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Congo Tetra – Phenacogrammus Interruptus


Common name: Congo Tetra

Scientific name: Phenacogrammus Interruptus

Average Adult Fish Size:  3 inches  /  7.5 cm

Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo.

Typical Tank setup: Well planted with rocks and driftwood/bogwood. They love playing in a moderate to strong current.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 30 gallon / 120 litre

Compatibility: It is very common to find tetras with Corydoras as companions, as they are both quite peaceful and other tank mates like Guppies, other Tetras, Rasboras, Mollies & Platies. The Congo Tetra is an active swimmer so although peaceful it may scare more shy tank mates unless plenty of cover and plants are in the tank.

Temperature: 73 – 82 Deg F / 23 – 28 Deg C

Water chemistry: pH 6.0 – 7.5

Feeding: Relatively unfussy and will accept most foods but live and frozen food should compose a good proportion of the diet in order for the fish to show their best colouration.

Sexing:  The male fish are larger and much more colourful. They also develop extended filaments in the caudal fin and a greatly extended dorsal fin.

Breeding: Not easy but possible. Egg-scatterer. The fish should be conditioned using live and frozen foods and the best coloured male and fattest female selected. These should be placed in a small aquarium with a mesh base. The eggs will fall through this minimising the risk of predation by the parents. Lighting should be subdued and some clumps of plants added to induce spawning, as the eggs would be scattered amongst vegetation in nature. The water should be of below neutral pH and soft. Following chasing by the male the fish spawn side by side with a quivering motion. Up to 300 large eggs may be deposited by a single female over a period of several days spawning activity, though 100-200 is more common. During the first 24-48 hours of incubation it is common for many of the eggs to become covered in algae/fungus. These should be removed with a long pipettes. The eggs hatch in around 6 days and the fry should be offered infusoria after the yolk sacs have been absorbed (around 24 hours) followed after 2-3 days by brine shrimp nauplii or microworm.

Additional Information: Most of the Congo Tetra available in the fish keeping trade are bred commercially in the Far East and Eastern Europe.