How to Keep
Your Congo Tetras
Misc Frogs II
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Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Prologue: One or more of our customers recently traded in some adult Congo tetras -- an impressive fish that catches your eye when front lit. They need front lighting to show their iridescent colors. In one of our 55 community tanks we noticed a "gold" Congo tetra. Upon further investigation, it turned out to be an albino. It was probably not a new fish to the hobby, but is one I had not seen before. So I started taking pictures of him and the other adults in the tank. There were several small Congo tetras in the tank also. Well, my interest in the group started to grow, so I decided to spawn them November 24, 2007. (Or at least set up a spawning tank.)
Young'ns: Small Congo tetras are no big deal -- "non-prepossessing" as Edgar Rice Burroughs used to say. Even though some of these youngsters are old enough to sex, they just don't sport the iridescent flashiness of the adults. Ditto on their finnage. At this age, they mostly look like any run of the mill small tetras. In this respect, they track with rainbowfish.
Female Congo Tetras: Females can best be described as demure -- not so great to us, but certainly hotchacha to the males. Certainly cuter than bait but just not as attractive as the males.
Male Congo Tetras: Males are larger, flashier, and longer finned. Males have no objection to coming out front and flashing you. Their earliest sexual distinctions are the elongations in the middle of their tail fins.
In General: Like all tetras, Congo tetras hang in groups.
Schools give them the security to feel "at home" in their surroundings.
And they do like "surroundings." They do best in planted aquaria.
If you leave a clearing in your aquatic jungle, your Congos will hang in
the center. They feel like flashing when they have group and
Water Conditions: They originally came from soft, slightly
acid waters. If you think your Congo tetras came out of The
Republic of Congo, you haven't been reading the newspapers lately.
They've been away from the Congo so long, they've adapted to all sorts
of waters. In Des Moines, they do just fine in our moderately hard
(or really hard if you listen to the water softener sales people) water.
They do (like all fishes) prefer clean water. This is not breaking
Spawning Tank: Yes it's an old tank, but it does hold water. Sorry about that gravel. I hope they like it better than I do. However, it's unlikely to affect the breeders.
Filtration: We have an established tank here. Former home of an oscar, so the under gravel filter is well broken in. Unfortunately, we failed to notice all the dried duckweed stuck to the back rim. We had to net all (mostly) off the top. Then we added an outside power filter to take out the remaining 10% that floated throughout the tank. It got on the cabomba fronds and made it look like we had eggs the very next morning. Possible but not likely. The breeders liked to frolic in the overflow.
Vegetation: We rounded up most of the cabomba strands that had "escaped" from their lead strip bonds. We re-leaded them and placed them decoratively about the tank. Most tetras spawn in the a.m. when the sun hits their tank. Most have adhesive eggs that adhere to the vegetation -- thus the cabomba.
Breeding: We've read reports that say Congo tetras lay non-adhesive eggs. Others say adhesive. We'll find out. Lots of reports say the eggs hatch in six days and immediately begin eating. Hard to believe but we'll find out. No results as of November 26. I take the 27th 0ff. More to come.
Non-Outcome: Here it is February, 2008 with no success to report.
Roland Matthews, February 21, 2008
Just reading your breeding of Congos. I have 1 male and 3 females in a 90 gal tetra community tank (recommended ratio). The male will chase the females and when one is ready to spawn, the male is just behind and underneath the female. The eggs are then free scattered throughout the tank. And there is a feeding frenzy of one big ball of tetras underneath the spawning pair. At this point in time I have not tried moving them to their own tank. They are just getting ready to spawn again as the females are starting to fill out with eggs. This will be their 3rd spawn. None of the eggs survived in this tank, although I have had emperors , silver tips and corys raised successfully in this same tank from eggs.
A: Mine never did cooperate for me. I'll try again later. In the meantime, I'll add your comments at the current end of my Congo tetra page. Thanks. LA
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