Will Different Types of Swordtails Breed?

Different types of swordtails will breed if they find themselves together in one tank. Since they belong to the same family, they can crossbreed naturally. 

When you’re keeping males and females from different types in one tank, you can’t guarantee they won’t breed. So, if you’re asking if it’s safe, it should be since they belong to the same breed.

Some fry might turn out deformed, though, mainly if the two breeding fish aren’t related.

Here’s everything you need to know about swordtails and their breeding habits.

Will Different Types of Swordtails Breed?

Yes, different swordtails will breed when the surrounding conditions are in their favor. A lot of people choose to go for artificial selection and breed them on purpose to get fish with unique lines and colors.

If you breed unique types together, its possible you’ll get some interesting patterns and new colors.

So, to put your mind at ease, different types of swordtails will interbreed naturally with no problems. Still, you may want to be conscious of the species you own.

If you’re raising a fancy line of swordtails, you may want to keep it from breeding with regular lines. The colors will get muddled, and the fry won’t have the same fancy colors their parents have.

Red Wagtail Swordtail

The Breeding Habits of Swordtails

Swordtails are livebearers, which means that they give birth to live fish instead of laying eggs. Of course, this means you need to be careful when breeding them because you’ll find the tank swarmed with their babies once they give birth.

Not only that, but female swordtails also can give birth once every 28 days, so unless you want a tank full of tiny swordtails, you’ll want to keep your females from breeding frequently.

Swordtails can breed with their own type and with platies. Breeding them with different species is never a good idea because there’s a chance the female will die. Even if she manages to give birth, the babies will likely be deformed, and they may die young.

When breeding swordtails, you’ll also want to take care not to keep breeding the same population for long. Over time, you’ll notice that more fry is dying and showing inbreeding issues. It’s always a good idea to provide some diversity and get a new fish for breeding.

How to Correctly Breed Swordtails

When swordtails are three months old, they can start breeding naturally. If you want them to produce safely, you’ll want to make sure the tank’s conditions are suitable.

For starters, the temperature should be around 78 F degrees, and the pH should be kept within the safe level for swordtails, which is no more than 8.5.

It would help if you also separated the females from the males when they’re close to giving birth because they’ll have aggressive tendencies.

You’ll know that your females are about to give birth when their bellies are bigger and when they’re separating themselves from males on purpose. Plus, they’ll start hiding in a corner and avoid moving around the tank.

After that, get ready for the fry that’s about to come! You can expect around 50–100 babies in the first time breeding.

Can a Swordtail Breed With a Platy?

Swordfish and platys are popular friends. Most fish lovers will choose to raise both in the same tank because they have complimenting looks. Besides, they belong to the same genus, so they’re actually related.

To answer your question, swordtails can breed with platys naturally because they’re both from the same genus, Xenophorus. They’ll give safe, viable babies. Additionally, if they’re both in a large tank with other fish, they’ll still choose each other for breeding because they’re related.

Many fish owners will actually breed them on purpose to get unique crossbreds—most swordfish and platies on the market today are offspring from crossbreeding between the two species.

The two breeds are livebearers, have beautiful colors, and come from the same family. What’s to say you can’t breed them?

If you want to get the best results from breeding, you may go for green swordtails and variegated platies. I have to warn you, though; the baby platies will likely have elongated bodies!

Can a Swordtail Breed With a Molly?

Contrary to platies, swordtails can’t breed with mollies. They don’t belong to the same genus, and so they won’t be able to conceive offspring even if they manage to mate.

Although both breeds are livebearers, swordtails belong to the Xiphophorus family, while mollies belong to the Poecilia genus.

Fish from different families can’t breed, and the females may actually die if they get impregnated because both breeds aren’t compatible.

Needless to say, if you plan on raising both together, try to adjust the ratio of males to females so that they don’t attempt mating. Even better, you can keep an all-female or an all-male tank.

Can a Swordtail Breed With a Guppy?

Both guppies and swordtails are livebearers, but like mollies and swordtails, they can’t breed. If they mate, the babies will likely be deformed, but most of the time, they won’t even be able to reproduce.

Like mollies, guppies belong to the Poecilia family. So, they can breed with mollies, but not with swordtails or platies.

With most livebearers, that’s the case. Swordtails and platies are among the rare livebearers that can breed normally and get safe babies.

Closing Thoughts

So, will different types of swordtails breed?

Yes, different types of swordtails will breed normally, and there’s a high chance they’ll produce perfectly healthy babies. There are a couple of things to consider, though. For one, make sure the surrounding conditions are suitable for breeding and that the female swordtail is of age.

Additionally, make sure to breed swordtails with compatible colors, or else you may find some weird patterns in the fry. It’s better not to breed fancy lines with regular fish, too.