Max Size: 6.5cm

Congo Ctenopoma (Ctenopoma congicum)

The Congo Ctenopoma is a relatively new species to the aquarium hobby. However, these fish are generally sociable and can live well in a community tank, providing you choose the correct tankmates.

The Congo Ctenopoma would be best kept in pairs; however, even though the males may get aggressive and territorial with one other, especially when in spawning conditions, you can still maintain them together with no problems as long as there is plenty of hiding places and broken lines of sight.

The Ornate Ctenopoma will do better in a species only aquarium; however, you can keep them with other fish. Tankmates should be small, peaceful species that hang around in the upper and lower parts of the aquarium. Some ideal tankmates could include Tetras, Rasboras, killifish, and Hatchet fish. In addition, Having suitable tankmates will encourage these fish to come out more as they can be somewhat shy. You should avoid housing these with tiny fish or fry as they will get eaten, and you should not house them with nippy, boisterous or larger aggressive species.

These fish will thrive in a well-established aquarium with a dark substrate and an abundance of hiding places using plants, driftwood and smooth rocks. In addition, floating plants can also be valuable as it helps diffuse the light and make these timid fish feel more secure. The filtration will need to be efficient, but water movement reasonably gentle. You should also perform small, frequent partial water changes as this will help keep nitrate to a minimum.

The Congo Ctenopoma will adapt to different water conditions; however, make sure you avoid extreme changes. These fish will always exhibit their best colours in soft, slightly acidic water. Adding leaf litter like dried Indian Almond leaves would further emphasise the natural feel.

Congo Ctenopomas have a brownish-gold body with mottled markings on their unpaired fins and the sides of their body. These fish also bear 6 to 8 narrow dark vertical separated bars. In addition, they have flat tails and upturned mouths.


Congo Ctenopoma
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCtenopoma congicum
Year Described1887
Other NamesCongo Bushfish, Congo Climbing Perch
OriginsDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asPairs
ReproductionBubble nest
Lifespanup to 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH3 - 25
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


Because the Congo Ctenopoma is a carnivore; it would be best if you aimed to feed your fish on a diet primarily of meaty foodstuffs such as live and/or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, lobster eggs, cyclops, Mysis shrimp and bloodworm. Bloodworm should be used sparingly as it is hard for your fish to digest.

You can also cut up earthworms from your garden or chop up shop brought mussels, prawns, krill and fresh fish (be sure only to use fresh or frozen fish and not fish canned in oil).

You can also try your fish with dried foods formulated for predatory fish and made up of insect material such as Fluval bug bites, which can also be used to supplement the diet.

Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefere and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be somewhat challenging to differentiate between the male and female Congo Ctenopoma as they are very similar looking; however, the males usually have more pointed fins than females.

Other Gouramis of interest

Banded Gourami(Trichogaster fasciata)
Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)
Dwarf Gourami(Trichogaster lalius)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
Giant Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys acrostoma)
Giant Gourami(Osphronemus goramy)
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Date Added: 17/05/2022 09:00:17 - Updated: 17/05/2022 12:18:29