Are Tetras Livebearers?

Bleeding Heart Tetra

The Bleeding Heart Tetra is a popular fish that is known for its bright colors and graceful swimming.

These fish are considered to be easy to care for, but there are a few things you should know in order to keep them healthy and happy.

In this guide, we will discuss the basics of Bleeding Heart Tetra care, including tank size, water temperature, feeding, and tankmates.

So if you are considering adding a Bleeding Heart Tetra to your aquarium, you are just in the right place.


Scientific NameHyphessobrycon Erythrostigma
Common NameBleeding Heart Tetra, Spotfin Tetra, Tetra Perez
OriginAmazon, Columbia, South America
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons
Lengthup to 2.5 inches
Ease of Carenot exceptionally difficult to care for 
pH6.5 to 7.0
Temperature72°F to 80°F
Bleeding Heart Tetra Characteristics

Bleed Heart Tetra Origins & Habitat

Bleeding heart tetras are found in slow-moving tributaries of Amazon basin streams and beneath canopies in the jungle.

In terms of demeanor, the tetra (bleeding heart) is a quiet fish. They prefer to stay in the middle of the water, neither too deep nor too shallow.

They like to surround themselves with plants, branches, and other freshwater vegetative plant roots in their natural environment.

This is why their aquariums require the same plant species to make the fish feel more at ease and at home.

How Did The Bleeding Heart Tetra Get Its Name?

The bleeding heart tetra takes its name from a blushing red spot near the gills, which is why it’s also known as the “blushing heart.”

While it isn’t exactly on the fish’s heart, this brilliant crimson dot is close enough to justify the informal name.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Lifespan

If you provide them with the proper care, the typical bleeding heart tetra lifespan is between three and five years in captivity.

The biggest threat to a bleeding heart tetra’s life span is poor water quality.

If the water in their tank isn’t kept clean, it can lead to health problems that can shorten their lifespan.

Also, if they don’t get enough of the right nutrients, it can lead to health problems that can shorten their lifespan.

So, if you want your bleeding heart tetra to live a long and healthy life, make sure you give them clean water and a good diet.

What Are the Features of Bleeding Heart Tetra?


The body of this freshwater fish is diamond-shaped, much like other tetra species.

It’s somewhat compressed laterally, yet it has a tall center point.

The head tapers down to a sharp snout, with red and black eyes!

The most distinctive feature of this fish is a blushing crimson spot near the gills.

While it isn’t exactly on the fish’s heart, the position of this brilliant crimson dot is close enough to inspire the same name.


Bleeding Heart Tetras have light-colored bodies that range in orange, beige, silver, and purple coloration.

They also have a blood-red spot near their pectoral fins and a black and white patch near their dorsal fin.

Is Bleeding Heart Tetra Hardy?

Yes, bleeding heart tetra is a hardy fish species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

However, you must provide them with clean water to ensure their long-term health.

How to Care for Bleeding Heart Tetra?

Tank Size

For bleeding heart tetras, a tank size of 20 gallons should be the bare minimum you consider.

With an aquarium this size, you can comfortably house four to six fish.

The size of your aquarium will significantly influence the health of your fish.

You run the danger of stressing out your fish and increasing ammonia levels if you keep them in a too small tank. A smaller tank is also more difficult to maintain and clean.

So, if you’re considering a bleeding heart tetra for your next fishy friend, make sure you have enough space to accommodate them!

PH Level

The pH level of your aquarium is a crucial factor to maintain to keep your bleeding heart tetra healthy.

These fish do best in neutral to slightly acidic water, with a pH range of 6.5-7.0.

If the pH level of your tank is too high or too low, it can cause health problems for your fish.

High pH levels can lead to gill damage, while low pH levels can cause stress and other problems.


Bleeding Heart Tetras are not a particularly fussy species when it comes to lighting, and they will do well at any aquarium with dim lighting.

In nature, these fish inhabit shady areas of streams and rivers, so they are used to dimmer conditions.

So, if you have Bleeding Heart Tetras in your aquarium, aim for moderate to standard lighting.

Specialized lights are not necessary and can actually be detrimental to the health of your fish. Too much light also can cause stress and trigger unwanted aggression.

If you are unsure about the lighting in your aquarium, err on the side of caution and go for something more subdued. Your Bleeding Heart Tetras will be much happier and healthier for it.


The optimal temperature for keeping Bleeding Heart Tetras is between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature drops below 72 degrees, the fish may become sluggish and may even stop eating.

On the other hand, if the temperature rises above 80 degrees, the fish may become stressed and more susceptible to disease.

So, make sure to maintain a steady temperature in your aquarium to keep your Bleeding Heart Tetras healthy and happy.


When it comes to filtration for bleeding heart tetras, stick to a powerful unit that can effectively cycle your tank several times an hour.

These fish can produce a lot of waste, so a high-filtration system is essential to keeping ammonia and nitrate levels low.

No matter which type of filter you choose, keep an eye on it and clean it regularly.

This will help ensure that your bleeding heart tetras have the cleanest and safest water possible.

Tank Decoration

To create a Bleeding Heart Tetra-friendly atmosphere, start with a layer of sandy substrate.

Bleeding heart tetras prefer to hide in the middle and lower sections of the aquarium, so a sand substrate will provide them lots of places to look for food.

Next, add some live plants! The species is irrelevant, but leafy foreground vegetation and taller stem vegetation will give the impression of greater naturalness.

Floating plants are also a good idea since these fish love some shade from the rays.

Finally, you should add a few pieces of driftwood since it will help recreate that natural environment.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Diet

It’s really simple to feed bleeding heart tetras. These omnivorous freshwater fish are extremely adaptable, taking anything they can get their hands on!

A high-quality pellet or flake product is excellent for regular feeding. However, you can also provide live, freeze-dried, or frozen foods.

They readily accept snacks like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

You can even provide plant-based foods like chopped-up lettuce every once, it’s not essential, but a little extra variety is never bad.

Feeding bleeding heart tetras is fairly straightforward when it comes to quantity. 

Just be sure to provide enough food so that all the fish can eat their fill, but not so much that it pollutes the water.

A good rule of thumb is to offer as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times per day.

Bleeding Tetra Heart Compatibility

When it comes to tank mates, Bleeding Tetras are compatible with most other fish that require warm water.

Bleeding heart tetras are schooling fish, so they need to live with other fish to be happy and healthy.

They can live in a group or in pairs of four or six, and do best in a community tank where they can interact with other fish.

Keeping them isolated and alone can result in them becoming stressed, leading to them fin nipping or being aggressive towards their tank mates.

So if you’re considering keeping a bleeding heart tetra, be sure to provide them with plenty of company!

Bleeding Heart Tetra can be kept with the following fish:

  • Rummy nose
  • Odessa Barb
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Cory Catfish
  • Cherry Barb
  • Dojo Loach
  • Rasboras

Bleeding Heart Tetra can’t be kept with the following fish:

  • Shrimps
  • Crabs
  • Snails

Is Bleeding Heart Tetra Reef Safe?

There is some debate over whether or not bleeding heart tetras are safe to keep in a reef aquarium.

The truth is, there is no definitive answer to this question.

Bleeding heart tetras have not been extensively studied in the aquarium setting, so there is no concrete evidence one way or the other.

If you consider keeping bleeding heart tetras in your reef aquarium, it is important to observe their behavior closely.

If you see them nipping at coral polyps or other invertebrates, removing them from the aquarium may be best.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Gender Difference

Male and female bleeding hearts can be easily distinguished by their different body shapes.

Females have fuller bodies, while males have a much larger dorsal fin and a more extended anal fin.

In males, the elongated dorsal fins take on the shape of a sickle that arches to the tail base.

In contrast, the dorsal fins of females are much more rounded.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Breeding

If you want to breed bleeding heart tetras, it’s preferable to keep them in a separate tank.

This will allow you to influence the water parameters to trigger spawning.

The breeding tank’s water should be slightly more acidic than the main tank. It is also recommended to stock the breeding tank with many plants or spawning mops.

Breeding bleeding heart tetras is relatively easy with the proper conditions in place.

The female will lay her eggs on a plant leaf or other surface. After fertilization, the eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours.

The fry is so tiny that they require tiny meals for the first few days. You can offer baby brine shrimp or other small live foods as soon as they become big enough.

If you provide proper care, your bleeding heart tetra fry will mature into a healthy and happy adult.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

Bleeding heart tetras are susceptible to the same ailments as other freshwater fish.

Ich and fin rot are two examples of this. Fungal infections and flukes may also be a concern.

They appear to be serious at first, but they’re not really dangerous if you treat them correctly and clean your tank.

It’s a good idea to regularly check your bleeding heart tetra and do all you can to keep the water clean.

If you detect any physical indications of illness or sluggishness, quarantine your fish and treat them immediately.

Last Words

Bleeding Heart Tetra are popular aquarium fish, and Their striking red eyes and bright red “heart” mark on Their body make them a beautiful addition to any tank.

These peaceful fish can become great pets once you know how to care for them, so give them a try if you are interested!

We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did.

If you have any questions please share them with us in the comment section below.