Swordtails are very active fish, they are known to eat a lot, and they could eat many things, that’s why they are regarded as scavengers because they eat almost anything eatable. Although they are small fish that are barely up to 7 inches in size, they swim a lot and eat a lot, so they are often kept in big tanks, for them to be comfortable. Although they are voracious eaters, there might come a time, when they will stop eating, and if you are wondering why, then you are in the right place for the right answers, so read this article to the end to comprehend.
Why is my Swordtail fish not eating? Swordtail fish might be refusing to eat because it is stressed or it is pregnant.
If you have this type of fish in your aquarium, you will be very surprised and shocked to see them stop eating, because they are beasts when it comes to food, and they could eat anything eatable to them.
So, if they eventually stop eating, then there is something wrong.
In this article, we will discuss them and also the possible solutions, so that they could start eating again.
We all know that food is the source of energy and liveliness in all living things, so, if your swordtails stopped eating, then here are the possible reasons.
Why Swordtails Might Stop Eating
If you are wondering why your once active food eater, all of a sudden starts rejecting foods, then here are the possible reasons:
1. The size of the foods may be bigger than they are, and they can’t swallow them.
This is the commonest reason why they reject foods.
We all know that these are small fish by size, and every animal will eat what it could be able to eat, and not what is bigger than its mouth or esophagus.
Being less than 7 inches in size makes them very small, and the foods should be according to their size too, so they might be rejecting your food because it is bigger than them, and they don’t like stress, hence they won’t stress themselves trying to eat them.
Normally, if you happen to get foods that are bigger than them, then, you must have to break them into pieces, so that they could easily eat them.
Again don’t introduce live foods that are bigger than them, such as shrimp, etc, because they won’t bother to eat them.
2. Your fish might be stressed, hence it stopped eating.
Swordtails are kinds of fish that are lively but hate getting stressed in any way.
Stress could come in many forms, such as having aggressive tank mates, residing in an uncycled tank or dirty tank where harmful chemicals are, etc.
Once they are stressed, they lose their appetite, and won’t bother to eat, sometimes they will go into hiding.
The only solution to stress is to find out the main cause or causes and do away with them, for instance, if the cause is a result of bad chemicals, a change of water, and if it is because of aggressive tank mates, then relocate them.
3. Diseases and bacterias could make your fish sick, and so, will stop eating.
Many diseases could infect them, and they might even die as a result.
To know if your fish is infected, check the colors of the fish’s scales, gills, and eyes for any discoloration, to see whether they have an infection or disease.
Also, check the body thoroughly to know if there is anything unusual, and if you happen to find anything, then you might have to get the attention of a vet or any specialist for a check-up and possible medication.
4. Overfeeding could also cause this in fish.
Although many freshwater fish like the Swordtail fish are voracious eaters and scavengers too, but do you know that they could be overfed?.
Well, they could. Generally, overfeeding is very bad for fish and other aquatic animals, although food is very very important for them, overfeeding is not recommended, because it could make them sick and inactive.
The normal feeling rate for swordtails is 2 times per day, to avoid pumping them with food because they will continue eating long as there is food, which could be harmful to them.
5. If your fish stopped eating, check if it is pregnant.
Pregnancy is another reason they might refuse to eat for a while.
This is because a pregnant swordtail will normally lose appetite to eat, become very aggressive, and go into hiding for a while, and she will become normal again when she delivers her babies.
If your fish is refusing to eat because it is pregnant, you might have to get some fancy foods close to her, such as brine shrimps and some veggies, if she ignores them, leave her alone, she will be alright.
Also, to find out if your swordtail is pregnant, check if her belly is bloated.
6. Poor Quality foods could be the reason why they are not trying to eat.
When I talk of poor quality foods, am not talking about live foods or veggies, but all these industrial fish foods.
There are many quality fish foods out there in the market or online stores such as Amazon etc, try to buy them for the overall health of your fish.
Also avoid expired foods because they could be very toxic to them, hence they boycott them when provided with such.
7. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with them, just that they are still shy because they are new to the tank.
Swordtails have this behavior of hiding when they are new to an environment, and once they have mastered the environment, they will go back to their normal self.
This is natural with them, so, the only solution is to leave them, and they will become alright.
Now you know the 7 possible reasons why your swordtail fish is refusing to eat anything, let’s see some of the related questions you might be willing to ask.
How Long Can Swordtails Go Without Eating?
Swordtails are active eaters, you might be wondering how long they could stay without eating anything.
How long can swordtail fish go without food? The maximum time a Swordtail fish could stay without food is 2 weeks.
Being beasts when it comes to food doesn’t mean they can’t tolerate hunger a bit, no, a well-fed, and healthy swordtail could endure hunger for 14 days before it could break down.
Although the healthy adult Swordtails could endure up to this duration, I highly doubt that their babies could.
Why Is My Male Swordtail Fish Not Eating?
Male Swordtail fish might stop eating because he is stressed, or he is being bullied, or the water quality is not okay with him.
As I explained above, the males always fight themselves to prove dominance and to get the females, so this could cause them stress and will force them into hiding, so they might refuse to eat because of this.
So, the reason why your male swordtail is refusing to eat is the same reason why the females might refuse to eat too.
How Often Should Swordtails Be Fed?
Swordtail fish should be fed at least twice a day with quality foods.
As I explained above, they could continue eating, but overfeeding is not good for their health, so feed them twice a day with quality foods, especially with live foods such as brine shrimps, insects, etc, and with veggies too.
What Does Swordtail Fry Eat?
Good food or a balanced diet is very important for the growth of all animals, including fish’s growth and development.
Their growth stage or size determines the type of food they require.
In the wild, swordtail fry feeds on mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and algae.
On the other hand, Pet fry requires more attention, and you should feed them a mixture of commercial food, such as pellets, frozen food, such as bloodworms, and vegetables.
But most importantly, feed them the right size of food, so that they could at least be able to swallow them.