bleeding heart tetra: Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

bleeding heart tetra

What does a bleeding heart tetra look like?

Bleeding heart tetra fishes are large and have a tall but rather laterally compressed body. The bleeding heart tetra fish’s colour is beige, and the vast majority have reflections in shades of green on the upper part, and reflections of red tones on the lower half. These fish usually have a red spot in the middle, and this is where their curious name of bleeding heart tetra comes from.

This special characteristic is what distinguishes this curious species from other different fish, and it is also what gives them their name. The bleeding heart tetra fish’s dorsal fin is long and brown except at the base,, which usually has a grey tint that pulls towards pink. The anal fin is usually metallic blue in colour and usually has a black-toned border. These fish tend to be sexually dimorphic since the male’s dorsal fin is usually sickle-shaped and is usually longer, as well as the anal fin is more pointed. On the other hand, the females have a more bulky belly, and the anal fin is usually of a lighter colour.

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon erythrostigma
Other NamesSpotfin Tetra, Punto Rojo
FamilyCharacidae
GenusHyphessobrycon
OriginsSouth America
TemperamentPeaceful
Aquarium LevelBottom – Middle
DifficultyBeginner – Intermediate
ShoalingYes
Best kept asGroups 5+
DietOmnivore
ReproductionEgg-Layer
Lifespan3 – 5 years
Maximum Sizeup to 8 cm

Where does bleeding heart tetra live?

This peculiar species, with some really striking characteristics, is native to the Upper Amazon Basin and above all, they usually inhabit streams and rivers located in Peru and Colombia, with green areas and they usually always do so in groups of at least ten specimens. Therefore, specimens of bleeding fish can be found in the Amazon basin, and that is why, if you are thinking of placing them in an aquarium, you must have one of enough capacity because they are used to living in groups and are shoal fish. who also need to have free areas to be able to swim when they need it

The behaviour of the bleeding heart fish

The bleeding heart tetra has certain attitudes for each moment of its life, but in general, they are usually calm fish that can be kept in an aquarium, although they are quite delicate. Learn more about the behaviour of these striking fish.

How does bleeding heart tetra behave?

Bleeding heart tetra is usually really peaceful animals that do not usually get in trouble, although, like most fish, they are somewhat violent, especially in the breeding season, with fish of the same species. On the other hand, they do not usually have problems with other fish of other species. 

During the reproductive season, their character changes and they themselves change their colour and become more reddish. It is a type of shoal fish that usually lives in groups of about ten specimens, and that can exceed four years of life. The bleeding heart fish, although peaceful, is also really active and prefers to live with the more specimens, the better.

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The bleeding heart tetra in the aquarium

As explained previously, they are violent fish with those of the same species, as long as they want to ensure dominance within the bank in which they live or of which they are part. The dominant fish will always be located in the internal area or within the school formed with their companions, as this will be protected from any attack,  protected by the less dominant fish that will go in the outer areas and will be the ones that will receive the attacks in case these occur.

Therefore, they are suitable fish to be placed in a community aquarium as long as these rules are respected that they are shoaling fish that live in groups and that the whole group must be introduced together in the aquarium to avoid fights for dominance. In addition, the males, both before the females in the breeding season and before the rest of the fish,  perform various gestures to intimidate them,  without hurting them, by unfolding their fins, accentuating their colours or standing right in front of the other fish.

Aquariums for bleeding heart tetra

If you have a new group of bleeding heart tetra fish in your aquarium or are thinking of getting one, below you will find some guidelines and tips to prepare an ideal aquarium to maintain this curious and beautiful fish.

Aquarium maintenance for bleeding heart tetra fish

The bleeding heart tetra is a very fast and really skilled swimmer, so it needs a fairly large aquarium. At least an aquarium of about 100 litres of capacity is recommended, although the 80 litres can also be worth it. Being known as shoal fish, bleeding heart tetra need to be acquired and kept in groups.  At least ten to fifteen specimens are recommended. In addition to these water needs, these types of fish also need to have a planting area or vegetation where they can hide.

Regarding the arrangement of the vegetation, it should be borne in mind that the central areas of the aquarium should not be occupied with it, but they should be left free so that the fish can swim comfortably,  therefore choosing an aquarium of about ninety litres more or less where the vegetation will be planted marginally. As for the substrate, it is best to use it quite dark and with roots to create a good decoration. 

Bleeding Heart tetra Fish Aquarium Elements

Regarding the light, it must be taken into account that it is not excessively intense. This can be achieved naturally simply by adding different floating plants to the aquarium. Regarding filtration, it must be good, constant and efficient because these fish require excellent water quality. In addition, when the food falls to the bottom, it must be removed or siphoned manually so that the water does not get dirty and lose quality.  

The aquarium water must be kept between 24 and 28 degrees and the pH between 5.0 and 7.0, in addition to controlling the hardness between 2 and 10 dGH. Finally, it should be noted that bleeding heart fish are usually quite delicate, so it is not a fish that can be recommended to beginners in the world of fish and aquariums.

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Bleeding heart tetra fish hatchling

Do you have any specimen with a bleeding heart, and would you like to try a calf? Do you want to know a little more about the reproduction of this striking animal? Take a look at the guide that you will find below as surely many of your doubts will be answered.

Reproduction of the bleeding heart tetra

The Bleeding Heart Tetra is a characid and is also oviparous. Although like most fish of this type, it is quite difficult to achieve effective reproduction in aquariums or in captivity, it should be noted that this is not impossible. These fish perform a courtship prior to laying. The males chase the female they have chosen by performing different displays and swimming provocatively around her. If the female decides that she is going to accept the courtship, the coupling occurs, which is quite curious because the male directly envelops the female and hits her on the sides.

From here the laying takes place, which in this type of fish is usually between 300 and 400 eggs. When this part of the process takes place, the parent males should be kept away from the eggs. Otherwise, they will eat them. The eggs will hatch between 24 and 36 hours later, and the fry will already be able to swim free in approximately five days.

Tips for Breeding Bleeding Heart tetra

To ensure that all this process is carried out effectively in an aquarium, it should be taken into account to keep the water approximately at a temperature of 25 degrees and with a pH of 6.5 and a GH hardness that is smaller than 10 degrees d. In addition, if you get an aquarium especially to be used for breeding, of approximately 50 litres, the better, being able to place a mesh at the bottom to protect the eggs of the parents. It will also be very interesting to be able to filter the water with peat, and it should be noted again that after laying the parents must be separated so that they do not eat the eggs.

In addition, it will be interesting to protect the eggs from light and that once the fry is born, they should be provided with some food as any type of microorganism first, which are also known as infusoria and brine shrimp nauplii that should hatch when they can already swim that will be approximately five days.

Bleeding heart tetra feeding

Suppose you are going to acquire or have a new bleeding heart tetra in your aquarium. In that case, you will surely be interested in reviewing the following information about how this type of fish feed in nature as well as what you can do to feed them effectively in your aquarium.

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What do bleeding heart tetra fish eat?

Bleeding heart tetra is native to the Amazon area, more specifically this river and some other rivers located in South America. For this reason, and for their special characteristics, normally when they are free in nature, they accustom or usually feed on small insects. In addition,  the bleeding heart tetra is an animal that usually feeds on the surface of the water,  so if there is food leftover and it falls to the bottom of the water, they will not eat it, while if it is found on the surface, they will feed properly. Correct. They are omnivorous animals and tend to adapt quite well to different types of food.

How to feed a bleeding heart tetra

Suppose you have a new specimen or several specimens of bleeding heart fish at home. In that case, you should provide them with dry food in the aquarium, as it accepts them correctly, just as any type of commercial food that has the shape of leaves or some type of granulated.

But apart from this, it will also be quite interesting if you can give him freeze-dried food, some kind of red larva or some brine shrimp, that is, add some frozen and live foods to his diet regularly, such as Tubifex, Daphnia or even mosquito larvae. Also, if when your fish finishes eating there are remains and they fall to the bottom of the aquarium unless you have some type of bottom fish sharing the aquarium with your fish or your bleeding heart tetra, which can clean the aquarium, You should clean them, remove them or siphon the aquarium to prevent them from decomposing and the water becomes in poor condition, which could harm the health of your fish.

Bleeding heart tetra care

If you are thinking of acquiring a bleeding heart tetra fish, you should review some simple tips on what you should do to effectively and correctly care for these curious specimens that seem to have a diseased heart.

How to care for bleeding heart tetra

The bleeding heart tetra will need at least an aquarium of about eighty to one hundred litres per fish. In addition, as they are typical school fish, they should normally be acquired in groups of at least ten specimens. Sufficient vegetation should be placed in the aquarium of these fish so that they can hide and feel comfortable but without occupying the central areas, since these must be left free so that the fish can swim.

As for the lighting, it is best to dim it with some floating plants so that the fish does not feel overwhelmed. The water’s pH should also remain between five and seven and with a hardness of 2 to 10 dGH. As for the temperature, it is best to keep it between twenty-four and twenty-eight degrees. Although these fish in nature usually feed on small insects, you can offer them different commercial foods such as leaves or other granulated foods once in the aquarium.  Also, if they need supplements, they can be given red larvae or brine shrimp.

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Basic care of bleeding heart tetra

You also have to be very careful since heart fish usually feed on the surface and that is why any debris that falls to the bottom must be removed so that it does not decompose and end up infecting the aquarium,  so it will be interesting to siphon the aquarium from time to time. 

In the breeding season, in addition to these cares, the heart fish will need extra support with some special measures such as a special aquarium, some type of element to oxygenate the environment, soft water, a constant temperature of twenty-five degrees or offering once that the small fish are born some type of nutritional supplements, such as microorganisms or brine shrimp that guarantee that these animals will grow well and in optimal conditions. 

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