Guppy

Endler's Guppy

Endler's Guppies are fascinating freshwater fish, closely related to the common Guppy. With their striking colors and patterns, they have become a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. These friendly fish require minimal maintenance, making them an excellent choice for community aquariums.

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Care DIfficulty

Beginner-Friendly

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Temperament

Peaceful

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Origin

Northeastern South America

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Size

1 inch (2.5 cm)

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Lifespan

3 to 5 years

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Table of contents

Origin, Appearance, Size, and Lifespan

The Endler's Guppy, or Poecilia wingei, hails from the Paria Peninsula in Venezuela. You'll usually find them in warm, slow-moving waters with an abundance of plant life.

In the wild, Endler's Guppies are often found in calm, shallow waters with plenty of plant life. These plants not only serve as hiding spots but also as a food source. These social fish thrive in groups, and although they are not schooling fish, they do enjoy each other's company.

Their natural environment features warm, slightly hard, and alkaline water. The temperature typically varies between 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 26 degrees Celsius), with a pH level of 6.8 to 8.5, and water hardness between 8 to 12 dGH. To create a similar environment in your aquarium, make sure to maintain a consistent water temperature, use a top-quality filtration system, and incorporate live plants and decorations.

By closely mirroring the Endler's Guppy's natural habitat and ensuring the right water conditions, you'll be setting your fish up for a healthy and happy life in your aquarium.

Endler's Guppies are celebrated for their striking colors and intricate patterns that adorn their bodies. These brilliant colors make them an irresistible and eye-catching feature in aquariums. Even though they are small, reaching up to approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) in size, their distinctive hues and animated nature make them an ideal choice for those seeking a dynamic, vibrant aquatic showcase. These charming fish bring joy to observers as they swiftly glide through the tank, making them a cherished favorite among hobbyists of all experience levels.

With proper care, Endler's Guppies can enjoy a lifespan of up to 3 to 5 years. As social beings, they flourish in groups and are best kept with multiple individuals. To promote their well-being and ensure a long life in captivity, it's essential to provide a lushly planted aquarium with abundant hiding spots, as well as a diverse diet consisting of premium flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods.

Fun Facts

Now that we learned more about the appearance and lifespan of Endler's Guppies, in this section, we'll highlight some fascinating facts about these beautiful fish that make them stand out in the aquarium hobby. From their striking coloration to their reproductive behavior, Endler's Guppies are full of surprises and are sure to captivate any aquarist.

  • Sexual dimorphism: In Endler's Guppies, males are smaller and more colorful than females, displaying vivid patterns and hues to attract mates. Females, on the other hand, are larger and less colorful, which helps them blend in with their surroundings and avoid attracting unwanted attention from predators.
  • Livebearers: Endler's Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. This reproductive strategy enables them to quickly populate new environments, making them highly adaptable to various habitats.
  • Naming after a discoverer: Endler's Guppies were named after Dr. John Endler, the scientist who first described them in 1975. He discovered the species in Venezuela and was captivated by their unique beauty and patterns, leading to the fish's scientific and common names.
  • Rapid reproduction: Endler's Guppies are known for their ability to reproduce rapidly, with females giving birth to multiple broods of fry in a short period. This rapid reproduction makes them ideal for hobbyists interested in breeding and observing the fascinating process of livebearing fish.
  • Vibrant patterns: The remarkable patterns and colors of Endler's Guppies are thought to be the result of sexual selection, with males evolving to display increasingly intricate designs to attract females. This has led to a stunning array of color variations and patterns in the species, making them an attractive addition to any aquarium.

Now that you've discovered some interesting tidbits about Endler's Guppies, you'll be better equipped to appreciate their beauty and intricacies in your aquarium. In the following section, we'll provide recommendations on tank setups, ensuring your Endler's Guppies have an ideal environment to thrive and showcase their dazzling features.

Recommended Tank Setups

Each setup includes the core components—tank, filter, heater, lighting, substrate, and more—ensuring that you can create an appropriate environment for Endler's Guppies and other compatible freshwater fish species in your aquarium. As you move from budget-friendly to high-end setups, you will also have more options for customization, aesthetics, and advanced features. Endler's Guppies are social fish and should be kept in groups with a higher number of males than females to reduce stress and ensure their well-being. Typically, Endler's Guppies are priced between $3 and $6 per fish, although prices can vary based on factors such as size, quality, and availability.

Budget-friendly setup (around $200):

  • Tank: 10-gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($30 - $60)
  • Filter: Hang-on-back (HOB) or sponge filter rated for 10 gallons ($15 - $30)
  • Heater: 25-50 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($10 - $25)
  • Lighting: Basic LED aquarium light ($15 - $40)
  • Substrate: Inexpensive aquarium sand or small gravel ($5 - $15)
  • Decor: A few pieces of driftwood and rocks, along with low-cost live plants like Java Moss and Anubias ($15 - $30)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 10 Endler's Guppies ($20 - $40)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

Mid-range setup (around $300 - $450):

  • Tank: 15-20 gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($45 - $90)
  • Filter: Canister filter or high-quality HOB filter rated for the tank size ($40 - $100)
  • Heater: 50-100 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($20 - $40)
  • Lighting: LED aquarium light with adjustable settings for plant growth and color enhancement ($30 - $100)
  • Substrate: Nutrient-rich aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks ($10 - $30)
  • Decor: A mix of driftwood, rocks, and live plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species ($25 - $60)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 15 Endler's Guppies ($20 - $60)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

High-end setup (above $600):

  • Tank: 20-30 gallon rimless aquarium with a glass canopy ($80 - $200)
  • Filter: High-quality canister filter rated for the tank size ($80 - $200)
  • Heater: 75-150 watt adjustable aquarium heater with an external temperature controller ($30 - $70)
  • Lighting: Advanced LED lighting system system with customizable settings for plant growth, color enhancement, and day/night cycles ($100 - $250)
  • Substrate: Premium aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks, with added root tabs for extra plant nutrition ($20 - $50)
  • Decor: A combination of driftwood, rocks, and live plants to create a natural aquascape, featuring plant species such as Java Fern, Anubias, Cryptocoryne species, and floating plants like Water Lettuce or Duckweed ($40 - $100)
  • Fish: Minimum 6, maximum 20 Endler's Guppies ($20 - $80)
  • Thermometer: $3 - $10
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $2 - $10
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $15 - $30
  • Test Kit: $15 - $50
  • Fish Food: $5 - $20
  • Water Conditioner: $5 - $15

Please note that these numbers are just recommendations, and you should consider other factors such as tank mates and individual fish personalities when deciding how many Endler's Guppies to keep in your aquarium. Prices may vary depending on location, brand, and availability.

Set Up Your Tank

In the previous section, we discussed the recommended tank setups for your Endler's Guppies and other fish. Now that you have a better understanding of what's required, let's dive into the step-by-step process of setting up your aquarium. These steps will guide you through selecting the ideal location for your tank, cleaning and preparing the tank, installing essential equipment, and cycling the water to create a healthy environment for your fish. We'll also cover the proper acclimation process to ensure a smooth transition for your Endler's Guppies and other fish into their new home. By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to creating a thriving aquatic ecosystem for your fish to flourish in.

  • Step #1: Choose the perfect spot for your aquarium, making sure it's away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Ensure the surface is level and sturdy enough to support your filled tank. If your aquarium requires a stand, assemble it according to the manufacturer's instructions and place the empty tank on it.
  • Step #2: Next, clean the tank by rinsing it with clean water (avoid using soap or chemicals) to remove dust or debris. Wipe the inside with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse the substrate (sand or gravel) thoroughly in a bucket until the water runs clear, then spread it evenly across the bottom of the tank, creating a slight slope towards the back for visual depth.
  • Step #3: Before filling the tank with water, plan the layout of your aquarium, including the position of equipment like heaters and filters. This will make it easier to set up and maintain the tank in the long run. Install the heater and filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using a sponge or under-gravel filter, place it beneath the substrate before adding water.
  • Step #4: Decorate the tank with driftwood, rocks, and plants to create hiding spots and a visually appealing environment, ensuring there are open swimming areas for your fish. When decorating the tank, be careful to arrange driftwood, rocks, and plants in a way that won't damage or obstruct the equipment. You can also anchor plants to driftwood or rocks to help them stay in place.
  • Step #5: Fill the tank with water treated with a water conditioner if your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines. Place a clean plate or plastic bag on the substrate to prevent disturbance while filling. Fill the tank until it's about 2/3 full. Attach the aquarium light to the hood or canopy, following the manufacturer's instructions. Consider using a timer for your aquarium light to maintain a consistent day and night cycle, which is essential for fish and plants. Connect the heater, filter, and any additional equipment (air pump, CO2 system) to power sources, and install the thermometer in an easily visible location.
  • Step #6: Top off the water, leaving space between the water surface and the top of the tank for oxygen exchange. Turn on the filter, heater, and other equipment. Monitor the water temperature and adjust the heater as needed. Allow the tank to cycle for 4-6 weeks to establish beneficial bacteria and stabilize water parameters. During the cycling process, you can add a bacterial starter culture to speed up the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the tank. Use an aquarium test kit to monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Step #7: After the tank has cycled and water parameters are stable, slowly acclimate your Endler's Guppies and other fish to the tank's conditions before introducing them. Begin by floating the unopened fish bag in the tank for 15-20 minutes to equalize the temperature. Afterward, open the bag and add a small amount of tank water to it. Continue adding small amounts of tank water to the bag every 5-10 minutes for at least 30-60 minutes, allowing the fish to adjust to the new water chemistry gradually. Use a net to gently transfer the fish from the bag to the tank, avoiding any unnecessary stress or exposure to the water from the bag.
  • Step #8: Once all the fish are introduced, establish a consistent daily feeding schedule, providing high-quality food in appropriate amounts for your fish species. Perform regular water changes (20-30% every 1-2 weeks) and monitor water parameters using a test kit to maintain a healthy environment for your fish. Observe your fish closely for any signs of stress or illness, especially during the first few weeks after introduction. Be prepared to take action if necessary, such as adjusting water parameters or seeking advice from an experienced aquarist.

By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating the additional setup tips, you can create a thriving aquatic environment that will help your Endler's Guppies and other fish flourish in their new home.

Recommended Water Parameters

To keep your Endler's Guppies healthy and happy, it's important to maintain specific water parameters in your aquarium. Here's a breakdown of what to aim for:

  • Temperature: Keep the water between 72°F and 79°F (22°C and 26°C) for optimal comfort.
  • pH: Aim for a pH of 6.7 to 8.5, as they can tolerate a broad range of pH levels.
  • Hardness: Moderately hard to hard water (8-25 dGH) is ideal for Endler's Guppies.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: Keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, and maintain nitrate levels below 20 ppm.
  • Lighting: Provide moderate lighting, as they are not particularly sensitive to bright light.
  • Water movement: Gentle water flow is best for these small, active fish.

Make sure to test your aquarium water regularly and perform necessary water changes to keep the environment stable.

Routine Water Maintenance

Water changes are crucial for a healthy Endler's Guppy tank. They help remove excess nutrients, waste, and toxins. Here's a suggested routine:

  • Weekly water changes: Replace 20-25% of the tank water every week.
  • Test water parameters: Check pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness regularly.
  • Use a gravel vacuum: Clean the substrate during water changes.
  • Dechlorinate the water: Treat tap water with a water conditioner before adding it to the aquarium.
  • Match temperature and pH: Ensure new water is similar to the tank water.
  • Acclimate the fish: Give your fish time to adjust to new conditions after water changes.

In addition to routine water maintenance, consider the following to ensure the health of your fish and the overall appearance of your aquarium:

  • Monitor lighting duration: Keep track of how long your aquarium lights are on each day, aiming for a consistent 8-10 hour photoperiod. Too much light can lead to excessive algae growth.
  • Plant maintenance: Regularly trim live plants to maintain their health and appearance. Remove any dead leaves or plant matter to prevent water quality issues.
  • Filter maintenance: Clean or replace the filter media as recommended by the manufacturer, usually every 4-6 weeks. Avoid replacing all filter media at once, as this can disrupt the beneficial bacteria and lead to water quality issues.‍

Diet and Feeding Schedule

Endler's Guppies are omnivores and require a diverse diet. Here are some feeding guidelines:

  • Flakes and pellets: Use high-quality flake or pellet food designed for small tropical fish.
  • Frozen and live foods: Offer brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, or mosquito larvae as occasional treats.
  • Vegetable matter: Provide blanched spinach, zucchini, or cucumber for added nutrients.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed modest portions two to three times a day, and avoid overfeeding.

Stress and Diseases

Endler's Guppies may experience stress from various sources, such as poor water quality, aggression, or unsuitable tank conditions. Identifying and addressing these stressors is vital for your fish's health and well-being:

  • Watch for stress signs: Keep an eye on your Endler's Guppies for unusual behavior like hiding, lethargy, color loss, or rapid breathing, which may indicate stress.
  • Check water quality: Test your aquarium water to ensure it meets the ideal parameters and conduct regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Monitor tank mates: Make sure your Endler's Guppies aren't being harassed or attacked by other fish and remove any aggressive tank mates if needed.
  • Create a suitable habitat: Provide plenty of hiding spots, appropriate lighting, and a properly sized tank for your fish.

While Endler's Guppies are generally hardy, they can be susceptible to some common fish diseases, such as:

  • Ich (white spot disease): A prevalent parasitic infection causing white spots on the body and fins, lethargy, and appetite loss. Treat Ich with aquarium salt or anti-parasitic medication and raise the water temperature to around 82°F (28°C).
  • Fin rot: A bacterial infection that leads to frayed or discolored fins and tail. Treat fin rot with a partial water change, aquarium salt, and antibacterial medication containing erythromycin or tetracycline.
  • Velvet disease: A parasitic infection causing a yellow or brownish velvet-like coating on the fish's body. Treat velvet disease with anti-parasitic medication containing copper sulfate or formalin.
  • Swim bladder disease: A condition where fish have difficulty swimming upright. Treat swim bladder disease by fasting the fish and offering them blanched peas, and consider using an antibacterial medication if needed.

Prevent diseases in Endler's Guppies by maintaining excellent water quality, avoiding overfeeding, and providing a balanced diet. Quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank and promptly address any signs of illness.

Breeding

Breeding Endler's Guppies is relatively easy compared to many other fish species. Follow these steps to breed Endler's Guppies:

  • Step #1: Create a suitable breeding environment with a separate 10-gallon or larger breeding tank, a pH level of around 7.0 to 8.5, and a temperature of about 78°F (25°C). Include hiding spots like plants for the female fish and their fry.
  • Step #2: Select healthy, mature male and female Endler's Guppies for breeding. You can determine the gender by observing their physical characteristics and coloration.
  • Step #3: Prepare the breeding pair with a high-protein diet of live or frozen foods for several weeks to help them build strength and energy.
  • Step #4: Introduce the pair to the breeding tank. Endler's Guppies breed readily, and females can give birth to live fry every 21-30 days.
  • Step #5: Care for the fry by separating them from the adults using a breeding box or mesh divider, as adult fish may prey on the newborns. Feed the fry a diet of infusoria or liquid fry food initially, then gradually introduce crushed flake food.
  • Step #6: Monitor the growth and development of the fry, and transfer them to the main tank when they are large enough to avoid predation by other fish.

Breeding Endler's Guppies can be a rewarding experience for hobbyists. With proper care and attention, you can raise healthy, vibrant fish.


Recommended Tank Mates

Here are the top 10 recommended tank mates for Endler's Guppies:

  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • Celestial Pearl Danios
  • Hatchetfish
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Amano Shrimp
  • Mystery Snails
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Zebra Danios

Remember to avoid large, aggressive fish like larger cichlids, angelfish, and predatory species, as they may harm or eat the Endler's Guppies. Always observe the behavior of new fish and ensure they don't cause stress or aggression towards the Endler's Guppies.

Conclusion

To summarize, Endler's Guppies are a captivating species of livebearing fish known for their striking colors and ease of care. These fish require specific water parameters, a well-balanced diet, and a suitable environment to thrive in captivity. However, with the right conditions, they can live up to 3-5 years and be an excellent addition to any aquarium. When selecting tank mates, it's crucial to choose peaceful and non-aggressive species to ensure a harmonious community. Breeding Endler's Guppies can be a simple yet rewarding experience for hobbyists, and patience and ideal conditions are key to success. Overall, Endler's Guppies are a stunning and lively species that can enhance any aquatic display with their vibrant hues and lively behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Endler's Guppies?

When setting up a home for Endler's Guppies, a 10-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a small group. Opting for a larger tank is even better, as it helps keep water conditions stable while offering plenty of room for your fish to swim.

How many Endler's Guppies should be kept together?

Keep in mind that Endler's Guppies are social fish, which means they thrive in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. By maintaining a larger group, you'll not only help your fish feel safer but also encourage them to display their fascinating natural behaviors.

What water parameters do Endler's Guppies require?

Endler's Guppies thrive in water temperatures between 72°F and 78°F (22°C and 26°C), a pH between 7.0 and 8.5, and moderately hard water with a hardness between 10 and 30 dGH.

What do Endler's Guppies eat?

Endler's Guppies are omnivorous and require a varied diet. Feed them a mix of high-quality flake or pellet food, along with live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

Are Endler's Guppies compatible with other fish?

Yes, Endler's Guppies are generally peaceful and can coexist with other similarly sized, non-aggressive fish species. Ideal tank mates include dwarf cichlids, celestial pearl danios, hatchetfish, and corydoras catfish.

How can I differentiate between male and female Endler's Guppies?

Male Endler's Guppies have more vibrant colors and patterns, while females are generally larger and less colorful with a more rounded body shape.

How long do Endler's Guppies live?

With proper care and optimal tank conditions, Endler's Guppies can live for 3 to 5 years.

How do I breed Endler's Guppies?

Breeding Endler's Guppies is relatively easy. Use a separate breeding tank with suitable water conditions and hiding spots for the fry. As livebearers, Endler's Guppies give birth to live young, so there's no need to separate males and females before introducing them for spawning.

Do Endler's Guppies require a planted tank?

While not strictly necessary, a planted tank is highly recommended for Endler's Guppies. Live plants provide hiding spots, improve water quality, and create a more natural environment that closely resembles their native habitat.

Can Endler's Guppies change color?

Indeed, Endler's Guppies can undergo color changes as a result of several factors, such as stress, illness, or alterations in water conditions. If you observe your Endler's Guppies experiencing a loss of color, it's important to examine the water parameters and keep a close watch on their health.