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Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)


The Congo Tetra hails from the upper reaches of the River Congo in Zaire, where it inhabits various aquatic environments such as streams, tributaries, pools, and marshes. Thriving in murky, slightly acidic water, these tetras prefer areas with tall vegetation, sandy substrates, and subdued lighting. They typically school in large groups and feed on a diet comprising worms, crustaceans, insects, plant matter, and algae.

Despite their small size, usually not exceeding 8cm, Congo Tetras boast striking colors and distinctive features. Their elongated bodies are adorned with large scales, while males sport long, flowing fins with violet hues accented by white edges. What truly sets them apart is their mesmerizing rainbow luminescence, ranging from blue on top to red and gold in the middle, and finally blue on the belly.

Congo Tetras are schooling fish, thriving best when kept in groups of at least six individuals of the same species. They may become nervous if isolated or kept in smaller numbers. When housed with other fish, they generally exhibit peaceful behavior, but aggressive species should be avoided to prevent bullying.

Maintaining suitable habitats is crucial for the health and well-being of Congo Tetras. They prefer still, dark, and soft water conditions with low light levels, which can be achieved through dim aquarium lights and the presence of floating plants. Additionally, they appreciate darker substrates and enjoy nibbling on bottom-growing vegetation.

As omnivores, Congo Tetras have a varied diet consisting of live, fresh, and flake foods, along with brine shrimp and bloodworms. Feeding them small amounts several times a day is ideal, although they may exhibit shy eating behavior when observed directly.

Distinguishing between males and females is relatively straightforward. Males display vibrant colors, larger sizes, and more elaborate fin structures compared to the mostly golden females, which exhibit shades of silver and greenish hues without the exotic finnage.


  • Species: Phenacogrammus interruptus
  • Common Name: Congo Tetra 
  • Origin: Congo River in Africa
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • pH Range: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Water Type: Soft
  • Temperature: Tropical 22°C – 28°C
  • Breed Type: Egg Layer
  • Current Size: Approximately 4cm (Grows to approximately 8cm)
  • Sex: Un-sexed


Congo Tetra

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