What Do Swordtail Fish Eat?

What Do Swordtail Fish Eat?

Swordtail fish are omnivorous and can eat a variety of things, including insects, plants, and other fish. In an aquarium setting, they do best when they have a varied diet that includes commercial food, occasional high-protein snacks, live or frozen worms, and homemade vegetables.

In this guide, we will talk about the diet of swordtail fish. This includes answering questions such as what do swordtail fish eat?, How much should we feed them? And so on.

What Do Swordtail Fish Eat in Wild?

Swordtail fish are found in Central and Northern America near tropical rivers, streams, and creeks. These fish eat small aquatic invertebrates such as daphnia, plankton, and plant detritus from their environment.

Although they can eat algae that grow on rocks or plants, they mainly eat insects, worms, and other small animals. They also eat tiny crustaceans like shrimps, snails, brine shrimp, daphnia, etc.

What Do Swordtail Fish Eat in Aquariums?

Swordtails hunt and eat anything they can fit into their mouths in the rivers, but we cannot do the same in an aquarium.

This is because wild swordtails have stronger immunity and can eat anything. But, it is not the same in-home aquarium. So, you need to take proper care of your swordtail and avoid feeding them anything in nature, like in the wild.

What to Feed Your Swordtail Fish?

Swordtails need a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients to grow and develop properly. If you are only feeding them commercial flakes, they may not be getting all the nutrients they need.

The food that you can feed your swordtails includes:

1. Vitamin Supplements

Swordtail fish need vitamins to survive. One way to give them vitamins is to use a supplement like TetraMin Tropical Medley. This is a type of supplement that aquarium fish keepers often use.

2. Live Food

Swordtails need a lot of protein to stay healthy. So, it is recommended to give them live foods like daphnia, blackworms, blood worms, mosquito larvae, and other live grubs to ensure they get the protein they need.

3. Frozen Food

Most frozen foods do not agree with the sensitive stomach of swordtails. However, swordtails benefit from freeze-dried worms or shrimp, which provide them with plenty of protein.

4. Veggies

Swordtail fish are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. So if you give them an algae wafer, they’ll eat it. Also try giving them a zucchini or cucumber.

5. Flakes and Pellets

Swordtail fish love to eat commercial foods like algae flakes and shrimp pellets. They gobble them up quickly!

If you can’t afford to buy lots of different types of food, you can give them crackers, flakes, and pellets. This will be a good staple in their diet.

Best Homemade Foods for Swordtail Fish

Making your fish food is a good way to make sure they are getting the best diet possible.

There are many recipes to choose from. However, it can be hard to know which ones work best, especially if you are not used to cooking or do not have a lot of experience in the kitchen.

You should not use artificial preservatives in homemade food. The best way to avoid using them is to use all-natural and organic swordtail fish food.

Additionally, you can feed your fish blanched zucchini, cucumber, romaine lettuce, peas, or boiled spinach.

However, it’s important to note that you should never use wild plants as food because they may contain harmful compounds that can harm your fish!

Making your pet food helps to avoid any potentially dangerous ingredients or preservatives, such as garlic or live plants.

Some Different Foods that You Can Feed Your Swordtails

Brine Shrimp

One of the most popular and easy-to-make homemade dishes is brine shrimp.

You will need some untreated saltwater from your local fish store to make the brine shrimp. Fill a pot halfway with seawater and heat it to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the water reaches this temperature, add some pure brine shrimp eggs. These eggs can be bought at your local pet store.

Wait for them to hatch (this can take anywhere from 12-48 hours). The water temperature should be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at this point.

To keep hatched brine shrimp from sticking together, pour them into a colander and rinse them with cold tap water for about 30 seconds. This food can be fed live or freeze-dried so you can save it for later use.

Frozen Bloodworms

Frozen bloodworms, which may also be purchased at your local pet store, are another food that works well as a DIY swordtail fish meal.

However, if you feed bloodworms that have been flash-frozen, you run the danger of making your fish sick.

To prepare the bloodworms, place them in a colander and run them under cold tap water for 30 seconds to prevent them from adhering together; then, like with brine shrimp, feed either live or freeze-dried worms to preserve them for later use.

Micro Worms

Micro worms are a popular type of food for homemade swordtail fish. However, this is not an easy thing to produce and takes more effort than buying brine shrimp eggs from a pet store.

Egg Yolk

Another good source of protein for your fish is egg yolks. You can easily slice them into tiny pieces and sprinkle them over the surface of the water.

Blanched Vegetables

If you want to feed your swordtail fish vegetables, the best way to do it is by cooking them.

However, don’t just give them the vegetables raw. Cook them first so that any toxins in the vegetables are removed. This will help keep your fish healthy.

How Often to Feed Swordtail Fish?

Adult swordtails should be fed small amounts of food two to three times per day. This is because they have a ravenous appetite and will eat too much if you give them too much food at once. This could be dangerous for them.

Food You Should Not Feed Your Swordtail Fish

Swordtail fish can eat a variety of foods, but they should not eat everything.

It would be helpful if you did not offer your swordtails to the following diets:

Increased Protein

A small amount of protein may be consumed by a swordtail fish. They, however, are unable to break down high-protein foods such as shrimp or worms.

As a result, they may become ill and constipated, eventually losing their appetite.

Foods High in Sugar

Swordtail fish may eat sugary foods, but it’s important to keep track of how much they eat since too much sugar can lead to obesity.


Gluten is harmful to swordtails as well. It has a large number of carbohydrates and fat that your fish cannot break down.

Gluten-containing foods, such as bread, can irritate your swordtails’ stomachs and taint your tank. As a result, you should limit their consumption to an absolute minimum.


Swordtail Fish should not consume caffeine. These fish have a sensitive stomach and will become sick if given caffeine-containing foods or beverages.


Is Overfeeding Dangerous?

Overfeeding your swordtail fish is dangerous. They will become sick and may even die if you overfeed them.

Therefore, it’s important to only give them the amount of food they can eat in a single sitting. Once they stop eating, remove any uneaten food from the tank so that it doesn’t decompose and pollute the water.

How Long Can Swordtail Fish Live Without Food?

Swordtails can go without food for a few days, but you should try and feed them at least twice a day. If they don’t get enough food, they will become thin, weak, and pale.

Swordtails should be fed twice a day with small amounts of food. You may feed them once in the morning and once at night, or two times around noon if that is more convenient for you.

Last Words

Swordtail fish are easy to care for, and with the proper diet, they can live a long and healthy life.

Make sure to give them a balanced diet that includes both green food and protein. Avoid giving them too much of either one, as this can lead to health problems.

We hope that this article has helped you better understand what swordtail fish need to stay healthy and happy.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

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