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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:42 am 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:48 pm
Posts: 6
Hi everyone,
I got 6 X.montezumae at my local auction almost a week ago. They are very beautiful fish. There are 3 males and 3 females. I have them in a 55 gal. I have plants on the left and right side of the tank and the middle is open. I also have plants that cover the surface and the temperature is around 80. I see them swimming every now and again but they mostly hide a lot and they are very skittish and jumpy. I have researched them and from what I have gathered they are known to be jumpers and can be skittish. I was wondering if there is anything I can do to make them feel more comfortable and come out more? I do water changes weekly. I have also read they like salt. Should I add aquarium salt? Thank you very much!
Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 35
Location: USA - Boston
Hi Chriss,
My hunch is that, because you have three males, the males are territorial towards one another and are avoiding coming out in the open for fear of getting into fights. Although swords are peaceful towards unrelated species, males are very possessive towards females, so most hobbyists keep just one male per tank, with a couple of females so that the male spreads his attention among them instead of constantly picking on just one.

Assuming that you are going to keep all of the fish, you could try rearranging the plants, so that the plants make a sort of divider down the middle of the tank. The more you can give each male a territory from which he cannot see the other males, the better. Try to give every fish a safe place they can retreat to, which will let them feel more free to come out in the open. You might also drop the temperature to around 76-78.

Some people swear by salt for swordtails, and some swear that it's completely unnecessary. It's certainly less useful than for hardwater livebearers, so you could go either way with it. But salt tends to be bad for live plants.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Fishkeeper

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:48 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you very much! I greatly appreciate it! I will for sure re-arrange the plants and make new hiding places for the males and see what happens that way. I did lower the temperature to 76 or around there. I also have some Endler's with them as well. I have been told that when you have smaller (Dither) fish it helps them feel more secure. It has definitely helped more so then without the Endler's. However, they do still hide a lot. All of my plants are plastic so I don't have to worry about them. I have been told that salt is basically just to show their tolerance not their preferance and that it's not neccessary to use it. I have decided not to use salt. I will for sure re-arrange plants and such and see what happens. Thanks again! I greatly appreciate it!


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