An incredibly beautiful fish to have in any tropical aquarium is the Congo tetra.
Congo Tetra’s feature a colourful metallic body and the long flowing fins in males while the smaller females show less colour.
COMMON NAME: Congo tetra SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phenacogrammus interruptus FAMILY: Alestiidae (African Tetras) ORIGIN: Central Africa – upper Congo Basin TEMPERATURE: 23 – 27c PH: 6.0 – 7.5 HARDNESS: 4 ° to 18° dH DIET: Flake food, small sinking pellets, freeze dried krill, frozen fish dinner, brine shrimp & bloodworm (frozen & live), mosquito larvae BREEDING: Egg Layers MAXIMUM SIZE: Males: 8-10cm; Females: 6-8cm RECOMMENDED MINIMUM AQUARIUM: 80 Litres TANK REGION: Middle SOCIAL: Peaceful CARE: Easy 10/10
Congo’s originate from Central Africa in the upper Congo basin river system and associated tributaries in the Upper and Lower Ogowe and Ivindo and also the Chiloango River system.
Although they are one of the larger growing Tetra’s, they are very peaceful. Generally residing in the middle area’s of the aquarium but can spend time at all levels. They can be a shy & timid fish when first introduced to the aquarium but once settled can become active “show pony’s” prancing back and forth across the front of the tank.
Sexing males from females is quite easy as males have extended tail & dorsal fins which can display colours when they are showing off. Males are larger and more colourful than females. They are egg scatterers but do not care for their eggs or fry and in fact are more likely to eat both the eggs and fry.
Congo’s can be a robust eater and may bump other fish out of their way to get at food during feeding times and enjoy a wide variety of foods such as flake, sinking pellets, frozen & live foods.
They are generally a schooling fish and should therefore not be kept alone in a tank. It is recommended a shoal of at least 4 be introduced for this reason.
There should always be more females to males in the tank and due to their larger size should not be kept in tanks smaller than 90 x 30 x 30cm (36″ x 12″ x 12″) or 80 Litres for a small group of 4-5.
By Wendy Armour