The Wagtail Swordtail is perhaps the quintessential community aquarium fish. The time-tested popularity of the Swordtail can be attributed to its ease of care, peaceful temperament, and wonderfully diverse fin and color varieties. The male Swordtail is especially prized for its namesake feature, the showy extension on the lower part of its tail resembling a sword.
The Wagtail Swordtail requires an aquarium of at least 30 gallons that is well planted with plenty of room for swimming. Like other Swordtails, the Painted Swordtail is a jumper, so be sure to provide an adequate cover over the aquarium. Peaceful in nature, the Painted Swordtail is well suited for the community aquarium. Males can be aggressive toward one another so care should be taken when housing more than one. Painted Swordtails are livebearers and can give birth to as many as 80 fry at one time. A spawning box is recommended, or if one is not available, dense floating cover should be provided to protect the fry from the adults.
The Painted Swordtail is an omnivore that will eat commercially prepared flaked foods, freeze dried bloodworms, tubifex, brine shrimp, as well as algae.