Endlers Livebearer: Detailed Care Guide 2023

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I have always been fascinated by the beauty and diversity of fish species.

One of my favorite fish to keep in my aquarium is the Endler’s livebearer (Poecilia wingei).

Endlers are a type of guppy that are native to the streams and rivers of Venezuela.

They are named after Dr. John Endler who first discovered them in the 1970s.

Endlers are known for their striking colors which range from bright orange and yellow to deep blue and black.

They are also very active fish that love to swim and play in their environment.

Species Summary

I love variation when looking for new and exciting fish to add to my collection.

Endlers, also known as Endler’s livebearers, are one of my favorite species to keep.

These fish are small, colorful and easy to care for, making them a great choice for both beginners and experienced hobbyists.

They are closely related to guppies and share many similarities in terms of their care requirements.

These fish are a joy to watch as they dart around the tank constantly exploring their surroundings.

One of the things I love most about endlers is their ease of breeding.

Unlike some other livebearing fish, endlers are not picky about their mates and will readily breed with any other member of their species.

This makes them a great choice for anyone looking to get into breeding fish.

Another great thing about them is their hardiness.

These fish are able to thrive in a wide range of water conditions making it very easy to care for them.

They are also relatively disease-resistant which means you won’t have to worry about them getting sick as often as some other species.

If you’re looking for a colorful, active, and easy-to-care-for fish then Endlers are definitely worth considering.

They are a great choice for anyone looking to add some life and color to their aquarium and they are sure to bring you many hours of enjoyment.

Male Endler at the back, Female Endler in front
Male Endler at the back, Female Endler in front

Appearance

Endlers are small fish with males typically growing up to 1.5 inches in length and females being slightly larger at around 2 inches.

They have a slender body shape with a pointed head and a fan-shaped tail that can be quite long and colorful.

Male Endlers are known for their vibrant and striking colors which can range from bright reds, blues and greens to more subdued shades of yellow and orange.

They also have distinctive patterns such as stripes, spots, and even metallic sheens.

One of the most interesting things about male Endlers is that each individual fish can have a slightly different color and pattern making them truly unique.

In terms of body shape they are similar to guppies but they have a more streamlined and elongated body.

They also have a slightly different fin shape with a more triangular dorsal fin and a more pointed anal fin.

Female Endlers look very different to their male counterparts.

Females are a dull brown, grey or silver color and look exactly like female guppies.

Their tails and fins are either see through or have a very slight color to them.

In summary, Endlers have a sleek and elegant appearance that is sure to catch the eye of any aquarium enthusiast.

If you’re looking for a fish that is both beautiful and easy to care for then Endlers are a great choice.

With their stunning colors and unique patterns they are sure to add a touch of personality and charm to any aquarium.

Strains of Endler Livebearers

There are 3 different genetic strains: N, K, and P.

  1. N-Class Endler’s: This refers to Endler’s Livebearers that are purebred, with no crossbreeding with other species (like guppies). They are often classified based on the location they were found in, like Cumana or Campoma.
  2. K-Class Endler’s: These are Endler’s Livebearers that may have been crossbred at some point, but are indistinguishable in appearance from pure Endler’s.
  3. P-Class Endler’s: These are Endler’s that have been crossbred with guppies or other species, and their appearance reflects this.

Varieties of Endlers

There are numerous different varieties available and way too many to mention them all.

But here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Blue Star Endler
  • Black Bar Endler
  • El Tigre Endler
  • Santa Maria Endler
  • Tiger Endler
  • Cobra Endler
  • El Silverado Endler
  • Staeck Endler
  • Lime Green Endler
  • Leopard Endler
  • Red Chest Endler
  • Scarlet Endler
  • Peacock Endler
  • Tuxedo Endler
  • Neon Endler
  • Orange Endler
  • Orchid Endler
  • Super Red Endler
  • Snakeskin Endler
  • Japan Blue Endler

Lifespan

Their average lifespan is between two and three years.

However, with proper care they can live up to five years in captivity.

Strangely enough, females tend to have shorter lifespans than males.

This is because of the stress that frequent spawning puts on their bodies.

But if you provide them with a stress-free environment and a balanced diet you can extend their lifespan.

Water quality is the number one factor when trying to expand these fish’s lifespan.

Poor water quality can lead to stress and diseases which can shorten their lifespan.

Make sure to maintain the water quality in their tank and perform regular water changes.

Another factor that affects their lifespan is genetics.

Some Endlers may have a shorter lifespan due to their genetic makeup.

For this reason, it is better to buy from a reputable breeder to ensure that you get healthy fish with a good genetic makeup.

Tank mates Endler

Average Size

One of the reasons I love them is their size.

Endlers are small fish, making them perfect for smaller tanks and even nano tanks.

And with larger tanks, you can really house a stack of them.

Here are some details on the average size of endlers:

  • Male endlers typically grow to be around 1 inch in length.
  • Female endlers can grow to be slightly larger, ranging from 1-2 inches in length.

While endlers are small, they are also very active and playful.

They are constantly swimming around the tank and interacting with each other making them a joy to watch.

Their small size also means that they don’t require a lot of space making them a great option for those with limited tank space.

Behavior & Temperament

Endlers are peaceful and active fish that are generally easy to care for.

They are known for their social behavior and they tend to do well in groups of their own kind.

These fish are not aggressive towards other fish and they can be kept in community tanks with other peaceful fish species.

Please note though that they are small fish and can be seen as prey by larger or more aggressive fish.

It is best to avoid keeping endlers with fish that are known to be aggressive or territorial.

When it comes to their temperament, endlers are generally easy-going and adaptable fish.

They are not easily stressed and they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

In summary, endlers are peaceful, active, and social fish that can thrive in a community tank with other peaceful species.

They are easy-going and adaptable but still require a clean and stable environment to stay healthy and happy.

Endler Care

Tank Size

When it comes to tank size, they are not very demanding.

They are very active swimmers and require plenty of swimming space in their tanks.

I recommend keeping them in a tank that is at least 20 gallons in size.

This sized tank will give them the space they need to swim around as crazy as they want to.

Additionally, providing plenty of hiding spots and plants can help create a more natural environment for them and reduce their stress levels.

Water Parameters

Endlers are hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

Their preference though is hard water with relatively high pH levels. 

Keep the water temperature between 65-82°F and pH between 6.0-8.0.

A neutral pH of 7.0 is generally recommended.

Water hardness can be between 10 to 30 KH.

It is also important to keep the water clean and free from toxins.

Doing a partial water change of 50% every week will help to maintain good water quality.

Endlers enjoy a bit of aquarium salt in their water so what I do is throw in a small handful straight after doing a water change.

Do not add aquarium salt if you are just topping up the tank as salt does not evaporate and you don’t want the concentration to become too high.

Do not use normal table salt. You must use aquarium salt.

breeding endler livebearers

What To Put Inside Their Tank

Endlers are not just active fish, they also enjoy swimming around plants and decorations.

Live plants are a great addition to their tank as they provide oxygen and help maintain water quality.

Some good options for live plants include java moss, anubias, and hornwort.

You can also add some decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and caves for them to explore.

When it comes to substrate, I recommend using sand or fine gravel.

Endlers like to sift through the substrate in search of food and sand or fine gravel will not harm their delicate mouths.

You can also add some hiding spots such as PVC pipes or coconut shells to give them a sense of security.

Food & Diet

Endlers are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter.

As an owner, you need to make sure that your endlers have a varied diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Here are some foods I feed my endlers:

1. Flakes and Pellets: I feed my endlers high-quality flakes and pellets that are specifically made for small fish. These contain a balanced mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates that my endlers need to stay healthy.

2. Live Foods: I also like to give my endlers live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These are excellent sources of protein and help to keep my fish active and healthy.

3. Vegetables: They also need some vegetable matter in their diet. I like to feed my fish blanched spinach, zucchini, and peas. These are rich in vitamins and minerals that help to keep my fish healthy.

4. Fruits: Endlers also enjoy fruits like bananas and oranges. These are a great source of vitamins and minerals that can help to keep the fish healthy and active.

5. Treats: Finally, I like to give my endlers treats like freeze-dried krill and shrimp. These are high in protein and make a great occasional treat for my fish.

Tank Mates

If you’re planning to keep Endlers in a community tank, choose compatible tank mates wisely to keep them happy.

These are peaceful fish that do well with other small and non-aggressive species.

Here are some good options:

  • Platy Fish
  • Dwarf and Honey Gouramis
  • Danios and Rasboras
  • Neon and Cardinal Tetras
  • Cherry Barb
  • Ember Tetra
  • White Cloud Minnow
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Glass Catfish
  • Glowlight Tetra

Endlers are small and can become prey for larger fish.

So, avoid keeping them with aggressive or predatory species.

Also, make sure not to overcrowd the tank as this can lead to stress and health issues for the fish.

When introducing new fish to the tank, do so gradually.

This will give the Endlers time to adjust and prevent any aggression or stress.

Common Possible Diseases

In my experience, these are hardy fish that don’t often get sick.

But like any aquatic creature, they are still susceptible to a few diseases.

Common possible diseases that Endlers may encounter:

Ich: This is a common freshwater parasite that can cause your fish a lot of stress and can even be fatal if left untreated.

Symptoms of Ich include white spots on the body and fins of the fish.

If you suspect your Endlers have Ich, treat them promptly with medication.

Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects the fins and tail of the fish.

It can be caused by poor water quality, stress, or other underlying health issues.

Symptoms of fin rot include ragged or frayed fins and in severe cases, the fins may even fall off.

If you notice any signs of fin rot you will need to address the underlying cause and treat the infection with medication.

Parasites: Endlers can also be susceptible to other types of parasites such as flukes and gill worms.

These parasites can cause a variety of symptoms including respiratory distress, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

While Endlers are generally hardy fish, keep a close eye on their health and address any issues promptly to ensure they stay happy and healthy in your aquarium.

Breeding

Breeding endlers is a fun and rewarding experience.

These fish are known for being prolific breeders and can produce a large number of fry in a relatively short amount of time.

If you keep male and female endlers in the same tank, females will give birth to live fry every 26-30 days.

Provide plenty of hiding places for the fry. This will help to increase their chances of survival.

I normally densely fill half the tank with fine-leafed plants like hornwort so the fry can use this area to hide in.

Feed the fry small amounts of food several times a day.

Crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp are good options.

Something to be aware of is that endlers can interbreed with guppies so if you want to maintain the purity of your endlers it is advisable to keep them in a separate tank.

Conclusion

After owning and keeping endlers myself, I can confidently say that they make great additions to any aquarium.

They are hardy, peaceful, and easy to care for making them ideal for beginners and experienced fish keepers alike.

Endlers come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can choose the perfect one to fit your tank’s aesthetic.

They also have a small size making them a great option for small aquariums.

When it comes to keeping endlers it’s important to keep them in groups of at least three (1 male to 2 females) to prevent any aggression.

They also prefer a planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and a varied diet to keep them healthy and happy.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, colorful, and peaceful fish to add to your aquarium, I highly recommend considering endlers.

With proper care, they can live for up to three years and bring joy and beauty to your tank.

FAQ’S

How many Endlers should be kept together?

The absolute minimum is 3 fish (1 male and 2 females) but they are very social animals and need to be in much larger groups.

Do Endlers mate with guppies?

Yes, they can mate with guppies so if you want to keep the Endler strain pure then do not have guppies in the same tank with them.

Are Endlers and guppies the same?

No, they are not the same. They are very closely related but are separate species.

Do Endlers breed easily?

They breed very easily and you will quickly end up with a large amount of offspring if your tank has both male and female endlers.

How many babies do Endlers give birth to?

The average batch of fry is about 15 babies but it can be anything from 5 to 25.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Irma Bense is the founder of BetterFishkeeping.com. She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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