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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > Anabantids > Paradisefish
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the



Pardise fish

Macropodus opercularis


    Another of the so called"classic" aquarium fish the Paradisefish are a beautiful, fairly peaceful and territorial species that will defend their territory from other tank mates. Mix with the same sized fish, as they will eat smaller fish. Their beauty demands that they be given consideration, if you are willing to meet their needs.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 4 inches (10 cm)
    Tank: 24 inches +
    Strata: Top to mostly middle.
    PH: 6.8-8.0
    Hardness: Soft to hard
    Temperature: 61°- 78°F (16 to 26°C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Percoidei
    Family: Belontiidae
    Genera: Macropodus
Typical Korean river

Common name:


Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Korea, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Paradise fish

General Body Form:

    Some what long and slender, the Paradise fish fins are its distinguishing traits. The soft ray parts of the anal and dorsal fins extend to form long string like filament. The tail fin is concave with the upper and lower sections extending further out . The males are easy to identify by their thick swollen lips.


    The male of this species is brilliantly colored. The sides are distinguished by their bars which are a dark Blue / Green separated by vivid Red. The head and neck area are marbled in a Brown color. The gill cover is striped in Black boarded by bright Red or Orange. The tail fin can be stunning. It is completely Red in color and with the fringes extending out make a fantastic display. The dorsal and anal fins are dark in color and fade to a red hue as they near the tail fin. The ventral fins are also red in hue and can be tipped in White. The females are considerably duller with shorter rounded fins and only the side bars are well defined.

    The Paradise fish is fairy easy to keep. They tolerate wide variations in water quality as well as temperature fluctuation's. Unfortunately they are only marginal as a community fish. They must be kept with other similar sized semi- aggressive fish . They will eat most smaller fish and rip the fins of the slower fish like the Angel. A tight-fitting cover is a must as they are accomplished jumpers. Like the Betta males will fight each other often to the death, so only keep one per tank. This species adapts readily to a wide range of foods, including small live foods, such as bloodworms, Tubifex worms, earthworms, glass worms and brine shrimp. They also accept the common flake and frozen foods. It is a good idea to supplement their diets with Spirulina based foods to provide vegetable matter.

    Found in marshy areas of Korea, China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
    A rise in temperature is usually enough to trigger the spawning in a well conditioned pair. This fish is an egg layer . The male will build a bubble nest to house the eggs during spawning . Like the Betta, the spawning tank must have plenty of hiding spaces like rocks caves and plants or the male may harm the female after all the eggs are laid. It is best to remove the female right after spawning. The eggs normally hatch in 24 to 36 hours. The fry start to swim the moment they are hatched . For best results the spawning tank should be shallow as the fry's labyrinth organ are not fully developed when born. The fry are very small and must be fed the finest of foods, growth is rapid.


Paradise breeding
Paradise breeding
Photos © Wiljo Jonsson


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Ryan
I have a female paradise fish who jumped out of the tank and landed on the ground and is still alive a year later. The Fish was aggressive towards more colorful fish such as large male sword tails and platties. The fish should also be kept away from Cory Cats. After I moved the fish to its own private tank and now everything is great. The fish is incredibly hardy and easy to care for.
From: Amanda
I have raised a pair of brother paradise fish from about the time they were the size of a dime. I had 3 and had to give the sister away because I won't allow inbreeding. I've got a 30 gallon tank they call home. They are beautiful fish and are fun to watch grow into the fish that they are now. They are not all that aggressive in my tank as they are with a blood parrot and a firemouth cichlid who won't bother them if they do the same in return. They like to swim tail to snout and do a little dance where they "wiggle" their bodies and show their tails by spreading them out and making the colors stand out to see who's the bigger badder brother or who gets the better spot to sleep in the night. They do tend to nip at the tails of each other but have learned to stay away from the larger fish in the tank. I would suggest them in a semi-aggressive tank for the tail nipping and the occasional chase around the tank but all in all they are a joy to have in my tank! Along with their colors they have a personality to boot!
From: Hayley F
We currently have an 6-8cm male albino paradise fish in with a community of gouramis (a pearl, a golden three-spot and a red honey) along with assorted tetra, hatchetfish, bronze corys, a pitbull plec, a Chinese algae eater and a butterfly fish. The combination is working out extremely well so far. No bickering between the anabantids and no preying on the tetras. The aquarium is quite heavily planted and the anabantids often crowd around each other at the surface and have bubble blowing competitions with each other. The paradise fish is absolutely beautiful and contrasts gorgeously with the dark substrate. The larger gourami species are still quite young but we're in the process of setting up a 100 gallon community tank as an upgrade from the 30 gallon to accommodate their growth. Hopefully all will go as well as it has been, as the list of negative comments about paradise fish has left me slightly worried. Perhaps it depends on the breeding, as the other paradise fish in stock at the aquarists we bought ours from were all co-habiting peacefully, showing full colours and no signs of fin damage. They don't tend to sell very well in that store, so I've been able to observe the same fish in their setup(a very good one, a ctually) for a while now. Who knows.
From: Michael Jones
I have found this fish species to be beautiful and fun to watch. Although not a community fish these fish when kept in pairs will swim around with each other chase each other and hide among the plants and rocks in the aquarium. My pair seems to eat anything from flake to frozen. This is a fantastic fish for some one looking for a colorful easy to maintain fish.
From: Calidon
I Just want to tell you that Blue Paradise fish can live in water down to 45 degrees (Fahrenheit). So if it's just these fish in the aquarium and you not planning to breed them you don't need a heater as much as you need a chiller. I raise Blue Paradise fish. You can certainly tell the difference between male and female. Male are much more colorful and have huge fan-tails. Females are a drab gray mostly around the stomach area. This fish will pick a female and stay with her from the moment of mating to egg laying. Together they will keep care off the eggs. If some were to drift off from the nest they will both get them and bring them back. This is an excellent fish. I love it. If it's a good spawning there can be up to five hundred fry. It is very hard form e to sell them because I love them so much. This fish will bond with it's owner(whoever feeds it.) And a little sea salt in the water will benefit them greatly. When introducing any new fish to the aquarium especially new paradise fish, you should keep an eye on the new one to see if it's eating, especially if it's a female. The other fish may starve it to death.
From: C Priest
I find this fish agressive and a lot of ppl dont have a lot of idea about it as the pet shop told us my male would b ok wif other males and they do infact fite other fosh that look like him and eat any think in neon region .. and can jump fairly high athought they are hardy and easy to look after not really a comunity fish !

From: Scott
I tried getting one of these fish once when a LFS seemed to have gotten a large order of them in, bad idea, the fish went and ate the eye of a juvenile giant diano(just as big as the paradise fish) and then started chasing the others around, the store guy had them in a tank with guppys and the guppys seemed to be doing fine(then again, that many guppies its hard to see any dead ones) very peculiar fish, if you plan on getting one make sure you keep an eye on its behavior








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