One of the oldest and most popular choices among fish-enthusiasts, Paradise Gourami fish is a beautiful addition to any aquarium. It is a freshwater fish and is a type of gourami. Consequently, it is also known as paradise gourami. They are easily accessible and one can get them at a very cheap price. These gouramis are extremely beautiful with blue and red stripes running across their bodies. Their tails are single-colored though. Native to Southeast Asia, this species is not for everyone to handle. Undoubtedly, they are a treat for the eyes but their beauty is not the only thing they possess.
Their beautiful appearance is accompanied by an aggressive nature. They are often involved in fights and bullies. Paradise gourami is a species that has a great affection for dominance. If they are living in a region, they would like to be the one dominating it. This behavior can make them a handful at times. It is a major reason why their popularity has dropped in the recent past. Well, this shouldn't worry the potential owners. Some prior experience along with the proper guidance is sufficient to take care of this pet paradise fish. This article will guide the owners through everything they need to know before bringing a paradise gourami home.
Distinctive Features of Paradise Gourami
|Scientific Name||Macropodus opercularis|
|Lifespan||Up to 8 years|
|Color||Males: Vibrant and iridescent with shades of blue, green, and orange; Females: Duller colors|
|Size||Up to 4 inches|
|Tank Size||Minimum 20 gallons|
|Tankmates||Other big but not aggressive fish|
|Unique Trait||Vibrant colors and elaborate finnage in males|
|Famous For||Attractive appearance and aggressive nature|
|Behavior||Generally good with supervised children|
|Personality||Active and curious|
|Social||Can be kept individually or in pairs|
Paradise gouramis share most of their features with other gouramis. However, unlike most of the other gouramis, they are aggressive in nature. Even though they are known for their aggressive behavior, one can often find them hiding here and there. There are numerous other things that make a paradise fish stand out among the rest. Before that, here's a list of some of the basic characteristics.
Now, here are some other features of paradise gouramis that are not only interesting but would be really helpful in taking care of them.
- Male paradise gouramis are always more aggressive than their female counterparts. If these gouramis are being kept in a group, it should be ensured that there is only one male among them. Keeping two male gouramis together is like encouraging them to fight over territories or over females. Nothing good comes out of it in either case.
- Similar to other gouramis, paradise gouramis have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe atmospheric oxygen. This helps them to survive in water with low oxygen concentration as well. It is a major contributing factor in them being a tough and hardy fish.
- Paradise gouramis have slight changes in color when there is any change in their environment. Apart from environmental changes, one may also notice their color being intensified while they are mating. Their appearance changes during a fight as well but the duration is relatively shorter.
- Male and female paradise fish can be distinguished on the basis of their appearance. Males are usually larger in size with brighter colors. The dorsal fins are also larger and more pointed in the case of male gouramis.
How to Take Care of Pet Paradise Gourami Fish?
Paradise gouramis are not very difficult to care for. However, their aggressive behavior can be a bit of a problem for the novice fish-keepers. Hence, it is better if the owners have some prior experience of caring for a pet fish. Apart from fulfilling their basic necessities including food and shelter, one needs to monitor them as well. Special attention should be given if there are other gouramis or any other fish in the tank. This is to avoid any unwanted chaos. Nobody would want to witness a deadly fish-fight. However, this behavior can be avoided by providing them with a proper habitat and an adequate diet to keep them happy. Keep reading to know how!
How to Setup a Tank for Pet Paradise Gourami Fish?
As discussed in previous sections, paradise gouramis are a little aggressive and can be territorial. They need enough space for themselves or it would affect them and their tankmates badly. The tank being used for single paradise gourami should be at least 20 gallons. After that, one may add 5 gallons more for each extra gourami that is going to be included. Remember, this is the minimum. It is always preferred to go with the larger size, especially if there are other species as well.
These gouramis quickly adapt to a wide range of environments and are quite flexible with the water conditions too. They can handle a wide range of temperatures. However, the suitable water temperature in the tank should be between 61 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level of the water should lie in the range of 5.8 to 8.0 while the water hardness should be between 5 to 30 dGH. The water should be changed frequently to maintain the quality.
They don't have a high demand for decor but the tank should closely resemble their natural habitat. Sand can be used for putting up as a substrate at the bottom of the tank. However, they mostly swim in the middle and the upper parts of the tank. So, the substrate is not the most important concern. It is vegetation! They tend to live in regions with dense vegetation. Hence, the tank should include different varieties of plants including floating ones. As for the tank mates, they should be kept with larger and peaceful fish.
What to Feed Your Pet Paradise Gourami Fish?
Paradise gouramis are omnivores and accept different kinds of food. Their diet should be a mix of living, frozen and plant-based food. For live food, one may include bloodworms, brine shrimps, mosquito larvae, and so on. As for plant-based food, fresh green vegetables can be used. High-quality flakes and pellets available in the market are also a good option as they are a combination of all nutrients. Meat should essentially be added to the meals. One important thing to keep in mind is that their diet should be highly rich in protein.
The frequency of the meals should be one or two times a day. Importantly, the food should be given in small quantities. They are fast eaters and it may seem like they need more food. However, it is advised to give only the amount of food that they can consume within a couple of minutes. Breaking up the food into smaller pieces is also recommended as it will help the fish in better digestion. Once they are done with their meal, the remains should be removed from the tank. This would help in better hygiene.
What are the Health Concerns for Pet Paradise Gourami Fish?
Paradise gouramis are hardy species and don’t fall sick very easily. Instead, they have better resistance against diseases compared to other species of fish. However, they are vulnerable to certain health problems. Constipation can be a common issue if they are surviving on low-quality food or if they are not getting enough nutrients from their diet. The symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, difficulty swimming, and stringy feces. Besides, there are certain fish diseases including bacterial and fungal infections that are common to all the gouramis. Most of these are caused by unhygienic living conditions or poor water quality. Some of these problems include:
- Lymphocystis disease
- Fin rot
These health issues can be avoided if the owners follow all the guidelines and provide a healthy environment. Maintaining cleanliness and changing the water regularly is of utmost importance in this regard. Keeping the gouramis mentally happy is equally essential. If they are too stressed, it may impact their health and they may even stop swimming around. In the worst cases, it can even result in their death. One can guess their mood by monitoring their behavior. Other physical diseases can also be noticed by changes in their energy and appearance. If there are any symptoms, the fish should be treated immediately.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Paradise Gourami Fish
Some of the generally asked questions about Paradise Gourami are answered below:
Can paradise fish live with gouramis?
Yes, paradise fish or paradise gouramis can live with other gouramis. However, they can be territorial which means that they should be given enough space to avoid any fight. Also, two male gouramis should never be kept together unless the aquarium is too large.
How big do paradise gouramis get?
Paradise gouramis can grow up to 2-3 inches in size. In some cases, they can grow up to 4 inches if provided with good care.
Are paradise gouramis aggressive?
Yes, paradise gouramis are aggressive. Owing to the same, they can be quite difficult to handle at times. Hence, it is preferable if the owner has prior experience in fish-keeping.
What fish can I put with paradise fish?
Paradise fish can be put together with other larger and peaceful fishes. They can also be kept with other female gouramis but sufficient space should be provided.
How often should I feed my paradise fish?
Paradise fish should be fed twice a day. The amount of food should be limited.