Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus): Care Guide

Common Name(s)Congo Tetra
Scientific NamePhenacogrammus interruptus
OriginCongo River basin
Temperature75-81°F (24-27°C)
SizeMale Size: 3 in (8.5 cm)
Female Size: 2.8 in (6 cm)
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Food & DietOmnivorous diet
Lifespan3 to 5 years
Water pH6.8-7.8
Tank MatesTetras, Guppies, Mollies, Corydoras Catfish, and Plecos
BreedingEggs are spawn in dense vegetation by a breeding pair.
DiseaseMay be susceptible to Ich.
Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

Congo Tetra Facts

  • Congo Tetras are large fish, at least for a tetra. They have long and flat bodies that reaches up to 3 inches in length.
  • Congo Tetras are excellent community fish. They aren’t aggressive fin nippers. They can be placed in the same tank with other peaceful fish of similar or slightly smaller size.
  • Congo Tetras need plenty of space. A minimum tank size of 30 gallon is required. They are one of the larger tetra species, and they are active fish. In addition, they like to be in a large group, so there must be enough space for the entire group of fish.

Congo Tetra Care

Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) is a common freshwater aquarium fish that is relatively easy to care for. They were discovered in 1949 in the Congo River basin, as their name suggests. In the wild, they live in small streams, ponds, and marshes. They are schooling fish that congregate in enormous numbers. This schooling behavior can be observed in an aquarium as well, creating a stunning focal point in the tank.

They have huge scales that display the rainbow luminescence under the light. The blue coloration appear on their head and bellies. In the middle of their bodies, there’s a striking red and gold hue. Caring for these fish can a joy, simply because they are so beautiful.

Congo Tetra Temperature

The Congo Tetra prefers water temperatures between 75-81°F (24-27°C). If the aquarium is housed in a room with a temperature below 75°, an aquarium heater should be used to maintain the proper temperature.

Congo Tetra Water pH

Although Congo tetras live in soft, acidic water in the wild, the majority of aquarium species today are raised in water with a pH and alkalinity that is often higher than that of their wild counterparts higher than their natural surroundings. Congo Tetra should have a pH of 6.8 to 7.8, and alkalinity of 3 to 8 degrees DK (50 ppm to 140 ppm).

Congo Tetra Size

Congo tetras have a slender body that gives them the appearance of being long and elongated, yet they do not grow that long. A male Congo tetra’s adult size is roughly 3 in (8.5 cm), whereas a female is 2.8 in (6 cm). Congo Tetras are little tetras, yet they are larger than most other tetras.

Congo Tetras grow a little longer in the wild. They normally grow to be around four and a half inches long. When grown in aquariums, they, like many other captive fish, will remain small.

Congo Tetra Tank Size

The Congo tetra requires a tank of at least 30 gallons because it is recommended to maintain them in schools of six to eight. After all, they produce a lot of eggs and grow quickly. Keeping them in smaller numbers may cause them to become jittery and anxious since they do not feel sufficiently protected. As a result, the majority of today’s Congo tetras do not resemble the lovely fish that they are supposed to be. They require the space to swim and develop their stunning color.

Congo Tetra Food & Diet

Congo Tetras eat anything. They eat algae, worms, insects, plants, and crustaceans in their natural habitat.

You can feed them dried pellets or flakes in captivity. Also, try to feed them a variety of bloodworms, brine shrimp, tubifex, and daphnia. Protein is abundant, which is necessary for growth. They also contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are necessary for the Congo Tetra’s vibrant hues. Rice and soy are two ingredients to avoid in fish food. Also, because the fish meal has no nutritional value, do not give it to your Congo Tetras. Not to mention that it will substantially increase the waste production of your fish, resulting in a poisonous environment for them.

Congo Tetra Lifespan

Congo Tetras have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. This is considered the average lifespan of most aquarium fish species. Several aspects play a role, including how well you feed your Congo Tetras, how you care for them, and whether or not the habitat is ideal for them.

Congo Tetra Tank Setup

There is no specific equipment required to set up your tank for your Congo Tetras. You’ll need a spatula, as well as basic aquascaping equipment like straight and curved tweezers and scissors. You’ll also need some instruments, such as a pH meter, to keep track of the water conditions. Because Congo Tetras like to nibble on carpeting plants, include hardy plants that can bear some damage. They’ll not only make your Congo Tetras happier, but they’ll also make your aquarium seem nice. They’ll also serve as excellent hiding places for your Congo Tetras when they’re terrified.

Congo Tetras enjoy low lighting in captivity since they live in murky waters in their natural environments. A modest, low-intensity light bulb can be used. It’s also best if you maintain the tank in a dark room the majority of the time.

Congo Tetra Male or Female

Sexual dimorphism is a term used to describe small changes between male and female Congo Tetra species. Male Congo Tetras are slightly larger and more colorful than their female counterparts.

Male Congo Tetras also have longer dorsal fins and wispy fins that shimmer in the water than females. Their fins are slightly purplish, with thick broad margins. Because her abdomen is stuffed with eggs during the Congo Tetra breeding season, the female Congo Tetra appears chubby and well-rounded.

Congo Tetra Disease

The parasite Ichthyophthirius, often known as white spot disease, is the most frequent disease found in Congo Tetras. This disease will soon spread around the aquarium, infecting all fish in its path. When introducing new fish to your aquarium, you should treat them for this sickness.

To ensure that recruits are disease-free, confine them for at least two weeks.

Species Spotlight | Congo tetra

Congo Tetra Tank Mates

It’s crucial to think about Congo Tetra compatibility when choosing tank mates. To begin, keep in mind that Congo Tetras are schooling fish that can become agitated if kept alone. As a result, they must be kept with at least 6 other Congo Tetras in a group.

You must follow specific criteria to keep them with other fish species. For example, if at all feasible, pair them with other peaceful fish species of similar size or smaller. This is due to the calm nature of Congo Tetras, which might get agitated when mixed with more aggressive species. Illness is caused by stress.

Fin-nipping fish should be avoided since they will ruin your male Congo Tetra’s beautiful fin. Fin nipping also makes your Tetra nervous and reserved, which is not ideal for your fish.

Are Congo Tetra Aggressive?

Congo Tetras are calm fish that get along with a wide variety of aquarium fish.

Do not, however, mix them with aggressive fish. These aggressive fish will bully the Congo Tetra if they are not protected.

How many Congo Tetra should be kept together?

The Congo Tetra is forming a school of fish. A minimum of six is required to keep your fish stress-free.

As they explore the tank, they’ll shoal together all day, generating brilliant patterns.

One or two may wander off to look at something interesting, but they’ll always return to the group.

A single-species aquarium with up to twenty Congo tetras works nicely if you feel up to the tank capacity.

If you want to keep it smaller, make sure there are two or three females for every male. Aggression is prevented during spawning as a result of this.

Are Congo Tetra Fin Nippers?

Fins can be nipped by Congo tetras. It’s not unusual for them to do so. Fish that are incompatible with the Congo tetra should be avoided since the Congo can nip fins in certain situations.

If your fish tank is too small and your Congos are overcrowded, they may become irritated and attack other fish.

If you have two males but no females, they may fight, causing injury to the other fish in the tank.

If you keep fish with enormous bright tail fins, such guppies, the Congo Tetra may be lured to nibble on them. In general, though, a Congo tetra is a peaceful fish that won’t start nipping until the tank circumstances aren’t ideal for them.

Compatible Tank Mates for Congo Tetras

The Congo tetra fish has become one of the most popular, lively, and brightly colored fish for home aquariums. Tetras are a type of freshwater fish in the Characidae family. Here are some of the best fish for tank mates. Other Tetras, guppies, mollies, Corydoras catfish, Plecostomus, and many other species are available.

Incompatible Tank Mates for Congo Tetra

Congo Tetras are calm and beautiful. They rarely show violence towards other fish, whether they are of the same species or not.

However, they may not get along with aggressive fish species. They’ll start hunting for hiding locations in the tank once they feel threatened. Flowerhorn Cichlid, Tiger Barb, Bucktooth Tetra, Afer Knife, Wolf Cichlid, and Jaguar Cichlid are all hostile fish species that should be avoided.

Congo Tetra and Angelfish

Congo tetras can reach a size of two to three inches. An angelfish won’t be able to eat it at this size. As a result, keeping Congo tetras with angelfish should be fine. They eat the same food as angelfish and require similar water conditions.

Congo Tetra and Discus

Congo Tetras make suitable tank mates for Discus since they are both placid and share some common treatment characteristics.

Tetras from Congo are dithering fish. Dither fish are supposed to create a sense of peace in the tank because they swim back and forth calmly, which the Discus can benefit from.

Congo Tetra and Neon Tetra

In the same tank, you may always keep another tetra. When Neon tetra is combined with Congo tetra, the result is a tank that is both stunning and colorful. Both the neon tetra and the Congo tetra are fish that enjoy the same kind of water. In their instance, the optimal temperature and pH range are the same. Both tetras are noted for their color diversity and vigorous swimming, so you’ll have a gorgeous, active, and colorful tank in no time.

Congo Tetra and Guppies

Because they are small, quiet, and easygoing fish, guppies have long been a choice for community aquariums. They’re one of the most popular pet fish, as well as one of the world’s most widely distributed tropical fish. Guppies are recognized for their fluffy tailfins and vibrantly colored scales, and there are over 300 different species worldwide. They make excellent tank mates for Congos due to their calm demeanor and modest size.

Congo Tetra and Betta

Congo tetras are a terrific addition to any tank and make excellent tankmates for your betta. If you want to add Congo tetras to your tank, you’ll need at least six, but ten or twelve is best. Because kids will be in a good-sized school, their stress levels will be minimal between the ages of 10 and 12.

Congo tetras make excellent tank mates due to their speed and the fact that they spend most of their time in the water. Your betta will frequently prefer territory at the tank’s top. This is advantageous since neon tetras swim around the middle of the tank, which means they will not constantly collide.

Congo Tetra and Gourami

Because they are so similar, Congo Tetra and Gouramis can coexist harmoniously. They both enjoy hiding in well-kept aquariums and playing hide-and-seek. They’re just the correct size to avoid being mistaken for food by the gouramis, and they share a similar diet.

Tetras tend to swim to the middle or bottom of the tank, whereas gouramis prefer to swim to the top, so they won’t get in each other’s way.

Congo Tetra and Rainbow Fish

In nature, the Rainbow Tetra is a loud but typically calm community fish. Although mature males can be violent and territorial to a degree, this behavior is limited to species with comparable shapes.

Congo Tetra and Amano Shrimp

The Congo Tetra is a gentle fish that lives on the ocean floor.

It’s recommended to keep them in a tank with medium-sized and friendly species. They are scavengers because they live at the bottom of the food chain.

This means they’ll devour any uneaten trash and food particles in your tank, which will help maintain it clean.

Where can I find Congo Tetra for sale?

Congo Tetra can be purchased in practically any local aquarium store. So, if you’re interested in purchasing one, simply visit your local aquarium store. It’s also accessible to buy online, although it’s best to get them from a local fish store.

Congo Tetra Price

The Congo Tetra is a type of fish that should be kept in a school of 5 to 6 or more fish and costs between $3 and $5 each fish; a school of 5-6 fish costs between $20 and $30.

The cost of these fish is also determined by your location or local fish merchants.


Congo Tetra fish are peaceful and quiet pets. They are quite attractive, with a stunning assortment of colors and attractive fins. They may readily be kept in a group of 6 to 8 fish, as well as with other fish. Tetras have a non-aggressive personality, making them excellent for keeping in a fish aquarium.

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