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Maximum size : 7 cm

Paradise Fish - Macropodus Opercularis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Paradise Fish (Macropodus Opercularis) captivates aquarium enthusiasts with its remarkable hardiness, striking bright colors, and fascinating behaviors. However, due to their aggressive nature and the challenges in managing them, they may not be the best choice for beginner aquarists. The ideal environment for Paradise Fish is a species-only aquarium, given their territorial and micro-predatory tendencies. If you must include tankmates, exercise caution in your selection as small fish may be consumed, while nippy fish can damage the trailing fins of the Paradise Fish. Avoid housing them with similar-looking fish such as Dwarf Gouramis and Bettas. While juvenile Paradise Fish can often be seen swimming harmoniously in groups at dealers' tanks, they will eventually mature into territorial fish, displaying notable intraspecific aggression, especially among males. Females are generally less aggressive, so maintaining a group with one male and multiple females can be successful in a properly furnished tank. A spacious home aquarium for the Paradise Fish should be thoughtfully designed with an abundance of driftwood and tall plants, which will grow and provide ample surface cover. Incorporating floating plants can help diffuse bright lighting, while a dark substrate and background will enhance the fish's sense of security and bring out their most vibrant colors. Aim to create a labyrinthine habitat with numerous visual barriers to disrupt lines of sight, as these fish tend to be territorial. To replicate the tranquil conditions these fish favor, ensure that filtration is efficient, while keeping water movement gentle. Paradise Fish are characterized by their slender, rectangular bodies and elegant, long-flowing fins. Like Gouramis, they possess two thread-like pelvic fins. This species typically displays vibrant red and blue stripes on its body, two-tone fins, and a striking orange caudal fin. Occasionally, one might also observe a few blue-black spots scattered across their bodies, adding to their visual appeal.

Paradise Fish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Paradise Fish is straightforward. Males are larger and exhibit more vibrant coloration compared to females. Additionally, males possess elongated soft rays in their dorsal, caudal, and anal fins, while females are more subdued in color and smaller in size.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMacropodus Opercularis
Year Described1758
Other NamesParadise Gourami.
OriginsVietnam China Taiwan Laos
Max Size7 cm
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

The Paradise Fish has been featured on the following stamps.

Natural habitat

Prepare to be amazed by the Paradise fish's ability to thrive in an incredibly diverse range of habitats and environmental conditions! From China, south of the Yangtze River System, to the stunning Hainan Island and Taiwan, to the picturesque central and northern regions of Vietnam, and even the stunning northeastern hills of Laos, this species has truly conquered it all. These magnificent creatures can be found in an array of aquatic environments, from tranquil streams and serene natural ponds to bustling artificial reservoirs and rice paddies. They've even adapted to thrive in the man-made canals of irrigation systems. In some areas, you may also find them happily dwelling in the upland hill streams. Wherever they may be, dense vegetation is a must for this species. As nature enthusiasts and avid aquatic observers, we have the chance to witness firsthand the incredible adaptability of these creatures in their natural habitat. Truly an awe-inspiring sight!

How to breed the Paradise Fish

The Paradise Fish is a bubble-nesting species. To encourage spawning, establish a tank with soft water and raise the temperature by a few degrees compared to their usual conditions. It is essential to have a tightly fitting lid on the aquarium, as the developing fry require access to a warm, humid air layer for proper labyrinth organ development. The male constructs a nest using surface vegetation, and upon completion, he displays his elongated anal, dorsal, and caudal fins to attract potential females. Spawning takes place beneath the nest, with the male wrapping around the female in a tender embrace. As the female releases milt and a few eggs, they float upwards towards the nest, often aided by the male. This process continues until the female has deposited all her eggs, potentially numbering several hundred. The male then guards the nest until the eggs hatch. Typically, hatching occurs within 3-4 days, after which the fry remain in the nest until their yolk sac is fully absorbed and they can swim freely. Once the fry reach this stage, the male loses interest, and it is recommended to remove the adult fish from the aquarium.

Diet & feeding

Paradise Fish are known for their willingness to consume a wide variety of foods; however, they thrive on a diet that is relatively high in protein rather than vegetable-based. Their preferred diet includes mosquito larvae, small flies, blackworms, and brine shrimp, along with select high-quality dried products. Providing them with an appropriate, protein-rich diet ensures their optimal health and well-being.

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