Paradise Fish: Ultimate Guide (Care, Guide, Diet, Breeding, & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Paradise Fish are an attractive species of freshwater fish that attract many aquarium owners, and they have a unique coloration that makes them a delight to observe.

Whenever you pass by their aquarium, you might stop and stare at them for a long time because they are quite fascinating.

If you are interested in buying Paradise Fish for your home aquarium, there are some particular care guidelines that you need to consider. Although they are quite hardy and adaptable, their aggressive temperament can make things a tad challenging.

Luckily, you have our guide to fall back on. We have reviewed every aspect of caring for these fish, including their habitat, water parameters, diet, breeding, tank mates, and various other factors. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Species Summary

Paradise Fish belongs to the Gourami or Osphronemidae family and has the scientific name Macropodusopercularis. They are naturally found in waters that surround the East Asian region, particularly the coast of China, Korea, and Vietnam. They can also be found in the waters of Pakistan, India, and Taiwan.

They are used to living in shallow waters that contain a lot of plants and vegetation. This makes them much more similar to other fish of the Gourami family. While they are most comfortable in this environment, they can adapt well to a wide range of water conditions.

Life Span8-10 years
Color FormRed with blue stripes
Care levelMedium
CompatibilityLarge and peaceful fish
Tank SetupFreshwater rich in vegetation
Minimum Tank Size20 Gallons

Paradise Fish are exceptionally beautiful, which makes them hugely popular among the aquarium community. It is also believed that they are one of the very first ornamental fish out there.

Their temperament is quite different as compared to other Gourami fish because they are more on the aggressive side. They often fight with their own kind, more than any other species.

Therefore, you need to be very careful about keeping them with the same species so that they can lead happy and healthy lives.


On average, Paradise Fish can live up to 8 or 9 years, provided that you give them a healthy and proper environment that doesn’t stress them out. By maintaining the proper water and tank requirements, you will be able to keep them from fighting each other.

Some experts have reported that good water quality and tank conditions have also resulted in an extended lifespan for Paradise Gourami. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to prolong their lifespan.


Paradise Fish have a unique and beautiful appearance that makes them stand out from the other freshwater aquarium fish. Not only are they colorful and vibrant, but their bodies are also quite interesting.

These fish have slender bodies with long fins that float behind them as they swim. The dorsal and anal fins are quite similar and stretch along the caudal peduncle. The fins are also white at the edges, which further intensifies their beauty.

The fish also contain small ventral fins that protrude from their bodies and float when they swim. The caudal fin is also forked and stretches out with a large surface area in the middle.

Generally, Paradise Gourami have a similar profile to other Gourami species, which feature a slender torpedo-like body and a pointed head.

When it comes to coloration, these fish have different combinations. Commonly, they are donned with a blue and red-orange color that fades closer to their head. Their sides have vertical orange and blue stripes, and they stop at the tail.

The anal and dorsal fins have a blue coloration with light-colored stripes, while their caudal fins are orange with white edges.

There is another variant of Paradise Fish that has a blue base with faint orange hints. Their tails are much more vibrant and orange in color.


Paradise Fish are quite small and measure up to 2.5 inches in length. This makes them one of the smallest fish in the Gourami family. This also means that you don’t need a very big tank to keep them comfortably, but nano tanks are still a bad idea.

The growth of these fish is also dependent on how well you take care of them, which is why you shouldn’t slack off on any of the care guidelines at any cost.

Although providing them with quality care won’t help them outgrow the average size, but it will keep them from getting ill or stressed easily.

Paradise Fish Care

Caring for Paradise Fish has different factors and aspects, some of which are easy, and the rest is quite challenging. This is why we say that their care level is intermediate, and you have to know which areas to focus on.

The most challenging aspect of caring for your Paradise Fish is to handle their aggression and provide a stress-free environment to grow in. This greatly affects their health and growth. Let’s have a look at the more specific care guidelines that you need to know about.

Tank Size

First and foremost, the tank size plays a major role in raising and keeping a Paradise Gourami in your home aquarium. The minimum capacity for the tank should be 20 gallons for just one fish because they need the expansive space to swim around comfortably.

Moreover, the ample space will be sufficient for you to add more decorations and accessories to the tank. Since they can be aggressive towards their own species, you need more room to give all of them their own space so that they don’t exhibit their territorial instincts.

Water Parameters

Another thing you need to be particular about is the water parameters. Since Paradise Gourami is a resilient and adaptable species of fish, they can thrive in a wide range of water conditions. Thankfully, the water parameters are quite easy to understand and maintain, so you won’t have to worry about anything.

Let’s start with the water temperature. These fish are comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, ranging from cold to warm.

For this purpose, you should fill up your tank with fresh water and keep the temperature level between 68°F to 82°F. Just make sure to keep the water temperature constant and prevent it from fluctuating. Otherwise, the fish will get pretty stressed.

The next thing you need to be particular about is the pH level of the water in the tank. Ideally, it should be neutral, but you can keep it between 5.8 and 8.0. Last but not least, the water hardness should be maintained between 5 to 30 dGH.

Although these parameters are quite easy to follow, you will have to monitor the water quality regularly in order to prevent any fluctuations, and you can do so with the help of a water testing kit.

This would help you determine whether the environment is perfect for your Paradise Fish to grow and stay happy. If the conditions keep changing, they will make the fish prone to several diseases.

What to Put in Their Tank?

When it comes to setting up the tank for Paradise Gourami, the same rule applies as it does for any fish: replicate their natural habitat so that the fish can feel at home and also stay stress-free and comfortable.

In the wild, these fish are used to shallow waters that are rich in vegetation, which is why you will have to add several plants in order to mimic their natural environment. Some of the best plants that you can choose are Java moss, hornwort, and dwarf hairgrass. They like to move around and interact with these plants, using them for shelter and rest.

The presence of plants is highly beneficial for Paradise Fish, as it helps them feel safe and comfortable. If they are stressed every now and then, their health will continue to deteriorate. Therefore, plants aren’t an option or an add-on. Rather, they are mandatory.

For starters, you will need to place a soft substrate at the bottom of the aquarium. You can use sand, gravel, or rocks. Either option is fine because Paradise Gourami aren’t bottom dwellers and will rarely go down to scavenge for food or any other purpose.

You can also add rocks and driftwood all over the tank, but make sure not to fill it up with plants and decorations. Like other fish in the Gourami family, they have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe in oxygen from the surface of the water.

This means that they will swim up to the surface regularly, and they shouldn’t be interrupted or hindered by any plant or decorative accessory. Moreover, hiding space aren’t a necessity, so you can add a few if you feel like it.

Common Diseases

There aren’t any particular diseases that are characteristic of the Paradise Gourami, but you will have to keep the water conditions and parameters in check to make sure they aren’t infected with any disease. They are normally susceptible to parasitic infections, including Ich.

Ich is a common parasitic infection that is also known as white spot disease, and it causes the formation of small and white grainy spots all over their bodies.

Although this disease doesn’t spread to other fish or lead to other complications for the Paradise Fish, it can cause serious problems, especially if not treated proactively.

Regardless of the disease, you should quarantine the ill fish to another tank and replace the water inside it in order to keep the ammonia and nitrate levels balanced.

You should partially replace the water in the aquarium every week or two, as this would prevent your fish from getting sick.

Therefore, if you don’t want your fish to get ill or stressed, you should maintain the tank and water conditions regularly.

What Do Paradise Fish Eat?

In the wild, Paradise Fish are known to eat a huge variety of foods, depending on what is available in their natural habitat. They are natural omnivores, which means that they won’t be picky about what they get to eat.

In captivity, you can provide them with a well-balanced diet through a combination of different foods, including commercial dry flakes and pellet food. This would provide them with the nutrition and enrichment they need to grow.

However, it is very important to measure the protein content of their diet and also to maximize it. In their natural habitat, they are known to feast on insects, which gives them a lot of proteins. Therefore, you can feed them protein-based foods from time to time.

For this purpose, you can feed them with bloodworms, brine shrimp, and insect larvae. You can also give them white worms and also prefer live foods over frozen ones, as they provide the highest amount of protein for Paradise Gourami.

Moving on to the feeding schedule, you can feed these fish once or twice a day, depending on your routine, as well as how much they eat in one go. If you keep it at two times, you will reduce the likelihood of them getting stressed.

Behavior & Temperament

Paradise Fish are highly likable due to their unique behavior, and it makes them a very fun fish to own. They are mostly found in the upper layer of the aquarium, mainly because they have to breathe in atmospheric air from the surface of the water.

So, don’t be surprised if you see them moving up and down in the aquarium since they will continue to do so several times during the day. Other than that, they have aggressive behavior, but it depends on their habitat and the situation.

There are quite a few suitable tank mates that your Paradise Fish have, but more on that in the next section. These fish are known to be quite grumpy and moody, especially when they are placed with their own kind.

They will go so far as to injure their tank mates to the point of injury or even death.

When it comes to Paradise Fish care, their behavior is the most challenging thing that you have to navigate around. Keeping their aggression in check is what guarantees the success of your care regimen.

However, these words aren’t to intimidate or discourage you from keeping the Paradise Gourami in your home aquarium.

When the breeding and mating season rolls around, handling their aggression can be even more challenging to handle, especially with the male species.

Paradise Fish Tank Mates

The ideal tank mates for the Paradise Fish are larger species but with a peaceful or semi-aggressive temperament. Such fish would be too big for them to fight against or cause any harm. If you keep them with smaller fish, they will eat, injure, or kill them easily.

Plus, any fish that are as aggressive as them will result in a fight to the death, which isn’t something you would want in your home aquarium. Therefore, these are some suitable options for tank mates for your Paradise Fish:

Due to their aggression, most aquarium owners want to keep Paradise Fish alone, but it is possible to keep them in a community tank, provided that you follow the pairing convention that we have mentioned above.

Moreover, if you are looking to keep several of them in one tank, make sure you add 10-15 gallons per fish to the 20-gallon minimum requirement.

Also, you should know the gender of each fish that you add to the tank since males are generally more aggressive, and it can be difficult to handle several of them in the same tank.


The breeding process for Paradise Fish isn’t difficult at all, much to the delight of aquarists. As an aquarium owner, you can easily manage this on your own, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

For breeding, you will need a 20-gallon breeding tank with shallower water than the main tank, i.e., half a foot is just fine.

Once you isolate a mating pair in the breeding tank, the male fish will blow bubbles in the water, causing them to form a bubble nest beneath the vegetation. This would get the female interested, and the mating process begins.

The female starts laying her eggs, and the male fertilizes them, moving them to the bubble nest for protection. At this point, you can remove the female fish and place her back in the main tank. The male Gourami will defend the eggs until they hatch, following which you will also have to remove them from the breeding tank.

When the fry hatch, they continue to thrive off the egg sac and other microorganisms found in the water. When they start swimming freely, you can give them baby brine shrimp and other small foods suitable for their nutrition.

Final Thoughts

We bet you are already fascinated by Paradise Fish and want to experience keeping them in your home aquarium.

Let us reassure you that you will be able to do a great job of raising them, especially if you adhere to the care guidelines we have provided you with. This would result in a happy and healthy fish that would be a delight to own.