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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've tired a few times to keep swords, but they all seem to die, and I never see any young from them. Every other fish I've had seem ok, but swords (and once with mollies) never last.
 
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Make sure they're healthy when you get them. I've never really kept them much, but make sure they aren't stressed when you add them. Keep the lights off for a day or two.

Make sure the water you're getting them from matches the salinity of yours. I know mollies are sometimes kept in brackish or saltwater even. Not sure if swords would be the same.

Slowly acclimate them when you get new ones. Make sure your tank is able to handle them... I find that with freshwater tanks, you have to do it in small increments. In saltwater I just added whatever I wanted and it was fine because the tank had a ton of bacteria in the sand, filter and rocks. In freshwater, it's basically whatever bacteria is in the medium, filter and plants. Significantly less I'd say. So if your tank isn't heavily planted or you don't have a whole lot of biological filtration, it could cause a mini cycle / ammonia spike that would kill the fish.

That being said, I've never seen a livebearer die from something like that. They're pretty resilient. I'd say that your issue is either where you're getting them from or stress?

How soon do they die after you add them? Any symptoms before they die? Where do you get them from? How many other fish are in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They seem to last 1-2 months. So I should have seen young, but either they never spawn, or they eat them before I see the babies.

The only symptom seems to be wasting away, it's like they shrivel and die (although it does appear that they eat with the other fish at feeding time).

I've tried them now in 2 tanks, various other community fish. One was a planted tank, one was non. All the other fish are healthy and fine.

Swords come from Big Al's.
 
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Probably internal parasites if they shrivel and die. Really nasty ones at that, because usually fish can live with internal parasites for their entire lives. Try another source. Order some nices ones on aquabid.
 

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Swordtails, like most livebearers, do best in hard, alkaline water. My swords usually faded away after a few months until I realized it was my soft tap water that was killing them.
 

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Swordtails, like most livebearers, do best in hard, alkaline water. My swords usually faded away after a few months until I realized it was my soft tap water that was killing them.
This. If you don't have hard alkaline water, you will have less success with the swords and mollies
 
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