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Maximum size : 6 - 8.5 cm

Congo Tetra - Phenacogrammus interruptus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) is a captivating and sought-after species that will add a dash of colour and excitement to any aquarium. These fish are active, beautiful, and easy to care for, making them a popular choice for beginner and experienced aquarists alike. Congo Tetras are known for their bright and vivid colours, which are more pronounced in males. These males boast long, flowing fins with a beautiful greyish-violet hue that sets them apart. Females are slightly smaller and less colourful, but still stunning in their golden-yellow colouration with hints of blue. To bring out the full vibrancy of these fish, it is essential to provide them with a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots. They also need soft and acidic water with good circulation to thrive. Ideal tankmates for Congo Tetras include other peaceful species such as Dwarf Barbs, Cichlids, Rainbowfish, Loaches, and Corydoras Catfish. In the wild, Congo Tetras typically school in large groups, so it is essential to keep them in groups of at least six individuals to promote their natural behaviour. These Tetras are relatively shy and can get spooked quickly, so it's essential to create a stress-free environment with hiding places and adequate swimming space. Feeding Congo Tetras is relatively easy, as they are not picky eaters. They will accept a wide range of foods, including live, frozen, and dried options. A balanced diet of high-quality dried food, along with regular servings of live or frozen food, will keep your Tetras healthy and their colours bright. In summary, the Congo Tetra is a stunning and peaceful fish that will add beauty and excitement to any aquarium. They are easy to care for and make an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. With proper care and attention, these fish will thrive and provide hours of enjoyment for their owners.

Congo Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Congo Tetras can be easily distinguished based on a few physical characteristics. Males tend to be more vibrant in color, larger in size, and have elongated dorsal and caudal fins edged in white. In contrast, females are typically smaller and less colorful, with a golden hue and silverish green tint, and their fins are not as elaborate as the males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePhenacogrammus interruptus
Year Described1899
Other Names
OriginsDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size6 - 8.5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.2 - 7.2
GH4 -18
KH4 - 8
TDS150 - 250
75 - 81
23.9 - 27.2

Natural habitat

Congo Tetras are exclusively found in the upper reaches of the River Congo, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. In their natural habitat, you can spot these Tetras inhabiting slow-moving and shaded waters, such as rivers, streams, pools, and marshes. They typically prefer murky, slightly acidic water with dark substrates, including sand, silt, and mud, as well as aquatic plants. However, unlike other aquatic creatures, Congo Tetras do not thrive in habitats with many rocks or tree branches. If you're a fish enthusiast, adding Congo Tetras to your collection will undoubtedly elevate the beauty of your aquarium. So why wait? Experience the wonder of Congo Tetras today!
 Congo River - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag

How to breed the Congo Tetra

Breeding Congo Tetras can be a challenging task as their spawning is seasonal, and inducing a pair to produce in captivity can be tricky. However, with the right setup and conditions, it is possible to breed them successfully. To encourage breeding, it is necessary to provide a large aquarium with peat-filtered water and bright lighting. Additionally, you should add plenty of moss or equivalent to the tank as this is where the fish will lay their eggs. The male will display a dance to attract the female, who will then lay her eggs in the moss. Once breeding is complete, the adults should be removed from the tank as Congo Tetras are known to consume their eggs. After about a week, the tiny fry will begin to emerge from the eggs, and they should be fed with infusoria initially for a few days. Then, after about a week, baby brine shrimp and microworm can be introduced as food. The fry will be large enough to eat powered fish food by the two-week mark.

Diet & feeding

To maintain their bright and vibrant coloration, Congo Tetras require a diet that includes a large quantity of food, and they should be fed several times a day. They readily accept live, frozen, and freeze-dried food, such as dried worms, bloodworms, daphnia, or green vegetables. To ensure a well-rounded diet, high-quality dried food, such as pellets, granules, and flakes, should also be included. This will provide them with the necessary nutrients to maintain their health and coloration. However, if there is a lack of plant elements in their diet, Congo Tetras may begin to nibble on soft plants used for decoration, which can be problematic. Therefore, a balanced diet is essential to prevent any damage to aquarium plants.

9 tank mate ideas for the Congo Tetra

Looking for some awesome tank mate ideas for your Congo Tetra? Look no further! Here are 9 of the most captivating and fascinating options that will liven up your aquarium!

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