How Many Swordtail Fish Should You Keep Together in a Tank?

How Many Swordtail Fish Should You Keep Together in a Tank?

Swordtail fish are a beautiful addition to any community tank since they enjoy being with others. It’s fascinating to watch a group of fish swimming in the tank together happily.

But, what is the ideal number of swordtails to keep together in a tank?

It is best to house swordtail fish in a group of four to six. A single swordtail fish needs around 10-15 gallons of tank space. So, you must ensure that each one of your swordtail fish has adequate room.

This guide will help you determine how many swordtail fish you should keep together in a tank. Also, you’ll learn the perfect tank size for your swordtail fish depending on the number of fish.

How to Calculate the Number of Swordtail Fish For a Fish Tank?

The swordtail fish measures from 5.5 to 6 inches in length, and the females can reach up to an inch longer than the males.

As a result, the size of your purchase may vary according to the sort and size of swordtail fish you choose.

However, the golden thumb rule of one gallon per inch of fish applies to swordtail fish as well.

You’ll need to know the maximum length of your swordtail for that. Aside from the fish’s length, you must consider the tank’s volume, surface area, depth, and extra decorations and equipment.

For example, if you have a tank capacity of 10-gallons and about 1 gallon is occupied by equipment, you have 9 gallons of free space.

Now, a gallon per inch equals the number of swordtail fish. 9/5.5 = 1.63, which equals one swordtail fish. We’ve previously said that a single swordtail fish takes up approximately 15 gallons of tank space to move about freely.

However, if given adequate living circumstances, swordtails may live in tanks up to 10 gallons.

Number of Swordtail Fish in a 10 Gallon Tank

As the calculations show, one swordtail fish is enough for a 10-gallon tank. However, as we know, swordtaild don’t like living alone and may suffer from depression, social stress, and anxiety.

So, how can you solve this problem in a 100 gallons tank? Well, while nothing will replace the company of their own kind, shrimps and snails can cohabit with swordtail fish.

These species usually stay at the bottom of the aquarium so that only one swordtail may enjoy the top part. As a result, a 10-15 gallon tank can house one swordtail tank with appropriate small or bottom-dwelling tank mates.

Number of Swordtail Fish in a 20 Gallon Tank

You can keep 2 swordtail fish in a 20 gallon tank. When you do so, there are a few things to consider,and the most important one is how to deal with the fish’s gender.

Swordtail are livebearers, so they can give birth to live young. Why is it a problem?

Well, if you have a male and female pair, your male swordtail will torment your female which can lead her to death. Also, without a doubt, your 10 gallons tank will soon be overcrowded with fry.

So, unless you want to deal with all of that and have a plan for the fry, it’s best to stick with a group of swordtails or get an all-female group.

You can also raise 3 swordtails in a 20-gallon tank if you meet all tank criteria and maintain the diet, filtration, and temperature. I know it’s not ideal, but it is possible.

Number of Swordtail Fish in a 30 Gallon Tank

A 30-gallon tank can house four swordtail (one male and three females) fish with ease.

This tank size is the sweet spot for livebearers as it offers enough space for the fish to move about and hide from each other when needed.

What Is the Minimum and Maximum Tank Size Suitable for Swordtail Fish?

Minimum Tank Size

If you have 4-5 swordtail fish, the minimum tank size necessary to maintain them is about 30-35 gallons.

Swordtails will not live in a tank that measures less than 30 gallons peaceably.

If you house them in a smaller tank, they will become stressed and may contract diseases.

Additionally, small tanks do not have enough space to install a heater and filter. As a result, the water quality will suffer, and your fish will eventually die.

Maximum Tank Size

The maximum tank capacity is not restricted. The bigger the fish aquarium, the more fish it can hold and the happier the swordtails will be.

Actually, these active swimmers species will appricaite a larger space to move about and play.

4 Things You Should Keep In Mind While Keeping Swordtails Together

If you keep swordtail fish together, they will be happier and healthier. However, there are a few things to think about when keeping swordtail fish together in a tank.

The factors to pay attention to are:

1. Avoid Overcrowding

If you don’t keep track of the fish count, overcrowding is nearly inevitable. Because swordtails are quite territorial, they require more area to swim about.

If you add too many fish to your tank, it will cause stress and irritation among the fish. This will also cause a lack of oxygen which can kill all the fish in your tank.

2. Maintain Male-Female Ratio

It’s critical to maintain a low male-to-female ratio when keeping swordtails as a group.

If you want to breed more swordtails, it would be advantageous if you did not keep many male swordtails in a tank with fewer females.

This is because male swordtails are notorious for being combative when breeding; therefore, they are likely to fight with each other.

To avoid this issue in the tank, maintain a higher ratio of females and a lower amount of males. The ideal ratio is 3 to 4 females for 1 male swordtail.

3. Avoid Aggressive Tank Mates

The Swordtail is a peaceful, lively, and sociable fish species. They get along with most other fish that have comparable qualities.

In the tank, aggressive fish species hunt and bully swordtails. As a result, your swordtails will be frightened by this state, which will have an impact on their health and behavior.

4. Add Hiding Spots

It’s critical to add a variety of live plants and other decorations to the swordtail tank for your fish to have safe hiding places.

These hiding places are essential for the health of your fish because they provide a sense of security. When fish feel secure, they are less likely to fight with other tank mates.

Live plants, also will keep the tank water effectively filtered and oxygenated, which is important for more fish.

Why Is It Essential To Keep Swordtail Fish Together?

1. They Are Social Creatures

Swordtails are social animals that enjoy the company of their kind. It’s in their nature to be with a group, and they feel more comfortable and relaxed when they are around other fish like them.

In the tank, it makes them feel safe, comfortable, and happy which in turn makes them remain active, cheerful, and satisfied.

When kept together, swordtails also establish a pecking order. In such a situation, the more dominant fish will take the lead, and the others will follow.

2. It Helps Them Thrive

Another reason to keep swordtails together is that it helps them thrive.

As we mentioned earlier, swordtails are social animals that feel more relaxed in the company of their kind. This way, they can live a long and healthy life because they are not under stress.

In addition, when swordtails are together, they can share their food and resources. They can also protect each other from predators.

3. They Will Be Less Aggressive

When Swordtails are kept alone, they tend to become stressed and frustrated. As a result, they become aggressive and may start attacking other fish in the tank.

But when they are with their kind, they feel more relaxed and comfortable. So, they are less likely to become aggressive.

4. It Reduces Their Stress Level

One of the most common reasons why fish die quickly is stress. Swordtails in a group feel much less anxious and more at ease.

The presence of a group of swordtails will keep each other company, lowering the stress level in each fish. As a result, they will be healthier and live longer, and they will be more active in the tank.

5. They Will Be More Active

When kept in groups, they are more active. They feel safe enough to swim about and search the tank as part of a group.

They’ll also engage in play with one another, making them even more energetic. Therefore, you will see your swordtails swimming around more often and they will be happier.

Last Words

You must be cautious about the number of swordtails you keep in a tank so that they feel comfortable and relaxed.

We advise you to keep a ratio of 3 to 4 females for 1 male swordtail. You should also add hiding spots and avoid aggressive tank mates to make sure your fish are happy and healthy.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below. Thank you for reading

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