Albino Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

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Albino Congo Tetra
Phenacogrammus interruptus
Albino Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)
Name Albino Congo Tetra
Name Lat. Phenacogrammus interruptus
Family African Tetras
Family lat. Alestidae
Order Characins
Order lat. Characiformes
Origin Congo (breeding variety)
Habitat Tributaries, lakes
Diet Carnivore
pH 6.0-7.0
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Group
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Egg scatterer
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 8-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6-9 cm
Temperature 22-25 °C
Hardness 3-10 °dH
Aquarium ~ 250 l
US Units
Size 2.4"-3.5"
Temperature 72-77 °F
Hardness 53-178 ppm
Aquarium ~ 65 gal

Distribution and habitat

The albino Congo tetra is a breeding form. The natural range of the Congo tetra is the middle inlet of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). They live in lakes and slow flowing rivers with muddy bottoms and partly dense underwater vegetation.


The aquarium should have a varied planting, which offers both shelters, as well as plenty of free swimming space. With some shaded light (floating plants), a dark substrate and slightly acidic water they show the most beautiful coloration.

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


They feed mainly on insects and insect larvae. The food supply consists of dry, live and frozen food. For a balanced diet, feed once a day with a high-quality, protein-rich dry food (flakes, granules, pellets) as well as cyclops, daphnia, artemia, mysis, tubifex, mosquito larvae, etc. (live or frozen)

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day. Only feed as much as will be eaten within a few minutes. A regular and varied diet promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They are peaceful, swimming schooling fish for any community tank and can be socialized well with other peaceful fish, except for species known as fin snappers. A group of at least 5, but preferably more Congo Tetras should be kept together. They tend to remain shy in groups that are too small.

In principle, only mutually compatible fish species with similar requirements for water conditions and water temperature should be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

The dorsal fin of males is elongated and the middle rays of the caudal fin are elongated like a cusp, females are smaller and paler in color.

Reproduction and breeding

They spawn in the open water at the bottom. The larvae hatch after about 35 hours and swim freely after about 6 days. The parents do not perform brood care and should be separated from the fry after spawning, as they are spawn predators.

Juveniles must be fed several times a day with special rearing food (Artemia). Breeding is hardly possible in a community tank, as the spawn is easy prey here.


The addition of peat extract or filtering through peat promotes well-being and increases the color intensity of the animals.

The well-being of the fish should be checked regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least fortnightly. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even if the contaminant level has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Ruinemans Aquarium B.V.

Source: BMEL (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); RIEHL & BAENSCH (2006): Aquarien Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung-Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch 

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF