Endler Guppy vs Fancy Guppy – What is the Difference?

Guppies attract a lot of attention from both beginner and well-versed aquarium hobbyists. That’s because there are so many subspecies and varieties of guppies to choose from. Each one of them has its own distinct and endearing characteristics, which makes it difficult to decide which one to choose for your aquarium.

In this article, I’ll cover two very popular guppy species— Endlers and Fancy guppies. I’ll talk about the differences and similarities between the two, as well as the many sub-types of fish you can choose from in both of these species. Hopefully, this will help you in deciding which one best suits your preferences.

Endler guppies and Fancy guppies are often subject to comparison due to their similarities, however, these species are not the same. They have important differences in both appearance and origin. Stick around to find out more about Endler vs. Fancy guppies, and why some of the mare better.

Origins Of Endler and Fancy Guppies

Endlers were first discovered in 1937, and then once again in 1975 in Laguna de Patos, Venezuela. Currently, the wild population is threatened due to high pollution in the area. This species is quite rare and not usually found in most regular pet shops.

Fancy guppies, on the other hand, are a result of extensive selective breeding. That means that for the most part, this is an artificially created sub-group of guppies. They’re bred to have bright colors, interesting patterns, and larger tails and bodies. So you shouldn’t be surprised that Fancy guppies are fancier.

Both of these guppies are more costly than good ol’ regular guppies, albeit for different reasons. Endler guppies are a threatened species, which means that they’re harder to find, while Fancy guppies are created through a long and painstaking process of selective breeding across generations, which elevates them to the status of a “luxury item” if you will.

Fancy vs Endler Guppy – How They Differ?

Both Endler and Fancy guppies have their own charm, but out of the two, the Fancy guppy is the most eye-catching by far. When it comes to outward appearance, the first way to tell Endler and Fancy guppies apart is by looking at their tails.

Endler guppies have smaller, narrower tails, usually flag-shaped. At first glance, it looks like they have a double-sword tail, but that’s because the center of the tail is translucent. The top and bottom edges are brightly colored, usually in some shade of orange or yellow.

Fancy guppies have much wider tails, most often fan-shaped. A Fancy guppy’s tail is also richer in color, and it can have a variety of beautiful patterns. The coloring on their bodies also differs, with Fancy guppies being overall brighter.

Of the two species, Fancy guppies are larger on average, with males reaching a maximum of 1.4 inches, and females reaching 2.4 inches in length. Endler guppies, on the other hand, average a maximum of 1 inch in males and 1.8 inches in females.

Endler vs Fancy Guppy – How They’re Similar?

Fancy guppies might be more vibrant and…well, fancy. But both Endler and Fancy guppies make equally good pets and tankmates. That’s because they have a lot of personality traits in common. Both of these species are peaceful and friendly.

They get along well with other fish both within and outside their species. Male Endler and male Fancy guppies rarely become territorial or aggressive, and they don’t attack each other. Another thing they have in common is their water and maintenance requirements.

Both Endler and fancy guppies can thrive in temperatures ranging between 72-78°F, and they have similar pH and water hardness requirements. They can also eat similar diets consisting of a mix of fresh, frozen, live, and dried food.

It’s safe to say that Endler and Fancy guppies would make excellent tankmates given their similar temperament and needs. However, it’s best if you set up your tank in such a way as to prevent these species from breeding with one another. While crossbreeding these two fish is doable, it might lead to unwanted side-effects such as shorter lifespan or health issues due to genetic mutations.

Can Endler and Fancy Guppies Get Along?

You bet they can! While these two are different species, they’re both still guppies after all. Naturally, they’re going to be peaceful and open to interaction with other friendly fish. Guppies don’t like being alone, so the more company, the better!

There are only two instances when guppies might become territorial. But even then, they’re unlikely to get aggressive. When the aquarium is overcrowded, or when males have to compete for mating privileges, you might notice your guppies chasing one another.

They’re trying to chase away the competition, but these are inoffensive taunts for the most part. You can easily avoid this by providing enough space for your guppies and keeping males and females separated. This will also help you to avoid crossbreeding between the species.

Endler and Fancy guppies don’t just get well with one another though. They also play nice with other fish species with similar peaceful temperaments and water quality requirements. If you want an even more diverse and colorful community tank, you can also add platies, mollies, tetras, and other small, friendly fish.

Is Crossbreeding Possible in Endler and Fancy Guppies?

You might be wondering if crossbreeding between these guppy species is possible, and you’ll be happy to learn that the answer is “yes”. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some downsides to doing this. I would still advise against it.

Crossbreeding Endlers and Fancy guppies isn’t wrong or dangerous in itself. But you’d need to have some experience with selective breeding if you want your mixed breed to be healthy and long-lived. Crossbreeding can result in both bigger, healthier fish, as well as in unfortunate health problems such as infertility in the offspring.

You must be very careful when selecting for the traits you want the fish to pass on. This is the difficult part. Another point that many people bring up when talking against crossbreeding is breed purity. Pure Endlers are pretty rare, and many of the ones sold on the market are actually crossbreeds between Endlers and regular guppies.

It’s alright if you want to crossbreed your guppies, but mixed Endler guppies shouldn’t be released in the wild. If you plan to sell them, it’s best to advertise them as a mixed breed.

Popular Fancy Guppies

One of the reasons why guppies are so popular is their endless variations of colors, shades, patterns, and tail shapes you can choose from. Fancy guppies are no different, as this species can come in so many different color and pattern combinations.

You can get Fancy guppies in any combo of colors. The most common colors include golden, blue, orange, purple, red, and black, although many other colors and shades exist. You can also have albino guppies, which are a light grey-ish pink.

Fancy guppies usually come in two-color combinations, split into upper and lower, front and back, or mixed distribution. The colors on the body can also appear organized in various patterns including solid, tuxedo, cobra, or snakeskin.

The tailfins can also come in a wide variety of color combinations and patterns, the most common being leopard, lace, grass, and mosaic. The tails can come in different shapes, but the most common ones include veil-tail, fantail, lyretail, triangle tail, and round-tail.

Popular Endler Guppies

Just like Fancy guppies, Endler guppies also come in a broad range of colors or color combinations. Thanks to long-term selective breeding, there are a lot of varieties of Endler guppies you can choose from, although you wouldn’t encounter most of them in the wild.

The most common type of Endler guppy you’ll see has a golden body and orange spots of color on its lateral line. The portion near its tail is vivid emerald green, while the tail itself has bright orange edges and a translucent center. But there are many more beautiful varieties of Endler guppies.

Some of the most vibrant and interesting-looking subtypes include red, lime green, golden, emerald, multicolor, shocking pink, Japan yellow, Japanese blue, French blue star, black bar, white peacock, yellow tiger, red lace micariff, cobra, and sunburst cobra Endler guppies. Each of these has a unique combination and distribution of shades and patterns.


Endlers and fancy guppies are both subspecies of guppy fish. They have key differences, but they’re also very much alike in terms of personality and maintenance needs. This is great because it means that you don’t have to choose between the two! If you can’t decide, you can easily create a mixed Endler and guppy aquarium.

These two species get along well with one another, as well as with other friendly species. In terms of appearance, fancy guppies have a wider variety of colors and patterns, and they’re usually larger. However, that’s not to say that Endlers are boring-looking. There are plenty of vibrant and mesmerizing-looking Endlers you can choose from.

If you have any more questions, leave them below and I’ll be sure to reply as soon as possible.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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