Bleeding Heart Tetra

Bleeding Heart Tetra | Care and Guide

Bleeding heart tetra is a peaceful and beautiful freshwater tropical fish. Its scientific name is Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma. It has a lifespan of up to 5 years and can grow up to 64mm.

As an aquarium fish, Bleeding heart tetra does well in water temperatures of 78°F or 26°C., the water should be soft acid water with a pH of 6.5-6.8. They are a very peaceful species.

As a community fish, a group of six in a bushy aquarium is recommended for a 15-gallon tank. Never mix them with bigger fish such as bettas and angelfish. If you need tank mates the best are bottom-dwelling species such as corydoras.

Both male and female tetras have a black and white patch on the dorsal fin and a red spot in the pectoral area. Males have long flowing fin dorsal and anal fins. The female tetra is full-bodied with shorter and rounded fins.

Bleeding Heart Tetra

What do tetras eat?

Tetras feed on small foods, the most common foods are tubifex, daphnia, flake food, micro pellet food, brine shrimp and freeze-dried blood worms. The longest a fish can take without feeding is up to 3 days, for the Bleeding heart tetra feeding them lightly once a day is effective for their growth and well-being.

Light feeding ensures the fish eat everything in the aquarium, this prevents the accumulation of food particles in the aquarium which can be harmful to the fish. Fluval Bug Bites are an excellent choice of food for them

If you do have a busy schedule you may also consider getting an automatic Fish Feeder.


Breeding the heart tetra is not easy, having a group of 3 males and 3 females or more in the aquarium tank is the first step as female tetras are choosy, with a group in the tank there are higher chances that one male will be chosen.

Breeding is most effective in larger tanks of at least 20 gallons. We all know tetras love bushy environments, the aquarium should have plants such as java moss and other fine-leaved plants friendly to them.

Females love such environments for egg dumping. The eggs and the young tetras are sensitive to light, so having the aquarium in a dim environment is most recommended.

The pH level of the water in the aquarium is also important for successful breeding, soft water with a pH level of between 5 and 6.8 is the best for tetras. The water should be kept fairly warm between 27 to 30 degrees Celsius. The levels of oxygen in the aquarium should be higher, such levels enhance mating and breathing for the fish.

It’s easy to know when the female is ready to deposit eggs, she is fatter and fuller because of the eggs, during this period if possible keep the males separately. Both males and females should be fed lightly. During egg deposition, the male and female press against each other, and the female quivers or shakes to release the eggs.

The eggs attach to the plants or deposit at the bottom of the tank. With the eggs deposited if you can remove the parents to prevent them from eating the eggs.

See also: Are ember tetras good for beginners?


Taking care of your tetras is more of taking care of the environment and home of the tetras.

These fish are not prone to any diseases but are very sensitive to changes in water conditions. It is also important to constantly check individual illness, tetras can get chronic conditions such as mycobacteriosis.

When changing a tank or installing new equipment it’s recommended to take necessary precautions to prevent invasive microorganisms from sneaking into the tank.

Bi-weekly changes of the water in the aquarium is key to keeping your fish healthy and safe. Clean and fresh water is also important in ensuring the fish and plants are always aerated and break parasite life cycles.

Feeding the fish as required is also a great way to ensure the fish are always happy and comfortable

See also: How big do clown pleco get?

Types of tetra fish

  • Black Tetra-it’s one of the most popular fish for aquariums, it’s from South America. It has a beautiful mix of dark shades and vertical black patches with ripple-like dots near the tail.
  • Cardinal Tetra- the most distinct feature of this type of fish is the bright iridescent line on both sides of the body. It has beautiful red coloring.
  • Neon Tetra- This type has a darker upper part of the body and is mostly black or greyish. Red is minimal here with it only being retained as a stretch halfway across the body.
  • Flame Tetra- it’s also known as the Red Tetra, they are a mix of red and orange and have very delicate scales making most of the body transparent. They may have black patches near the head.
  • Ruby Tetra- this type has an unusual body shape, it’s thin and compressed on the sides. It’s prolonged and is light orange with some red near the upper body.
  • Ember Tetra-it’s small, beautiful and very peaceful. They are bright orange and have thin skin which makes them look transparent
  • Lemon Tetra-its origin is South America, it has bright yellow markings. The bodies are tiny and compressed with densely packed scales, the eyes are pitch-black with a beautiful red outline. 
  • Others include Diamond Tetra, Emperor Tetra, Congo Tetra, Blood fin Tetra, Rummy Nose Tetra, Buenos Aires Tetra, and Penguin Tetra

See also: Tomini tang growth rate

bleeding heart tetra

FAQs About Bleeding Heart Tetra

How do you breed a bleeding heart tetra?

You need a bigger tank for effective breeding after the eggs are laid, remove the parent tetras to prevent them from eating the eggs.

The tank should have plants so that the eggs can land on the plants or land at the bottom of the tank. The tank should be in dim lighting, the eggs, and young tetras are very sensitive

What kind of Tetra do I have?

You can easily know the type of Tetra by looking at its shape, colors, and length.

See also: Panda Garra Lifespan

How big do bleeding heart tetras get?

Tetras have a lifespan of up to 5 years and can grow up to 64mm

How many tetras can I put in a 10-gallon tank?

6 to 7 tetras, mix male and female for effective breeding.


Fish Parenting: Bleeding Heart Tetra – Detailed Manual for Care in Captivity