The first exotic aquarium fish to arrive in Europe was Carassius auratus (The Goldfish), followed in the 1860s by Macropodus opercularis (Paradise fish). One of the main reasons this fish survived the journey so far from its native haunts of southeast China and Korea was that it is so hardy. They can comfortably tolerate temperatures down to 15°C (59°F) and have even been known to survive temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F). Unfortunately they are somewhat aggressive towards smaller fishes and adult males will fight as aggressively as Siamese fighting fishes. At one time they were considered “king” of the aquarium world, but that was long ago before the more beautiful, but more delicate, truly tropical species were available. Today you can still find the “original” species in shops, but there are also a number of different species of paradise fish which are seen from time to time. Most of these are smaller and more peaceful, but lack the lovely blue and red vertical stripes of the original. This coloration makes it even now a worthy addition to the larger community aquarium where the smallest inmate is about 10 cm (4 in) long. As adults your paradise fishes will achieve a maximum size of 12.5 cm (5 in).
Spawning usually takes place under a large leaf at the water’s surface. It follows the typical Gourami procedure, with the male building a bubblenest, but the female is often badly mauled by the male if she is not ready to spawn, so provide plenty of cover for her to hide in.