Customer Feedback on Care of These Fish:
Aquatics was begun in 2008 as a resource for fish that were no
longer being sold at shows and conventions. These were
generally available until roughly 2009. During those
years I obtained many species that were the most highly desired,
Select Aquatics has been shipping many
hundreds of fish out to the hobby over the last 11 years.
Much information on the care and husbandry of each of
these species is available on the species page and care guides
species at this website, as well as
Presents YouTube videos to assist the successful care and
breeding of each
of these fish. Of course, every fish room needs quality
texts on aquarium maintenance, particularly with many of these
difficult to maintain, recently collected from the wild
fish. These specialty livebearers often require slightly higher
water quality, that
is more consistent than the pet store fish we may have
To help provide the kind of information that used to be
available over a beer in a hotel room from someone that has
fish, I have contacted every customer that bought this fish from
me over a three-year period when they were at greatest
I have asked each customer to share their thoughts
on their experience with this fish. 63 customers were contacted,
approximately 450 fish. All of the responses I received, in
their entirety, are posted below.
This comes at a time when despite many hundreds of
these fish being shipped out to the hobby, I am being told that
they have nearly
disappeared, and selectaquatics may be the only
resource left for some of these species.
In an effort to keep these in the hobby, and encourage
others to breed and sell these fish, if you have maintained this
this species - even if you did not purchase them from
me- I will be happy to post any information you wish to share on
this page with
the other submissions. Thank you!
How They are Maintained at
At selectaquatics, the Xiphophorus Montezumas
adults are maintained in 55 gallon tanks with daily water
of 15%, or the equivalent of 100% weekly. The same
effect can be achieved with 2-3 water changes per week of
either 30% - 50%. They can and do well with less
substantial water changes, when filtration and overall tank
cleanliness is good, but do require water changes of at
least 50% per week.
Filtration is provided with 250 gph canister filters,
and three 4" Box filters in each 55 gallon aquarium. Live plants
minimal substrate to provide nitrifying bacteria area
is provided. Temperature is maintained at 74į-77į, at lower
end during winter, and higher end during summer.
Young and grow out are maintained in 29 gallon talls
with two 4" box filters in each tank, and similar water change
All Montezuma's are fed frozen baby brine shrimp once
per day, and two times per day dry food feedings of a
50-50 flake food mix. Graze premium vegetable Flake is
mixed with Seafood Lovers Meat flake, and both are
obtained from Jehmco.com.
As young begin to sex out, early maturing males are
removed so they do not breed and potentially diminish
Montezuma fry do not do well in a net breeder, and
gravid females must be moved to a moderately planted
five or 10 gallon tank to drop their fry. Montezumas
generally do not bother their fry, but females should be removed
after giving birth and either allowed to recover for
2-3 days away from the other adults, or reintroduced to the
About The Xiphophorus
The questionnaire was sent out to 63
customers the week of Oct. 7 2019, to all those that had
September, 2014 to April, 2018. Because they were sold as both
groups of 2-4 Month Old Unsexed
and young pairs, approximately 450 fish were shipped.
All of the responses I received are posted below, and they were
writes from a research facility where these fish are maintained:
Did the fish do
well for you?
YES THEY DID. I LOST JUST ONE (WITHIN 2 WEEKS POST
DELIVERY). I WAS ABLE TOO KEEP AND BREED THIS FISH, BECAUSE
I PAID ATTENTION THEIR PARTICULAR NEEDS (UNDER Mr. GREG
I especially want to hear from you if the fish did not
do well! What would you do differently?
WITHOUT LEAVING ASIDE THE USUAL CAVEAT (WHAT WORKS FOR
MY FISH WITH MY WATER AND MY WAY OF DOING THINGS
MAY NOT WORK FOR OTHERS), WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY WOULD
KEPT THE ORIGINAL STOCK IN SALTED WATER, WITH AN
HYDROMETER READING OF 1.003, TEMPERATURE OF 80ļF AND
A PH ABOVE 7 BUT NEVER PAST 7.5.
F2S WERE RAISED AND KEPT IN MY UNTREATED WATER, WHICH
IS RATHER SOFT AND SLIGHTLY ACIDIC. BY F3 THESE
FISH WERE A LOT EASIER TO KEEP AND CONSIDERABLY MORE
VIGOROUS AND LESS PRONE TO WASTING DISEASE.
FEEDING IS SUPPLEMENTED BY:
FOODS WITH A HIGH CONTENT OF GARLIC;
SIMMERED SPINACH (SMALL CUT);
HIGH VEGETABLE CONTENT GEL FOOD (HOME-MADE)
FROZEN BLOODWORMS; FROZEN TUBIFEX.ONLY PEOPLE WILLING
TO CARRY OUT THE EXTRA WORK SHOULD KEEP
THESE FISH, AND TO THAT END, I WOULD SUGGEST PEOPLE
FOLLOW SELECT AQUATICS GUIDELINES, AND PERHAPS
CONSIDER MY EXPERIENCE AS A COMPLEMENTARY ALTERNATIVE.
AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE. THIS SPECIES SEEM TO HAVE NO
TOLERANCE FOR LOW WATER QUALITY AND THE ORIGINAL
BROOD STOCK WILL DO BETTER WITH AT LEAST 5 GALLONS OF
WATER PER FISH. HOWEVER, FOLLOWING GENERATIONS
CAN BE KEPT AT LOWER WATER QUALITY AND LESS GENEROUS
GALLON-PER-FISH RATIO. NEVERTHELESS, THIS SPECIES
WILL NEVER BE AT ITS BEST IN OVERCROWDED QUARTERS, BUT
YOU CAN OVERSTOCK A LITTLE IF YOU HAVE A LARGE
TANK WITH EXTREMELY EFFICIENT FILTRATION.
BASICALLY A CLINICAL TANK (THEREFORE, NO SUBSTRATE),
EXCEPT FOR SOME FLOATING PLANTS (USUALLY WATER
SPRITE). MYSTERY SNAILS ARE USED AS A CLEAN-UP CREW,
AND IN OUR CASE, THEY DO A WONDERFUL JOB.WATER
PARAMETERS AS INDICATED ABOVE.
FILTRATION: A POWER FILTER RATED FOR A TANK OF GREATER
WATER CAPACITY THAN THAT OF THE AQUARIUM
WHERE IT WILL BE USED (FOR INSTANCE, I USE A MARINELAND
PENGUIN 350 ON A 29 GALLON TANK OR THE LARGEST
AQUA CLEAR FILTER ON THE SAME SIZE TANK) COMBINED WITH
A VERY LARGE SPONGE FILTER (HYDRO-SPONGE V)
WITH A SMALL POWERHEAD OR STRONG AIR PUMP.
THIS SPECIES SEEMS TO LIKE SOME WATER MOVEMENT, BUT NOT
TOO MUCH. A SECTION OF HARD GRATE IS PLACE
ON THE FILTERíS WATER RETURN AS TO DIFFUSE THE FLOW TO
A SOFTER OUTPUT.THIS SPECIES HAS EVERYTHING
GOING FOR IT. HOBBYISTS LUCKY ENOUGH TO PROCURE SOME X.
MONTEZUMAES SHOULD FEEL NOT JUST PROUD
BUT ALSO PRIVILEGED TO KEEP THESE IN THEIR AQUARIA. X.
MONTEZUMAE IS TO SWORDTAIL KEEPERS WHAT
THE ORINOCO ALTUM IS TO ANGELFISH AFICIONADOS. A DREAM
FISH WORTH EVERY EFFORT.
- Tank Setup (substrate, filtration, plants,
IN MY OPINION, THESE FISH NEED SMALL BUT FREQUENT MEALS
AND IF THE FISH TAKE LONGER THAN 90
SECONDS TO FINISH THEIR FOOD, YOU ARE FEEDING TOO MUCH.
I TRY AND FEED MY FISH AT LEAST 4 TIMES A DAY.
MORE IF I CAN.
BESIDES AND IN ADDITION TO THE PREVIOUSLY INDICATED
FOODS, I FEED THESE FISH GOLDFISH FLAKES;
JEHMCOíS MICRO PELLETS AND DECAPSULATED BRINE SHRIMP
Hi Greg, the fish
didn't do well, pay more attention to the water conditions, I
fed them once to twice a day,
55 gallon, I have fake plants, I have a Aqueon filter
and decorations , the tempature I keep between
70 & 80, yes I would recommend this fish, I love large
swordtails I wish I could find some.
I absolutely love this fish unfortunately, it didnít do
well for me. If memory serves, I acquired 2 pairs and the set up
I had them in was a bare bottom 29 gallon with a sponge
filter, heater, java fern and java moss. The fish arrived very
healthy and vibrant and with a couple weeks I had fry.
Thatís when I noticed things were a miss. Within a day
or 2, the fry seemed to be developing abnormally where their
spines would bend into a ďCĒ shape causing them to swim
wildly in circles. The parents seemed fine but the fry
eventually succumbed. This repeated itself each time a
female dropped fry.
I canít say for sure what the issue was but speculate
is was due to water with too little dissolved solids. I run a
room with mostly South Americans and filter replacement
water through reverse osmosis. Therefore, Iím quite certain
my efforts to re-mineralize (mostly buffer to avoid pH
crash) werenít adequate resulting in water that was too soft.
Again, if memory serves, TDS was 120-150 with pH around
6.8. All other parameters were normal.
Incidentally, Iíve since been keeping many other
Poecilia and Xiphophorus species using my tap water which has
a TDS in the 300s and pH in the high 7s without any
issues. I hope this is helpful. Thanks!
Hi Greg. My
attempts to keep X Montezumae was not a successful one.
I think the tank water was a little bit on to lower
side at low 70.
The fish was not growing normally and and infected with
worm, 2/3 die out with
a few left and I end up hybrids with X mayae.
Sorry to say that.
Tank 40 gallons