The paradisefish genus, Macropodus is
known in China and Korea toward the north of the labyrinthfish
distribution but this fish has not been described in the fauna of
Russia before. However, new records were described by aquarists from
the Amur river in the Russian far east, near Chinese territory and
these were reported in the Russian literature.:- A.M.Kochetov,
'Decorative fish breeding' Moscow 1991 and 'Akvariumist' Moscow, 1993
No. 6- 'Unusual find - from near Habarovsk'.
The climate of this
territory is continental, with a cold winter and a short summer. The
water temperature in the Amur basin varies widely in the different
seasons, unlike those usually associated with anabantoid habitats. The
rivers are under ice-cover in winter in this territory which should
cause an air-breather serious problems in maintaining respiration. The
air temperature can be -22 to -30 °C while summer air temperatures vary
The paradisefish were described asM.chinensis.
Normally they are very hard, adaptable specimens. Some can live in very
cold water with ice-cover for about 3h with gradual reduction in water
temperatures to 3-5°C and air temperatures of -10°C. However many fish
died under these conditions and only a few could survive for more than
a few hours at temperatures below -10°C. Sharp temperature changes
caused disease such as Saprolegnia fungus
with a lethal end result.
this case, the long winter of the Russian far east makes it difficult
to imagine the long-term survival of the paradisefish. Its appearance
may be due to occasional escapes from the aquarium or the occasional
migratory introduction from China and Korea, biotopes which communicate
with the Amur basin. The fish has been observed in open ponds at 10°C
in summer but has not been observed in the cold winter seasons. It more
easily adapts to cold conditions in old, slightly acid water, achieved
using peat extract. Colisa lalia can also live at low temperatures
(15°C) in old, unchanged water but quickly diseased in fresh, 'clean'
water at temperatures at 18°C.
Many of the ponds and everglades in the far Russian east are
covered with ice from top to bottom and only the well-adapted goby,Percottus,
can live under these conditions. The continuance of populations of
Macropodus is therefore doubtful under these conditions.