Endler Guppy vs Fancy Guppy – What are the Differences & Similarities?

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Endler Guppies and Fancy Guppies are both vibrant freshwater fish, cherished in aquariums for their lively colors. Originating from different regions, Endlers are generally smaller with wild-type patterns, while Fancy Guppies are selectively bred for varied and vibrant colorations. Despite their visual differences, both species share similar care needs and habitats. Their intriguing similarities and distinctions make them a subject of interest for enthusiasts and beginners alike.

Where do Guppies and Endlers Originate From?

Guppies and Endlers are both native to freshwater habitats in northern South America. Guppies, scientifically known as Poecilia reticulata, primarily hail from Venezuela, Barbados, Trinidad, and Tobago. Over time, they’ve spread to various parts of the world due to both intentional introductions and accidental releases, often thriving in different climates.

Endler’s livebearers, or Poecilia wingei, originate specifically from the Paria Peninsula in Venezuela. These small fish thrive in warm, clear waters with lush vegetation. Both species, with their vibrant appearances and adaptability, have become popular and valued additions to aquariums globally, while also serving as subjects of various ecological studies.

What are the Physical Differences of Endlers and Guppies?

Endlers are typically smaller and more streamlined than Guppies. While Endlers boast wild-type color patterns, Guppies display a broader range of selectively bred hues. Guppies often have larger, more flamboyant fins, whereas Endlers maintain more modest fin shapes, aligning closely with their natural appearance.

Size and Shape

Guppies and Endlers exhibit distinct size and shape differences. Guppies generally have a larger and more robust body structure, with some males reaching up to 1.5 inches. In contrast, Endlers are more streamlined and petite, often measuring just under an inch. Despite these differences, both species share a similar overall body shape, characterized by a slender profile and a gracefully curved dorsal line.

Coloration and Patterns

Endlers and Guppies, though related, display contrasting coloration and patterns. Endlers possess wild-type patterns with more subdued, natural hues often in green and orange shades.

Guppies, through selective breeding, showcase a myriad of vibrant colors and intricate designs. However, both species are renowned for their iridescent scales and the ability to produce unique combinations of patterns and hues, making each individual fish distinct and captivating.

Fin Shapes and Sizes

When observing fin morphology, distinct variations arise between Endlers and Guppies. Guppies typically sport larger, more flamboyant fins, especially in selectively bred males with expansive caudal fins.

Endlers, on the other hand, possess more restrained and streamlined fins, adhering to their natural, wild-type appearance. Nevertheless, both species share the characteristic fan-shaped tail fin, though the Guppy’s is often more pronounced and ornate due to selective breeding practices.

What are the Behavioral Differences between Guppies and Endlers?

Guppies and Endlers exhibit nuanced behavioral differences. While both are peaceful, Endlers are often more active and agile swimmers. Guppies might display varied temperaments based on breeding lineage. In social interactions, both species are gregarious, yet Endlers frequently exhibit tighter schooling behavior than their Guppy counterparts.


Both Guppies and Endlers are generally peaceful by nature, coexisting amicably in community tanks. However, subtle variances in temperament emerge based on their environments and genetics. Endlers, being closer to their wild counterparts, can sometimes display a slightly more assertive demeanor, especially during mating. Guppies, due to selective breeding, can have temperaments that range from very docile to moderately assertive. Despite these nuances, both fish are considered non-aggressive and sociable.

Activity Level

Endlers and Guppies, while both active swimmers exhibit different energy levels in an aquarium setting. Endlers, retaining more of their wild instincts, are often seen darting and zipping around with vigor and agility.

Guppies, although active, tend to be a tad more laid-back in their movements, often leisurely exploring their surroundings. Nonetheless, both species enjoy a dynamic environment, with their activity levels influenced by tank conditions and fellow inhabitants.

Social Interaction

In social interactions, both Guppies and Endlers display gregarious tendencies. Endlers, however, often engage in tighter schooling behaviors, preferring close-knit groups for security and mating displays.

Guppies, while also sociable, maybe more dispersed in their groupings, occasionally establishing subtle hierarchies. Both species interact well with other non-aggressive tank mates, but it’s their intra-species interactions that truly highlight their social nuances and communal inclinations.

What are the Tank Requirements of Guppy and Endler Fish?

Guppies and Endlers require specific tank conditions for optimal health. Both favor warm, slightly hard water with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. A well-decorated tank with plants provides security and stimulation. Their diet, rich in protein, should include flake foods, live foods, and occasional vegetable matter.

Water Parameters

Both Guppies and Endlers thrive in warm freshwater environments, with temperatures ranging between 72-78°F. They prefer slightly hard water, with a hardness of 8-12 dGH. While Endlers can tolerate a wider pH range, from 5.5 to 8.5, Guppies flourish in a pH of 6.8 to 7.8. Overall, while both species share similar water parameter needs, Endlers exhibit a slightly broader adaptability in pH conditions.

Tank Setup and Decor

Guppies and Endlers both relish tanks that mimic their natural habitats. While Guppies enjoy moderately planted tanks with open swimming spaces, Endlers have a penchant for denser vegetation, providing them cover and replicating their wild environments. Both species appreciate gentle water flow. Decor like driftwood and rocks adds to their environment, but Endlers, being more agile, often utilize such spaces more for hiding and play compared to the more leisurely Guppies.

Feeding and Dietary Needs

Both Guppies and Endlers are omnivorous, possessing a diverse dietary palette. While Guppies thrive on a balanced diet of flake foods, live, and frozen offerings, Endlers demand a slightly higher protein intake, often preferring live foods like brine shrimp or daphnia. Vegetable matter, such as blanched spinach, benefits both species. Though their core diets are similar, Endlers often exhibit a more voracious appetite for live prey, reflecting their wilder tendencies.

What are the Differences and Similarities in Their Breeding Habits?

Guppies and Endlers share livebearing reproduction but with nuances. Guppies often have longer mating displays, while Endlers are more direct. Both have a gestation of around 21-30 days. Endlers typically produce fewer, smaller fry compared to Guppies. However, fry care remains consistent: warm water and nutritious foods for optimal growth.

Mating Rituals

Guppies and Endlers, while both livebearers, exhibit distinct mating rituals. Guppies engage in elaborate displays, with males flaunting their vibrant fins to woo females. Endlers, on the other hand, are more straightforward, often resorting to swift pursuits. Both species utilize gonopodium, a modified fin, for internal fertilization. Despite these varied courtship behaviors, the intent remains consistent: to attract the most suitable mate for reproduction.

Gestation Period

Both Guppies and Endlers have similar gestation periods, usually spanning 21 to 30 days. The internal development of embryos allows these livebearers to give birth to free-swimming fry. However, environmental factors, including water temperature and stress levels, can influence the exact duration. While the gestation timelines are comparable, Endlers, in some conditions, might exhibit slightly shorter periods, especially when in optimal breeding conditions.

Number of Fry per Batch

Guppies and Endlers exhibit variations in the number of fry they produce per batch. Guppies, often larger in size, tend to give birth to more fry, ranging from 20 to 60, depending on the female’s age and size. In contrast, Endlers, being smaller, generally produce fewer fry, averaging 10 to 30 per batch. Both species’ reproductive output is influenced by factors like age, health, and tank conditions, but Guppies typically have larger broods.

Fry Size and Care

Guppy and Endler fry, though minute, differ slightly in size. Guppy fry are generally larger at birth compared to the more diminutive Endler fry. Care for both involves providing them with a secure environment free from potential predators, and feeding them nutrient-rich foods like infusoria or finely crushed flakes. Regular water changes and proper shelter, like dense plant cover, are vital for their growth and survival in both species.

Are Endlers and Guppies Compatible Tank Mates?

Endlers, given their close genetic lineage and similar environmental needs, are considered good guppy tank mates. Their peaceful temperaments generally ensure amicable interactions.

However, potential challenges arise from their ability to interbreed, which can result in hybrid offspring. For purebred enthusiasts, this crossbreeding might be undesirable. Nonetheless, with appropriate tank conditions and monitoring, they can be compatible and colorful cohabitants.

What to Know about Corssbreeding Endler and Fancy Guppies?

Crossbreeding Endlers and Fancy Guppies produce hybrid offspring, blending their genetic traits. While hybridization results in unique colorations and patterns, it raises concerns about diluting purebred lineages. This interbreeding presents both benefits, like increased genetic diversity, and drawbacks, such as potential health issues.


Guppies and Endlers, though distinct species, share a close genetic lineage, falling within the Poecilia genus. Their genetic makeup dictates their physical and behavioral traits.

While Guppies have undergone extensive selective breeding, leading to diverse colors and patterns, Endlers have retained more of their wild-type genetics. Despite these genetic manipulations in Guppies, the two species remain closely related, enabling potential interbreeding and the production of hybrid offspring.


Hybridization between Guppies and Endlers results from their close genetic affinity. When they interbreed, the offspring possess blended traits from both parents. While this crossbreeding can yield unique and captivating patterns and colors, it also blurs the lines between purebred species. For purists, this mingling is undesirable, as it dilutes specific breed characteristics. Nonetheless, hybrid vigor might offer some benefits, including increased resilience in certain environmental conditions.

Pros and Cons

The crossbreeding of Guppies and Endlers carries both advantages and disadvantages. On the pro side, hybrids often exhibit increased vigor and resilience, benefiting from a broader genetic pool. Additionally, unique and striking appearances emerge from this genetic melding.

On the con side, hybridization dilutes purebred lineages, potentially leading to loss of specific traits and characteristics. Purists may also argue that it detracts from the preservation of natural and selectively bred forms of both species.

What are The Most Popular Breeds of Guppies and Endlers?

Guppies and Endlers boast a myriad of breeds showcasing diverse aesthetics. Popular Endler varieties include the Black Bar and Lime Green, celebrated for their vibrant patterns. Fancy Guppies, extensively bred for ornamental purposes, have popular breeds like the Moscow Blue and Red Lace, epitomizing their spectacular color diversity.

Popular Endler Varieties

Endler’s guppies, known for their vivacious colors and patterns, have several popular varieties that delight aquarists. The “Black Bar Endler” stands out with its signature black marking. The “Lime Green Endler” captivates with its iridescent green hue. The “Orchid Endler” dazzles with vibrant splashes of color. The “Flamingo Pink Endler” charms with delicate rosy shades, while the “Tiger Endler” intrigues with its bold, striped appearance. Each variety showcases the species’ incredible genetic diversity.

Popular Fancy Guppy Varieties

Fancy Guppies, bred for their ornamental splendor, offer a plethora of vibrant varieties. The “Moscow Blue Guppy” impresses with deep blue hues. The “Red Lace Guppy” entices with its intricate lace-like patterns. “Snakeskin Guppies” boast distinct, reptilian patterns. The “Dumbo Ear Guppy” stands out with its large, petal-like pectoral fins. Lastly, the “Endler-Like Guppy” combines classic Endler patterns with the Fancy Guppy’s size and flair, representing the fusion of both worlds.

What to Know about the Care of Guppies and Endlers?

Caring for Guppies and Endlers involves understanding potential health issues, including common diseases like fin rot or ich. Both species typically live for 2-3 years, with lifespan influenced by genetics, diet, and tank conditions. While they’re generally peaceful, ensuring compatibility with non-aggressive tank mates is vital for their well-being.

Common Diseases and Health Problems

Endlers, due to their close lineage, are susceptible to similar health issues as guppies. Common ailments include fin rot, ich (white spot disease), and fungal infections. Overcrowding and poor water quality exacerbate these problems. While Guppies, with their selectively bred varieties, may show heightened vulnerability to certain diseases, Endlers, being closer to their wild counterparts, occasionally exhibit greater resilience.

Lifespan and Factors Affecting Longevity

Guppies and Endlers typically have lifespans ranging from 2-3 years. Factors like genetics, diet, water quality, and stress levels profoundly influence their longevity. While both species share similar lifespan brackets, selectively bred Fancy Guppies might sometimes exhibit shortened lifespans due to inbreeding. Endlers, with a genetic makeup closer to wild types, can occasionally showcase slightly enhanced resilience.

Compatibility with Other Tank Mates

Both Guppies and Endlers are peaceful, community-friendly fish, making them compatible with many non-aggressive tank mates. Their small size, however, makes them potential prey for larger, predatory fish. While both species exhibit similar compatibility profiles, Endlers, being marginally smaller, can be at greater risk with even moderately aggressive tank mates.

Updated: October 6, 2023
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