Congo tetra

Aquarium fish: Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)
Size: 8 cm
Origin: Africa
Water temperature: 23-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 120 l

Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus ) – a small, beautifully colored aquarium fish, tetrapot from the Alestidae family .


Africa. Endemic, it is found only in the Upper Congo Basin of West Africa. It lives in slowly flowing and stagnant acid, brown waters.

Characteristics and disposition

Adult males are up to 8 cm long, and slightly smaller females up to 6 cm.

Males are easily recognizable by their more elongated abdominal and anal fins, and are also larger and brighter in color than females. The stores usually sell young 2 – 3 cm green-gray individuals that do not attract buyers’ attention. They usually present their beauty after reaching sexual maturity, in a larger group and in a well-arranged tank with not too bright lighting. The body of adult fish usually glows olive blue. A yellow-orange stripe runs along the trunk.

The fins are transparent with a red-orange color, white rim. In males, the caudal fin is extended in the middle. A characteristic feature of candles are quite large eyes. Very mobile, shy and gentle fish that swim in larger groups, most often in the middle parts of the water. In the aquarium, it is recommended to keep min.

5 individuals, preferably 8 or more . Most of them look prettier, are less skittish and show more interesting behavior. Kept in optimal conditions, they live up to 5 years.

Nutrition and feeding

An omnivorous species. In natural habitats it feeds on plankton, algae, small worms, insect larvae and insects.

In aquarium conditions, the major part of the diet should be frozen and live foods, e.g. waterfish, bloodworm.


Due to the high mobility, for a group of Congolese candles, an aquarium of at least 120 cm in length is recommended, densely planted in places, with ample space for swimming. Lighting should not be too bright, muffled by floating vegetation. For decoration, you can use, for example, swamp wood.

They prefer acidic or slightly acidic water, soft and well-oxygenated. They are gentle fish, but with their lively behavior, they can scare quieter species. As company, you should also avoid fish that have a tendency to nibble fins. Despite this, they will work well in most social aquariums. A suitable roommate would be, for example , a tetra , rainbow, cuirass, armor, spine-tooth, emerald dye , or maronius cichlid .


Breeding is not easybut possible. They belong to the spawning fish. Before the planned spawning, we feed the adult specimens with live food more often. The most beautifully colored male and the thickest female are transferred to the previously prepared breeding aquarium. The bottom of such a tank should be covered with a mesh with fine meshes so as to prevent parents from eating the eggs.

Lighting not too bright, preferably muffled with floating plants. In nature, candlesticks reproduce among plants, so it is a good idea to place a few larger clumps in the aquarium. The water should be acidic or slightly acidic and soft. Spawning is preceded by the chases of the male. The act takes place among plants.

An adult female can spread up to 300 eggs for a few days, but usually 100-200. The 1.8 mm transparent eggs are not sticky and immediately sink to the bottom. Unfortunately, in the first two days of incubation, a large number of eggs becomes moldy. Any moldy grains should be removed on an ongoing basis with a long pipette. Water with a pH of 6.5, hardness 1 dGH and a temperature of 26 ° C is best for egg development.

The larvae leave the casings after about 6 days and use the supply from their yolk sac on the first day. On the second and third day they require the finest micro foods, then brine shrimp larvae and micro nematodes can be fed.


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