Endler guppy fish (Poecilia wingei) is a fairly rare species of guppies and is popular for being a hardy aquarium resident. Endlers are smaller than the common guppy but they have colorful and striking bodies.
The fish was first discovered in 1937, forgotten, and then re-discovered by John Endler in 1975. There has been much debate to determine if the fish are a true species, and they were reported to be a separate species from the guppy in 2009.
Endlers have, however, been known to breed easily with guppies. The wild strains of the fish are under the threat of extinction since their habitat is under pressure from development.
The female endlers grow to about 1.4 inches in length while the males are smaller at an inch. The females are plain grey or silver, and they display darkened rims around their scales. The males have a fluorescent hue, while the coloration along the edges of the caudal fin resembles a sword.
Endler guppies exhibit green, orange, and silver markings, and have a black blotch on their sides. Males are typically more vibrant when compared to females. You can, however, get individuals with varying patterns and fins because of in-breeding.
The coloring of the fish will become pale during long periods of bright light. They can also lose their coloration if the quality of the water or the parameters change rapidly.
Endlers are indigenous to Venezuela, where they inhabit freshwater lagoons in Campoma, Buena Vista, and Carupano. Pollution in these waters has put the Endlers under the threat of extinction.
Endlers should be sustained with high-quality flake foods. Large flakes should be broken down into smaller segments to fit the mouths of the fish.
They are omnivorous, and will also accept frozen or live foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, blackworms, and daphnia. Endlers will also appreciate plant matter from time to time, and you can try giving them zucchini medallions or shelled peas.
Endlers quickly adapt to a feeding schedule, and you will often seem them gathering to the area that is closest to you when it is feeding time. You can also lightly tap on the tank’s rim to alert them before feeding.
The fish are also active algae eaters, and they will clear any algae buildup in your tank.
Water & Tank Requirements
Enlders are pretty hard fish, though there are few things to consider regarding their tank requirements and water parameters. Below, you can find all this information:
Most beginners start with a 10-gallon tank for endlers. The fish will be more comfortable in a larger aquarium, and you can keep them in a 20-gallon set up to ensure they have adequate swimming space.
Temperature and PH
Endlers will thrive in a temperature range of 75-85 °F (24-29 °C). The fish enjoy warmer temperatures than guppies and will, therefore, require a heater. Endlers thrive in harder water with a PH of 7.0 to 8.5.
You should ensure that the water in the tank is suitably cycled before adding your endlers. The fish also seem more comfortable in still waters instead of strong water flow.
Although the fish do not produce a lot of waste, the aquarium still needs an effective filter. You can utilize a hang-on-back filter, provided you cover the filter intake to discourage the fry from getting sucked to their deaths. You should invest in a canister filter if you have a 50-gallon setup or more.
Any aquarium with Endler guppies should be heavily planted. They mainly seem to love floating plants whose dangling roots offer hiding spaces for the fry.
You can plant duckweed, Java Moss, water sprite, hornwort, water wisteria, and hyrgophila polysperma. You can use any substrate since they mostly inhabit the top and middle levels of the tank.
Female endlers can get territorial while the males are generally peaceful. Do not expect any real fights between the species as only some playful chasing seems to happen. The adult males often display their coloration to females, and you should keep multiple females to dilute any harassment from the males.
Endlers make poor residents for community tanks, mainly because they are small in size. They will fare better in a species-only aquarium, where they will breed in peace. Do not couple them with guppies because they can readily interbreed and dilute their genes. You can, however, keep endlers in a peaceful community tank, provided you ensure there are no fin-nipping occupants.
Your aquarium should have more female endlers than males, and an ideal ratio is three females for one male. Male endlers are known to harass females in an attempt to mate, and by having more females, you ensure that no one individual gets aggressive male attention.
Males are also smaller and more vibrant than females. The gonopodium of the male is characterized by one hook and a pointed end.
Breeding endlers is effortless as long as there are both genders in the tank. You do not need to implement any special conditions for the endlers to mate, and you can expect fry every 23 to 24 weeks.
Endlers give birth to full-formed fry who begin swimming actively around the tank. The brood sizes vary between 1 and 30, depending on the female’s size and age.
Cooler temperatures seem to favor female development while warmer ones encourage male fry development. You can work towards an even ratio by keeping temperatures at around 77 °F.
Endlers have been shown to be less-cannibalistic to their fry, but you should still ensure your tank is heavily planted. The roots and leaves of aquatic plants like the Java Fern will give the fry a good chance of survival. Some aquarists move the young endlers to a separate nursery tank with a lot of hiding areas.
The fry should be sustained with powdered flake and baby brine shrimp. You can also give them commercial fry food and feed them a couple of times daily until they reach three to four weeks old.
Young endlers mature fast and will attain breeding maturity at about two months of age. The males will display adult coloration in three to five weeks, but it may take a few more months for the full color and intensity to develop.
Endler guppy fish will liven up any aquarium with their striking coloration and active behavior.
They fare the best when reared alone in a densely planted tank, although you can keep them with small and peaceful species. Endlers are quite easy to maintain since they are undemanding on tank requirements.