Endler’s Livebearer

Endler’s Livebeareris a species of warm water fish habituating in Venezuelan rivers rich in algae. Male and female body length is approximately 2.5 cm and 4.5 cm, respectively. They were originally discovered by Franklyn F. Bond in 1937 andreconfirmed by John Endler in 1975 in Northeastern Venezuela, in Laguna de Patos.

They coexist with P. reticulata but they are not interbreeding. The last being characteristic for the same region is much more common in areas where P. wingei thrive. It is postulated that this is related with the cold running water bio-habitat, which is characteristic for guppies.

Colourful Freshwater Fish - Endler’s Livebearer



As an omnivorous fish species, they have a wide range of feeds they can consume, which may include algae or any suitable-sized fauna. The issue in their diet is related to the particle size of their food since they have a small mouth opening. If the feeds are purchased in large pellets, they need to be reduced in size by crushing prior to feeding the fish.

Bloodworms and brine shrimp are suitable food choices for this species, but care must be taken to supplement herbs in their daily feeding regime as well. Algae, which normally grow in the tanks, can serve as a good herb source, forgoing additional vegetable matter. Frozen feed can also be used, but must be mechanically reduced in size.

Aquarium habitat

As for tank mates, it must be pointed out this species is most appropriately habituating with similar-sized fish in a community aquarium. Lightly-tempered fish, such as tetras,could be good tank companions. There is a risk of cross-breeding if joined with guppies, thus avoid them as a match. Species tanks should be considered if breeding is desired; females are very competitive and territorial so special consideration should be taken for possible bullying.

The aquarium should be planted with live, floating herbs and adequate amounts of light. Artificial fauna could be a plausible solution if live plants are not found. A 10-gallon (40.5 litres) size tank is spacious enough fora large colony. They can easily jump over the water surface; therefore, adequate protection should be installed on top of the tank to prevent the possibility of exiting the tank.

The water current should not be a problem since these fish are quite active. Temperatures in the range of 75-86° Fahrenheit(24-30ºC) are recommended, especially if hatchlings are expected. Their optimal pH requirement is between neutral and alkaline (pH=7-8.5).Since these fish do not produce large quantities of waste, powerful filtration is not necessary.

Sexual dimorphism is well pronounced; males are smaller and more brightly colored in comparison to females, combining yellow, orange, green, and blue colors of their scales. Females are lighter colored combining yellow and green colors. Males have narrower bellies compared to females and one of the most recognizable signs in males is the anal fin, which is used during the breeding (gonopodium).


As previously mentioned, if breeding is desired, a community tank habitat is required. They are quite easy breeders, but care must be taken in male-female ratio (1:1). If this ratio is in favor of males,the females will be in jeopardy of harassment. Another way to prevent this is high-density herb planting in the aquarium, which would make obscuring the visual contact with the counter sex mates. They produce broods in cycles of 23-24 days, the size varying 5-25, depending on the age and according to body size.

Gravid females should be isolated in a separate tank prior to birthing, henceforth, they should be returned to the main aquarium. Nets or traps are not recommended for the fry since they are not spacious enough for their size. Following the birth, fry can accept brine shrimp or powdered flake, which is not a problem  considering their large size.

In 3-5 weeks males develop mature coloration, whereas females are capable of producing younglings at 2 months of age. Regular feeding of the fry is necessary for proper and optimal development.


Ick is one of the most common infectious-diseases of Endler’s livebearer fish. It is commonly manifested by the appearance of white spots on the body. Additionally, parasites, bacteria, and fungi can be a huge problem due to a decreased amount of oxygen, pollution, increased level of ammonia,and crowded fish population in the tank.

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