Caring for Endlers Livebearers is Easy
Caring for Endlers is easy and can be quite rewarding. Endlers (Poecilia wingei) are undemanding fish and are ideal for beginner and expert aquarium hobbyists alike.
Endlers Livebearer Care
- Scientific Name : Poecilia wingei
- Other Common Names : Endlers Livebearer, ELB, Endler, Endler Guppy, Cumana Guppy, Campoma Guppy
- Care Level : Easy
- Size : .75-2 inches (2-5cm) Females are larger than males.
- Preferred Water Conditions: 5.5-8.0 pH and Moderately Hard to Very Hard (May be acclimated to most water conditions including brackish water.)
- Temperature : 64–84°F (18–29°C), ideal between 75-81°F (24–27°C)
- Origin : Campoma & Cumana Regions, Venezuela
- Lifespan : 2-3 years (Higher temperatures may shorten lifespan)
- Temperament : Peaceful; Will get along with most peaceful community fish.
- Breeding: Easy; Will produce fertile offspring when crossed with Guppies.
- Tank Size : Will survive in as small as a 1 gallon but does best in a 10 gallon tank or larger.
Endlers Livebearer Scientific Name
DNA and genetic research have shown that Endlers have been reproductively separated from guppies for 500,000 to 5 million years depending on the gene tested and has been given the scientific name Poecilia wingei. Although they are classified with their own scientific name there still those who believe that Endlers are simply another form of Guppy (Poecilia reticula).
The reason for the dispute is because Endlers Livebearers can easily breed with guppies and produce fertile offspring.
Our experience has shown that Endlers have a personality all their own and we much prefer them over fancy guppies.
Endlers are very active and occupy all levels of the aquarium. The endless activities are a pleasure to watch.
One of our customer shared their feelings about their Endlers in one of our reviews:
“The Orchid Endlers are the cutest thing ever! They arrived packed to perfection. None seemed to be in any distress whatsoever when they arrived.
I was concerned about doing everything right to get them ready to go in the big tank with my Platies. They adjusted PERFECTLY… unbelievably easy!
There were easy to follow instructions on how to get them ready to move to the tank. Very simple steps.
They are super curious and active. My Platies aren’t sure what to think of them exactly because they do have A LOT of energy. They’ve brought a ton of life to our community tank. We just watch and giggle.
They seem curious about every single thing – even about US. They swim right to the glass and stare at you if you are watching them closely. Then they take off back to exploring.
They swim at all levels of the tank as well. They don’t seem to have a certain depth they prefer. I love that. They will group up at times and swim together, but they also explore solo a lot. I absolutely adore them!
The males are already showing beautiful colors and some are already following the female Endlers around.
Thanks so much for the extras and for such great care in breeding and shipping.
I have to highly recommend this site if you are looking for REAL, healthy Endlers. You most likely will not find this quality in any fish store – even the small “Mom and Pop’s” shops and forget about the big chains! They are absolutely beautiful, very healthy, very active and SO easy to make the adjustment to a new big tank.
For reference: I have a 50 gallon tank. I only have 4 red wag Platies in it. My tank was fully cycled without fish.
I’ve had the Platies for about 2 months. I wanted to learn about one species at a time and learn their behaviors before adding other types of fish.
The Endlers adjusted very well to the tank with lots of plants and a few small structures to swim in and out of. They seem to like the plants best as do the Platies.”
Endlers Livebearer Common Names
Endlers are often referred to as Endlers Guppies, Endlers Livebearers, ELB or Endlers. Care should be taken when purchasing Endlers because Endlers can easily cross breed with guppies.
If pure Endlers are desired it helps to understand the Endler Classification System or ECS. The ECS was developed in part by AdrianHD therefore only Endler strains developed by AdrianHD are recognized by the ECS at this time.
N Class Endlers
Any Endler’s Livebearer (and progeny) that can be shown to have originated from their native waters in Venezuela will be considered a ‘Class N’ Endler.
K Class Endlers
The progeny of any Endler’s Livebearer crossed with any other livebearer or any Hybrid strain will be considered a ‘Class K’ Endler.
P Class Endlers
Any fish of unknown origin but appearing to be an Endler’s Livebearer based on the characteristics of size, shape and color will be considered a ‘Class P’ Endler.
Most Endlers found in local fish stores will seldom carry N Class Endlers. This is because it is difficult for them to provide documentation showing a their linage to the original Endlers imported from Venezuela. It may also be difficult for a pet shop or fish store to keep Endlers separated from guppies.
Because it’s so important to document your N Class Endlers we provide a Breeder/Keeper registry which helps to show your N Class status.
Feeding Your Endlers Livebearer
Endlers are not demanding when it comes to food and will eat just about any type of fish food you offer them that is small enough for their little mouths. Although low cost fish foods will be happily eaten by your Endlers it is best to feed them high quality fish food to help maintain good health and color.
Endlers Livebearers are quite active and seem to be constantly hungry. Avoid the urge to over feed them and give them small amounts of food often.
Overfeeding your fish can lead to food being wasted on the bottom of the tank causing large amounts of bacteria to grow and producing harmful amounts of toxins in the water.
We use several different foods to keep our Endlers healthy and colorful. You can learn more about what we feed our Endlers by following this link: Feeding Your Endlers for Color and Health
We make it a habit not to clean the sides and back of our tanks very often. Endlers love spending the day tearing at the green algae that may build up on the side of the tank making caring for Endlers even easier.
Although the algae on the walls of the tank may be somewhat unsightly the algae also helps to remove harmful Nitrates from the water. Note: Too much algae may be a sign of poor water conditions.
Sometimes the Endlers exhibit a behavior similar to “flashing”. In most fish flashing is usually an indication that a fish has some type of skin irritation usually associated with an illness or parasite such as Ich. In the case of the Endlers Livebearer this behavior is often observed when the fish are attempting to tear chunks of algae from the surface of a rock or other object.
In many of our tanks we use a combination of a large sponge filter as well as a back filter. These filters in combination seem to create just the right amount of water movement for our fish as well as providing mechanical, biological and chemical filtration for the tank.
We have also used a small bubble wand in some of our tanks and the Endlers seem to enjoy it.
Although Endlers enjoy some water movement care should be taken not to choose filtration system that causes too much water movement.
The filtration system used should also be designed in a manner that it will not suck up young Endler fry. We put a filter sponge over the intake of our back filters to prevent Endler fry from being sucked up into the filter.
New advances in LED lighting gives the opportunity to have great lighting without producing too much heat.
We use plants that require little lighting. Our lights are turned on for four hours in the morning then shut off for four hours and then turned on again for four hours. In the summer we extend the four hour lighting periods to 5 hours.
Using good lighting helps to make the metallic coloration as well as the other colors of Endlers really stand out beautifully.
The average size of male Endlers are 3/4″ to 1″. Pure Endlers seldom reach as size greater than 1″ however occasionally full grown male Endlers may be smaller than 3/4″.
Adult female Endlers Livebearers usually grow to between 1 1/2″ to 2″. On rare occasions females may grow larger.
We had one female Endler years ago that was kept in a 55 gallon tank that grew considerably larger than 2″ before she passed away.
Endlers Are Adaptable to Most Water Types
Although Endlers seem to prefer moderately hard to hard water with a PH of 5.5-8.0 they can adapt to most water conditions.
Endlers were originally captured in Venezuela in water which was green with algae. It is believed that Endlers developed their bright coloration to help males be seen in the algae rich waters.
Endlers are so undemanding and easy to care for that we don’t even monitor the water conditions in our tanks except for ammonia and nitrites.
Endlers will do very well with frequent water changes. We recommend that you do a 20% – 35% water change every two weeks.
Our Endlers have also done well in a well planted low tech tank with little to no water changes.
Whether you choose to do frequent partial water changes or keep your Endlers in a low tech tank, Endlers enjoy a well planted tank with lots of live plants for the small fry (babies) to hide in and to help control fluctuations in water conditions.
The addition of small amounts of salt seems to be beneficial as it is with some other livebearers. Lots of plants also seem to help the Endlers feel more comfortable and helps them to have their best coloration.
Ideal Water Temperature for Endlers Livebearers
Ideally Endlers should be kept at a temperature between 75-81°F (24–27°C) but will do well at temperatures between 64–84°F (18–29°C). Endlers will die at temperatures near 60°F (16°C).
The temperature of the water is thought to have some bearing on the sex of new fry. Higher temperatures seem to result in more males and lower water temperatures results in more females.
The origin of Endlers Livebearers
Although Endlers were first discovered by Franklyn F Bind in 1937 in Laguna de Patos in Venezuela, they were not introduced into the aquarium trade until after they were rediscovered by Dr. John Endler in 1975.
Many of the first Endlers that were introduced into the hobby came from Endlers collected by Armando Pou from Laguna de Patos in the Cumana region in the late 1900s and the early 2000s. These Endlers were line bred into unique strains and offered to hobbyists by Adrian Hernandez (AdrianHD).
In later years other Endlers were discovered in the Campoma region as well as the Cumana region of Venezuela by Phillip Voisin & Co. as well as others.
One of the most popular Endlers strains developed by Phillip Voisin & Co. is the Blue Star Endler.
There is some dispute as to whether the Endlers captured in the Campoma region are pure Endlers or not because many of these Endlers were captured in waters that also contained wild guppies.
Whether they are pure or not there are some amazingly beautiful strains developed from Endlers discovered in the Campoma region.
Endlers Livebearer Lifespan
We have never actually documented the lifespan of any single Endler however it appears that they live about 2-3 years. Some say they can live as long as 5 years.
Water temperature seems to have a strong influence on the lifespan of Endlers. Higher temperatures seem to lower the lifespan of Endlers.
A Non-Aggressive Species
Endlers are not aggressive and can be kept with most other small non-aggressive species. They are perfect tank mates for small non-aggressive tetras.
Large pregnant females can become quite nippy however when they are near their “due date”.
In general Endlers are a great community tank species however pure Endlers should not be kept with guppies if as they will readily cross breed.
Endlers are a pleasure to watch and they will occupy all levels of the aquarium. Endlers will eagerly congregate to one part of the tank when it’s feeding time.
Breeding Endlers Livebearers
There’s not much to caring for Endlers when it comes to breeding as they are very prolific breeders. They will give birth to small fry every 23-24 days however this may vary depending on the temperature of the water.
The number of fry a female will give birth to depends on the size and age of the female. It could be as low as one or as high as thirty! A mature female will usually give birth to 10-20 fry.
If you wish to keep N Class Endlers Livebearers be sure to keep any other type of livebearer out of the tank because the males will attempt to breed with other livebearers.
The offspring produced from Endlers/Guppy crosses will produce a hybrid that is able to reproduce. Because of the ease of which Endlers will breed with Guppies it is important to keep them separated if you do not wish the resulting offspring to be hybrid.
Breeding N Class pure strain Endlers with other livebearers will result in K Class Endlers (The progeny of any Endlers Livebearer crossed with any other livebearer or any Hybrid strain will be considered a ‘Class K’ Endler.)
Endlers will produce non-fertile offspring when crossed with mollies or picta.
Courting of the Endlers Livebearer is similar to the guppy. However they spend much more courting and less time chasing females than do guppies.
Males will attempt to display their colors and fins to the female often by swimming to the side of the female and then skillfully swimming backwards in an attempt to get the females attention. At times males will also display to other males.
Males will often bit the female near the cloaca (genital pore) while courting.
Young Endlers will leave the fry alone and will seldom eat their fry however large female Endlers may develop a taste for the young fry. Your young fry will want to have plenty of hiding places.
This is especially true in small overcrowded tanks. Even the larger females tend to leave the fry alone in larger uncrowded aquariums.
Well planted tanks with lots of live plants not only helps protect the young fry but also seems to keep Endlers happier and healthier.
Ideal Tank Size for Endlers
While Endlers will survive in a small desktop or Betta tank they do best in a 10 gallon tank or larger. Up to 30 to 40 Endlers may be housed in a 10 gallon tank if that has been properly cycled and has a good filtration system.
We have found that Endlers can be somewhat sensitive to rapid changes in their environment. Endlers seem to do better in large tanks such as 40 gallon breeder or 55 gallon tanks. This is likely because larger tanks take longer for them to have fluctuations in temperature and water quality.
Along with the larger tank size we also find that having lots of plants seem to help Endlers feel more secure and helps them to have better health and color.
Dark colored substrate and background seem to help intensify Endler coloration.
Although Endlers are quite hardy they do seem to be somewhat susceptible to rapid changes in water quality. Whether caused by overpopulation, water changes or poor filtration these rapid changes can leave Endlers weakened and prone to internal bacterial infections.
These bacterial infections can cause Endlers to loose weight rapidly and will eventually cause death. Older female Endlers seem to be most susceptible to the illness.
Fortunately internal bacterial infections can be easily treated with medication.
Another common disease that can affect Endlers is Ich.
Endlers like temperatures that are higher than most tropical fish and seem to like the addition of salt to their tank making the treatment of Ich much easier than it can be with other tropical fish.