Endler’s livebearer – a small firework in your tank

Endler's guppy

Endler’s livebearer (Poecilia wingei) is a very good looking fish that is a close relative of common guppy fish. It has become famous due to its small size, peaceful temper, appealing appearance and unpretentiousness. Let’s study it in details.

Habitat in the wild

South America is Endler’s guppy natural habitat. First this fish was discovered by Franklyn F. Bond в 1937 in Lagoa dos Patos on the North coast of the continent, on the North of Venezuela.

Unfortunately, this endemic species didn’t attract any interest among the scientists and for some unknown reasons it was considered as an extinct one for a long time.

However, 40 years later this species was discovered one more time by Prof. John Endler, who described it.

We should mention, that still there is no agreement as for Endler’s guppy (Poecilia wingei) and common guppy (Poecilia reticulata) scientific classification.

Some scientists consider that these fishes should be treated as one and the same species due to the fact, that they get fertile offspring after interbreeding these two fishes.

Another fact that supports their point of view is, that the natural habitat of both fishes partially coincides. Nevertheless, nowadays Endler’s guppy and common guppy are still considered to be different species.

What is the most interesting, it’s that despite partial coincidence of their natural habitat, no distant hybridization between these species has occurred.

This can be explained very easily: biotopes where common guppy and Endler’s guppy dwell are different ones. Common guppy prefers relatively strong and chilly water flow and Endler’s one prefers warm and lentic habitats.

Endler’s guppy habitat is quite small, that’s why due to active human activity this species are endangered and are very likely to become extinct.


The distinctive feature of this fish is its tiny size – Endler’s guppy male isn’t larger than 1 inch (2–2,5 cm), female fish can grow up to 1.4 inches long (3,5 cm).

The female fish coloring is sole-coloured with golden or silvery tint. Behind its abdomen there is a small spot, which indicates that they have some embryos inside.

Due to long term selective breeding programs there are some Endler’s guppy breeds, which you won’t encounter in the wild.

Gold Endler guppy has a very interesting coloring – a golden body of the fish male has small red spots on it and an emerald-green spot near its tail. The edges of its tail fin are red as well and it is transparent in the middle.

One of the most beautiful coloring of Endler guppy is japan blue. The fish body and tail are light blue with a black spot on the body side, the head is silvery colored.

As for the fish lifespan in a tank, it varies from 1 to 2 years. Tank water temperature is a crucial factor in this respect. The higher is the temperature, the faster are metabolic processes of the fish, which decreases its lifespan correspondingly.

Keeping in a tank

Scientific NamePoecilia wingei
Common NameEndler’s livebearer, Endler’s guppy
Tank size5 gallons and more
Temperature72°F- 78°F (22 to 26 °С)
Size1.4 inches long (3,5 cm)

Due to its size dwarf guppy fishes are perfect inhabitants for nano tanks. This is a very active fish, therefore you should buy several couples at once.

Also, if don’t want to get some mixed offspring later, don’t put different species in one tank. It’s possible to keep only various species of male fish in the same tank.

Endler guppy is a schooling fish and it prefers small tanks with lentic water, thickly planted with various flora. The fish feels very comfortable in tanks with floating plants.

This guppy fish prefers swimming in upper water layers and it is a good tank mate for all non-aggressive fishes.

You can put small pebbles or large grain sand on a tank bottom. The tank should be thickly planted, but there also should be some free space for the fishes to swim.

Tank plants with small leaves, that reach the water surface, will be a good choice in this case. It is also desirable to have some floating plants in the tank. They then become a shelter for Endler guppy juveniles.

Keeping Endler’s guppy in a tank is a very simple thing – the fish isn’t demanding to tank water parameters. Here are the optimal tank conditions – temperature from 72°F- 78°F (22 to 26 °С), water hardness dGH — up to 25°, рН 6.7-8.5.

Since abrupt change of tank water temperature and quality has negative impact on the fins of the fish males, it’s desirable to perform water renew often, but in small amounts.

You should also pay attention to the tank lighting – in case of intensive and long term illuminating of the tank (more than 12 hours), the fish coloring becomes pale.

Another thing you should keep in mind, is the proper ratio of male and female fish in the tank (1:3 or 1:2), otherwise the male fish will haunt the female fish all the time and this negatively effects the health of the latter.


In a tank you can feed the fish with artificial, live food, vegetable flakes, dry food with vegetable supplements, live and frozen maxillopods (small daphnia, cyclops, bloodworm).

As for inferior plants, you can include spirulina into the fish diet. Endler’s guppy is prone to obesity, that’s why you shouldn’t overfeed it.

If you (just like me) regularly feed your fish with artificial food, then the links will be very helpful for you – Hikari Fancy Guppy, API Fish Food Pellets, Fluval Bug Bites. I know what it’s like when you pet fish die because of low quality food or get ill due to infection ingress into the tank with live food. I myself give some of this food to my pets and as for the rest I’ve heard and read lots of good reviews. Yet, all of the food is of high quality and it is the best one for this fish kind as well as it keeps the tank water clean.


Due to the fish size you should keep it only with small and peaceful fishes. These can be, for example, white cloud mountain minnow, harlequin rasbora, cherry barb, neon tetra, cardinal tetra, oto catfish.

Also, you shouldn’t take fancy guppy as Endler’s guppy tank mate, because they don’t interbreed. In general, Endler guppy is a peaceful and harmless fish, which can suffer from other fishes. It can get along well with common shrimps and with small ones (like a cherry shrimp), too.


Endler’s guppy females, as a rule, are rather unpresentable, with silvery or golden body, they may have some unpronounced spots on it.

The female fish body is longer and fatter, than that of the male fish. The female fish fins are short and rather pale colored.

Male fish are like rainbow, they may have various coloring: from red to violet. Its long tail has fancy patterns. At that the pattern of each fish is a unique one, like a snowflake.

Anal fin of the male fish has transferred into gonopodium – its organ of generation.


Endler’s guppy breeding is very simple. They breed quite actively in a common tank. Therefore, you just need a couple of fishes for breeding. They will do the rest themselves.

Endler guppy female become fertile at the age of 2 months. Internal fertilization is performed due to gonopodium (a modified anal fin of the male fish). The female fish carries eggs for 22-24 days.

Then she spawns fully formed juveniles (from 10 to 30 small fish). You can also stimulate this process by increasing the tank water temperature by 2 degrees. As a result of one mating you may get several offspring.

Endler’s guppy juveniles are fed with brine shrimp nauplii. For 2 weeks you should feed juveniles 3 times a day and then switch to feeding 2 times a day. At the beginning of the sixth week, when the male fish become completely colored, you should feed them just once a day.

Adult fish should be put into a separate tank right when the juveniles appear, so they wouldn’t eat the offspring. Or you can put some more moss into the tank and the juveniles can hide there.

At the age of 3-4 weeks the male fish gets its adult coloring and the female fish becomes fertile, when she is 2 months old. You should feed the juveniles 2-3 times a day, this way the grow faster.

Last update on 2019-10-13 at 22:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API