Habitat of the Fish Macropodus Opercularis in Nature - fish-hobbyist

Habitat of the Fish Macropodus Opercularis in Nature

Learn about the habitat of the fish Macropodus opercularis in nature, origin, their natural inhabitants, as well as the remarkable patterns featuring blues and reds along with their bodies.

Macropodus opercularis, commonly known as the Paradise Fish, is among the first tropical fish kept in captivity for the aquarium hobby and quite popular in the fish trade. For that, this species is also nicknamed the “founding fish of the hobby”. Macropodus opercularis was first introduced to the hobby by Gerault, a French soldier, in 1869. During that time, Gerault shipped 100 specimens initially, but only 22 survived. 

They were later successfully bred by another Frenchman named the Parisian Pierre Carbonnier in the same year. This made the Paradise Fish, also called the Blue Paradise Fish, Chinese Fighting Fish, and Paradise Gourami, the very first ornamental fish imported to Europe. However, what is the habitat of the fish Macropodus opercularis in nature? Let’s find out more. 


The Paradise Fish Macropodus opercularis is naturally found in Asia, such as China, Taiwan, Hainan Island, northeastern Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and central and northern Vietnam. In China, this population occurs from the east in the Yangtze catchment basin to the Pearl River gully and Hong Kong.

Even though the habitat of the fish Macropodus opercularis is from Asia—mostly in Southeast Asia, this species has been introduced to several countries from Europe to the United States mostly as the outturn of the ornamental market. This Paradise Fish is broadly popular among aquarists.


Adult fish colonize lowland natural environments from heterogeneous structured margins or big rivers’ outlands to small rivers and irrigation canals on farmland in the natural habitat. They can also be found in ditches and rice paddies. Macropodus opercularis can inhabit places with deficient oxygen. 

Simply said, the Paradise fish can survive in a habitat with dense vegetation. Furthermore, this species can live in a full range of natural surroundings and habitat types. 


After learning the habitat of the fish Macropodus opercularis, let’s discuss the description of this species. Generally, the Paradise Fish size is 10.01 centimeters or 3.9 inches and can reach up to 4 inches. The female’s size is 3 inches or 8 centimeters smaller than male fish. Macropodus opercularis has pointed fins and a sturdy broad body. The male has longer fins that elongate into serrated filaments.

This species has a labyrinth organ. This labyrinth organ—which plays a part as a lung—lets the fish breathe air by gulping it at the water’s surface. Therefore, even in polluted water, Macropodus opercularis still can survive. Just like its name, this fish features a stunning diversity color of blues and reds along with white and black highlight. As for their fins, most of the dorsal are red. This species also presents albino varieties. The albino offers a captivating pattern.  

We hope you find this article useful. Knowing the habitat of the fish Macropodus opercularis in nature will give you a better understanding of this species. This Paradise fish is a remarkable kind to be kept in a tank but quite challenging for beginners.

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