Featured Image: André Karwath aka Aka [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Congo Tetras come from the warm waters of the Congo River in Africa.

Despite their small size—which can be between 3 to 3 1/2 inches for adults, these colorful fish shine in all colors of the rainbow. And they’re a great addition for any aquarium.

But there are a few do’s and don’ts you need to be aware of when caring for these fish, especially when it comes to Congo Tetra tank mates. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand everything you need to know.

So let’s dive in!

Equipment You Might Need For Your Congo Tetras

  1. Aqua Clear – Fish Tank Filter
  2. NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light
  3. Tetra Aquarium Heater
  4. Python Pro-Clean Gravel Washer and Siphon Kit
  5. Marina Algae Magnet Cleaner
  6. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Understanding Your Congo Tetra

Congo Tetra
Congo Tetras have small bodies that are long and flat, and their scales are large and sport multiple luminescence colors. The tops of their backs are blue, which changes to a red/yellow/gold in the middle and fades back to blue again on the bottom.

But their fins are one of their defining features.

Their fins are long and flowing. While the edges are white in color, the center of the fins reflects a beautiful luminescence violet coloring.

These fish have a lifespan of three to five years, and they live off insects, crustaceous, and some types of plants. Because of their wide diet, Congo Tetras are easy to feed. They’ll accept most foods, but you should include a mix of live, fresh, and flake foods.

In the wild, Congo Tetras live in dark, muddy waters. Because of this, you should keep the tank full of plants, driftwood, and rocks. Aquarium lights are okay, but make sure they’re dim.

Here are a few other things you need to know about setting up a tank of Congo Tetras:

Care Level: Intermediate (Congo Tetras require carefully filtered water. If the quality of the water goes down, the Tetras can lose their coloring and damage their fins.)
Ideal Tank Size: 40 gallons
Temperature Range: 73 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 6-6.5

The Tetras themselves are often calm, peaceful fish. They aren’t territorial, and they’ll get along with many other types of fish.

The Best Congo Tetra Tank Mates for Your Aquarium

Because Congo Tetras are peaceful fish, they get along well with many other types of aquarium fish.

However, don’t put them with aggressive fish. Otherwise, these aggressive fish will bully your Tetras.

Here are 10 of the best tankmates for your Congo Tetras.

1. Other Tetras

Congo Tetras are school fish.

You should never buy a single Congo Tetra on its own. Instead, you should have at least six of these Tetras in your tank at one time.

If Congo Tetras aren’t part of a school, they’ll often get nervous and won’t thrive in your tank.

But you don’t have to stick with just Congo Tetras.

Your Congo Tetras will also get along with many other types of Tetra fish as well. This can include Cardinal Tetras, Diamond Tetras, Neon Tetras, and Glowlight Tetras.

2. Corydoras

Corydoras

Corydoras fish, also called Cory Cats or Cory Fish, are a type of catfish. Like Congo Tetras, Corys are freshwater fish that are peaceful and non-territorial. They also tend to be shyer than most other fish, so they’ll stay out of the Congo Tetras’ way.

Cory Fishish are bottom feeders, so they require almost no effort to take care of. They’ll spend the day scavenging for food at the bottom of the tank or resting motionless in one spot for hours.

Here are a few important things you need to know about Cory Fish.

Care Level: Easy
Max Size of Fish: 1 to 2.5 inches
Temperature Range: 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 7-7.8

Cory Fish are social creatures, so they do best with at least one other Cory in the tank with them. But they can survive on their own as well.

3. Guppies

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Guppies are one of the most popular aquarium fish, and because they’re so easy to take care of, they make a great choice for beginners. They have a peaceful temperament, so they will get along well with your Congo Tetras.

And on top of that, they are also inexpensive, meaning you can fill up your tank without going over budget.

Since guppies come in almost every color you can think of, they are often called the “rainbow fish.” When you mix their appearance with your beautiful Congo Tetras, you can have a very colorful tank.

Here’s what you need to know about Guppies before you buy them.

Care Level: Easy
Max Size of Fish: 0.6 to 2.5 inches
Temperature Range: 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 7-7.2

Guppies and Congo Tetras both originate from Africa, so they will thrive in an environment together.

4. Rasboras

rasbora
Rasboras make great additions to community tanks.

They swim in the top to middle sections of your tank, but they are a peaceful fish. Because of this, they won’t have problems getting along with your Congo Tetras.

The color of these fish will also compliment your Congo Tetras. While your Tetras have a luminescence appearance, Rasboras fish have a shiny, almost metallic appearance that blends in nicely.

Here are a few more things you should know about Rasboras fish.

Care Level: Intermediate
Max Size of Fish: 1.75 to 2 inches
Temperature Range: 73 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 6-7.5

Make sure you don’t add any large fish into the tank if you’re planning to get Rasboras. Bigger fish might be attracted by their metallic shine and make turn them into dinner.

5. Mollies

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Molly fish are one of the most common types of aquarium fish. They are both peaceful and very social. You might even begin to notice unique personalities for each of your Mollies.

But you have to make sure your tank is large enough to support these fish before adding them to your aquarium—no smaller than 10 gallons. Mollies can become aggressive if they don’t have enough space.

These fish can also become aggressive if they’re surrounded by other aggressive fish. But if you keep them with calm, peaceful fish, Mollies shouldn’t give you any problems.

Here are a few more important details about Mollies.

Care Level: Easy
Max Size of Fish: 4.5 inches
Temperature Range: 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 6.7-8.5

You can find a variety of different types of Molly fish. They come in all kinds of sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can pick a type that compliments the style and feel of your tank.

6. Platies

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Platy fish get along well with other types of fish in a community aquarium, and they are very easy to care for.

Like many of the other fish on this list, you can find Platies in many different colors. The most common colors include brown, yellow, red, green, blue, black, and gold. If the light hits them just right, they can even appear to glow.

Here’s a bit more information about Platy fish.

Care Level: Easy
Max Size of Fish: 3 inches
Temperature Range: 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 6.8-8

Platies aren’t school fish, but they are much happier when paired with at least one or two other Platy fish. They are very active fish and will spend most of their time swimming through plants in the middle section of your tank.

7. Dwarf Cichlids

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Dwarf Cichlids aren’t very active swimmers, so they don’t need a lot of tank space. These fish do well with other tank mates, and you don’t have to worry about them destroying your plants or digging up your substrate as much (like their larger cousins do).

But Dwarf Cichlids still have many of the other interesting behavior traits their larger cousins are known for. In other words, you get to enjoy the Cichlid personality without dealing with the aggression or bad habits that come with their larger size.

Here are a few other things you should know about Dwarf Cichlids.

Care Level: Easy
Max Size of Fish: 3 to 3.5 inches
Temperature Range: 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit
PH Range: 7.8-9

Since Dwarf Cichlids are much calmer and more peaceful than the bigger breeds, they can make great tank mates for your Congo Tetras.

8. Barbs

Denison's Barb
Barbs are, for the most part, peaceful fish who work well with other tank mates. But you want to be careful of Tiger Barbs. As they are a bit more aggressive than normal Barb fish, you should keep them away from your Congo Tetras.

There are many different types of Barb fish. Some can be much bigger than others, but it’s a good idea to buy Barbs that are a similar size to your Tetras. Barbs are very active fish, so bigger Barbs might be too much for your Congo Tetras to handle.

Make sure you know these details before you buy any Barb fish.

Care level: Easy
Max Size of fish: 6 inches
Temperature range: 65 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit
PH range: 6-8 (depending on the type)

Barbs, like Congo Tetras, are also schooling fish. You should always have at least five to six Barbs together in your tank at one time.

A Few Fun Facts About Congo Tetras

Congo Tetras will live about three to five years in a well-maintained aquarium. While they like a dim environment filled with plants and rocks, Congo Tetras also enjoy playing in a gentle current.

If you want your Tetras to have fun in your aquarium, consider adding a slow current! Just make sure you other Congo Tetra tank mates are okay with currents, too.

Want to learn more about building a community aquarium?

Click here to learn about other types of aquarium fish!