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Congo Tetra

(Phenacogrammus interruptus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-84° F, KH 4-10, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Congo, Zaire   • Family: Alestidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Congo Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) originate from the Congo River basin are of the Republic of Congo and Zaire. However, most Congo Tetra found within the aquarium hobby today are commercially bred on fish farms in Asia and parts of Europe. This is a testament to the ease at which this species has adapted to captivity and aquarium life in general. Today Congo Tetra have become a very popular aquarium fish species due to their beautiful coloration, active swimming style and ease of care.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Congo Tetra in the home aquarium.

Congo Tetra are peaceful in nature and do well in most tropical community aquarium and planted aquarium setups; however, they are more boisterous than many other Tetra species. Their active swimming style is similar to that of a Tiger Barb, but without the fin nipping associated with many Barb species. At an adult size of about 3 inches in length, the Congo Tetra is also a little bit larger than many of the other Tetra species commonly found within the freshwater aquarium hobby.

As with most smaller tropical fish species, the Congo Tetra lives in schools of individuals both for protection and for social reasons. Hobbyists will want to keep a group of at least 6 to 8 Congo Tetra (more being better if there is sufficient tank space), with a mix of 2 or 3 females to 1 male or keep all males. This will help eliminate any aggression between specimens that occurs from breeding and social group dominance.

The ideal tank for keeping Congo Tetra will have plenty of live or ornamental plants, driftwood and areas of diffused lighting. Either floating plants or large pieces of driftwood can be used to create areas in the tank that have diffused lighting, which will allow the Congo Tetra to retreat from the bright aquarium lights when necessary.

Young Congo Tetra or a mated pair will do fine in an aquarium of 30 gallons or more, with a group of adult specimens needing at least 55 to 75 gallons or more to thrive. In addition to areas of plants and submerged wood, Congo Tetra need plenty of open swimming room and plenty of water movement in order to replicate their native river habitat.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Congo Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Wild Congo Tetra feed on a wide variety of foods including: small crustaceans, small worms, algae, zooplankton, small insects and insect larvae. They are very hardy feeders and will quickly adjust to commercial aquarium foods.

Hobbyists should feed a variety of foods comprised of flake, mini-pellet, frozen and freeze-dried foods designed for freshwater tropical omnivores. A mix of foods will help ensure that the Congo Tetra receives all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system.

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