Preventing Illness in Endlers Livebearers

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Illness in Endlers

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies to caring for Endler’s Livebearers.
Providing a clean stable environment for your Endlers on one of the most important aspects in keeping your Endlers healthy.

Not long ago Endlers could only be found in their natural environment. Perhaps this is why Endlers while being extremely hardy can become overwhelmed with disease or illness if not properly cared for in a very short period of time.

Maintaining a Healthy Environment for Your Endlers.

As with any fish a good healthy environment should be maintained for optimum health and longevity. One of the keys to providing a good environment for your fish is a knowledge and proper use of the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium.
Here is a simple easy to understand video that helps explain the nitrogen cycle if you are not familiar with how it works.

Overcrowding and the Affects on Endlers Livebearers.

male_endlers_5Overcrowded conditions can happen quickly due to the large number of fry that are produced by Endlers in a very short period of time.

If you don’t have a way to properly take care and house the many fry that can be produced from a handful of Endlers you may wish to consider keeping only male Endler’s in your tank.

Overcrowding your Endlers can quickly lead to disease or illness. One of the most common illnesses that you may have to deal with in an overcrowded tank is Ick.

Ick usually presents itself as small white specks on the body of the fish somewhat resembling salt. It is also easy to see on the female fish when it is on the fins as it can make parts of the fin look darker rather than clear as it should be in healthy Endlers.

Fortunately Ick is usually very easy to cure in Endlers once the overcrowded conditions are resolved because Endlers enjoy a higher temperature setting (75-81 Deg F.) then most tropical fish. The high temperature accompanied with treatments of salt and common Ick remedies rapidly cures the illness.

Note: Keeping your fish in a tank that is too cold can leave your fish in a weakened condition making them susceptible to illness.

Extreme cases of overcrowding can cause thin, weak fish, ammonia burn, deformities, and dropsy.

How Many Fish Per Tank?

The number of fish that can be placed in your tank is dependent on a number of factors. The larger the surface area the tank has the better the oxygen exchange takes place. Tall thin tanks do not have as much surface area as short fat tanks.

Another factor is the type of filtration system used in the tank. Some filtration systems rely on carbon and small filters to help filter the water. The carbon helps to remove some of the harmful nitrates and ammonia that may be produced however many of these systems lack the ability to harbor sufficient quantities of bacteria to maintain a proper nitrogen cycle.

There are many excellent filtration systems available to help maintain a proper nitrogen cycle. Endlers will do best if a filtration system is used that does not create too much water movement.

Partial water changes are a must in order to maintain a good nitrogen cycle. You should never completely empty the tank of its water and replace it with fresh water as this destroys much of the good bacteria that is created when cycling the tank.

We have found that changing approximately 1/3 of the water every 2 weeks is sufficient as long as the tank is not overcrowded.

Plants are another important part of maintaining a healthy Endler population. Plants help give shelter to the the adult Endlers as well as the fry. Plants also help to keep the nitrate levels down in the aquarium. High amounts of nitrates in your tank can be harmful to the fish.

So how many fish should you keep in your tank? We have found that in a healthy well planted 10 gallon tank you should be able to keep 10-20 male Endlers.

If you choose to have females you will want to have at least 2 females for every male. We recommend no more than 8 females and 4 males in a ten gallon tank.

This is only a general guide and your situation may be different.  Be very careful not to push the limits too much as your fish may suffer ill affects very quickly.

Keep in mind that 8 females can produce between 150-200 fry in less than a month so it’s important to remove them and place them in a suitable home as needed to prevent overcrowding.

Feeding Your Endlers

Another factor in keeping healthy Endlers is to give them a proper diet. Relatively speaking Endlers have not been kept in captivity for very long. It’s important to give them a diverse diet that simulates somewhat what they would have had in nature.
Feeding your Endler cheap flake fish food can result in your fish becoming constipated and in extreme cases can lead to death.

Our Endler’s are feed a combination of New Life Spectrum© small fish formula, Omega One© Super Color Flakes (crushed in container with a dowel rod until it is just the perfect size) and a small amount of frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp daily however we do try various other foods from time to time.

We also allow algae to build up on rocks and the walls of our tanks as Endlers love to continually graze on any algae that may build up.  Note:  Too much algae in your Endlers tank may be a sign of unhealthy water conditions.

Several hobbyist report great success using Repashy Community Plus© as part of their Endler diet. We have not yet tried this unique fish food but plan to in the future.

Don’t Worry!

Keeping Endlers is really not that hard just remember some of these simple guidelines and you should have happy, healthy Endlers for years to come!

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