Swordtail Project Evolution

Swordtail Project Evolution

I’ve enjoyed working with more types of fish than just angelfish since I was a small child. I’ve always had fancy livebearers of some type, usually guppies, but often other ornamental types.  There was a period about 25 years ago that I had some amazing swordtails.  They were huge, vigorous and prolific fish.  I hadn’t seen anything like them in years.  I was keeping my eye open for something similar, but never ran across any.  Finally, I decided to try to create my own.  I usually go back to wild when I want fish that look and act like they’re supposed to. My search for good wild stock led me to Select Aquatics, where I purchased a couple strains from Greg Sage a couple years ago.  I picked up some Xiphophorus alvarezi in albino form and some X. nezahualcoyotl.  It was the “nezzies” that really caught my eye – very thick bodies,  deep caudal peduncles, wide dorsals and a bold attitude. No matter where I get my fish, they all go through an extremely intensive quarantine and treatment period.  In fact, the original stock never leaves quarantine.  All in all, it takes me about 6 months to a year just to get newborn fry that I can move into a breeding room.  The albino alvarezi didn’t do too well in quarantine.  I put the last male in with some red Hi-fins before I ended up losing all of the alvarezi. Fortunately, two generations later I did get a couple albino offspring, so I know those fry contained some of alvarezi genetics.   The nezzies did well and since my...