This fish in the aquarium is not very difficult to notice. Beautiful silver-orange color, lungs, veil fins and synchronized movement of the flock easily captivate the observer.
Among the other haratsinovyh tetra Congo definitely stands out.
Tetra Congo (lat. Phenacogrammus interruptus, eng.
Congo Tetra) – fish from the family of haracin, endemic to the African Congo River.
As is known, the majority of the Characin inhabit central and South American bodies of water, and only a few genera inhabit the waters of Africa. In the Congo, they live in shaded areas with a large number of flooded trees.
These tetras have medium size – males grow up to 8 cm, and females up to 5 cm. Congo has pronounced sexual dimorphism.
The most spectacularly painted representatives of the male sex. They have a large silver-turquoise iridescent scales, a golden broad band along the back and beautiful, long, translucent fins with white edging.
The tail of the fish attracts special attention. It has an interesting shape, resembling a peak.
The dress of the female is much more modest. They are smaller, more gray, nondescript color.
Their dorsal fin is of the usual form, and the golden strip on the back is practically not noticeable.
Despite its atypical origin, the congo behaves in the aquarium in the same way as other characters. It is characterized by the same flock and the same manner of swimming, when the fish freezes for a while in space and maintains its position with short jerks.
Congo is choosy about the quality of the water, so for beginners aquarists it does not quite fit, as it requires from the owners of certain habits regarding the maintenance of the home pond. In order for these fish to live for a long time and delight their owners with their rainbow-colored and lively behavior, it is necessary to create conditions that are most similar to the biotope of African reservoirs:
- Tetra Congo is a schooling fish, and it is best to keep it in a large group of 6-8 tails.
- Since these are schooling fish of medium size, it is recommended to settle them in a spacious aquarium. For a group of fish will need a capacity of 80 liters.
- It is quite a nervous, timid and shy look. Relocate these fish should be very careful, stress factors should be minimized. You can not scare tetras, knocking on the glass and dropping hands or any foreign objects into the water. It is better to establish an aquarium in a quiet place, in which there is practically no movement.
- Since they inhabit shade in nature, in the aquarium these fish do not like bright light, therefore it is better to use subdued lighting. A number of floating plants will help diffuse rays and create shaded areas.
- This tetra is not indifferent to plants, it plucks with pleasure small leaves and delicate shoots of plants. To prevent this or reduce the fish’s desire for greens, it is recommended to include in the diet of plant origin: duckweed, scalded dandelion leaves and nettle, dry food containing spirulina.
- The best option for home pond design is an African aquascape with use of driftwood, floating plants and anubias. At the same time it is necessary to leave enough space for swimming.
- Frightened by a sudden movement or knocking on glass, the congo can panic and jump out of the aquarium, so the tank must be equipped with a lid or a cover glass.
- Especially carefully you need to approach the water changes. Weekly need to replace about 20-25% of the total volume of the aquarium. It is better to do small replacements daily.
- These fish prefer soft and slightly acidic water, but they can live with medium hardness and a neutral environment. If you plan to breed these fish, then the producers should be kept in soft water, as this will positively affect the quality of caviar.
Recommended water parameters:
- temperature: 23-28 ° C;
- acidity: pH 6.0-7.5;
- hardness: 3-18 ° dH.
Congo tetra female.
An omnivorous species, in nature, feeding on insects and their larvae, various invertebrates, zooplankton and algae. In an aquarium it is unpretentious, with pleasure eats animal food in the live and frozen look.
Does not refuse and dry flaky food.
Some of the diet should be plant-based, so fertilizing from scalded greens and containing algae will benefit the fish and keep the aquarium vegetation.
Reproduction in captivity is quite time-consuming, but possible.
The sexual maturity of tetra Congo comes in 10-12 months. For breeding choose the most intensely colored males and full of females.
They are deposited in a shaded spawn and allowed to settle down. Get used to the new environment of the fish for a long time, about 4-5 days.
Spawning must be prepared in advance. The water in it should be soft, up to 3 ° dH, and neutral, its temperature should be a couple of degrees higher than in the general aquarium.
To manufacturers more likely to take root in it, it is better to shade the walls with thick paper.
Various plants act as spawning substrate, it is desirable to line the bottom with them. Not bad spawn tetra and on the grid.
After spawning, the producers are removed from the spawn.
Spawning begins in the morning, 20-30 minutes after turning on the light. Males begin to pursue females and show them their luxurious voile fins.
The dance ends with a demonstrative vertical upright of the male above the plant, therefore the spawn must have sufficiently high walls.
Spawning can be both paired and group, when there are 2-3 females per male. Males throw a large amount of milk into the water, because of which it is highly enriched with organic matter, which is a nutrient medium for fungi.
The female throws out about 200 large eggs, the incubation of which lasts for 6 days. In the first 24-48 hours, some eggs are often affected by fungus and turn white.
They need to be carefully removed with a pipette. This should be done very carefully, because the calf shell is very thin and is easily torn.
After 6 days, the incubation comes to an end, and the young fish hatch, and begin to feed 2-3 days after birth. As a starter feed use ciliates, naupliyu Artemia, Cyclops and microworm.
As a rule, the offspring is not numerous, but grows rather quickly.
Tetra Congo is a great fish for a common aquarium. Perfectly gets on with other tetra, iris, peaceful catfish, danios, rasborami and shrimp.
Peaceful cichlids, such as pelvihacromis and microgeophagus, inhabiting the bottom layer, will be excellent neighbors for these tetras, floating in the water column.
It is not recommended to keep tetra Congo with fish in one aquarium with a tendency to pluck fins, for example, with Sumatran barbs. Since the congo is a rather shy and hysterical fish, it is better not to keep it with its large and active neighbors, which will serve as a constant source of stress.