Endler’s Livebearers: The Guppy’s Little Cousin

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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. However, lots of inbreeding has been occurred in order to create specialty colors and that can sometimes result in weaker strains that are not as hardy or long-lived. Endler’s livebearers are a fun and energetic nano fish that beginners can keep.


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 can reach up to one inch (22.5 cm) in length, have a slim profile, and are full of 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 (above), is vibrant and slim. The female endler, on the other hand, is silvery tan with an enviable 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. Endlers and pugpies can be bred together to produce hybrids. Endler hybrids can be found in many types, including black bar, cobra and El Silverado.

Are Endlers identical to guppies, No. However, they are closely related and can spawn together to produce fertile offspring. Poecilia wingei can be an Endler’s livebearer. Poecilia reticulata can be a guppy and a hybrid is an Endler guppy.

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. 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. If you take care of your fish tank as you would any other fish, they will be very friendly and will give you 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 should be kept together? They feel more comfortable in a group of their own kind and prefer not to be kept alone. Because of their high drive for mating, we recommend keeping one male for every 2-3 females so that the girls get a little break from being bothered by the boys.

Males are tireless when it comes to courting females, so aim to get more females so that they are not constantly being pursued.

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. If the Endler population grows out of control, add African dwarf fishes or other predatory fish to eat the fry and leave the adults alone.

What Does Endler’s Livebearers Eating?

They aren’t picky eaters. They will eat anything that is small enough for them to eat, including Repashy gel food, daphnia, pellets, and Repashy pellets. 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

As long as you have clean water, good food, and at least one fish of each sex, babies should start appearing every 23-30 days, depending on 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. To prevent babies getting sucked up, you can use a sponge filter to filter the water or cover your filter intake with a prefilter sponge. 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 are usually not very bright at first, so they blend in with the surroundings and can 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. Our list of recommended vendors has more information about where to purchase live fish online.