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Maximum size : 10 cm

Blue Eyed Congo Tetra - Phenacogrammus aurantiacus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Blue Eye Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus aurantiacus) is a true gem of the aquarium world. These gorgeous fish are hardy and peaceful, known for their vibrant colours and schooling behaviour. In their natural habitat, they typically swim in large groups, creating a breathtaking display of colour and movement. Therefore, keeping these fish in groups of at least six to eight individuals is essential to appreciate their stunning nature fully. Moreover, Blue Eye Congo Tetras are an excellent community tank addition. Because of their shy temperament, it is recommended not to house them with much more significant or aggressive fish. Ideal tankmates include other Characins, Rainbowfish, Corydoras, and Dwarf Cichlids. However, choosing species with similar temperaments is essential to prevent nipping or aggression. Keeping them with much smaller fish is also not advisable as they may become aggressive towards them. Blue Eye Congo Tetras will show off their most brilliant colours in a planted aquarium with open swimming space and driftwood. They prefer dim lighting and are best suited for an African biotope tank with floating vegetation, driftwood branches, and Anubias. The water should be slightly acidic and soft with a good current. These stunning fish have dark brown to black slender bodies adorned with bright blue spots and a vivid horizontal stripe ranging in colour from yellow to orange or green. Below that stripe, they display a pale blue horizontal band with a myriad of reflective colours. In addition, the edge of their stomachs features bright blue spots, and their eyes are a vibrant blue, truly making them a stand out in any aquarium.

Blue Eyed Congo Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Blue Eyed Congo Tetras is a relatively simple task. Adult males possess larger body sizes and more vivid colouration, accompanied by elongated dorsal and caudal fins that may develop filaments. Conversely, females are relatively smaller, duller in colouration, and devoid of elongated fins.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePhenacogrammus aurantiacus
Year Described1930
Other NamesLamp Eye Congo Tetra, Golden Congo Tetra, Yellow Congo Tetra
OriginsGabon Democratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 18
72 - 82
22.2 - 27.8

Natural habitat

Blue Eye Congo Tetras are a magnificent species that call the lush, tropical waterways of Gabon and the Republic of Congo home. However, these fish are also found in the upper reaches of the Congo River Basin, thriving in areas with gentle currents and a mix of silt, sand, and mud substrates, surrounded by an abundance of aquatic vegetation and natural debris. Blue Eye Congo Tetras love to dart in and out of plants, picking at the various organisms that thrive there, whether in the wild or in an aquarium. In their natural habitat, these fish can be found hiding among leaf litter and driftwood, as well as in the quieter backwaters and eddies of the river. These incredible fish are a true marvel of nature and a delightful addition to any aquarium.
 Congo River - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag

How to breed the Blue Eyed Congo Tetra

To successfully breed Blue Eye Congo Tetras, a separate aquarium with a minimum size of 70 litres is necessary to house any potential fry. In addition, itducing lighting and providing abundant vegetation is crucial, as these fish will scatter their eggs among the plants. The tank base should be covered with a mesh that will allow the eggs to fall through but prevent the adults from reaching them. To prepare for breeding, it is best to condition the fish with a varied diet of live and frozen food. Spawning typically occurs at the first light of the morning, and a single pair can produce between 100 to 200 eggs. Unfortunately, blue Eye Congo Tetras will not protect their eggs, so removing the pair once spawning has finished is essential to avoid predation. The eggs will incubate for 5 to 7 days, with some eggs possibly developing fungus during the first 24 to 48 hours, which must be removed. After hatching, the young will initially feed off their yolk sac for a day or two before transitioning to infusoria, followed by baby brine shrimp or microworms.

Diet & feeding

Blue Eye Congo Tetras have a diverse diet that includes both animal and plant matter. They feed on worms, crustaceans, insects, algae, and detritus in their natural habitat. In the home aquarium, these fish are undemanding and will readily accept various food. You can feed them high-quality dried foods like flakes and granules and live or frozen options such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworm. To maintain optimal health, feeding them small portions multiple times a day is best.

Frequently asked questions

Blue Eye Congo Tetras can grow to a maximum of 10 cm, with the males typically growing bigger than the females.

Blue Eye Congo Tetras are not aggressive; in fact, they are relatively shy species. However, they may occasionally nip on the fins of much smaller fish.

Blue Eye Congo Tetras can live happily among other Tetra species such as Cardinal Tetras, Neon Tetras and Glowlight Tetras. They can also be housed with species such as Mollies, Platies and Guppies as these fish all have a similar temperament and can live in the same water conditions. \r\n\r\nSome other potential tankmates can include Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Barbs, Corydoras Catfish, and Rasboras. However, you should avoid larger, more aggressive species such as Tiger Barbs or Bettas.

Blue Eye Congo Tetras are not picky eaters and are easily fed. However, ensure you provide your fish with a balanced diet of good quality dried food alongside Live and frozen food and plant matter. This will guarantee the best colour and condition of your fish.

It is super easy to distinguish male from female Blue Eye Tetras. Males are larger than females, have longer fins and are much more brightly coloured.

Blue Eye Congo Tetras come from Africa, usually in the middle and upper River Basins of the Republic of Congo. They inhabit the edges of fast-flowing waters surrounded by dense vegetation where they feed on insects, worms and other zooplankton.

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