Paradise Fish – scientifically known as the Macropodus opercularis is one of the most beautiful freshwater aquarium fish species, known for its beautiful body shape, colorful appearance, and aggressive nature. Paradise Fish has multiple trade names including Blue Paradise Fish and Paradise Gourami Fish. It belongs to the Gourami fish genus and Osphronemidae family. This fish has a multicolored appearance, when it swims these colors create a rainbow of colors. It is one of the first fish species that were adopted into the modern aquariums in the 1800s. Since then, this fish has become a very popular choice among fish keepers.

Daniella Vereeken, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paradise Fish not only has a beautiful appearance, but also an aggressive, hyperactive, and joyous nature. It likes to swim and explore the tank space, with other members of its group. You would enjoy watching them swim, and play with each other in your tank. It is a tropical fish species, but it can survive in different types of climates, and different regions. In the past two hundred years, this fish has been through a lot of selective breeding and genetic mutation. These procedures have generated multiple color variants of Paradise Fish. all of these variants have similar shapes, but different colors, patterns, sizes, and overall appearances. Below is a complete guide about keeping the Paradise Fish in your tank.

Basic Facts Table

LifespanUp to 10 years.
SizeUp to 3 inches
ColorsMultiple Color Variants
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelMinimum
CompatibilityLarge, Peaceful Fish

Tank Companions

Here is a list of the possible tank mates or tank companions of the Paradise Fish.

How To Select Tank Companions?

Paradise Fish are known for being aggressive. They do not like the presence of other fish in the tank. That is why they tend to attack most other fish that you might want to pair with them. According to expert fish keepers, you should avoid putting smaller, and more peaceful fish species in the tank of Paradise Fish. It would not just bully them, but attack and kill them. You will have to be extra careful when selecting potential candidates as tank mates for the Paradise Fish because they have different natures and temperaments.

You should put them with other aggressive fish species that can defend themselves against the attacks of Paradise Fish. Also, you can pair the Paradise Fish with larger fish species. The presence of large and peaceful fish in the aquarium would prevent the Paradise Fish from attacking any member of the tank. You can also add multiple fish in the tank of Paradise Fish at the same time, but make sure that the fish species that you are adding can defend themselves.

Here are a few key factors that you should consider while selecting a potential tank mate for the Paradise Fish.

  • Size: make sure that you select large fish species that can defend themselves against the Paradise Fish. Smaller fish species are defenseless against the Paradise Fish, and that is why you should avoid putting any small fish in the aquarium of Paradise Fish. It would kill them and eat them.
  • Temperament/ Behavior / Nature: You should select a partially aggressive species. Peaceful species of fish do not go well with the Paradise Fish. species that are passive-aggressive or aggressive can keep the Paradise Fish in control.
  • Living Conditions: Make sure that the fish you are selecting as the tank mate or tank companion for the Paradise Fish can live in the same conditions as Paradise Fish. if Yes, then you should select that fish, otherwise, you should not. Because a fish that cannot live in the same living condition would die within a few days.

Species Overview

The Paradise Fish is a member of the fish genus known as the Gourami fish. Gouramis are some of the most popular aquarium fish. Paradise Fish is native to East Asia, (like most other Gouramis), it is found in the rivers of the Korean Peninsula, and Vietnam. It is one of the few small fish species that are also known for being aggressive. It is so aggressive that you cannot keep them with the fish of other species that are the same size because it tends to attack and kill smaller fish species. The maximum size of this fish is about 3 inches, but most of the members of this species only reach about 2.6 inches in length.

This fish was one of the first aquarium fish known to western fish keepers. It was imported from Asia to France, where it became a popular choice in the local aquariums and fish keepers loved it for its unique color combination and beautiful appearance. Also, most of the other aquarium fish species were peaceful, meanwhile, this was one of the few aggressive fish species available as aquarium fish. These facts further contributed towards the publicity of the Paradise Fish, and it became one of the most common aquarium fish species in Europe and America.

Paradise Fish not only attacks other species but also the members of its species in the same aquarium. They do this to assert their dominance in the tank to create social hierarchies. Strong and more aggressive fish become the leader of their school, and other members of their group follow the leader. This fish has multiple color variants, including an Albino Paradise Fish that lacks color pigments. It appears to have white and pinkish scales, and stripes of dark spots that move from the upper part of the body towards the belly.


Daniella Vereeken, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is one of the most beautiful fish species by appearance. Paradise Fish has an elongated body. The entire body of the Paradise Fish is covered with blue and red stripes. These are not short or incomplete stripes like on the body of Yoyo loaches. Instead, these stripes go from the top of the body towards the belly of the fish. Its fins are a mix of red and orange colors that fade into one another. Color patterns and stripes become more apparent when the Paradise Fish breeding cycle starts. These colors are used for attracting the opposite sex.

Some genetically engineered Paradise Fish variants can have different colors. For example, there are variants with greenish strips instead of blue, and orange-red stripes. There are also some albino Paradise Fish that have no colors. This is a genetic mutation that can occur both naturally and also because of genetic modifications. It is one of those fish species where males and females are easy to distinguish.

Male Paradise Fish have more elongated bodies, and the colors in their bodies are more vibrant. Meanwhile, the Female Paradise Fish have round, and thick bodies that are more noticeable from above. Also, Female Paradise Fish do not have vibrant color patterns. These differences can help you identify the males and females successfully during the time of breeding. Most of the time, the size of Paradise Fish is about 2 inches long, but if you provide them excellent care, you can expect your Paradise Fish to grow up to 2.6 inches. 3 inch long Paradise Fish are rare and hard to find. 


The Paradise Fish is native to East Asia. Most of its variants are naturally found in the rivers of Korea, and Vietnam. It lives in the freshwater sources where the flow of water is comparatively slow and smaller fish species can live. From Asia, this fish was brought to Europe and America, and it survives in these different conditions. It mainly lives in tropical regions, but it can survive outside these regions.

Natural Habitat

The natural habitat of the Paradise Fish is covered with soft sand, small round stones, and a substrate that consists of multiple layers of gravel-sized pebbles. These aquatic habitats of the Paradise Fish contain vegetation and algae that most small fish species eat. Meanwhile, the Paradise Fish is a predator that eats these smaller fish in its native Habitats. It likes to live on the sides of the rivers where the flow of water is moderately slow. This provides them protection against the fast-moving water that can drag them down the stream. Paradise Fish uses the vegetation inside its habitat to protect its eggs and to hide when it is being chased by other members of its species or any predator. Water conditions or parameters in the natural habitat of this fish include warm, neutral, and soft water. These conditions are easy to replicate in the tank.

Paradise Fish Lifespan

The maximum lifespan of Paradise Fish is more than 10 years. But they rarely reach the 10 years age limit. Most of the time they die after 8 years. This early death is caused by the unsuitable conditions inside the tank. Paradise Fish that live for more than 10 years are provided with excellent growth conditions. So, make sure to provide the excellent care that your fish needs to live healthily and have a longer lifespan. Apart from tank parameters, pairing them with the right type of fish species can also impact their lifespan.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

As I mentioned earlier, the Paradise Fish lives in warm, slow-moving, neutral, and soft water habitats in the tropical region. You will have to replicate these conditions to make sure that your fish gets the excellent care that it needs. Apart from these conditions, there are also some other factors that you need to consider when creating a tank or habitat for the Paradise Fish. These include the size of the tank, setup of the tank, water parameters, and water source. Below are complete details about these main factors.

Tank Size

Paradise Fish are known for being aggressive. So, it is always better to create a large tank to avoid any fights because of space or territory issues. Paradise Fish species members like to explore the entire tank, they do not mark their territory, but if you put them in a small tank, it would create a lot of problems for you. To avoid these problems, you need to select a tank that is large enough to accommodate your Paradise Fish and its tank mates. Here are a few things that can help you select a perfect tank size.

You should know the number of fish that you want to put in your tank, and also know the fish per gallon ratio of each species. After that, you should multiply the average fish per gallon ratio of your fish, and the total number of fish in your tank. It would give you the ideal size for the tank of the Paradise Fish community. If you are going for a pre-built tank, you should select a tank that has 20 to 30 gallons capacity. 20 gallons is the minimum tank capacity if you are building a small Paradise Fish community tank, but if you want to add more fish, you should select 30 gallons or a larger tank.

Tank Setup

After you are done with the size of the tank, you will have to start working on creating a tank setup. A tank setup is an environment that you create inside the tank for your fish to explore. It includes the bottom layer, substrate, stones, decorations, heater, filter, lights, and plants. The first thing that you need to do when starting to create a setup is that you should spread sand at the bottom of the tank. After spreading sand, add some stones, and substrate. Make sure that the substrate is small and has no sharp edges. Substrates and stones with edges can cut the fish body and that is why you should look out for any sharp objects in your tank.

You should start adding some vegetation, plants, and decorations to your tank. Decorations such as caves provide shelter and hide the eggs of Paradise Fish during the breeding. It also makes the tank setup look more interesting. You should select the plants that can live in the same water conditions as the Paradise Fish. After that, you should add the filtration system to your tank. A strong filtration system would filter the water, provide oxygen, and will also cause vibrations in the tank. These vibrations would depict the natural flow of the river in your tank.

Apart from these, you will also have to add some monitoring equipment to your tank. For example, a digital temperature monitor or controller is very important for tanks in extremely cold or extremely hot regions. It would help you maintain the water temperature at the same level. There are specific water heaters that are used for aquariums. You can also add some aquarium lights to provide light in your tank of Paradise Fish. You should also use a lid to cover your tank to avoid your fish from jumping outside of the tank.

Water Conditions/Parameters

There are three main water parameters or water conditions that you will have to maintain to keep your Paradise Fish healthy. If you failed to maintain these parameters, your fish would not live long. For that reason, it is very important to maintain these parameters. recommended ranges. Here is a list of those parameters and how you can manage them.

  • Temperature between 70 to 82°F.
  • pH level between 6 to 8.
  • Hardness between 5 to 30 dGH

You can use temperature monitoring devices to monitor the temperature of your tank. If you live in a cold region, you may also have to add a water heater to control the temperature. In hot regions, you may have to add ice cubes to lower the temperature if it is becoming too hot in your aquariums. You can control the pH and hardness of water inside the tank by using active filtration, and by adding driftwood, limestone, and coral rocks. Also, make sure that you use neutral and clean water for your aquariums. It would prevent any kind of issues related to pH and hardness.

Water Source

For the aquariums of Paradise fish, it is important to use clean water. If your tap water is clean, you can use it otherwise, you will have to look for other water sources. A lot of people select the rivers, water streams, local lakes, and ponds as the water source. These water sources can be used but it is better to test the water from these sources before adding it into the tank. There are chances that the water from any of these sources might contain pollutants. For example, tap water contains chlorine chemicals, and water from rivers and lakes also contains several chemicals that are harmful to the fish. So, you should test the water before adding it into the tank to make sure if it is safe for aquarium usage or not. Most expert fish keepers advise using water that has been cleaned and filtered using reverse osmosis filtration.

Behavior and Temperament

The Paradise Fish are known for being one of the most aggressive and violent fish species. It is also known for being active, and exploratory. You will see them going from one part of your tank to another all day long. They also play with other members of their species. Paradise Fish displays social behaviors, as they tend to form small groups and pairs. Fighting in this species is very common, members of the same species fight over multiple issues.

These fights can be lethal as they use complete force to attack the members of their tank during the fight. It can lead to injuries and the death of your fish. You can avoid such instances by creating a large tank and putting only a limited number of Paradise Fish in the tank. Aggression in this species is also linked to genetics. Male Paradise Fish are known for being more aggressive and possessive meanwhile the female paradise fish are comparatively peaceful.

Breeding Paradise Fish

The Paradise Fish are easy to breed in-tank environments. They do not require that much effort from your end for breeding. All you have to do is to provide them with breeding conditions and they will spawn by themselves. Here are a few things that will help you breed your Paradise Fish.

  • First, create a 20 gallons separate breeding tank. Introduce males and females in that tank. Make sure that males and females are not fighting in the tank. After that, you can start raising the temperature in your tank.
  • After raising the temperature of your tank by a few degrees, you will notice that the male and female have started to circle each other. This is a courting behavior exhibited by the Paradise Fish before spawning.
  • Male paradise fish blow air in the water, this creates a bubble that is coated by the saliva of fish. Saliva-coated bubbles are more durable and they act as a nest for the eggs of Paradise Fish. You should feed male and female Paradise Fish extra food as they would need more energy during the breeding.
  • Female would swell with the weight of eggs, and before the female starts laying eggs, male Paradise Fish would wrap itself around the female and would guide the female towards the nest. Females lay the eggs and they will float towards the nest.

Eggs and Fry Care

Eggs of the Paradise Fish need about 45 to 90 hours to hatch. You will have to protect the eggs from male and female Paradise Fish. it is advised that you should transfer the male paradise fish out of the breeding tank. Once the eggs hatch, the small fry will come out. In the early days, the fry will eat the egg sacs that were inside. After that, they will be able to swim, and find food. At that time you can start feeding the special fry diet. Fry diet includes several ingredients such as meat, algae, and live worms.

Diet of Paradise Fish

Paradise Fish has an omnivorous diet and they eat almost everything that they can find. It is also known as a hunter fish species that kills and eats other small fish species in its habitat. You should add live blood worms, insects, and invertebrates in their diet in your aquarium. Apart from these, you can also feed them pellets, frozen meat, and algae flakes. Some aquarists have also been feeding their Paradise fish crushed vegetables.

Diseases of Paradise Fish

Here is a list of the possible diseases that can attack the population of Paradise Fish.

  • Lymphocystis: This is a lethal disease that can kill your fish. It is caused by a virus and causes infections and lesions on the body of the fish. It happens mostly because of unhygienic conditions inside the tank. You should make sure that your tank is clean and hygienic. There are no defined treatments for this disease. So,  if you see any signs of this disease in your tank, you should clean the entire tank and quarantine the diseased fish.
  • Ich: Ich is one of the most common fish diseases that can attack the Paradise Fish. you should look for the signs such as white spots formations on the scales of fish.
  • Fin and tail Rot: Fin and tail rot is another common problem that your paradise fish might get. It happens because of bacterial infections when the fins and tail of this fish are cut during the fights. Instead of healing, the fin and tail of the paradise fish start to rot and it can become a serious problem. You can prevent it by keeping your tank clean.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is another lethal disease that can kill the population of your tank. It is caused by internal infections inside the body of fish. These infections can lead to bloating, and organ failure. This further causes the fluids to build up inside the tank. You can prevent it by keeping the tank clean.
  • Constipation: Constipation usually happens because of unhygienic food that you feed to your fish. It can lead to serious issues such as lack of appetite, and weight loss. You can avoid this disease by providing high quality and balanced diet to your fish.

What is the Ideal Size For The Tank?

The ideal size for the tank of Paradise Fish is 20 gallons. You can keep a healthy population of 6 individuals in this tank. But if you want to add more fish, you will have to select a larger tank.

Is Paradise Fish Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

The Paradise Fish is a Freshwater fish species.

Is Paradise Fish schooling species or not?

No, paradise fish is not a schooling fish species. It displays social behavior but it is limited and cannot be categorized as schooling or shoaling.

Conclusion – Is Paradise Fish Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Yes. Paradise fish are suitable for your aquarium. This is because it is one of the most beautiful fish species. It has beautiful colors that make it attractive and pleasing to see. Apart from its beautiful appearance, this fish has some of the most interesting behaviors. It is aggressive, but also shows the signs of possessiveness, coupling, and social behaviors. It is an interesting species of fish to watch in the aquarium. Also, it is very easy to care for because this requires minimum care. So, even if you are new to fish keeping, it is a perfect and most suitable choice for your aquarium.


Question: What are the common names of Paradise fish?

Answer: The common names of Paradise Fish include Blue Paradise Fish and Gourami Paradise. Blue Paradise Fish name refers to the blue lines on the body of Paradise fish, meanwhile, the Gourami Paradise fish refers to the genus of this fish.

Question: What is the minimum size of a tank for Paradise Fish?

Answer: The minimum size of a usable tank for the Paradise Fish is 20 gallons. Anything smaller than this will not be suitable for the Paradise fish.

Question: How to breed paradise fish?

Answer: Paradise fish are known for being too easy to breed. You do not need to do anything special, just raise the temperature of the water and they will spawn.

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