Paradise fish proves the saying, looks can be deceiving – they are very colorful fishes but they are very aggressive in nature

Why we need the beginner’s guide for Paradise fish? We need the guide to know the ideal tank condition and with whom they can be kept together in a tank considering their aggressive nature

Paradise Fish – Overview

Common NameParadise Fish is also called Paradise gourami.
Scientific NameThis fish is scientifically referred to as Macropodus opercularis.
Habitat or OriginThe habitat of the fish is slow-moving, shallow freshwater. They are native to Asia. They are seen in India, Pakistan, Korea, and Taiwan. 
Average SizeThey can grow for 2 inches. With good environmental conditions, they can grow up to 3 inches. Hence the minimum tank size could be 20 gallons.
ColorationThe body has blue and red stripes all over. The caudal fin is usually orange in color. They have black or blue spots scattered all over the body.
Life SpanThey can live up to 15 years. In good tank condition, they can live a couple of years more.
DietLive and frozen food which is rich in protein should be given. Brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae can be given. Algae wafers and green vegetables can also be given. Food pellets and flakes can be given. They can be fed twice a day.
Gender IdentificationThe male fish is larger in size and has colors that are brighter. The females have color which is dull and are smaller in size than the males. The females however grow in size when they are carrying eggs.
BehaviorThis fish is active and is seen swimming in the middle or upper layer of the tank. The fish comes to the surface of the tank to breathe oxygen from the atmosphere. The males are aggressive to occupy the territory and to chase the female during mating. However, the fights are intermittent.
CompatibilityThe fish does not get along with many, not even their own species. Hence it is better to be kept alone or one male with other female fish. They can be kept with large goldfish, pearl, or dwarf gouramies. Other fishes include Yo-Yo Loaches, Cuckoo catfish, Bristlenose, and clown loaches.
Ideal Tank ConditionsThe tank should have a sandy substrate. They can have rocks but this is not mandatory. The tank should have a lot of plants. A hornwort is an option. 25 % of the water should be changed every week. The nitrate level should be kept zero. A filtrate and heater are enough for an ideal tank.
Water ParametersThe temperature can be around 70-82 degrees F. The pH can be between 6 and 8. Hardness can be 5-30 dH.
BreedingBreeding is really easy for this fish. The male blows a bubble and forms a nest. The female gets attracted by the nest. The female becomes plump when they are ready to lay eggs. The male courts the female and wraps around the female. The laying of eggs takes a few hours. The fry hatches in 30-90 hours. The male should be removed once the eggs are laid.
Common DiseasesThese fishes fight often which causes them physical damage. They can easily catch lymphocystis disease. Pin-pricks growth starts to form on the fin. Bacterial problem is also another common disease. Constipation happens due to poor quality food. Other diseases can be avoided by keeping the water clean.
Approximate CostThe cost of one healthy Paradise fish can be approximately $5 to $10
What to look when buyingCheck if the fish is healthy with the fins properly shaped.
Species in the MarketPearls or dwarfs are other gourami species available in the market.

Gallery of Paradise Fish


Macropodus opercularis