The paradise fish or Macropodus
are members of the
This family grouping includes both betta fish
fish is a gourami. They are also commonly
referred to as paradise gouramis.
to East Asia. They populate the rice
patties and ditches of Northern Vietnam and the Korean Peninsula. They
were one of the first ornamental fish introduced to western society.
They were first exported to Europe in the 1800s.
as a commercial ornamental fish, you are
unlikely to see one in a home aquarium.
They aren’t even
most fish specialty stores. This may be because paradise fish do not
make good aquarium fish. Paradise fish are predators by nature. They
are combative and harassing. They will attack each other and other
species often seriously or fatally wounding them. You can no sooner put
two males in the same tank together than you can betta males. Paradise
fish are even more aggressive than bettas when it comes to male
territorialism. Just like bettas, females can be housed together
without incident. The popularity of this species waned with western
aquarists when much less aggressive gouramis
began to be exported.
toward more aggressive species have a limit
number of choices as far as tank-mates for paradise fish. Suitable
candidates include larger danios and tetra, catfish and less aggressive
cichlids such as firemouths. They can hold there own against most South
American cichlids of equal size.
and other gouramis belong to the
suborder Anabantid. Regardless of geological location, all members of
this suborder evolved in low oxygenated water. The rice patties and
ditches of Eastern Asia are a prime example of such an environment.
They are often muddy and inhospitable to any fish that do not fall into
the Anabantid suborder.
Anabantids with a unique means of surviving in
these adverse conditions. They evolved a lung-like organ known as a
labyrinth organ. The labyrinth allows them to breathe oxygen straight
from the atmosphere. You will see all such members of this suborder
frequently rise to the surface to gulp air. Without a combination of
dissolved and atmospheric oxygen they will not survive.
approximately four inches with an average
life span of six years. Paradise fish prefer slightly alkaline water.
They can tolerate levels varying anywhere between 6.0-8.0 and water
temperatures ranging between 68-78°F. They are omnivores but
provided a diet reasonably high in protein. The males are more colorful
than the females and have larger fins.
the male and the female in a breeding
tank with a divider between them. Male paradise fish may kill a female
if she is not carrying eggs. You will want to have an abundance of
plants for the female to hide in once the divider is removed. The water
temperature should be toward the higher end of the fishes’
level. They are less likely to breed in cooler water. Have your water
filter turned down. Paradise fish breed in still waters in there
If the male
inclination to spawn he will use his
labyrinth to build a bubble nest on the water’s surface mixed
small pieces of the plant matter you provided. If this occurs it is
safe to remove the divider.
If the female
male’s invitation to breed the two fish
will embrace releasing both the eggs and semen into the water. After
each embrace, the male will gather the fertilized eggs and spit them
into the bubble nest.
occurred, the male no longer has any use for the
female. Promptly remove her from the tank to prevent the male from
killing her. Leave the male with the fry until they hatch and begin to
swim freely. Now the male must be removed to prevent him from eating
fry can be
fed infusoria. In a few days their diet
can be switched to newly hatched shrimp brine or powdered fry food.
Page For Future