What Size Tank Do I Need for Congo Tetra?

Congo tetra is a low-maintenance freshwater fish. Compared to other tetra families, congo tetra is bigger in size. Here the question arises, what size thank do I need for congo tetra?

Well, a 30-gallon tank is good enough for them. Many aquarists succeeded in 20 gallons also. But my recommendation is to go for 30 gallons. Because they like to roam in large groups.  

In this article, you are going to give the basic knowledge you need to pet congo tetra.

What Size Tank Do I Need for Congo Tetra
Congo Tetra

Minimum Tank Size for Congo Tetra?

30 gallons is a good tank size for congo tetras. Though you can go for 15-20 gallons for the starters I do not recommend that.

These tetras are schooling fish and like to live in a large community. This is what makes them happy and out of stress.

In a 30-gallon tank, you can easily accommodate any other fish you want to keep together or will provide enough space for breeding congo tetra.

How to Set Up a Congo Tetra Tank?

Not only congo tetra but also any kind of fish, it is best if you can replicate its natural habitat. It makes them feel safe and stress-free. As per its natural habitat, this fish lives in murky waters.

It also likes the dark ambiance as a living spot. So, you can add sand, mud, or any kind of dark substance to the bottom. After that, it leads you to the lighting of the tank. Keep it low and place the tank in a darker area of your house.

Congo tetra nip plants. While selecting decorative plants, select the harder once to keep them and the plant both happy. But they love being around plants. So, you can also add floating plants as well. It will make a good hiding spot for them.

They like soft and slow water flow. So, select the filter and water flow correctly. Make sure the flow of water is as slow as possible.

As you can see, you can add many things for congo tetra, but do not make swimming difficult for them by stuffing the aquarium.

How Many Congo Tetra Can I Keep Together?

You should keep more than six congo tetra together.

Congo tetra is a schooling fish. It’s like staying in groups. It makes them anxious when they are fewer in number. So, the minimum number is 6-7. It will be perfectly fine if you want to keep more than that.

They will create beautiful patterns while swimming together in the water throughout the day.

Tank Mates of Congo Tetra

The best companion of the congo tetra is another congo tetra. But they get along with any other fish which are peaceful in nature.

Congo tetra barely shows any aggression. It is good for them if they are accompanied by other similar fish. By similar, I am indicating behavior as well as size.

Live-bearing fishes, and small African and South American Characin fishes are suitable for accompanying congo tetra. Some of the best choices for congo tetra tank mate are:

  1. Rainbow fish
  2. Swordtail Fish
  3. Corydoras
  4. Chili Rasbora
  5. Dwarf Cichlids
  6. Celestial Pearl Danio
  7. Rummy Nose Tetras
  8. Elephant Nose Fish

Tank Mates, You Need to Avoid

It makes them stressed if they are put together with more aggressive species. Stress can lead to many other diseases for the fish.

Tetras are well known for their attractive fins. So, avoid any kind of fin-nipping fish in the same tank such as kissing/pearl gourami, livebearers, betta fish, etc. It can destroy the beautiful fins. Which will also make the tetras stressed.

Some of the thank mates you do not want to put together with congo tetra:

  1. Tiger Barb
  2. Bucktooth Tetra
  3. Oscar Fish
  4. Flowerhorn Cichlid
  5. Jaguar Cichlid

Selecting tank mates for fish is a vital part of their life. Because all the schooling fish will be stressed both, when lonely or when with inappropriate mates.

Can Congo Tetra Breed in Tank?

Yes, in fact, it is not very difficult to breed them in a tank. But special measures need to be taken if you want to breed congo tetra.

For breeding, you need a 20-gallon tank minimum. Cover the bottom of the tank loosely with peat moss and java moss on top of that. The moss should be completely clean (you can boil it to make sure). After that fill the tank with distilled water and allow them to set for a couple of days.

In this tank, you need to add a heater but not a filter. Because the filter will disturb the environment you just made. The temperature should be 77°F.

Now as your tank is ready, put a pair of male and female fish who are bonded and turn the light off. The next day, the fish will spawn by then. The pair will breed after that and after breeding, take back the adult fish out of the breeding tank. On the java moss, the eggs will be well protected.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many Congo Tetras can I put in a 30-gallon tank?

You can put approximately 6-8 congo tetras in a 30-gallon tank if they are moderate in size.

Are Congo Tetras hard to keep?

No, it is a beginner-friendly fish and easy to maintain.

Are Congo Tetras fin nippers?

No, Congo Tetras are not fin nippers and you need to avoid fin nipper fish to keep with congo tetra as they can destroy congo tetra’s beautiful fin.

How many Congo tetra should I keep?

Keeping six congo tetras is good to go. If you keep more than that you are going to need a bigger tank

How big will Congo Tetras get?

In nature, they grow up to 4 1/2 inches but in a tank, the moderate size you can expect is 3 or 3 1/2 inches.


Congo tetras are wonderful fish for beginners who want a community tank. It is easy to take care of as well as peaceful fish. It makes it easier to maintain.

Though it is a low-maintenance fish, it is not wise to bring them home without any prior knowledge.

As it takes a fairly small tank of 30 gallons, there is no barrier if you start your aquarist journey with them. Because most of the time, large aquariums are neither affordable nor beginner friendly.

Related Posts:

Arif H Fahim

Welcome to PetFishTank! My name is Arif. I make an effort to publish educational articles using my many years of expertise as a fish owner.

Recent Posts