Scientific Name: Phenacogrammus (Micralestes) interruptus
Other Name:Congo Tetra,
Family: CharacidaeOrigin:Congo, Africa
Adult Size:8cm- 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) for males. around 6cm-7cm for females (2.3 inches)
Social:Very Good. Peaceful fish
Level: All (generally middle layers). A Congo Tetra with yellow coloration
Minimum Tank Size:60 gallons, but bigger tank is recommended
Diet:Cheerfully eats almost any food you care to feed it.
This fish appears to be a rather drab, gray to silvery fish with a copper to reddish-brown band from the gill cover to the adipose fin. However, when light strikes their large opalescent scales, various color are refracted from the scales, though yellows, greens and blues predominate.
Congo Tetra has feathery extensions that grow from the trailing edge of the caudal fin (tail). These extensions are well-developed in males and tends to become more elaborate as the fish matures. The dorsal fin of the male is very long and may extend as far as the end of the tail in some individuals. The dorsal, pelvic, anal and caudal fins are all generally light gray in color with milky white edges.
The Congo tetra belongs to the genus Micralestes within the family Characidae. The scientific name for this fish is Micralestes interruptus. It can be a little bit jumpy when kept in aquariums, but you can make your Congo tetra feel safe and secure by decorating the aquarium wisely. Keep at least six Congo tetra together since this is a schooling fish. Do not keep Congo tetra with aggressive fish species that will bully them. The aquarium should be planted and provide many hiding places, but also contain open swimming areas. Most aquarists use a dark substrate in an aquarium where Congo tetra is kept.
A male Congo tetra can grow up to 3.5 inches, while a female usually stay around 2.5 inches. The aquarium should be at least 40 inches long. The body of a Congo tetra is elongated and this fish has big scales and eyes. When you look at a male Congo tetra you will notice that the middle rays of the caudal fin are very long. Males also have a distinguishing dorsal fin that goes all the way back to the caudal fin. A female Congo tetra is smaller than a male Congo tetra, and her fins are less elongated.
The colorations of a Congo tetra vary a lot between the individual fishes, and they are usually iridescent and very beautiful. On the sides of the fish you will find a light brown stripe, and under this stripe you can see a collection of other stripes. The color of these other stripes can vary from green to golden. The fins of the Congo tetra can anything from pale red to gray, while the base color of the Congo tetra is olive. The tail and anal fins all have white edges, and the anal fin have a dark blotch in the center. The belly is usually decorated with a purple or violet shade.
This fish originates from Central Africa, where it inhabits the Zaire river basin.
Congo tetra is not very difficult to breed in captivity, but the captive bred specimens offered in pet shops are unfortunately often of a lower quality compared to wild caught Congo tetra. Wild caught specimens usually have longer finnage and more pronounced colors, and are therefore more popular.
The Congo tetra will inhabit the top and middle regions of the aquarium. They will do best in slightly acidic water and you should ideally keep the pH in the 6-7.5 range. Soft water is recommended, but the Congo tetra can adapt to harder conditions. It needs warm water and the water temperature should be 73º F to 79º F (23 to 26°C). The Congo tetra is sensitive to poor water quality and frequent water changes are very important. Good water circulation in the aquarium is also necessary.
The Congo tetra is an insectivorous species, but you can usually train your Congo tetra to accept flake food and frozen food. A Congo tetra kept on nothing but flake food can however loose its coloration, and supplementing the diet with mosquito larvae, daphnia and brine shrimp is highly recommended.
The Congo Tetra is an open-water, schooling fish that is found in the rivers and lakes of the Congo River basin.
Congo tetras are shoaling fish and should always be kept in a group of at least six. Males develop better colouration when kept in a group containing a number of female fish to display to. These fishes are excellent jumpers, and aquarium owners should consider a lid to prevent them from jumping out of the aquarium.
The Congo tetra is sensitive to poor water quality> and frequent water changes are very important. Good water circulation in the aquarium is also necessary.
Mixing with other fishes:
Congo tetras are very peaceful and can be mixed with most community fish. However, large specimens may eat frys and smaller fishes, and sometimes nibble soft plants. Take care not to introduce potentially nippy fishes, like Tiger barbs or Red-eyed tetras, as these may bite the flowing fins of the males.
This fish are best kept in schools of at least six with other non aggressive fish. A fairly large tank is best, arranged with dark colors and substrate. Provide plenty of open areas for swimming, loosely planted along the sides and back. Good water circulation is a must. The Congos are Insectivorous, but will accept flake and frozen food as well. To bring out their best colors, you should supplement their food with live Daphnia, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp when available. They will thrive in slightly acidic, soft water with an average temperature around 77 F. water changes are a must as they are sensitive to water quality.
The Zaire River watershed.
A large breeding tank is needed, with acidic very soft water. A peaty substrate is best. After an energetic courting the female will scatter about 300 pale Brown eggs among the bottom plants. This is usually done early in the morning when the first rays on the sun hit the tank. The eggs will hatch in six days and they must be fed at once with brine shrimp nauplii, rotifers or finely crushed flake food.
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