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Brown Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish Overview & Care Guide

If you have a mid to smaller size tank and want to add it with the unique and appealing fish, you can’t go wrong with the spike-tailed paradise fish.

Owning a paradise fish can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made in your aquarist’s experience since you are going to see a lot of interesting actions and memorable moments when you have some pairs in your aquascape. Let’s find out more about this special buddy.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy
TemperamentFriendly and peaceful, can be aggressive in a smaller tank
AppearanceBrown Spike
Life Expectancy5 years
Size6,5-7,5 cm
DietOmnivorous; Live and frozen foods, but also accept flake foods.
FamilyOsphronemidae
Tank SizeMinimum 20-gallons
Tank EnvironmentTank with a dark bottom, subdued lighting and enough planting
Tank MatesLarger species, not slow-moving, not long-fin fish.

The spiny-tailed paradise fish (Scientific name: Pseudosphromenus Dayi) is also known as paradise gourami. It is one of the most popular breeds in the market that many advanced aquarists will suggest adding.

The astonishing coloration of the paradise fish is the key reason why many hobbyists are attracted to care for and pet this little creature.

It is easy to care for them. They are not picky eaters either. They are good companions for other peaceful fish, making your tank ecosystem more beautiful and exciting.

Owning a paradise fish does not require special tools or a complicated set of skills and methods. You just need to follow the manuals given by your pet store staff to keep them fun and healthy.

In this species, the labyrinth organ is a one-of-a-kind respiratory auxiliary organ. This organ allows fish to live in low-oxygen environments. I have never seen these buddies in the market. They looked dead but then when the owner added more bubbles of oxygen to the tank, they lived again.

This fish is available in a range of hues. The color of the fish is influenced by the food it consumes. Pink-gray-whitish is the most commonly seen color.

This species is quiet, timid, and very active. They always explore from top to bottom dwellers.

The Paradise fish, also known as the Paradise gourami, is a beautiful species found in the seas of South-East Asia.

When you take care of them well, the spike-tailed paradise fish can reach up to 11 cm in length.

Natural Habitat

The spike-tailed groups move in the weedy ponds. Most of them are found in the lowland areas, swamps, paddies, etc. Thanks to their special respiratory designs, they can survive in those conditions.

They live in slow-flowing locations too so it can be easy to spot them in the wild habitat.

Tank Setup

First things first, you will want to prepare your 20L tank. The water flow must be at least four times the volume of the aquarium. So, you will need to choose an adequate filter to provide the right filtration quality.

You can add the substrate to support the other tank mates as well. But for easy maintenance, you can eliminate this option.

The spike-tailed paradise fish needs shady spots to rest, scout, and hide. You will want to add some important items like branches, roots, coconut shells, caves, etc. If you plan to breed them, consider adding more items that are ideal for the spawning sites.

The dim lighting is also a must. It is the key to a good environment for your spike-tailed little friends.

Since your paradise buddies can jump, you’d want to get the lid for your aquarium. Not to mention adding floating vegetation will offer a shady environment that is convenient for them.

When it comes to the water condition, you’d want to pay attention to some details below:

  • Temperature: 20 – 28 °C
  • pH: 6.0 – 7.5
  • Hardness: 36 – 268 ppm

Your little pets can survive in many different water conditions. They are from tropical and subtropical regions. They tend to be happy when the temperatures are not warm. It is cool to get them in the cold tanks. The ideal temperature would be from 20 to 27° celsius.

They could survive with a small amount of acidic water. But you can’t risk it too much. Don’t change the water rapidly since they will hardly adapt.

Get rid of nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites as much as you can.

You want to prepare your 20-gallon for a few specimens of the fish. As mentioned, the substrate is optional, but you can add it with the leaves, caves, and hiding places. If you keep the fish in a group, make sure you’ll have more females than males.

For each additional fish, you’d want to add 5 gallons more to your aquarium. That’s why you will need a spacious aquarium if you want to treat more spike-tailed paradise fish.

Decorating these species specimens is easy. The good thing is that these small pets do not get too talkative when living in your tank. But they will be a lot happier when your tank mimics their natural habitat.

The majority of rivers and streams that contain blackwater have sandy bottoms. While they like swimming in the tank’s top and middle and should be the dominant in the substrate for the bulk of the time.

The plants are the focal point of the room’s décor. Paradise fish use them to blend in with their surroundings.

Brown Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish Tank Mates

Although this species is peaceful, its small size and shy disposition preclude it from becoming a great community fish.

While cyprinids and loaches may cohabit in similar environments in nature, fish of the same morphology or size should be avoided.

A pair or a group can be maintained, with the latter resulting in some intriguing interactions.

The greeneries additions can help you to prevent some abusive behaviors. Consider to one some of the options below:

  • Guppy grass
  • Hornwort
  • Java Moss
  • Water wisteria
  • Duckweed

The spike-tailed paradise fish can be very dominant. If there are other dominant fish in the same environment, they’d tend to be aggressive and maintain their dominance. They will fight with other dominant fish.

However, if the tank mates are larger and more aggressive, they will hide.

The adult males don’t usually get along unless your tank is large.

When you want to add tank mates from other species, you will need to carefully choose them. Not all tank mates are great options for your spike-tailed little pets.

The non-aggressive goldfish can be a great companion for them.

The other types of tank mates to consider are gouramis, cyprinid species, as well as catfish.

Do not add slow-moving and long fins since your group of paradise fish could be bullying them.

Due to the aggressive character of the fish, finding a paradise fish mate may be challenging. Placing paradise fish in the same tank as other fish with comparable temperaments will result in a war royale.

The presence of smaller fish may increase their predatory or dominant character, leading the ‘neighbor’ to perish. As a result, larger calm fish should be good tank mates for paradise fish.

Food & Diet

The Spike-tailed paradise fish are omnivorous. They are not picky eaters either.

You could add some live foods like artemia, insect larvae, white worm, daphnia, and others. These will give your little pets opportunities to prey on smaller creatures. But you can also give them frozen versions of their prey.

The common dried foods and commercial pet foods can be great options too.

The crickets and fruit flies are the favorite insects for these fish. But you might end up giving them more. To balance the diets, you could combine these with fish flakes or veggies items.

Even though you find flakes and pellets for the other species, you could give them to your paradise fish as well. They have such a tendency to eat live prey although it does not make their stomach full.

Besides the items above, they can also be your tank cleaners. Where there are algae and hydra, they won’t hesitate to take them. They will get enough fiber by then.

The key to their longevity is a diet that is rich in protein. So, make sure you give them the right mix of foods.

Breeding Guidelines

This is an oviparous species. The male makes a nest on the surface of the water, on leaves, or in cellars using the plant components and bubbles. Then he will seduce a lady, wrap her body and turn it upside down.

The female lays eggs and the male immediately fertilizes them. The roe is returned to her nest.

The males will watch the eggs. The eggs hatch after 1-2 days. The fry starts to swim and eat 2-3 days later.

When you see the males pose a threat to their babies, you could move them to another tank. The fry can grow fast but they need safer areas where adults can’t harass and devour them.

Spike-Tailed Brown Paradise fish breeding is easy. Keep water level at 10 cm and temperature at 28° Celsius. It is an ideal° to spawn.