Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma) Fish Species Profile

The Bleeding Heart Tetra is a relatively hardy, active and peaceful fish but can be quite shy.

They are a unique good looking fish and quite sort after, they are distinguished by their small red spot on their sides that looks like a heart.

These species need to be kept in small groups in the aquarium, so they feel secure and at ease, if they are kept alone they can become aggressive and will nip fins of other fish due to stress which can also lead to them dying.

Scientific NameHyphessobrycon erythrostigma
Other NamesSpotfin Tetra, Punto Rojo
OriginsSouth America
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Maximum Sizeup to 8 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature72 - 82 ℉ (22.2 - 27.8 ℃)
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
TDS50 - 150


Bleeding Heart Tetras are found in the shaded slow-moving tributaries in forest lakes and streams through Columbia and Peru where they inhabit thickly vegetated river bends and creeks of the Upper Amazon.

This species prefers to live in between deep and shallow waters where you will find submerged wood in the form of roots and fallen branches and overhanging vegetation.

The waters will be highly acidic from decaying vegetation, and the substrate is sandy.


The Bleeding Heart Tetra requires a varied diet.

It will happily accept most appropriately-sized commercial aquarium foods as well as live or freeze-dried blood worms and blanched lettuce leaves. Sinking pellets is also something they like as they do spend some time on the bottom level of the aquarium.

They do best if fed multiple times a day.

Sexing the Bleeding Heart Tetra

Males have significantly longer anal, and dorsal fins whereas the female's fins are shorter and rounded. The females are fuller-bodied than males.

Breeding the Bleeding Heart Tetra

The Bleeding Heart Tetra is quite tricky, but not impossible, to breed in the home aquarium.

Females will often ignore males and not be willing to accept spawning, and the fry is difficult to rear.

You could breed them in your community aquarium as long as there is plenty of plant coverage to avoid the fry from being eaten by other species, but realistically they should have there own tank for breeding.

Their water should be slightly acidic, and the temperature should be increased by a few degrees from the average temperature, this will speed up and encourage optimal breeding.

Once the Bleeding hearts have laid their eggs, which will hatch in approximately 2 to 3 days after, you should then remove the parents to avoid them consuming the fry.

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Date Added: 8/3/2020 - Updated: 8/3/2020 12:02:34 PM