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


Endler’s Livebearers Care Guide – 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 was named after Dr. John Endler. He rediscovered the species from Venezuela and brought them into the pet market. Males get up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, are slender in profile, and have all the 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 is bright and slim, while the female endler is silvery tan and has a round 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. Hybrids come from Endlers and guppies that have been bred together to create almost every color of the rainbow. 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 can tolerate pH levels from 6.5 to 8.5, as well as almost 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 are tireless when it comes to courting females, so aim to get more females so that they are not constantly being pursued.

What kind of fish can live with Endlers and what fish are they compatible with? Endlers get along with most peaceful community fish, but not enough to eat them. 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?

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. The bottom line is to ensure they have a wide variety of food so that their immune system can be boosted and 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. 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. Once they are roughly 0.5-1 inch (1.3-2.5 cm) in length, you can see about selling them to your local fish store or giving them to your friends who are new to fish keeping.

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 are an excellent pet for both new and experienced hobbyists because of their easy care, amazing colors, and lively personalities. For more information on where to buy live fish online, see our list of recommended vendors: