Livebearers

The amazing number of guppy varieties available for the aquarium today is almost unending, with new colour combinations, and finnage developments coming on stream to the aquarium market regularly. The large bodied, extravagantly finned, intricately coloured specimens are so far removed from their tiny, but very pretty, wild relations, it is difficult to appreciate that they are indeed from the same roots. Some of the former hardiness has certainly been lost in this evolutionary process, but in general guppies remain easily kept, undemanding, aquarium fish.

The Neon Blue Delta Tail Guppy (poecilia reticulata var.) combines several of the attributes we can attach to the modern varieties. The electric-blue colour is just one of the full rainbow spectrum of colours seen throughout the range of varieties, and the full spread of the tail (caudal) fin and dorsal fin is another feature common to many of the new varieties.

The Neon Blue Delta Tail Guppy (poecilia reticulata var.) combines several of the attributes we can attach to the modern varieties. The electric-blue colour is just one of the full rainbow spectrum of colours seen throughout the range of varieties, with a full spread of the tail (caudal) fin and dorsal fin.

The Green Cobra Guppy (poecilia reticulata var.) has been in the hobby for many years now, and caused a sensation when it first appeared. That popularity has not faded with time and few newer varieties have posed a threat to depose this little gem from its position high up in the popularity stakes.

The Green Cobra Guppy (poecilia reticulata var.) has been in the hobby for many years now, and caused a sensation when it first appeared. That popularity has not faded with time and few newer varieties have posed a threat to depose this little gem from its position high up in the popularity stakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are few aquarium fish that share all the virtues of the platy fish. The “moon” platies are available in an amazing range of colours and colour combinations. Some have finnage development to add to the enhancement of their overall appeal. A naturally placid, tolerant, nature is a valued quality. The “variatus” platies are often less reliable regarding their temperament, but share all the other qualities of the “moon” platies otherwise, and tend to have more streamlined bodies, compared to the plump profile of their “moon” cousins.

The Red Comet Platy (xiphophorus maculatus) is a prime example of how the spectacular clean colours have been refined in the highly popular range of “moon” platy varieties. Golds, yellows, reds, and blacks are lavished on others of the many colour varieties.

The Red Comet Platy (xiphophorus maculatus) is a prime example of how the spectacular clean colours have been refined in the highly popular range of “moon” platy varieties. Golds, yellows, reds, and blacks are lavished on others of the many colour varieties.

Males of the Hi-Fin Golden Variatus Platies are perhaps the most ornamental forms of this species. The sail-like dorsal fin adds to what is already a very fine fish. Not all the offspring of this strain will have such a beautiful spread of finnage as the one pictured here.

Males of the Hi-Fin Golden Variatus Platies are perhaps the most ornamental forms of this species. The sail-like dorsal fin adds to what is already a very fine fish. Not all the offspring of this strain will have such a beautiful spread of finnage as the one pictured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the live-bearing fish in the hobby, the Swordtails have a special appeal. Probably to do with the impressive but manageable size, or maybe more so due to the stylish extension to the male’s caudal fin, which gives the species its common name. Like the Platies, Swordtails have been developed with a huge range of colours, and finnage variations. There are Hi-fin and lyretail versions within the range of colour forms and combinations. Some males can be boisterous, but with a good diet, enough space, and more than one female to court, the risk of this vice can be reduced significantly.

Black Lyretail Swordtails (xiphophorus helleri var.) display a tail fin having extended fin rays at both the conventional lower edge, and unusually at the upper edge of the caudal fin. An elongated and expanded dorsal fin often accompanies the lyretail formation in male swordtails.

Black Lyretail Swordtails (xiphophorus helleri var.) display a tail fin having extended fin rays at both the conventional lower edge, and unusually at the upper edge of the caudal fin. An elongated and expanded dorsal fin often accompanies the lyretail formation in male swordtails.

The Red Tuxedo Swordtail (xiphophorus helleri var.) combines the richness of red colouring with the stark black “tuxedo”, often ornamented with metallic blue spangles. A  striking variety of this highly popular aquarium fish.

The Red Tuxedo Swordtail (xiphophorus helleri var.) combines the richness of red colouring with the stark black “tuxedo”, often ornamented with metallic blue spangles. A striking variety of this highly popular aquarium fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mollies have been developed way beyond their natural forms, except it is true to say that there are natural sailfin species to be found in the wild. However domestic line-breeding has worked to emphasise this magnificent feature. The fact that Mollies will tolerate being kept in full-strength seawater is an indication that at least some salt content in the aquarium water is often necessary for their well-being. Without it “Molly spot” fungus outbreaks will often invade the bodies of vulnerable strains. Some varieties are more susceptible to this condition than others.

 

Green Sailfin Mollies (poecilia latipinna) have an enormous dorsal fin, which is not apparent at all times, but is fanned out to its maximum extent and beauty when the males court the far less spectacular females, or when they spar amongst themselves.

Green Sailfin Mollies (poecilia latipinna) have an enormous dorsal fin, which is not apparent at all times, but is fanned out to its maximum extent and beauty when the males court the far less spectacular females, or when they spar amongst themselves.

Red and Black Sailfin Mollies (poecilia latipinna) are a good example of how far line breeding has resulted in new and big impact colours into what started out in life as a comparatively plain green fish.

Red and Black Sailfin Mollies (poecilia latipinna) are a good example of how far line breeding has resulted in new and big impact colours into what started out in life as a comparatively plain green fish. The red colour is something resulting from work by dedicated breeders.