fish medium level

Phenacogrammus aurantiacus (Pellegrin 1930)

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Blue Eye Congo Tetra, Golden Congo Tetra

This wonderful only 6-7 cm long Congo tetra shows unbelievable colours. Depending on the lighting and the position of the fish it can go from orange to yellow to greenish reflecting colours.

Distribution: Western and central Africa.

Submitted by
Lawrence Kent


Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
23-28 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

3-18 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen


Standard length
7 cm
Water volume (min. aquarium)
200 l
Social behaviour
Group fish
Behaviour description

In Nature Phenacogrammus aurantiacus lives on the river edges of slow-flowing rivers with a lot of vegetation, leaf waste and driftwood.

In the aquarium this fish will show their best colors in the planted aquarium with added driftwood and an open space for swimming. They seem to like dim lighting. An African biotope tank with driftwood branches, floating vegetation and anubias is ideal.

Water should be on the acidic side of neutral and soft with good circulation.

Aggression grade
Day active
Sexual dimorphism

The adult males are larger and more colourful. They may develop filaments in the caudal and dorsal fins.

Although easy to sex, not much is known about reproduction and since these fish were imported only recently into the hobby, they are closely related to the Congo tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus), breeding will be the same. It most definitely is worth to try because all fish in the hobby to date are all wild caught and expensive.

Nutrition in Nature

In its natural environment this fish feeds on worms, small insects, crustaceans, plant matter and detritus.


Breeding tank set-up

For breeding it is needed a separate tank of minimum 70-80L, big enough to raise any numbers of fry. Lighting should be reduced.  Some clumps of plants added will be helpfull to induce spawning, as in Nature the eggs would be scattered amongst vegetation. The base of the tank should be covered with some kind of mesh large enough to allow the eggs to fall through it, but small enough prevent the adults from reaching them.

Nutrition parents

The fish should be conditioned using live and frozen foods.

Mating type
Spawning behaviour

This species are open water substrate egg scatterers. The pair may lay up to 300 eggs, but 100-200 is more common. Phenacogrammus interruptus do not guard the fry.

Breeding habits
Hatching period
6 days
Number of eggs in average
Parental care
Fry number
Nutrition fry

After the yolk sacs are consumed (1 day) the fry should be offered infusoria for 2-3 days, followed by nutrition by Artemia and microworm.

Notes on reproduction

During the first 24-48 hours of incubation it is common for many of the eggs to become fungussed. These should be removed with a long pipettes.