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How Many Endlers Can You Keep in a 5-Gallon Tank?

How Many Endlers Can You Keep in a 5-Gallon Tank

A lot of fish keepers today are going small―a small tank means less maintenance, after all.

When you’re compiling your list of all the fish you want in your 5, 3, or even 2.5-gallon tank, you should always consider the bioload of everything you’re adding and consider the overall impact on your fish.

An overloaded tank can lead to various conditions that cause disease, shortening your fish’s lifespan and making their life unpleasant in the process.

If you’re looking into the diminutive, vibrant Endler as a candidate for your next fish tank, then you’ll want to know exactly how many Endlers you can keep in a 5-gallon tank.

The general rule for Endlers is that you can have 1.5 fish per 1 gallon. As such, in a 5-gallon tank, you can have 3-7 Endlers in a 5-gallon tank.

There are a lot of other factors such as diet, water parameters, and plantation that impact an Endler’s quality of life, and it’s always important that you know the best way to take care of them for the most enjoyment out of your fish.

The rest of this article will discuss how much space Endlers need, as well as some species-specific care guide tips and tricks for your aquarium.

Can I Keep 3 Endlers?

Endlers are small, easy to keep fish that have vibrant colors and a peaceful temperament; however, when it comes to mating behavior, Endlers can get pretty pushy. The males will flash their colors and harass the females to get their attention.

This, combined with the Endler’s tendency to shoal, makes it ideal to have a larger number both to spread the aggression such that one fish isn’t being targeted and to make them feel safer as a group.

Prey fish tend to shoal together, and Endlers that aren’t part of a group can be stressed. Because the males are more colorful, people often want a male-dominated tank to show off those Endler colors.

In a tank, it’s acceptable to have a male-dominated tank as long as you have 3-7 in a 5-gallon tank. Anymore and you’ll overload the tank. Two males, on the other hand, will fight incessantly and are much more likely to harm each other.

If you want to breed your Endlers, you’ll need to introduce females into the group. Anytime you have a mixed group with Endlers, you should always ensure that you have many more females than males.

Since the males tend to harass the females often, having more females spreads the aggression around so that one single female isn’t constantly being chased. As such, having 3 Endlers only works if they are all male and in a tank of 5 gallons or more.

Can I Keep Endlers in a 3-Gallon Tank?

Well, you can keep Endlers in a small tank, but that’s not to say that you should. Fish, like us, need room to explore their environment to have a good quality of life.

While having 3-4 Endlers in a 3-gallon tank isn’t going to overload the nitrogen cycle, you have to consider the quality of life that the fish are getting with being cooped up in such a small tank. The ideal setup for Endlers is a large shoal in a tank no smaller than 10 gallons.

They are quite active swimmers and will fully explore around the middle-top of your tank, making a 3-gallon tank unideal for giving your fish a good quality of life. In addition, you have to consider your females.

If your tank is too small (or not well-planted), then they will have no respite from the male chasing behavior and will be constantly fatigued. With nowhere to go to take a break, females run the risk of injury from male aggression.

How Much Space Do Endlers Need?

Endlers need a minimum tank size of 5 gallons to allow room for swimming and to accommodate the bioload of each fish.

On paper, you can keep 3-7 Endlers in a 5-gallon tank according to the 1.5 Endlers per tank rule, but ideally, they should all be male so that there are no females for them to harass.

How Many Endlers Should Be Together?

Endlers tend to feel safer shoaling in larger groups, and you can adhere to the following table to determine how many Endlers you can have in a tank.

Size of TankMaximum Number of Endlers
5 Gallons7
10 Gallons15
20 Gallons30
29 Gallons40
55 Gallons80

Of course, these numbers don’t take into account the bioload of other fish, and you should also consider how much they contribute instead of exclusively filling up your tank with Endlers.

Always keep in mind that in larger tanks, you should have more females than males to spread out aggressive behavior and maintain a good school size.

It’s worth noting that some aquarists report that a single male Endler is perfectly happy by himself in a larger tank, but, of course, you should take that advice with a grain of salt. It’s a tad difficult to ask a fish about their quality of life, isn’t it?

Final Thoughts

Endlers are beautiful and highly entertaining fish that can really fill up an aquarium space with some movement and color, and moreover, they are extremely easy to care for so long as you have the right setup.

You should always consider that any living thing produces waste, contributing to the amount of waste that your filter has to go through. Overloading your tank―your filter, more specifically―is easier than you might think.

Operate by the 1.5 Endlers per gallon rule and try to keep your minimum tank size at 10 gallons, especially if you have females in your tank.

Endlers, breed often, and males can get quite aggressive while breeding, so it’s important to have an appropriate tank setup so that your fish have the best quality of life.

Once you’ve sorted out all the initial care steps, you can kick back and enjoy Endlers as a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

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