The photo is of two adult male Xiphophorus mayae.
This is a wild swordtail species we acquired in 2012 at the American Livebearer Association (ALA) convention auction in Fort Lauderdale. ALA’s annual convention auction offers a great chance of picking up unusual and rare livebearers. The 2014 convention is in St. Louis. I’ll be there speaking twice, once about hatchery operations and another time about breeding techniques. For information about the convention click here.
We raise Xiphophorus mayae exactly as we do other livebearers. We set up a half dozen males with 40-50 females in a 55 gallon vat. In the vat we place some hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), a rootless, floating plant. We also place a breeding cage in the center of the vat. We make breeding cages using ¼” aquaculture netting formed into a cylinder about 12” in diameter with a bottom. The cage is tall enough that the top extends a few inches above the water level. The hornwort and the breeding cage provide adequate cover for fry. Like most swords, especially the males, this fish is a fantastic jumper. We keep the vat’s water level low so they don’t all jump out.
The breeders are left in the vat for about two months when they are moved to another vat. The fry and juveniles are left another two months to mature.