find e in the aquariums of aquarists from all over the world. Due to the fact that the fish has both a completely original appearance and a picky disposition, they are so fond of residents of various parts of the world.
Tropical and equatorial climatic zones are the main habitat for representatives of this species. But this applies only to the natural conditions of the life of the fish. In fact, thanks to aquarists, they are now actively populating the entire planet. In artificial conditions, they can live even in especially cold areas. It is difficult to find any place on the planet where people would be unfamiliar with swordtails.
They can inhabit both river headwaters, rapid-flowing waterfalls, and swamps and lagoons. But still, they feel more comfortable in reservoirs with a fast current. This provides more oxygen. Also, in such conditions, the water is cleaner.
At the same time, this applies rather to swordsmen in general. If we talk specifically about greens, then they are completely found exclusively in aquariums. The reason is that such hybrids were bred artificially and therefore they are adapted only to life in captivity. They are not found in natural conditions.
Interesting fact: The green swordtail is so unpretentious to living conditions that it can live in stagnant, poorly lit reservoirs and even in slightly salty water.</em >
What does the green swordtail eat?
Swordtails are very unpretentious in food both in natural and in artificial conditions. In nature, they usually prefer the smallest invertebrates (insects, as well as their larvae). But, in addition to live food, swordtails can also eat plant foods: algae and plant particles that fall into the water.
Such omnivorousness helps them to get a balanced diet, as well as provide themselves with the necessary food supply in conditions of inaccessibility of one of the types of food. If we talk about artificial conditions for keeping green swordsmen, then for them you can purchase a variety of types of food. It can be dry or live food. Due to the omnivorous nature of these fish, they can eat all types of food equally well.
Some manufacturers even produce special food for swordtails. It is planned taking into account the individual needs of the development of the organism of representatives of the species. This really makes the task much easier and helps to provide the fish with a balanced diet without serious effort.
If it is not possible to select such a special food, you can do with the standard habitual daphnia. By the way, you can also do without it if you have peas or foxes of lettuce, spinach at hand – swordtails will also eat these plant foods with great pleasure.
Interesting fact: swordtails in their own way entities are prone to overeating and obesity, which is why it is so important not to overfeed the fish, arranging fasting days for them.
Character and lifestyle features
Swordsmen are distinguished by a very active lifestyle, as well as a cheerful disposition. That is why they are so appreciated by aquarists. They almost always arrive in a great mood, play with each other (after all, this is essentially a schooling fish and therefore you also need to start several fish of this species at once).
An additional advantage of them is also absolute unpretentiousness. They perfectly withstand slight increases or decreases in temperature. This does not affect their activity in any way.
Usually any conflicts between males are excluded. They are rather indicative when they want to prove themselves in order to earn the attention of the female. But in reality, serious skirmishes never come. These are very friendly fish, which in artificial and natural conditions equally coexist with each other. They can also coexist perfectly with fish of similar size and character.
At the same time, the fish are not immune from unpleasant surprises. In rare cases, contact with certain species may cause such a problem: fish bite off pieces of each other’s fins or tails.
Interesting fact: Swordtails love clean water most of all, so in the aquarium you need to periodically remove food debris from the surface to ensure they have a proper supply of oxygen.
Social structure and reproduction
Swordsmen are fish that can be safely attributed to peace-loving ones. At the same time, males can actively compete for the attention of females. Nature decreed that the swordsmen have all the prerequisites for a live birth.
Under natural living conditions, fish usually intuitively select a suitable pair for themselves, focusing on many different external indicators. But in the conditions of an aquarium, the owner selects a couple. In order for the offspring to be perfect, as well as to preserve the species characteristics in a pure form, it is best to responsibly choose the right pair.
In an aquarium, reproduction occurs regularly. Moreover, the seasonality of this process is absolutely not expressed. The incubation process during the breeding of swordtails is completely absent. By the way, fertilization occurs already in the body of the female, where the babies develop, after which a fully formed fry is born, similar in all external parameters to their parents. The egg stage is completely absent here.
When the time comes, the male, who has proven his superiority to the rest, begins to circle around the female, showing off himself. When she accepts courtship, fertilization occurs. The most interesting thing is that the female herself controls the process of fertilization, but she can store the male’s seed for several months. This is possible if the water temperature suddenly drops significantly or the amount of incoming food decreases. In this case, the female may well postpone fertilization until it becomes possible.
Natural enemies of the green swordsman
In fact, in nature, absolutely all predatory fish of a larger size can become enemies of swordtails. Young offspring are especially susceptible to this. Her remarkable appearance adds problems to the fish, because she certainly will not be able to go unnoticed. That is why the only hope for salvation is simply to flock and run away from the pursuer.
Also, birds that actively hunt representatives of the aquatic world, simply picking them out of the water near the shore, pose a danger. Some argue that the most dangerous enemy for swordsmen is man. In fact, this is not so already, if only for the reason that it is people who actively breed representatives of this family, so that thanks to man, the number of swordtails, on the contrary, is growing significantly.
By the way, under natural conditions, crustaceans pose an additional danger – they simply eat the laid eggs or fry, preventing the fish from reproducing. mother in another container. Even in natural conditions there is no such strict selection – in an aquarium, large fish can simply eat babies. That’s why the best solution is to just isolate them right away.
Population and species status
The green swordsman is an artificially bred species. That is why it is extremely difficult to give any assessment of its status. Since the hybrid did not previously live in natural conditions on its own, it is impossible to say that it is subject to state protection, even if the number of representatives will be significantly reduced.
In practice, it is impossible to estimate the number of sword-bearers. They actively inhabit aquariums in private collections around the world. That is why it is unrealistic to assume at least approximately how many of them are in nature. If we talk about swordsmen in general, then we can come to the following conclusions: their number has recently remained in place. Thanks to the activities of aquarists, one can even argue about an increase in numbers, an expansion in the diversity of species.
In terms of protection, it is precisely those species that originally inhabited water bodies that deserve special attention. The reason is that hybrids are now being actively bred, but there are fewer and fewer pure representatives of the species. This is exactly what you should take care of in order to preserve the species, including in its original original form.
In fact, the same applies to all species, including green swordsmen. Each subspecies of fish is subject to a decrease in numbers for the reason that active work on breeding new species continues all the time. Due to this, the fish are constantly interbreeding with each other, others appear, and the previous species in a pure format disappear. In addition, the abundance of different species may be endangered because the hybrids themselves do not reproduce. Due to this, their population is decreasing, because without constant breeding they are soon doomed to extinction.
Thus, it can be argued that the green swordtail is a popular fish among aquarists, which is so loved by everyone due to its external data, miniature size, as well as the absence of any special requirements for the content. The fish is very unpretentious. At the same time, she has excellent external data – she will not leave anyone indifferent.