Will Endlers Eat Their Babies? {Top 2 Ways To Prevent It}

Are you wondering if your new fry of baby endlers will get eaten by their parents?

What causes an endler parent to eat its offspring?

In this article, we’ll dive into an endless debate about whether or not endlers eat their babies.

Will Endlers Eat Their Babies?

While many people will oppose the notion because it hasn’t happened to them, Endlers are known to eat their babies. The Endler parents do not care for their young. Filial cannibalism can occur with endlers.

A female Endler may eat some her babies after giving birth, but shouldn’t consume the entire fry. Why does she do this?

Why Do Endlers Eat Their Fry?

Filial cannibalism happens in the animal kingdom when a mother eats her young right after giving birth. It happens to an endler fry from time to time. The following reasons may explain why this happens:

  • Inexperience
  • No parental responsibility
  • Increase chance for the rest to survive
  • Stress
  • Hunger for protein


A new endler mother may not know what she is doing on her first round with a new fry. She may lack the know-how and experience that she will most likely gain the next time or the one after. This is common and shouldn’t turn into a routine.

No Parental Responsibility

An endler parent assumes no responsibility after they breed. They will leave their young and not care for them. They may even forget about them if they were safely hidden in the tank’s planted areas.

If they encounter anything alive that can fit into their mouths, they may consume it; even if it’s they’re own offspring.

Increased Chance For The Rest To Survive

If an endler mother feels that there isn’t enough space, food or safety in the tank, she may consume some of her fry. She does so to ensure a higher chance of survival for the rest of them. She may choose the weakest or eat a few without hesitating out of filial cannibalism.


Stress can result out of poor water conditions, illness or fear from surrounding threats. If the mother is stressed because of aggressive tankmates or an unknown fear, she may eat her offspring rather than letting anyone else do the same. This is uncommon, but it has happened.

Hunger for Protein

A good suggestion is to offer more live foods for your endlers to consume. They should develop a taste for brine shrimp, daphnia or bloodworms instead of trying to eat their offspring. Give them tasty options packed with protein instead of the usual flakes and pellets.

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How Do I Prevent Endlers From Eating Their Babies?

It could be time for us to step in and prevent any chance of these baby endlers from getting eaten by their parents. Male endlers are far less interested and further away from the scene while females are naturally closer to their fry when giving birth.

A female’s instinct of filial cannibalism may kick in, meaning that she may eat some of her young right away. Here are two tips to help prevent this action:

  1. Breeder box
  2. Separate tank

1. Breeder Box

You can basically have a smaller plastic floating tank within your main tank.

  • Hook the breeder box onto the side of the glass.
  • Take the female before she gives birth and put her in this location.
  • Once she has finished birthing her fry, remove her.
  • Keep the babies there until they are too large to fit into the mouth of an endler or guppy.

2. Separate Tank

A breeder always has a separate tank. Maybe you got into the hobby of keeping endlers for fun, but once you noticed how often they reproduce, you decided to do something about it.

Remove the pregnant female and place her in a tank where the water parameters are exactly the same. Leave her there until she gives birth. Then, allow her fry to remain while she returns to the main tank and forgets all about them.

How Do I Care For Endler Fry?

  1. Use a breeder box or separate tank until they grow large enough to swim with the adults.
  2. Feed them 5 times a day with crushed micro-pellets, brine shrimp, daphnia and larvae. Vary their diet. Try beef heart paste and get them used to flake food as well.
  3. Set up a schedule for them to eat throughout the day and light’s out at night. Maintain the same parameters if they are in another tank. Introducing them back to the main tank will be easier this way.
  4. Place them back in a spot that is heavily planted for them to recognize a safe location while they continue to develop on their own.

Are Endlers Easy To Breed?

Endlers are one of the easiest types of fish to breed. Male endlers are persistent in their desire to mate with a female. They will go through this process and take on no parental duties afterwards. This leaves both of them free to mate and breed again.

Endlers thrive in aquariums. They are very popular for mass breeding and people like them for the bright and vibrant colors exhibited by the males. Taking care of them involves a larger tank, plenty of planted areas and peaceful tankmates or keep them in larger groups on their own.


You can prevent endlers from eating their babies by separating the fry and placing them in a breeder box or separate tank. In many cases, you won’t witness filial cannibalism by the mothers eating their babies.

Separating them is still a good choice since these fish do not take on parental responsibilities. Help your endlers out with more food options and plenty of spaces to hide, breed and grow up.


Thank you for stopping by at HelpUsFish.com for all your informational needs concerning the fish you wish to keep in your aquarium. We have plenty of articles on a wide variety of marine life that may also pique your interest. See you again soon!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.

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