Full Care Guide for Endler’s Livebearers

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name: Poecilia Wingei
Common Names: Endlers, Endler’s guppy, guppies
Genus: Poecilia
Family: Poeciliidae

Species Overview

Endler’s Livebearers, scientifically known as Poecilia Wingei, are stunning!  It’s an enchanting splash of color, and its elegance adds life to any tank. Moreover, the fish is easy to breed and care for—qualities that make it desirable among aquarists.

The fish is only found in Laguna de Patos, Venezuela, where its wild population is currently under threat. Thus, its pure breed is quite hard to find. What you are likely to find in most shops are hybrids. The fish can produce viable offspring with guppies (Poecilia Reticulata). Typically, the goal of in-breeding is to create unique, vibrant colors and patterns. Also, it helps cater to the market’s huge demand.

The care requirements for both the purebred and hybrid are similar. Only the hardiness and length of life may differ, as lots of inbreeding can result in weaker strains.

In this piece, we will explore more about this fish, how to care for it, its breeding habits, and what makes it thrive.

Natural Habitat


The fish was first discovered in 1937 in the Laguna de Patos, Cumana, in Venezuela’s north-eastern region, by Franklyn F. Bond. Over the years, they have also been discovered in Venezuela’s freshwater lagoons and associated streams.

Their shallow natural habitats feature hot, hard water with high amounts of salt. They are also flanked by trees and have plenty of vegetation and algae. The trees provide shade, while the plants are a source of food.

It is important to take note of these conditions and mirror them in your tank. Even if you cannot perfectly replicate them, it is essential to come as close as possible. For example, you may not be able to plant algae in your tank. In their place, stemmed and floating plants will suffice.

Lifespan Details

How long an Endler Livebearer will live depends on whether it is a pure breed or hybrid. As mentioned above, inbreeding sometimes produces less hardy fish and a reduced lifespan.

How you care for your fish and general living conditions also determine how long it lives. The average lifespan for pure breeds and well-cared-for Endler livebearers is around 2-3 years.
Males tend to live longer than females. That’s because spawning can be strenuous and exhausting for the female’s body. The fish reproduces every month, which can take a toll on its small body. In many cases, the female usually dies shortly after giving birth.

The Appearance of Endler’s Livebearers

If you want to add a burst of color to your tank, Endlers Livebearers will not disappoint! The males spot intense bright colors, including red, orange, purple, yellow, gold, blue, and green. Some come with transparent fins with glorious splashes of color.

On the other hand, females look very much like guppies. They feature shades of a golden gray color with a translucent caudal peduncle. Their tails are slightly colored. Though the females are not considered as attractive as the males, their color still stands out in any tank.


Other than observing their colors, you can differentiate a male Endler’s Livebearer from a female one by looking at the gonopodium (a fin used to eliminate waste). In males, it is long and thin, while in females, it is triangular. Juvenile males often develop the gonopodium before their colors.

Another notable difference is a dark gravid spot near the vent, which is common in females. Bodywise, they are slightly larger and broader than males.


A fully grown male Endler’s Livebearer is slender in profile and measures about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Females have a rounder abdomen and can grow up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long. In some cases, the females may grow even longer, sometimes exceeding 2 inches (5.08 cm).

Endler’s Bearers Class Types

Establishing an Endler’s Livebearer class before purchase is important to enable you to provide the best care. This species is often classified into three classes based on its genetic composition. They include:

Class N

These are the purest variety of this fish, as they have not undergone any hybridization. They come from the original strain in Venezuela. To be classified in this class, a fish must have meticulous records proving a direct link to Venezuelan waters.

Class K

This consists of Endler’s Livebearers crossed with other livebearers or hybrid strains. The result is usually superbly brightly colored strains. Over the years, several hybrid strains have been developed. The most popular include Tiger Endlers, Paradise Endlers, and Yellow Jacket Endlers.

Class P

Endler’s LiveBearer is classified as Class P if records and documentation are unavailable or the origin is unknown. It may appear pure in every aspect, but if no records exist, then it can’t be assumed. Most “pure” fish kept by hobbyists fall under this category.

Endler’s Livebearers Care

Endler’s livebearers are among the easiest fish to care for, making them ideal for both novice and experienced hobbyists. They are also easy to breed and give birth to resilient and easy-to-care-for fry. Nonetheless, there are some fundamentals that you must master in order for your fish to thrive. They include:

Food and Diet

Endler’s livebearers are omnivores with adorable small mouths. They feed on algae, plant matter, and small insects in the wild. The diet you feed your fish should be the same or as close to this as possible.

The recommended diet comprises frozen and live bloodworms, brine, shrimp, blackworms, and daphnia. It is advisable to supplement these with plant matter, including spinach, blanched and shelled peas, and small blanched zucchini medallions. Also, plant some guppy grass in the tank, as the fish love nibbling on the algae that grow on these plants.

You may also feed them freshwater fish flakes or pellets such as Xtreme Aquatics Nano. When feeding them flakes, break the food into smaller pieces for easier feeding.

You will notice that Endler’s livebearers aren’t picky, as they will happily feed on any of these—even if you offer the same food daily! But that is not to say that you should neglect balancing their diet. A well-varied and high-quality diet helps them display their best colors, produce healthy fry and live long.

Due to their high energy levels, feeding them 2-3 times a day is advisable. However, be careful not to overfeed them. The more food they eat, the more waste they release; it can be quite cumbersome to keep cleaning up after them.

Recommended Tank Size

A 10-gallon tank will do for 3 Endler’s livebearers. The trio should consist of one male and two females. But this tank size is just the minimum requirement; if you can, it is advisable to go bigger, considering all the fry the fish are likely to produce.

A 20-gallon tank is perfect, as it will give them sufficient space to swim and care for their young. This tank size can accommodate up to 9 fully grown Endler’s livebearers. If you want to keep more, increase the tank size, adding about 4 gallons for every extra fish.

Proper Water Parameters

Endler’s bearers can impressively thrive in a wide range of water parameters that most other aquarium fish may not withstand. For example, they can tolerate pH levels anywhere between 6.5 and 8.5. Also, they are okay with almost any water hardness and can survive at room temperature.

But the fact that the fish are hardy does not mean you should give them the bare minimum. For them to thrive, the following conditions are necessary:

  • Water temperature: 64 degrees Fahrenheit–84 degrees Fahrenheit (the middle of this range is perfect)
  • Water Hardness: 10 to 30 KH
  • pH levels: 6.5 to 8.0 (neutral is recommended)

When it comes to lighting, what will work for the plants in your tank will also work for this species. However, you will need to turn it off at night to let the fish settle comfortably.

What to Put in the Tank

You will need to add some live plants. These provide a place for biofilm to grow (Endlers love feeding on it). They also provide hiding places and help remove ammonia from the water. Lettuce, guppy grass, and anacharis are ideal choices for plants.

When it comes to a filter, any will do as long as it is not too powerful. Heaters, water changes, and monitoring equipment are other crucial things you need to add. These will help monitor the water and keep it at optimum levels.

Regarding the substrate, Endler’s bearers do not have any particular needs. Sand and any other substrate that fulfills the needs of its tank mates will do.

Common Potential Health Problems

Endler’s bearers hardiness also extends to their health; there are no specialty diseases they are vulnerable to. Nevertheless, they are still susceptible to common health problems that most freshwater fish encounter. The two main ones include:


These are tiny external parasites that very much look like salt. The infection occurs due to too much ammonia in the tank or improper temperature changes. If not addressed early, the infection can take out the whole community.

Use medication like Ich X to save the situation. Water changes and aquarium salt will also come in handy.

Tail and Fin Rot

The disease is a result of bacterial infections or physical injuries. The most common sign is a black-tipped receding finnage. The bacterial infection progresses rapidly and can spread to other fish with flowing fins. To contain it, quarantine the affected fish in a separate tank. It would be best if you also used over-the-counter medication to treat it. Moreover, frequent water changes are essential.

Behavior and Temperament


Their behavior can best be summed up in two words: active and inquisitive. You will see them eagerly exploring every part of the tank. They will be weaving through the plants, playing with each other, or checking out the substrate. When you drop food into the tank, they will quickly rush to the top for a bite. They also nibble at your fingers and fearlessly investigate cleaning tools.

Rarely will you see them fight. On rare occasions, you may see the females or bigger fish getting territorial, but it’s nothing serious. Getting sufficient aquarium space will reduce this.

Also, having more females than males is advisable to reinforce a more peaceful coexistence. For every 2–3 females, you may have one male. This ensures that the females are not overwhelmed by the males’ attention, thus reducing bullying.

Best Tank Mates for Endler’s Livebearers

Many species do well alongside Endler’s bearers, thanks to their peaceful nature. Usually, the recommended tankmates are peaceful and similarly sized or smaller. Bigger and more aggressive fish are unsuitable, as Endler’s bearers are too small to protect and defend themselves.

Ideal tank mates include:

  • Honey Gourami
  • Zebra Danio
  • Cory Catfish
  • Glass fish
  • Betta fish
  • White Cloud Minnow
  • Neon Tetra
  • Otocinclus
  • Shyer Nano fish

For invertebrates, you can go with snails and shrimps. Other livebearers, such as guppies, are also excellent tankmates. However, remember that they can breed with Endler’s livebearers and produce hybrids.

Endler’s Livebearers Breeding

Males are ready to breed in about 3-5 weeks, whereas females take about eight weeks and will give birth every 23–24 days.

Before any breeding attempts, it is vital to make adequate preparations:

  1. Move the Endler’s bearers to a separate tank. If that is not possible, ensure there’s plenty of vegetation, such as Java Moss, to shelter and protect the fry.
  2. Ensure you have enough food for the fry. Ideal food options include baby brine shrimp, algae wafers, and crushed flake foods.
  3. Adjust the temperatures in the tank based on the sex you want to favor. If you want the fish to give birth to more males, warmer temperatures will suffice. For more females, cooler temperatures are ideal.

Every female will give birth to around 1–30 fry. Depending on the female’s health, size, and age, it may die right after, as the process can be quite stressful.

Getting a bigger tank is advisable if you plan to keep the fry. As mentioned above, a 20-gallon tank should have a maximum of 9 fully grown Endler’s bearers. You can rehome the extra fish or take them to the local fish stores.

Final Thoughts

If you want beautiful fish to spice up your tank, Endler’s bearers are perfect. Their looks are to die for! They are also easy to care for and breed. Thus, whether you are a new hobbyist or an experienced one, keeping them is a walk in the park.


1. How many Endler’s livebearers should be kept together?

It depends on the size of the tank. A 10-gallon tank is perfect for three Endler’s livebearers. For every extra fish, add about 3 to 4 gallons.

2. How many babies do Endler’s give birth to?

They give birth to anywhere between 1 and 30 fry.

3. Are Endler’s and Guppies the same?

No. Though they share the same genus and somewhat look alike, they are different. Major differences include:

  • Guppies are larger
  • Male Endlers feature more intense and vibrant colors.
  • Guppies have a much bigger gravid spot.
  • An Endler’s gonopodium has a single hook and a pointed end, while a guppy’s gonopodium has several hooks and a rounded end.
  • Guppies have stocky bodies, while Endlers have slim and streamlined bodies.