Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus Interruptus) Species Profile & Care Guide
The Congo Tetra is a timid but stunning fish. These are hardy, peaceful schooling fish and typically stick to large groups in the wild. It is therefore crucial that you keep these fish in groups of no less than six individuals. This schooling nature creates spectacular swaths of colour that will be the centre of attention in your tank in captivity. These fish make an excellent community fish.
These Tetras do get scared relatively quickly, so as long as the fish have places to hide when they feel stressed, they will be fine.
It is essential to maintain your water quality, or they will lose their beautiful colouration.
This Congo Tetra has a full-bodied typical Tetra shape with rather large scales. The males have beautiful greyish-violet fins with white edges, with the dorsal, anal, and tail fins sporting long veiled edges.
They have rich opalescent colours running along the body from front to back, blue on top, shifting to red down through the middle into a yellow-gold, and then back to blue just above the belly.
|Scientific Name||Phenacogrammus Interruptus|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5|
|Temperature||75 - 81 ℉ (23.9 - 27.2 ℃)|
|PH||6.2 - 7.2|
|KH||4 - 8|
|TDS||150 - 250|
Natural Habitat of the Congo Tetra
Congo Tetras are endemic to the River Congo's upper reaches in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. They populate slow-moving and shaded rivers, streams, pools, and marshes, preferring murky, slightly acidic water with plants and dark substrates, typically sand, silt and mud. You will not find many rocks or tree branches in their habitats.
Other Tetras of interest
The Congo Tetras require large quantities of food in their diet and will eat several times a day.
The Congo Tetra will readily accept live and frozen food such as dried worms, blood worms, insects, or green vegetables and require high-quality pellets and flakes to balance it out and retain the bright colouration.
If there is a lack of plant elements, they will start eating soft plants used for decoration.
Breeding the Congo Tetra
Although not impossible, it isn't easy to breed Congo tetras as their spawning is seasonal and getting a pair to produce in the aquarium successfully is somewhat tricky.
To breed them you should provide a large aquarium with peat-filtered water, brightly lit to induce reproduction, with heavy planting where they can lay their eggs to hatch without the worry of the adults eating them.
The male will perform a dance display for the female. She will then go into the moss at the bottom of the tank where the male will follow her, and they will then start breeding.
Once the female has laid her eggs, they will fall into the moss. This is a good thing because it offers protection. When the fish have finished breeding, remove the adults from the tank as Congo Tetras are known to consume the eggs.
Approximately a week later, the tiny fish fry will start to emerge. You can feed them infusoria initially for a few days. After about a week you may begin to feed them baby brine shrimp. By the two-week mark, the fish will be large enough to eat powered fish food.