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CHARACINS

ALESTIIDAE FAMILY
The Alestiidae or African Tetra family is composed of, among others, the genera Alestes, Arnoldichthys, Brycinus, Hemigrammopetersius, Hydrocynus and Phenacogrammus and are exclusively found in Africa.
SIZE: The Alestiidae family includes fish from a great range of sizes. An adult Lepidarchus adonis grows no larger than 3 / 5 " (1.5 cm) while the African Tiger fish ( Hydrocynus goliath ) attains a length of 5'(150 cm).
S: The fish of this family usually swim in the middle water levels.
TANK: The tank size ranges depending on the size of the fish. For most, it should be at least 32"(80 cm) long or 30 gallons (114 L). The tank should be arranged in dark colors and have floating plants to diffuse the light. Many fish of this family are timid, thus hiding places should be provided.
WATER: These fish can tolerate a pH from 6.2-7.8, but prefer neutral water. They like medium to hard water ranging from 4-18 dH, and require a temperature of 72-79°F (22-26°C).
SB: Most Alestids are peaceful, schooling fish that can be kept in a community tank with fish having similar behaviors. However, there are exceptions, the species of the genus Hydrocynus are highly aggressive and predatory fish.
SC: In general, Alestids can be combined with Synodontis , Corydoras, and Loricarid catfish; some South American Characins, gouramis, Mormyrids, and many West African Cichlids.
FOOD: Most fish of the Alestiidae family are omnivorous and will eat most foods. Live; insect larvae, crustaceans, worms, aquatic insects; flakes; freeze-dried.
B: Several species have been bred, nearly all in soft water. Some are very prolific-up to 14,000 eggs being laid at one spawning-while others may lay as few as 20. No species in the Alestiidae Family participate in brood care.
BP: Breeding, if possible, is usually fairly difficult.
R: The fish of the genus Hydrocynus are not aquarium fish!
DC: For the most part, the fish of this family are fairly easy to care for, although frequent partial water changes are recommended for most species.



Congo Tetra, Congo Salmon[Pictures]
Phenacogrammas interruptus
SYN: Micralestesinterruptus, Alestopetersius interruptus, Hemigrammalestes interruptus, Petersius codalus
PD: The Congo Tetra has a laterally compressed body, large eyes, and large scales. The body in reflected light is iridescent green, blue, yellow, and sometimes even violet. the dorsal and caudal fins are transparent to brown, while the tail has a white fringe. The fins are elongated and flowing.
SIZE: 5" (13 cm)
SS: Golden Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammas aurantiacus ), Black Banded Congo Tetra( P. huloti )
HAB: Western Africa; Zaire (Congo) River watershed
S: bottom, middle
TANK: 32" (80 cm) or 30 gallons (114 L). Adult fish should be kept in a 40"(122 cm) or 45-55 gallon (170-209 L) tank. The tank should be well-planted with a cover of floating plants to diffuse the lighting. Leave open swimming areas. Use good filtration to keep the water clean.
WATER: 6-7.5 (6.7); 4-18 dH (7); 73-82°F (23-28°C)
SB: The Congo Tetra is a peaceful fish recommended for most community tanks. Do not combine this African Tetra with fish that have a fin-nipping nature. The Congo Tetra can be kept in pairs orin schools.
SC: Peaceful Synodontis, Pelvicachromis, South American tetras, Corydoras, Discus, Glass Catfish.
FOOD: The Congo Tetra is occasionally a timid eater that may not eat when it feels uncomfortable. Live; insect larvae, brine shrimp, aquatic insects, Tubifex ; flakes; vegetable matter.
SEX: Male is larger and more colorful. Males have elongated dorsal, anal, and caudal fins
B: A pair should be kept in heavily planted tank with soft water. Feed the pair a varied diet of mosquito larvae, blood worms, and brine shrimp. Courtship is initiated by the morning sun or bright light. A pair will spawn in the shallows and will drop 300 eggs. Remove the pair after the spawning is complete. The eggs develop a hard shell before hatching. Fry hatch in six days. Start feeding with brine shrimp nauplii and Infusoria.
BP: 8. Congo Tetras are challenging fish to breed.
R: The Congo Tetra is a timid and easily frightened fish. It is sensitive to noise and water pollutants. Frequent partial water changes are required for the Congo Tetra to thrive.
DC: 4. The Congo Tetra is sensitive to toxic compounds and needs a diet that includes live foods. Otherwise it is a hardy fish.

By Rhett Butler







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