Max Size: 7cm

Paradise Fish (Macropodus Opercularis)

The Paradise fish are very hardy, stunning, brightly coloured and add more activity to the aquarium with their interesting behaviours.

They are not suitable for the beginner aquarist though because they are challenging to handle, and they have an aggressive nature.

Paradise fish have slim, rectangular bodies and are distinguished by their long flowing fins. Like gouramis, they also have two thread-like pelvic fins.

This species usually have vivid red, and blue stripes that run across their body, two-tone fins and their caudal fin is generally orange. On the odd occasion, you may find small blue-black spots scattered across their body.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameMacropodus Opercularis
Year Described1758
Other NamesParadise Gourami.
OriginsChina, Laos, Taiwan, Vietnam
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan8 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH1 -30
TDS90 - 357
72 - 78℉
22.2 - 25.6℃

Photos of the Paradise Fish

Paradise Fish
Paradise Fish
Paradise Fish
Paradise Fish
Paradise Fish

Natural Habitat

This species can survive in a full range of habitat types and environmental conditions.

You can find them in China, South of the Yangtze River System, including Hainan Island and Taiwan, Central and Northern Vietnam, and northeastern Laos.

They inhabit streams, artificial reservoirs, natural ponds, river backwaters to rice paddies, and irrigation canals. In some places, they also live in upland hill streams. Anywhere that contains dense vegetation.

What to feed the Paradise Fish

Paradise Fish will accept practically any food but should be given a reasonably high-protein diet as opposed to vegetable-based foods.

They will eat mosquito larvae, small flies, blackworms, and brine shrimp as well as some high quality dried products.

How to sex the Paradise Fish

Males are bigger and more colourful than females and possess extended soft rays in the dorsal, caudal and anal fins whereas the female is duller and smaller.

How to breed the Paradise Fish

The Paradise Fish is a Bubble Nester.

To induce spawning, you will need a tank with soft water, and you will need to raise your temperature by a few degrees compared to what they usually have.

The aquarium should have the tightest fitting lid possible because the babies need access to a layer of humid, warm air to give their labyrinth a chance to develop.

The male creates his nest out of surface vegetation, and once his nest is complete, the male will display himself to potential females using his elongated anal, dorsal and caudal fins.

The spawning occurs underneath the nest where the male wraps around the female in a warm embrace.

At the point of climax, the female will release milt and a few eggs which will float upwards towards the nest, often helped by the male.

This process will carry on until the female has no more eggs. The female can deposit several hundred eggs. The male will then defend the nest until they hatch.

The eggs will usually hatch 3-4 days later where they will remain in the nest until their yolk sac is fully absorbed and they can swim freely.

At this point, the male will lose interest, and the adults should be removed.

The Paradise Fish has been featured on the following stamps

Cambodia - 1988