Endler’s livebearer Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 18, 2022

Endler’s livebearer is a small, colorful freshwater fish that is perfect for beginners. They are very easy to care for and make a great addition to any aquarium.

Despite their small size, these fish are very hardy and can live in a variety of different water conditions.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance fish, then Endler’s livebearer is a great option.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Endler’s livebearer care. This includes diet, tank mates, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Endler’s livebearer (Poecilia wingei) is a small freshwater fish that is native to the northeastern coast of South America, specifically in the Guyanas.

This fish prefers slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation. They are very peaceful fish and can be compatible with a wide variety of tank mates.

The main draw of the Endler’s livebearer is its bright colors. They are available in a wide variety of colors, including blue, green, orange, yellow, and red. This really makes them stand out in most freshwater aquariums and means this fish will likely be a popular choice for years to come.


Endler's livebearer

The first thing you’ll notice about this little fish is their vibrant colors. They have a black stripe that runs along their lateral line and their fins are edged in black as well.

The base color of their body can be orange, yellow, or even a greenish-blue. This color is then accented by spots that can be any color in the rainbow.

These spots are usually round but they can be more of an oval shape as well. They’re also usually symmetrical on both sides of the fish.

The dorsal fin of the Endler’s livebearer is tall and thin. It starts just behind the gill plate and extends back to about the middle of their body.

Their anal fin is similar in shape but starts a bit further back. They also have a small but noticeable caudal peduncle.

The ventral fins of these fish are very thin and long. They start just before the anal fin and extend back to about the same point as the dorsal fin.

These fish have a very streamlined body that tapers off at the tail. This gives them a sleek and hydrodynamic appearance.


The average lifespan of Endler’s livebearers is 2 to 3 years. However, it is not uncommon for them to live up to 5 years in captivity.

As with any other animal, the lifespan of Endler’s livebearers can be affected by a number of factors. Poor water quality, stress, and a lack of proper nutrition can all lead to a shorter lifespan.


Endler’s livebearers are one of the smaller aquarium fish breeds, typically only reaching about an inch in length when fully grown. However, they are known to be hardy fish and can live in a wide range of conditions.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Endler’s livebearers is 5 gallons. If you want to keep a school of these fish, you will need at least 10 gallons.

We recommend a 20 gallon tank if you plan on keeping a school of Endler’s livebearers. This will give you enough room to add some plants and other decorations to the tank.

Water Parameters

The water parameters you need to maintain for Endler’s Livebearers are very generous. This makes them a great freshwater fish for a beginner since there’s a lot of room for error.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to their water parameters is consistency. Even though these are very hardy fish, they can be sensitive to sudden changes just like any other freshwater species.

Even though they’re still a bit more durable in this regard, you should use this as practice. Challenge yourself to see how consistent you can keep the water parameters and how easily you can make an adjustment if needed. These skills will come in handy with other species you keep in the future!

  • Water Temperature: 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 7.0 to 8.5
  • Water Hardness: 5 to 15 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

As we’ve said before, the inside of an Endler’s Livebearer’s tank doesn’t need to be anything too complicated.

Since they come from slow-moving waters in the wild, you won’t need to worry about filtration or aeration too much. A simple sponge filter will do the trick just fine.

In terms of plants, we recommend sticking to floating aquarium plants. These will give your fish someplace to hide if they need it and help diffuse the light a bit (Endler’s Livebearers are used to dimmer conditions).

You can also include some driftwood or rocks if you’d like. Just make sure that anything you put in their tank is smooth and won’t scratch them up.

As for the substrate, these fish don’t really have any preferences. Gravel, sand, or even bare-bottom tanks will work just fine.

Common Diseases

The Endler’s livebearer is a hardy little fish that doesn’t often get sick. However, there are a few diseases that they are susceptible to.

The most common disease that these fish get is ich. This is a parasite that can cause your fish a lot of stress and can even be fatal if it’s not treated.

The most obvious symptom of ich is the presence of white spots on the body of your fish. If you see this, it’s important to act fast and begin treatment immediately.

Other potential diseases include infections, fin rot, and columnaris. These are all relatively common in freshwater fish and can be treated in a similar manner to ich.

The best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain clean and stable water conditions in your tank. A well-maintained tank will lead to healthier and more resilient fish.

Behavior & Temperament

Endler’s livebearer is a shy fish that likes to stay hidden. They are not an aggressive fish and will not bother other tank mates. However, if they feel threatened they may hide for long periods of time.

Endler’s livebearer is a peaceful fish that is good for beginner aquarists. They are easy to care for and are not demanding.

Tank Mates

There are a few things to consider when thinking about Endler’s livebearer tank mates.

First, these fish come from brackish waters in Venezuela. As a result, they’re more tolerant of salt than most freshwater fish.

This is important to consider because many of the fish on this list come from different parts of the world.

Endler’s livebearers are also relatively small. They only grow to be about an inch or so in length. This means that they can easily be outcompeted for food or even eaten by larger tank mates.

With all of that in mind, here are some compatible tank mates for Endler’s livebearers:

  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Bristlenose Plecos


The Endler’s livebearer is a beautiful and unique fish that is popular among aquarium enthusiasts. They are also one of the easiest fish to breed in captivity.

To start, you will need a breeding tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. The tank should be well-filtered and have plenty of hiding places. Live plants are also a good idea.

When ready, add two males for every female. The males will chase the females around, but they will not hurt them.

The female Endler’s livebearer will eventually drop her fry in the plants or in a hiding place. The fry will be born fully-developed and able to fend for themselves.

You can feed the fry live food or finely-crushed flakes. Make sure to remove the adults from the tank once the fry have been born.


Endler’s livebearer care is pretty easy, making them a great choice for beginner fishkeepers. They’re also a small fish, so they don’t need a lot of space.

This fish is a great addition to any community tank. They’re peaceful, colorful, and relatively easy to care for.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly fish, the Endler’s livebearer is a great choice!