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Congo Tetras

Last Updated: 2/9/24

Quick Information
Setup and Water Preferences
My Congo Tetras
Links and Pictures

I am new to these fish, so most of the sections below are empty until/unless I have time to fill them in.

Quick Information

Common names: Congo Tetra
Scientific/Latin name: Phenacogrammus interruptus
Maximum length: 3.5 inches
Colors: Gray, yellow, blue
Temperature preference: 75 to 82 degrees F
pH preference: 6 to 7
Hardness preference: Soft
Salinity preference: Low to medium
Compatibility: Good
Life span: 5 years
Ease of keeping: Moderate
Ease of breeding: Moderate


I hope to one day have time to fill in my web pages but time is non-existant at this time. I do want to note that my congo tetra boys are the more voracious fish that I have ever had! They are fast and aggressive when it comes to feeding.

Setup and Water Preferences



As of 3/16/21, I have six male congo tetras, no girls. So, I will not have spawning. Congo tetras are egg scatterers.

My Congo Tetras

On 1/27/21, I bought seven congo tetras for my newly renovated 65 gallon aquarium. It did not go well. See that link for details. I will only put congo-specific information here so I am not just repeating the information.

On 2/7/21, the only congo tetra that I was sure was female died. She had seemed odd from the start with extra large eyes. I cut her open and found no signs of worms or eggs. In fact, there was almost nothing in there.

So, all the congo tetras are large with long flowing fins and lots of colors so I believe they are all boys! There are pluses and minuses to that. I do not have to worry about spawning and dealing with girls getting beat up or babies getting eaten.

These fish are the most ravenous fish I have ever had! They have little teeth and are related to pirrahas and attack their food in the same manner! And, they are super fast! In the display tanks at the fish stores, they are also slow and graceful but mine are crazy fast and a bit scary when eating but so gorgeous.

The first of the male congo tetras died on 1/16/22 after having some popeye and fin damage for a few weeks. Congo tetras have short lifespans. It is too bad the boys never got to spawn. The five remaining boys are showing their age. They are also more skittish. If I look at the tank after dark, they slam themselves into the lid!

Starting in 2022, the congo boys seemed to be missing fins. Since I know the discus, Caesar, did not do it (he hides all day), I assume they are doing it to themselves although I have yet to say anyone actually bite anyone. Not only did they suffer fin damage but also some hemorrhages, perhaps from hiting the glass lid. On 8/21/22, I found one of the boys dead on the bottom with his mouth open. He was 3.5 inches long. Aside from one small hemorrhage, I could fin no reason for him to have died. One of the other congo boys now has what might be columnaris, probably from his body losing its ability to fight off bacteria that are always there (despite a UV) because of the damage they are doing to each other. That sickly boy died on 8/27/22. I had a hard time finding him in the plants. Three congo boys remain with various fin injuries that they must have done to themselves. A 2.5" congo tetra boy died on 9/10/22. Two remain.

On 4/10/23, I bought four new congo tetras and added them in with the surviving two old boys. I think the new ones are all male as well. They seem very happy.

On 6/28/23, I removed one of the older male congo tetras after he died. One older and four younger remain.

When I cleaned the tank on 2/3/24, my last old congo boy was alive. At the evening feeding, he was not swimming around per usual. I found him deceased. I had him for three years. He was 3" long. The other four congos looked lost without him.

Links and Pictures

Photos of my Congo Tetras:

Photos are listed from newest to oldest.

I have not processed any photos as of yet.

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