Jerrabomberra, New South Wales, Australia
Posted Apr 27, 2013
I recently acquired five of these fish after wanting them for so long, but never having a setup suitable for them. They currently co-exist with a few much larger fish but are not bothered in any way and do not fin-nip or cause trouble. One interesting point is that when feeding live food (livebearer fry and juveniles) to the predatory Bass in the tank is that the Congo tetras will also chase and harass the small feeder fish. I have never seen them eat one but given the opportunity I think they would - they have much larger mouths than their moderate size dictates and they manage to eat the larger cichlid pellets that are meant for the bigger fish in the tank.
When I first purchased the fish from a fellow hobbyist, one of them died within 24 hours. This was likely due to stress or pre-existing ailment, but then I lost another tetra to jumping out of a very small gap. It must have been a very well executed jump as the gap was very small and there is a thick covering of floating plants - hornwort, bladderwort, duckweed and azolla - which tells me that Congo tetras are quite proficient jumpers. Keep this in mind when keeping the fish yourself. It is likely that the fish only jumped because it was spooked by the large Australian Bass in the tank which can be territorial to some of the smaller fish.
Overall, the Congo Tetra is very peaceful despite being one of the larger commonly available tetra species. They predominantly reside in the middle levels of the tank but can spend time at all levels, notablty around the top when looking for food or "playing". They are timid fish when first introduced to the aquarium but once settledthey are very active, especially at feeding time, and shoal quite tightly. Their spectacular metallic colouration and flowing fins are best appreciated in a tank without too much light, and give them time to settle in to the tank before they gain their full colouration.