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Bleeding Heart Tetra

(Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 73-81° F, KH 4-10, pH 5.5-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Amazon, Brazil, Peru, Colombia   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Bleeding Heart Tetra native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Bleeding Heart Tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma) are native to the upper Amazon basin, where they are found living in black water creeks, tributaries and flood plains. Their native waters are stained a tea color by the peat and leaves which cover the river substrate. The banks of the creeks and tributaries are generally thick with twisted tree roots and driftwood, that along with the large leaves on the river bottom provide the Bleeding Heart Tetra with place to hunt and to hide.

The water in their natural habitat is acidic, but they can adjust to less acidic or neutral water conditions over time. However, they will exhibit their best colors when housed in a well planted or driftwood aqua-scaped aquarium with acidic water conditions. Bleeding Heart Tetra despite growing larger than most Tetra are still very peaceful in nature and can be kept with a wide variety of community fish species.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Bleeding Heart Tetra in the home aquarium.

The ideal aquarium environment for the Bleeding Heart Tetra would consist of a 20 gallon or larger aquarium with a soft sandy substrate, plenty of driftwood and plants, acidic water conditions, gentle water flow, peaceful community fish tank mates and shaded or dim lighting conditions. While a 20 gallon aquarium is sufficient, a group of Bleeding Heart Tetra will do much better in an aquarium closer to 55 gallons in size.

They will appreciate an aquarium that contains a soft sandy substrate and lots of driftwood, submerged root and aquatic vegetation. The driftwood and plants will provide shade from the bright aquarium lighting and provide areas for the fish to retreat to if frightened. Being a black water species, the Bleeding Heart Tetra is used to peat stained acidic waters that occur from fallen leaves and peat that lay on the bottoms of their native streams and tributaries.

While they can adjust to other aquarium environments, they do best in an Amazon biotope aquarium that recreate their natural surroundings. Tank mates should include other peaceful tropical community species, peaceful bottom dwellers and peaceful dwarf Cichlid species. As with most Tetra, the Bleeding Heart Tetra does much better when kept in groups of 6 or more individuals.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Bleeding Heart Tetra and provide a healthy diet.

Bleeding Heart Tetra are easy to feed as they will consume most all commercial foods produced for freshwater tropical community fish. They will readily accept quality flake foods, brine shrimp, daphnia, freeze-dried tubifex or blood worms, micro pellet foods and other similar commercially prepared foodstuffs.

Bleeding Heart Tetra should be fed an amount of food that they will consume within 3 to 5 minutes twice a day. They will generally take the food from the middle of the water column, but will also feed from the top of the water when they are comfortable in their surroundings.

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