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. Inbreeding is a common practice to produce specialty colors, which can sometimes lead to weaker strains that may not be as durable or long-lived. 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 was named after Dr. John Endler. He rediscovered the species from Venezuela and brought them into the pet market. Males reach up to 1 in (2.5 cm), are slim and feature vibrant colors and patterns. Females can reach 1.8inches (4.5 cm), are rounder in shape, and have a tannish to silver color.

The male endler is bright and slim, while the female endler is silvery tan and has a round abdomen full of babies.

What types of Endler’s livebearers are there? While we will be focusing on purebred Endler’s livebearers, or class N endlers in this article, the care requirements for Endler hybrids are similar. Hybrids come from Endlers and guppies that have been bred together to create almost every color of the rainbow. Endler’s hybrids and black bar endlers are common types.

Are Endlers identical to guppies, No. However, they are closely related and can spawn together to produce 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 good beginner fish? Wild Endlers are already quite colorful and did not require as much line breeding to create beautiful strains. Therefore, we find them to be very hardy beginner fish that are easier to care for than guppies and many other types of 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. They are tolerant of pH levels ranging from 6.5-8.5 and nearly any water hardness (or GH). Of course, this is not to say that you can completely neglect their husbandry because like any fish, they can be prone to bacterial and fungal infections if the pH becomes too acidic or the nitrate level is extremely high. 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. Due to their drive for mating, it is recommended that there be one male for every 2-3 girls.

Males can be tireless in courting women, so try to get more of them.

What fish can live with Endlers? They get along with just about any peaceful community fish that are not big enough to eat them, such as smaller tetras, danios, and cory catfish. If you find that the Endler population is growing out of control, you can add some African dwarf frogs or other predatory fish that will eat some of the fry while leaving the adults alone.

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. Bottom line: make sure to feed them a variety of foods so they get all the necessary nutrients to boost their immune system and display vibrant coloration.

How to breed Endler’s livebearers

If you have good food and clean water, your babies will start to appear around 23-30 days depending upon the 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. You can also cover the filter with a sponge filter, or a pre-filter sponge to keep the babies from being sucked in. 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 don’t usually have many colors initially so they can blend in with the environment and avoid 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. Our list of recommended vendors has more information about where to purchase live fish online.