Congo Tetra
(Phenacogrammus Interruptus)

Congo Tetra

(Phenacogrammus Interruptus)

Size: Can grow to 3 Inches

Temp Range: 75°F to 81°F

pH Level: 6.0 to 7.5

Lifespan: 8 to 12 years

Tank Size: 30 gallons

Diet: Pellet, Flake, Frozen

Difficulty: Moderate

Geographic History

This little friend comes from murky water areas of the upper Congo River basin.


This Tetra needs a long tank with lots of swimming room. You should put plants on the sides and rear of your aquarium for cover. Darker substrates show their colors very well.


These are excellent community fish for bigger aquariums. Don't keep them with known fin nippers or larger aggressive fish. They are very skittish and will be easily frightened by other fish who try to bully them. They may even dive for cover during feeding and only come out after you walk away from the tank.


The males are larger with brighter colors on their body. Males also have extended dorsal and tail fins. Adult females will be more plump and rounded than the males.


This tetra will nibble on small plants and fish that are smaller than they are. Keeping a school of six or more like sized Congo Tetras is the best stocking strategy. Smaller groups will be very timid and you may never see them.


For spawning these guys, you will need a good sized tank with marble substrate and plants. These are energetic spawners and they tend to mate in the mornings or just after you turn the lights on. Afterward, the females deposit their eggs around the planted areas of the aquarium. The females will lay about 300 pale brown eggs. When the females lay their eggs, you should remove the adults because they will try to eat them.

The eggs hatch in about six days and the fry are swimming around a couple days after that. Feed the fry baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food. The fry grow fairly slow and will need good water quality. Do 10% water changes daily to keep them healthy into their juvenile stage.

For more information, go to Wikipedia's Congo Tetra page.

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