Endler’s Livebearer (Poecilia Wingei): The Ultimate Care Guide

Endler’s livebearers are beautiful freshwater fish that are easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner aquarium owners. Click here to find out how to keep them happy and healthy.

Endlers Livebearers – Quick Facts

In a rush? Check out the quick facts about Endlers Livebearers below.

Fish Info

Scientific NamePoecilia wingei
Common NamesEndler’s Livebearers, Campoma Guppies, Cumana Guppies
AppearanceSmall, colorful, and psychedelic-looking
DifficultyCaring for Endler’s Livebearers is not difficult.
DistributionThe Endler’s Livebearer is found in the Campoma and Cumana regions of Venezuela.
LifespanThe typical lifespan of an Endler’s Livebearer is two to three years.
TemperamentFor the most part, Endler’s livebearers are not aggressive, but some questionable behavior may come from females every once in a while.
Keep in Groups of5 or more
Tank MatesCorydoras species, more Endlers Livebearers, shrimp, snails, Neon Tetra, Glass Fish, Bolivian Ram Cichlid, White Cloud Minnow, Zebra Danio, Cory Catfish, Otocinclus, Honey Gourami, African Dwarf frogs, Danios, other small non-aggressive fish
DietEndler’s livebearers are omnivores that feed on small insects, algae, and plant matter.
LengthMales are around 1 inch in length. Females grow to about 1.8 inches.
Sexual DimorphismThe males are smaller than the females and are more brightly colored.
Breeding DifficultyBreeding Endler’s livebearers is easy.

Water/Tank Recommendations

Water TypeFreshwater
Water TemperatureThe ideal water temperature for Endler’s Livebearers is 72-78°F (22-26°C).
Water pHThe ideal water pH for Endler’s Livebearers is around 7.0-8.5.
Water HardnessThe ideal water hardness for Endler’s Livebearers is 10 to 30 GH.
Tank sizeThe minimum tank size is 10 gallons, and the recommended tank size is 20+ gallons.


The Endler’s livebearer is a stunning and popular freshwater fish in the aquarium community. Since their discovery, these little guys have become a staple species for both beginners and seasoned aquarists alike.

You might be wondering why this particular fish has had so much success in such a short amount of time. Their success lies in their appearance, temperament, and breeding patterns.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Endler’s Livebearers as well as how to care for them!

About Endlers Livebearers

Endler’s livebearers are unique and colorful freshwater fish that can add a distinct look to your aquarium.

As the scientific name (Poecilia wingei) would imply, these fish belong to the guppy family (Poeciliidae).

These small tropical fish are native to Venezuela, where they reside in clear bodies of water filled with plants like elodea sp., Egeria densa, or cabomba caroliniana. The water there contains low amounts of nitrates and phosphates, which make it easier for these fish to thrive than fish in other habitats.

While this might sound pretty restrictive for aquarium owners, if you want one as an addition to your tank at home, don’t worry! You don’t have to replicate those exact conditions and instead just need some basic knowledge about what makes them happy.


Like other types of livebearers, Endlers are small colorful fish with a diamond-shaped bodies. Their bodies taper at both ends, and their heads are wider than their slender tails.

These fish have smooth scales that cover the entire surface of their bodies. Most specimens take on shades of silver and blue or green hues depending on the lighting conditions in which they’re kept. However, these colors can change drastically when influenced by breeding hormones!

The fins are semi-transparent and have a tinge of yellow or orange. The dorsal fin is rather tall. You may also notice that the body tapers to a narrow point at the base of its caudal fin, which is common among livebearers!

Their Length

The average length of an Endler’s livebearer is 1 inch in size, which makes them the perfect small fish for smaller tanks. Females tend to grow a bit larger than males, but usually only to around 1.8 inches.


The average lifespan of an Endler’s Livebearer is two to three years.

This lifespan can be affected by several factors, including genetics and the quality of care you provide. The level of stress your fish experiences can have a major impact on health as well.

Fish kept in a stressed environment or with poor water conditions are more likely to succumb to disease and illness. To avoid this, you need to provide them with the best care possible.

We know this can be a tall order for some, but if you want to keep your fish healthy, then you need to make sure their habitat is ideal.

Sexual Dimorphism

Male Endler’s livebearers are colorful and have a more slender build. Females tend to be duller in color and have a larger body size.


Endler’s livebearers are exclusively freshwater fish. They dwell in rivers and streams throughout Venezuela, South America. These species usually prefer shallow waters with a soft substrate of fine sand.

While they are not found in brackish waters, some aquarists have managed to keep them healthy for up to five years by raising the water’s salinity levels a bit. However, this is definitely an experimental method that should be used only with extreme caution.

NOTE: If you do decide to try this, we recommend keeping the salinity levels as low as possible.

Endler’s livebearers can adapt very well to other kinds of water conditions that are more common in aquariums. Thus, they make great candidates for home tanks.

Caring for Endlers Livebearers

Caring for Endler’s livebearers is usually not too difficult. These fish are quite hardy and adapt well to a wide range of water conditions.

One thing you will need to do, however, is provide them with the right tank environment. Here are some tips on how you can help your new Endlers livebearer thrive.

  • Set up a well-decorated tank. The aim is to create an environment as close as possible to their natural habitat in the wild.
  • Use fine sand instead of gravel at the bottom of your aquarium. Gravel can cause small wounds that could lead to infection when they scratch themselves while swimming around, which Endler’s livebearers do quite often.
  • Live plants are an absolute must. Plants will help keep ammonia and nitrate levels low by breaking down waste naturally, so you don’t have to clean the tank frequently.


Endler’s livebearers are omnivores that feed on small insects, algae and plant matter. In their natural habitat, these fish will find sources of food wherever they can in the riverbed.

They tend to be more attracted to plant leaves than most other species of freshwater fish, so a tank should have some plants for them to snack on whenever they want (or need). If you don’t like having aquarium plants around, then make sure you provide your Endler’s with a varied diet instead.

Some great foods for them include:

  • Sinking pellets and algae wafers
  • Brine shrimp or any frozen foods are known as “high-protein treats”
  • Fresh vegetables

How Often & How Much to Feed Them

Feeding Endler’s livebearers is a piece of cake. These fish will eat anything they can get their fins on! It doesn’t matter if it’s plant-based or animal-based; these little guys will scarf down any food you give them.

Because of this, we recommend that you provide a balanced diet with plenty of variety for optimum health. They enjoy sinking pellets and algae wafers as the base of their diet to ensure that they are getting enough nutrition (especially since they don’t have huge appetites).

You should feed these fish once or twice per day and the portions should be small enough so that they can finish their food within a few minutes.

Possible Diseases

Endler’s Livebearers can suffer from the same illnesses that other freshwater fish face. They are particularly susceptible to Ich, which is a common disease in tropical aquariums.

Ich causes white spots to appear on the body and fins of your fish. If you see any of these symptoms, quarantine your Endler’s livebearer away from all other tank mates until the issue clears up (usually about two weeks). You might need medication for this condition as well.

Another common illness that affects Endler’s livebearers is called “hole-in-the-head disease.” This condition causes small spots to appear on the fish and, eventually large open sores. Infected fish are usually very weak and may not eat or move around much at all.

Tank Setup

Here are some other tips for creating an ideal environment:

Aquarium Size

The recommended aquarium size for Endler’s livebearers is 10+ gallons.

If you want to keep more than a couple of these fish together (ideally, you should keep a group of 5+), go with 20+ gallons instead.

This will allow you to keep a larger school and minimize the chances of aggression.

NOTE: Remember, if you don’t give them enough room to roam they could become stressed and lead to unwanted behavior.

To avoid this, pay close attention to the number of fish you keep in your tank.

Water Conditions

The Endler’s livebearers are hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. They do best in warmer waters with neutral pH levels and a slightly soft substrate for optimal comfort.

These aren’t the toughest fish in the world, so they have some unique requirements that you need to be aware of before caring for them. These include:

  • A stable environment is non-negotiable if you want your Endler’s livebearer to thrive (this includes temperature). Small fluctuations can cause problems!
  • The water needs to be relatively clean so as not to stress out your fish too much.


The ideal water pH for Endler’s livebearers is around 7.0-8.5

Aim to keep the water in your tank at a neutral pH, and regularly test with an accurate liquid testing kit so you can monitor things as needed.


The ideal tank temperature for Endler’s livebearers is 72-78°F (22-26°C). These fish are tropical, and they prefer warmer water.

NOTE: The best way to keep track of the temperature within your aquarium is with a reliable thermometer.

This will help you make adjustments and avoid any unnecessary stress on your fish.


Hardness is not a major concern for Endler’s livebearers. As long as the water has between 10 and 30 GH, you should be fine!

NOTE: Always make sure to double-check that your water hardness level is appropriate for the other species you plan on keeping in this tank.

A bit of research goes a long way!


It’s important to have a strong filtration system for your Endler’s livebearers. This is due to their active nature and small size.

You can use an internal aquarium filter, but many aquarists prefer the efficiency of a hang-on-back model or external canister filter.

This will keep ammonia levels low while breaking down waste products efficiently.

Aquarium Plants

We highly recommend adding plants to your tank!

Plants are very beneficial and will provide your fish with a number of benefits.

Some great plant choices include:

  • Anubias Barteri
  • Java Fern
  • Water Wisteria

NOTE: Some aquarists like to use floating plants or those that grow on the glass. These are perfectly fine as well, but we prefer submerged plant options.

Behavior and Compatibility

Endler’s livebearers are highly active fish that move nonstop. They have also been known to jump out of the water in an attempt to get away from perceived threats.

In tanks with other small fish, Endler’s livebearers will often swim around and check things out before eventually going about their business. Many owners describe these fish as curious but cautious.

Endlers tend to be shy when kept with larger or more aggressive species (of course, this varies somewhat). For the most part, they do best when kept in a tank full of other Endler’s Livebearers or similarly sized and peaceful species.

How Many to Keep Together

You can keep up to a dozen or more Endler’s livebearers together in one tank. However, this is not always recommended for beginners who are still getting accustomed to the unique needs of these fish.

More experienced aquarists and breeders often keep more than 12 poecilia wingei in one tank because they have learned how to accommodate their social needs while meeting their physical requirements.

As they are shoaling fish, it’s always advisable to keep then in a group of at least five fish.


For the most part, Endler’s livebearers are not aggressive. However, females tend to be a bit feisty with each other from time to time.

The best way to avoid this behavior is by keeping them in groups of at least five fish (more is better).

Tank Mates

The best tank mates for Endler’s livebearers are of course other Endler’s Livebearers. These fish love each other, and a group of five or more will ensure that everyone gets along well.

If you want to keep them with other types of fish, avoid aggressive species. Aggressive tanks can stress out these already-timid creatures and lead to injury.

Peaceful bottom dwellers such as Cory catfish, Otocinclus catfish, Honey gourami, African dwarf frogs (we like the White-Lipped), Danios, and many others make great tank mates for this species.

Here’s a list of good tank mates for Endler’s Livebearers:

  • More Endlers Livebearers
  • Corydoras species
  • Shrimp
  • Snails
  • Neon Tetra
  • Rainbow Tetra
  • Glass Fish
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Bolivian Ram Cichlid
  • White Cloud Minnow
  • Zebra Danio
  • Bloodfin and other types of tetra
  • Cory Catfish
  • Otocinclus
  • Honey Gourami
  • African Dwarf frogs
  • Danios
  • Other small non-aggressive fish


Breeding Endler’s livebearers is fairly easy. You can breed them in a community tank, but we recommend using a separate breeding tank.

They are ‘Livebearers’ so the females give birth to live fish rather than laying eggs.

Before you begin the breeding process, condition your fish with high-quality foods and raise the water temperature to around 78°F. These steps will trigger spawning behavior.

Are Endlers Livebearers Fish a Good Choice For Your Tank?

The great thing about Endler’s livebearers is that they can thrive in a wide range of tank conditions. This means you have some wiggle room when it comes to planning out your aquarium!

While we highly recommend keeping them with other species, these fish will do just fine on their own if you prefer solo tanks. As long as the water parameters are stable, they should be happy!

If you do decide to keep them with other fish, the sky is really the limit. The only requirement is that their tank mates need to be a similar size and non-aggressive. This means smaller species like tetras and guppies are always good options.


  • Endler’s Livebearers are relatively low-maintenance fish that don’t need a lot of fussing to stay healthy.
  • They also display an array of colors and patterns that can be quite beautiful to look at!

These traits make them ideal for aquarists who want something different but aren’t fully committed to the full-blown aquarium ownership lifestyle.


Of course, there are some downsides.

For one thing, Endler’s livebearers can be quite prolific if not kept in check. However, their breeding habits only become a problem when you don’t have enough room for the fry!

Some aquarists absolutely love this about them, but others don’t want any part of it. You see, Endler’s livebearers can breed with other species (especially Guppies). This results in what many call “mixed-breed” fish that become progressively more difficult to control as time goes on.

It’s not uncommon for the offspring of Endler’s livebearers and other species to breed with even more exotic fish (with no limit).

This is typically a deal breaker for many aquarists because they don’t want their tank getting too crowded over time or any potential issues due to cross-breeding.


Endler’s Livebearers are fantastic freshwater fish for beginners and seasoned aquarists alike. With their low-maintenance nature, beautiful colors, and peaceful temperament, we encourage anyone to give them a shot!

We hope this guide was useful to you and helps you make an informed decision regarding ownership.

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