Choosing Companions for Guppies

You can add more peaceful fish  to your aquarium to go with the guppies.  The Swordtails and Platies are commonly found in tanks with guppies, these fish also belong to the Cyprinodonts group of fish, and like guppies are livebearers and toothcarps.



Platies and swordtails like the guppies are bred specifically for the aquatic trade. Their natural habitat is from South America including some of the southern states of the United States. They are busy little fish and probably more active than the guppies! This is where it is wise to keep your tank covered with glass to prevent the activities of these fish from jumping to their deaths. Rest assured they do! It is very disappointing to come out to kamikaze fish in the morning.

Platies and swordtails make a good choice of starter fish for putting in the aquarium before adding other fish. They prefer harder water than guppies. It is another choice you may prefer to make instead of starting with guppies. Never add them or any other fish until the water has rested for a few weeks and the plants are growing. Water in an aquarium has to adjust and reach a Nitrate peak before becoming safe for your pets.

Breeding Platies and Swordtails is easy; as livebearers, they will drop the young fry on a regular basis every 4-6 weeks. The ability to have multi batches of fry from a single fertilization also applies to these fish.  They are capable of interbreeding.  The Swordtail comes in a huge range of varieties. To name a few, Tuxedo, Red wag, Lyre swordtails. The Lyre swordtail both the male and female fish have extensions on the top and bottom of their tails. The male is recognized by the gonopodium he has. It is wise to keep only a single male in your aquarium as two can and do fight! The female fish do not appear to be aggressive. Avoid fights by having a bigger, well-planted tank giving places to hide for them.

The swordtail is so called because the male’s tail has a “sword “that extends from the lower edge of its tail. The females do do not have the sword.  The swordtails tolerate a wide range of water conditions that makes them useful companions for the guppies.  The temperatures in the aquarium that they prefer are similar to the guppies and Platies in the range of  21 C – 26 C. They are fish that eat a wide range of foods like their tank mates. Foods to include in their diet are flakes, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp. The Platies and swords like to eat plants or algae that they find in the tank. A useful habit in an aquarium!