Techniques for Keeping Macropodus Opercularis in Water Tank - fish-hobbyist

Techniques for Keeping Macropodus Opercularis in Water Tank

Maintaining Macropodus opercularis fish is quite challenging, especially for beginners. Here are some handy pieces of advice to keep them in an aquarium, from the tank size to their diet.

If you are an aquarist or keeping fish as a hobby, then Macropodus opercularis fish is no longer new news. Macropodus opercularis fish has other common names such as Blue Paradise Gourami, the Paradise Fish, Red and Blue Paradise Fish, and Chinese Fighting Fish. Besides those names, they are also popular as the “founding fish of the hobby”.

The latter name is well-known because this species is the first ornamental fish to be foreign traded to Europe, after the Goldfish Carassius auratus. This fish was first led to France in 1869 by Gerault, a French soldier, and bred the same year by another Frenchman named the Parisian Pierre Carbonnier. For beginners, keeping the Paradise Fish in a tank is not an easy task. Here are some useful tips about maintaining Macropodus opercularis fish. 


Before we discuss maintaining Macropodus opercularis fish in captivity, let’s talk about their description first. This Chinese Fighting Fish, originally found in the east in the Yangtze catchment basin to the Pearl River gully in China, has impressive bright colors of vivid red and blue stripes over their bodies. Another fascinating feature is their long flowing fins. 

Care Guide

This fish is popular for the hobby thanks to its captivating behavior, remarkable bright blue and red colors, and hardiness. Since Macropodus opercularis is quite hard to handle, they are not fit for aquarist beginners. This fish tends to be aggressive, and males mostly attack each other.

However, if you are determined to keep them in captivity, you can create a fully decorated tank. Place some branches, floating dried leaves, and driftwood roots. However, many breeders prefer not to use any of those decorations for easier maintenance.

Aquarium Size

An aquarium with a size of 83x30 centimeters is considered the minimum size for a single pair. A single fish could be kept in a little as five gallons. However, a small tank is more difficult to maintain. If you plan for long-term care, a standard of 20 or 30 gallons best recommended. 

Temperature and Lighting

The recommended temperature for an aquarium is around 16.1 to 26.1 °Celsius or 16.1 to 26.1 °Fahrenheit. If the temperature is slightly far from those numbers, Macropodus opercularis can still tolerate that. Therefore, these species are also excellent for outdoor ponds or unheated tanks. As for the lighting, normal and moderate lighting fits best.

Diet and Feeding

The next important thing about maintaining Macropodus opercularis fish is, of course, their food or diet. These species are omnivores. However, they prefer meaty foods. You can give them quality flake, pellet foods, and living diets—such as brine shrimps, white worms, and blood worms. Note that you shouldn’t give a type of food exclusively. Feed Macropodus opercularis once or twice a day.

In the natural habitat, the Paradise fish are predators. They will eat small fish, planktons, invertebrates, and other zoobenthos. These fish can breathe air thanks to their labyrinth organ. Therefore, they sometimes catch insects or small flies that appear on the water surface. 

Because maintaining Macropodus opercularis fish is pretty much demanding, paying attention to the aquarium size, temperature, lighting, to their diet is important. Even though it is challenging, this species is worth keeping as a hobby.

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