Where do I put my Endlers?

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Drewbacca

AC Members
Original poster
Mar 20, 2019
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I have a 10 gallon cherry shrimp tank that I've started recently. Unfortunately, I had a pretty bad ostracod outbreak. It was manageable at first, but their population exploded recently with the introduction of the shrimp. I'm going to add some N-class Black Bar Endlers into the tank, which I got from The Endler Shop. They should be coming this week. They ship colonies in an odd ratio, claiming that male:female ratio doesn't matter with Endlers, so I'm getting 5 males and 3 females. That debate aside for a second, I need some advice on what to do. I know that I'm going to get babies, and I already know that my LFS will take them, but I also have a 55 gallon tank I can support some. Unfortunately, I have some Gold Panda Lyretail Mollies in there. I figure I have a few options.

I could put all of the Endlers in the 55 gallon, along with the Mollies. It's possible that they crossbreed, but I've heard it's not common. I take only males from the 55 gallon and put them in my 10 gallon... that way I don't have to worry about breeding in the small 10 gallon and I have a little bit of cushion in the 55 gallon. I guess my worry with this plan is that if I do get hybrids, have I ruined my Endler genetics, or can I just be reassured that this will happen infrequently, and I should be able to tell the difference between any hybrids that occur and actual pure blood Endlers? Would I be able to tell hybrid females from pure bloods? I would also have to figure out what to do with hybrids, as I'm not sure I could sell those to the LFS. The good news is that my Mollies and other fish would prevent too many fry from surviving and my population control would be pretty good, as has been present with my Molly fry.

The other option is to put them all in my 10 gallon, and I could maintain my pure genetic line in that tank and put the overflow in the 55 gallon, then sell that overflow to the LFS. The downside to this is that my 10 gallon only has a sponge filter in it along with 20 red cherry shrimp. 8 Endlers will quickly multiply, so I'm going to be doing alot of shuffling. I do have an old Aqueon QuietFlow 10 that I could add on in case I need more filtration.

The final question is whether or not I should worry about Endler male:female ratio. The website I got the Endlers from insists that it's not as important with Endlers as it is with other livebearers. Aqadvisor also doesn't put that into it's formula, although it does with guppies, mollies, and others. However, this forum and most of the other forums I've seen do recommend at least a 2:1 or ideally a 3:1 ratio. I'm starting at a 3:5, but I could adjust this by shifting around surviving fry. I considered putting the 3 females in a tank with one of the males and putting the other 4 males in the other tank, but I'm worried that my genetic makeup wouldn't be as diverse if I did that, and I'd run into defects if every fry came from one male. Also, I'd have to figure out which tank I would do that with, and all the possible issues with hybridization would need to be considered.

So, after all that, I guess my question is, which tank would you put them in? Also, should I split them up? If so, how many males and females should I put in the tanks? Am I just way overthinking this?
 
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