Max Size: 4.5cm

Red Base Tetra (Hemigrammus stictus)

The Red Base Tetra is an active, peaceful shoaling fish that will thrive in a community aquarium if it is not kept with boisterous or much larger tankmates. Ideally, it would be best to keep these Tetras with other Tetras similar in size, as well as Pencilfish, Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlids, smaller Loricariids and Corydoras. However, In a more general community, you can combine these fish with Barbs, smaller Rasboras, Anabantoids and West African Dwarf Cichlids. Due to their shape, they are also safe to keep with larger Cichlids such as Angelfish or Discus.

Due to their schooling nature, it would be best if you kept Red Base Tetras in a group of at least six individuals, as they will fare much better when in the company of their own kind. In addition, like most Tetras, they look far more striking when maintained like this.

You can keep these fish in either a densely planted aquarium or a biotope aquarium. You can use river sand as a substrate for a biotope set-up and decorate the tank with driftwood roots or branches. You can also put dried leaves in their tank to mimic their natural habitat by staining the water with tannins. Alternatively, you can use RO water that has been peat filtered. Subdued lighting is preferred by this species.

This Tetra has an oval body, golden-silver colouration, and a big black dot just behind the gill plates on either side. The caudal peduncle is bright red, and the rest of the fins are translucent in colour. The top half of the iris is red colour.


Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra
Red Base Tetra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameHemigrammus stictus
Year Described1909
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℃

Natural Habitat

Rio Negro


In the home aquarium, the Red Base Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

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.

Other Tetras of interest

Adonis Tetra(Lepidarchus adonis)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
African Red Eyed Tetra(Arnoldichthys spilopterus)
Arowana Tetra(Gnathocharax steindachneri)
Black Darter Tetra(Poecilocharax weitzmani)
Black Line Tetra(Hyphessobrycon scholzei)
View all Tetras
Date Added: 14/09/2020 - Updated: 12/10/2022 12:43:45