Tropical paradise fish aquarium

Ornamental fishes   >   Paradise gourami – Distribution & habitat   >   Paradise fish in a tropical aquarium.

Paradise fish (paradise gourami), being hardy and adaptive, can be kept in a typical tropical aquarium with decorative rocks, bogwood and aquatic plants.


A well looked after male tropical paradise fish can reach a length of 4 inches (10 cm). Male paradise fish, on maturity, become very colorful and have elongated fins. Females are comparatively less colorful.

Behavior and compatibility

These are tropical labyrinth fish, capable of breathing air directly from atmosphere. As juveniles, they live in groups and tolerate company. On maturity the males become highly territorial and aggressive, attacking other males and other species.

If two males are kept in the same aquarium, they may fight locking their jaws and may grievously injure one another. Males should be kept alone or with a small group of females.

They are preferably kept separate and if a community aquarium is being considered they may be kept with bigger, less-aggressive and fast-moving tropical tankmates.

Paradise fish should never be kept with slow-moving fancy goldfish, angelfish and male bettas as they may damage their flowing fins.
Aquarium should be covered as tropical paradise gouramis have the tendency to jump out of water.

Image of male tropical paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis) in an aquarium
Image of male tropical paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis) in an aquarium

Picture source: ( [public domain])

Aquarium requirements

  • An ideal volume of water for a pair is up to 20-30 gallons.
  • As in natural habitat they are found among aquatic vegetation, a planted aquarium with tropical aquascaping is preferred.
  • To help nest-building, patches of floating vegetation may be kept.
  • As they are air-breathing fish slow aeration and filtration are adequate.
  • A covered aquarium is necessary as they have the tendency to jump out.
  • A few inches of air space above the water level will provide humidity for these tropical air-breathing species.
  • Though they can stand temperature fluctuations, an ideal temperature range will be between 20-27°C.
  • They are happy with waters of pH 6-8 range.
  • They can tolerate low-saline brackish water.

Feeding paradise gourami

In nature, tropical paradise fish are carnivores feeding on small fish, fry, crustaceans, insects and larvae. Commercially bred paradise gourami accept dried food.

Feeding them now and then with live or freeze-dried bloodworm, daphnia and artemia will keep them in top health condition and help in developing lush body and fin colors.

Paradise gourami breeding

Mature paradise males build floating, saliva-coated air bubble nest and females are attracted towards it. During spawning eggs and sperm are released into water.

The paradise male gathers the fertilized eggs and spits them on to the nest. After spawning the female should be removed as its mate gets aggressive towards her.

After the hatching of the eggs, when the fry becomes free-swimming, the paradise parent must be removed to save them from getting eaten. The paradise gourami fry can be raised by feeding them with infusoria and brine shrimp nauplii (larvae).

There are albino forms of tropical paradise available now, which are found to be less aggressive but sensitive to low temperature levels.

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