Max Size: 6 - 8.5cm

Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

The Congo Tetra is quite popular in the aquarium hobby. These Tetras are active, timid and stunning fish. In addition, these Tetras are hardy, peaceful schooling fish that are excellent for beginner aquarists and community aquariums.

Congo Tetras typically stick in large groups in the wild. Therefore, you must keep these fish in a group of no less than six individuals. Keeping these Tetras in more significant numbers creates a spectacular swath of colour that will be the centre of attention in your aquarium.

Ideal tankmates for Congo Tetras can include other Tetras, Dwarf Barbs, various peaceful Cichlids, Rainbowfish, Loaches and Corydoras Catfish. However, it would be best if you did not keep Congo Tetras with species that may nip their intricate finnage or with much larger, more boisterous species due to their nervous nature.

The ideal aquarium setup for Congo Tetras would be an African biotope design with driftwood branches, floating vegetation and Anubias. However, their stunning colours will show up more in a well-planted aquarium. In addition, these Tetras will need plenty of swimming space and prefer soft and acidic water with excellent circulation. Finally, Congo Tetras get scared relatively quickly, so you should also ensure they have places to hide when they feel stressed.

The Congo Tetra has a full-bodied shape typical of Tetras and a rather large scale size. There are long veiled edges on the dorsal, anal, and tail fins of the males, which have beautiful greyish-violet fins. From front to back, the fish exhibit rich opalescent colours, blue up top, yellowish-gold through the middle, and back to blue above the belly. In addition, these Tetras also have red colouring on their heads.


Congo Tetras
Female Congo Tetra
Male Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Blue Congo Tetra
Blue Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Male & Female Congo Tetra
Blue Congo Tetra Male
Congo Tetra Male
Congo Tetra Male
Albino Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePhenacogrammus interruptus
Year Described1899
OriginsDemocratic Republic of the Congo
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℃


In the home aquarium, the Congo Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

9 interesting tank mate ideas for the Congo Tetra could include:

Celebes Rainbowfish(Marosatherina ladigesi)
Diamond Tetra(Moenkhausia pittieri)
Long Finned Tetra(Brycinus longipinnis)
Panda Corydoras(Corydoras Panda)
Panda Garra(Garra Flavatra)
Polka Dot Loach(Botia Kubotai)
Queen Arabesque Plecostomus L260(Hypancistrus sp)
Sahul Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia sahulensis)
Twostripe Corydoras(Corydoras bifasciatus)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively easy to differentiate between males and female Congo Tetras. Males are much brighter, bolder and slightly larger than females, and their caudal and dorsal fin are more elongated and edged in white. In contrast, females are somewhat smaller, duller being mainly golden, with a silverish green hue and their fins are not as impressive as the males.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 20/05/2020 - Updated: 03/10/2022 13:47:27