Endler’s Livebearers: The Guppy’s Little Cousin

Care Guide for Endler’s Livebearers – The Guppy’s Little Cousin

Livebearers (or fish that bear live young) like guppies and mollies are always popular fish at pet stores because they’re so colorful and quick to make babies. There has been a lot of breeding to make specialty colors. This can sometimes lead the to weaker or less hardy strains. Endler’s Livebearers is a great choice for beginners as it is an entertaining and energetic nano fish.


What is an Endler’s Livebearer?

Poecilia wingei is named after Dr. John Endler who rediscovered this species in Venezuela and introduced them to the pet trade. Males reach up to 1 in (2.5 cm), are slim and feature vibrant colors and patterns. Females can grow to 1.8 inches (4.5cm) in length, have a longer abdomen, and are often tannish silver.

The male endler (above) is colorful and slender, whereas the female endler (below) is silvery tan with a rounded abdomen full of babies.

What are the different types of Endler’s livebearers? In this article, we are focusing primarily on purebred Endler’s livebearers or class N endlers, but the care requirements are somewhat similar for Endler hybrids. Endlers and pugpies can be bred together to produce hybrids. Common types of Endler’s livebearers and Endler hybrids include black bar, tiger, cobra, El Silverado, and lime green endlers.

Is Endlers the same thing as guppies? Not at all. They are close relatives and can spawn together to make fertile offspring. Poecilia wingei, an Endler’s livingbearer, Poecilia reticulata, is a guppy. An Endler guppy is a mix of both.

Endler’s livingbearer (left), Endler-guppy hybrid (middle), or guppy(right)

Are Endlers a good choice for beginner fish? Wild Endlers can already be very colorful and didn’t need as much line breeding to produce beautiful strains. They are a great choice for beginners as they are more durable than guppies, and require less care than many other livebearers.

How to Set Up an Aquarium for Endlers

When we say the Endler’s livebearer is a hardy species, we mean that they can live in wide range of water parameters that might be considered nonideal for other aquarium fish. For example, you can keep them at room temperature in an aquarium without a heater. Also, they tolerate pH levels spanning from 6.5 to 8.5 and almost any water hardness (or GH). This does not mean that they are immune to illness. However, if you stay on top of their tank maintenance as you would with any other fish, they are very easygoing and will reward you with many babies.

How many Endlers are allowed in a 5-gallon aquarium? We recommend getting larger tanks for the large number of fry they will produce. For a 10-gallon aquarium, start with a trio of one male and two females. For a 20-gallon aquarium, buy six to nine of them. You don’t need a lot of Endlers to get a growing population, as long as you have the right environment and not a lot of predators that can eat the young.

How many Endlers are needed? They prefer to be with their own species and feel more at home together. We recommend that one male be kept for every 2-3 females due to their intense desire for mating. This will give the girls a break from the constant attention of the boys.

Males have a hard time courting females. So, try to get more women.

Can Endlers live with other fish? Endlers can get along with any peaceful fish in a peaceful community, including smaller tetras, cory catfish, and danios. You can add African dwarf frogs to the mix if you feel the Endler population is out of control.

What Do Endler’s Livebearers Eat?

The good news is that they are not picky eaters and will consume anything small enough to fit in their mouths, such as flakes, pellets, Repashy gel food, and daphnia. They are great at scavenging for food all over the aquarium, both at the water surface and substrate level, and have even been known to pick at algae if they’re hungry enough. Keep in mind that they need to be fed a variety foods to get the nutrients they need to grow strong coloration and boost their immunity system.

How to Breed Endler’s Livebearers

Babies should appear every 23-30 days depending on temperature. The parents are not above eating their own offspring, so to increase the fry survival rate, provide lots of cover in the form of aquarium decorations or dense plants such as water sprite, wisteria, Pogostemon stellatus, and guppy grass. Also, make sure to use a sponge filter or cover the intake of your filter with a pre-filter sponge to prevent the babies from getting sucked up. When they reach a length of 0.5-1 in (1.3-2.5cm), you can either sell them to your local fish shop or give them to friends who are just starting to fish keep.

Baby Endler’s livebearers usually do not have a lot of colors at first so that they can easily blend in with their surroundings and escape predation.

Endler’s Livebearers make excellent pets for hobbyists new and old. They are easy to care for, have amazing colors, and have lively personalities. Check out our recommended vendors for more information about buying live fish online.