Max Size: 4.5cm

Red Base Tetra (Hemigrammus stictus)

The Red Base Tetra is an active, peaceful shoaling fish and will thrive in a community aquarium as long as it is not kept with very boisterous or much larger tankmates.

This Tetra is a small oval-shaped fish with a golden-silver body which displays a big black dot just behind the gill plates on either side of their body. The caudal peduncle is bright red, and the rest of the fins are translucent in colour. The top half of the iris is a red colour.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameHemigrammus stictus
Other NamesBloodtail Tetra
OriginsBrazil, Colombia, Guyana, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.2 - 7.2
GH8 - 12
TDS71 - 375
73 - 79℉
22.8 - 26.1℃

Photos of the Red Base Tetra

Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra

Natural Habitat

Red Base Tetras can be found in Amazon, Negro, and Orinoco River basins, and coastal rivers in Venezuela, Guyana and Colombia in Brazil in South America

They inhabit slow-moving rivers, tributaries and floodplain lakes.

Rio Negro

What to feed the Red Base Tetra

The Red Base Tetra will accept most foods you give them but can prove a bit picky sometimes. Feed them with flakes, granules and pellets as their primary diet and then live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp or similar as supplements to give them the best health and colour.

How to sex the Red Base Tetra

It is relatively easy to differentiate the males from the females. Females will be larger and have a plumper body shape; in contrast, males are slightly smaller and noticeably slimmer than females.

How to breed the Red Base Tetra

You will need to set up a separate breeding tank if you want to raise decent numbers of fry. This will need to be dimly lit and contain bunches of fine-leaved plants such as java moss, or you can use spawning mops, to give the fish somewhere to deposit their eggs. Alternatively, you could cover the bottom of the tank with some mesh. This should be of a significant enough grade so that the eggs can fall through it, but small enough so that the adults can not reach them. The water should be soft and acidic with a higher temperature than usual. Filtering the water through peat is handy. A small gentle air-powered sponge filter is all that is needed in terms of filtration.

The Red Base Tetra can be spawned in a group, half a dozen males and females being an ideal amount. Condition them with lots of small live foods, and this should trigger spawning.

Alternatively, it can be bred in pairs. Under this method, the fish are conditioned in female and male groups in separate tanks.

When the females are noticeably full of eggs, select the biggest, healthiest female and the best-coloured male and transfer them to the breeding tank in the evening. They should spawn the next morning.

The adults will most definitely eat the eggs if they are given the opportunity, so it is advisable to remove the parents as soon as you notice any eggs.

The eggs will then hatch within 24-36 hours, and the fry will become free swimming roughly three to four days later. They are sensitive to light, so it would be best to keep them in darkness if this is possible. You will need to feed the babies on infusoria food or equivalent.

Other Tetras of interest

African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
Black Neon Tetra(Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
Black Phantom Tetra(Hyphessobrycon megalopterus)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 14/09/2020 - Updated: 02/12/2021 17:33:32