Endler's Livebearer: Care Guide, Tank Mates and Breeding!


Endler's Livebearer: Care Guide, Tank Mates and Breeding!

Just about everyone has kept guppies before. But did you know that there is an exotic relative whose popularity is on the rise? Endler's Livebearer is just as small, colorful in their own right, and a great addition to just about any community tank of small, peaceful fish!

In this guide, we’re diving deep into the world of endlers livebearers, turning your fish-keeping saga from overwhelming to overwhelmingly simple.

Ready to embark on an aquatic adventure? Let's make a splash!

Endlers Livebearer Care and Information

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia wingei
  • Adult Size: Around 1 inches for males, slightly larger for females
  • Temperament: Peaceful; Social
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Water Temperature: 70° to 80° F
  • Appearance: Males are colorful with patterns of green, orange, black, and blue; females are generally silver/gray with some spotting.
  • Water pH: 6.5
  • Diet: Omnivorous (with a preference for small, live foods but will eat flake foods)
  • Tank Size: 5+ Gallons (for a small group)


Overview of Endlers Livebearers

Endler's Livebearers are similar to other livebearers, such as GuppiesMollies, and Platies. They are active fish yet entirely peaceful towards their tank mates. Not only do they rock an effortlessly vibrant look, but they also come with a backstory. John Endler? That's the chap who introduced us to them. He discovered the endlers guppy in the wild waters of Laguna de Los Patos in Venezuela.

REMEMBER: males may grow overzealous in chasing potential mates and display aggressive behavior towards rivals, but these bouts never result in bodily harm. Endler's Livebearers also swim regularly in all parts of the water column.

Endlers Livebearer Appearance

Many Endler's Livebearers "Endler Guppy" look very similar to wild-type Guppies (such as feeder guppies). Previously considered a variety of Guppy, it is now a separate species. The male endler, in particular, is a mosaic of bright colors – a canvas of greens, oranges, and blues. Some even have the signature black bar on their tails.

However there is a lot of crossbreeding between Endler's Livebearers and Guppies, resulting in Snakeskin, Swordtail, and other varieties of Endler's that have all sorts of color and fin patterns and shapes.

PRO TIP: When buying from a professional breeder or distributor, you may notice that Endler's Livebearers can come in class ratings. “N Class” fish are wild-caught Endler's from Laguna de Patos in Venezuela. If you want to be sure your fish have no Guppy genetics these are the Endler's you want.

“P Class” fish look identical to “N Class” but the dealer can't be certain about their origins. And “K Class” fish are known to have some Guppy heritage. If you're buying Endler's with no class rating there's a good chance they are “K Class” because the two species so readily interbreed.

How Long Do Endlers Livebearers Live?

Given the right conditions and care, your endlers can live a happy 2-3 years. That's a lot of weekends spent watching them swim around, have fin-flaring debates, and munching on fish food.

How Big Do Endlers Livebearers Grow?

Now, don't expect them to grow into Jaws.

These little fishies grow up to 1 inch for males and a bit over that for females. Perfect for those who don't want to address a fish the size of a tiger in their living rooms.

Sexing Endlers Livebearers

Distinguishing between male and female endlers is like telling apart fancy guppies from common guppy.

Few fish are easier to sex than Endler's Livebearers. The colors and size differences make picking out individual sexes quite simple. Males are always the more colorful of the two. Some captive bred varieties are starting to come out with females that have some color. But they are still not at all comparable to an adult male.

Males are also much smaller; as much as half the size of their partners. Endler's Livebearers (all livebearers, in fact) also have fin differences worth noting. As sexually mature adults, males have a specialized anal fin called a gonopodium.

This fin allows the livebearer male to impregnate the female from within rather than her laying eggs in the water and he then fertilizing them, like most other fish. The female has a normal shaped fin – and a black spot just above it called the gravid spot. This patch is actually her ovary, which will swell and darken when she's pregnant.

You might even see the eyes of the fry through the thin skin of heavily pregnant Endler's Livebearers!


Optimal Water Parameters for Endlers Livebearers

Why Buy:

  • This bundle contains: TankFirst Aquarium Water Conditioner 500ml and Polishing Filter Pad 100-Micron 1-pack
  • Instantly neutralizes harmful chlorine, chloramines, and other chemicals found in tap water that can be dangerous to fish.
  • Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, making it a versatile choice.

Endler's Livebearers are very hardy when it comes to the range of temperatures they thrive in! While they like things slightly warmer than room temperature they will happily live and breed from a range of 70-80℉.

Slight acidity (pH 6.5) is not a problem at all. Water hardness (dissolved minerals) are also something they prefer, making Endler's Livebearers much easier to keep considering tap water tends to have some dissolved minerals anyway.

They aren't especially sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates.

Fun Fact: they are excellent first fish for helping a new tank to cycle! But we still want to make sure that our filter is running properly and that we're performing water changes on a regular basis.

A good rule of thumb: if your water feels like a pleasant, lukewarm bath, you're on the right track. Warmer is always better if you can help it; warm temperatures boosts their metabolism and appetites as well as their disease resistance!


Tank Setup for Endlers Livebearer Care

Being so small, you could easily keep a small group in even a 5 gallon aquarium! That said, your Endler's Livebearers are going to multiply. If you're looking to raise the fry in the main tank then you'll want 10 or even 20 gallons of space.

Because once the fry mature they will breed and breed some more!

Tank Decorations

Endlers love a well-decorated home. So, get creative! Think live plants, pebbles, and maybe a cave or two for hiding from those pesky imaginary predators.

Unfortunately the adults will eat any fry they encounter after spawning. It will take a few weeks for the fry to grow large enough to not be edible. So thick, easy to grow plants are a great way to provide for them in case you can't move a pregnant female into a breeder trap.

Plants also help absorb ammonia and carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the water, and provide shelter and food for both adults and young fry!

Some easy to grow plants that can shelter fry include:

  • Guppy Grass (Naja guadalupensis)
  • Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana)
  • Giant Hairgrass (Eleocharis montevidensis)

Remember: while they aren't exactly Martha Stewart, they do have a knack for interior design.


Compatible Tank Mates for Endlers Livebearers

Given their peaceful disposition and tiny size Endler's Livebearers are excellent tank mates for a wide variety of tropical fish! What's most important is choosing fish thataren't going to intimidate or eat the tiny Endler's. And the same goes for their fry if you're looking to raise them.

Even relatively peaceful community fish like Angelfish will snap up smaller Endler's Livebearers once they get too large. So we want to stick to smaller fish like Dwarf and Honey GouramisNeon Tetras, Cherry Barbs, and the like.

I would avoid Bettas; when fully grown an adult is capable of eating an immature Endler's. Bottom dwellers are easier to match with Endler's Livebearers. There are a number of small, peaceful inhabitants, including Corydoras and Dwarf Otocinclus.

Compatible tank mates for Endler's Livebearers include:

  • Other Livebearers
  • Dwarf and Honey Gouramis
  • Danios and Rasboras
  • Neon and Cardinal Tetras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Corydoras
  • Dwarf Otocinclus

Also be careful when mixing Endler's with other livebearers, especially Guppies. We want to preserve the purity of this species' line, and not only for other aquarists. Endler's Livebearers are endangered in the wild and it may take aquarium stock to renew their numbers in nature.


Endlers Livebearer Diet

Why Buy:

  • It's a balanced diet suitable for tropical fish including Endler's Livebearers.
  • The product is quite popular and has a reasonable price point.

As true omnivores, Endler's Livebearers eat a little bit of everything! In nature they eat mostly tiny invertebrates, including mosquito larvae, worms, and water fleas. They also consume green algae. So we want to offer them both plant and animal matter in their diets, similar to us humans!

The base of their diet should be a high quality flake or micro pellet, considering how tiny their mouths are. You can supplement this with live or frozen treats like brine shrimp, tubifex worms, or daphnia! Their vegetables can come in the form of spirulina enriched flakes or blanched spinach and other greens. Your Endler's Livebearers may even pick at the algae wafers you leave for their bottom dwelling tank mates!

WARNING: Endler's Livebearer fry are fairly large and can immediately eat baby brine shrimp or crushed flakes!

How Often Should I Feed My Endlers Livebearer?

They aren't picky eaters, but they do get hungry.

Flake food, live foods, or the occasional love song (kidding about the last one) will keep them happy. You should feed them lightly three times per day or give them two moderate feedings per day; as much as they will eat without any leftovers, but don't overdo it! Overfeeding can lead to all the fry, which can be a handful to manage.

Endler's Livebearers are active fish with high metabolisms.


Breeding Endlers Livebearers

Here is some more good news: you don't really have to do anything to condition Endler's Livebearers to spawn. They are as easy to breed as their Guppy cousins; in fact, you're more or less guaranteed to see some fry, even if the conditions are less than ideal.

Good food, warm conditions, and clean water always helps. And the fry aren't as hardy as their parents, so make sure your water is extra clean if raising them in the main tank.

How Can I Tell if an Endlers Livebearer is Pregnant?

Female Endler's Livebearers can give birth roughly once per month, depending on the temperature and how willing she is. As her fry develops her belly will visibly swell and the gravid spot will darken. You may even see fry visible through her skin as it grows thin.

After she's been pregnant for 18-20 days, you should move her to a separate breeding tank or hanging breeder trap if you intend to. Because she will have her babies anywhere from 21-30 days after mating.

Frequently Asked Questions for Endlers Livebearer Care

  • Are Endlers Livebearers Good Beginner Fish?Absolutely! They're like the friendly neighbors who bring you cookies. Easy to care for and a joy to watch.
  • Are Endlers Livebearers Aggressive?Generally no. But like all creatures (including humans after missing their morning coffee), they can have their moments. It's rare but possible.
  • Are Endlers Livebearers Easy to Breed?If they were on a dating app, they'd be swiping right a lot. So yes, quite easy.
  • What is Endlers Livebearer Disease and How Can it be Prevented?Endlers can suffer from common fish diseases, so regular water changes and monitoring for signs of stress are key.
  • How Often Should I Change the Water in my Endlers Livebearer Fish Tank?A good rule is to change 20-25% of the water weekly. It's like giving them a fresh start every week!
  • What's the Difference Between Endlers Livebearers and Other Livebearers?Mainly, it's in the genus and species. We have Poecilia reticulata (common guppy) and Poecilia wingei (Endler's guppy). Think of them as distant cousins.
  • How Can I Sex Endlers Livebearers?Males are flashier while females are slightly larger and less vibrant.
  • Can I Keep Endlers Livebearers Together?Of course! Just remember, for every one male, try to have two females to spread out the attention.
  • How Many Endlers Livebearers Should I Keep?It depends on your tank size, but a small group of 5-10 is a good start.
  • How Often Will My Endler's Livebearers Have Babies?A female can get pregnant as often as once per month!
  • Why Shouldn't I Keep Endler's Livebearers with Guppies?The two species are closely related and interbreed too easily.

If this guide sparked your curiosity, then you're in for a treat! Dive deeper into the watery world with our other comprehensive guides:

Dive in, immerse yourself, and let's make waves together!



Endlers Livebearers might be small, but they pack a punch of personality and vibrance in their tiny frames. Whether you're a novice fish keeper or a seasoned pro, they'll add a splash of color and excitement to your aquatic family. So, give these little guys a chance and watch them thrive!

For those of you who are just getting your fins wet in the fish-keeping world (or even if you're a seasoned fish whisperer), be sure to join our Facebook Group: Aquarium for Beginners.

With over 460,000 members and counting, it's a fantastic hub for fish hobbyists from all over the globe. Dive in and immerse yourself in a treasure trove of tips, guides, and yes, the finest aquatic memes.

We guarantee there's no other group out there where you can learn and laugh as much!


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