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Bleeding Heart Tetras (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma

Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)

Bleeding Heart Tetras (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma) are peaceful mid-water fish that get their name from the blushing blood red marking near their gills.  They are a school fish native to the upper Amazon River Basin and should be kept in small schools of 6 or more individuals when in an aquarium environment.

The dorsal fin of male Bleeding Heart Tetras can become quite long and flowing. Both sexes have the eye catching, blood-red spot at the heart area, as well as the distinguishing black and white patch on their dorsal fins.

Female Bleeding Heart Tetra

Female Bleeding Heart Tetra

The males can be identified by longer extended dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal fins in the males are elongated into a distinct sickle shape that arches to the length of the tail base.

Female Bleeding Heart Tetras have shorter, more rounded fins.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are perfect for community aquariums and are a good choice for beginning tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

They are hardy fish and easy to keep as long as you provide them with a densely planted tank of at least 20 gallons.  Rocks and driftwood
should be added to the tank to mimic their natural habitat and reduce stress on the fish.

Like most South American tetras, Bleeding Hearts do best in soft, highly filtered, slightly acid water, with plenty of plants.

They do well in a variety of community tank settings when in small groups with other tetras of their own kind. Tiger barbs, other tetras of the same size and bottom dwellers like corydoras, loaches, etc. are good choices. In smaller groups the males often become territorial. Bleeding Hearts are mischievious little fish and seem to enjoy nipping at other fish entering their territory, especially during feeding.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are difficult to breed but not impossible. They are egg layers and are occasionally bred in an aquarium environment. After the eggs are laid, the parents should be immediately removed from the tank or they will eat the eggs.  When the fry are free swimming, start feeding them newly hatched baby brine shrimp until they are able to eat finely crushed flake foods.

Bleeding Heart Tetras will eat a variety of foods including daphnia, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, freeze dried bloodworms, micro pellets and flake foods.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are a common and readily available fish. Most aquarium shops put them up for sale when they are 3/4″ to 1-1/4″ long.

Bleeding Heart Tetras (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma

Bleeding Heart Tetras (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma










Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Water Conditions: 72-77° F, KH 4-8, pH 6.0-6.8
Max. Size: 2″
Color Form: Red
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Peaceful in small groups
Origin: Amazon River Basin; Farm Raised in Thailand
Family: Characidae
Life Span: 5 to 6 years
Aquarist Level: Beginner

Posted in Featured Articles, Freshwater Fish, Tetras, Tropical Fish KeepingComments (1)

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