A young Congo Tetra facing right.
Congo Tetra
A young Congo Tetra facing left. They are starting to display a blue iridescence.
A fully-grown Congo Tetra. Photo by André Karwath aka Aka - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, for Wikipedia (English).

Congo Tetra

Menagerie Live Fish
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Tank Level:


Minimum Tank Size:

30 Gallons





General water hardness:

3-18 dGH


75 F to 80 F               




The Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus) is an attractive species of tetra indigenous to the Congo River in Africa. These large hearty tetra are characterized by their long, unique fin and tail shape. They develop a bright orange iridescence on the top halves of their bodies, and a bright blue iridescence on the bottom halves.

This species of tetra will get larger than many other tetra commonly available, at around 3.5" from nose to tail. Because of their moderate size and need to live in groups of 6+, a minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for this species. The Congo Tetra prefers to live in shady environments with a dark substrate. If you have a strong light, it is recommended to use floating plants to generate some shade.

They require a water temperature between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and a pH between 6.0-7.5 (but slightly acidic water is definitely preferred). Congo Tetra are not picky eaters, and will happily accept flakes, pellets, frozen, or live foods.

Despite this species large size, Congo Tetra are extremely peaceful and will not pick on other tankmates. They do best with other schooling fish of similar size or smaller and will become stressed if they are kept with tankmates that are too aggressive or energetic (for example, zebra/leopard/gold danios, some barb species like tiger barbs or gold barbs, and some nippy tetra species like Serpae or Buenos Aires).


A photo of a fully-grown adult Congo Tetra is provided for reference. Photo credit: André Karwath aka Aka - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, for Wikipedia (English).