Bleeding heart tetra

Aquarium fish: Bleeding heart tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma)
Size: 6 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 21-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 72 l

Bleeding heart tetra (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma ) – interestingly colored and disposed aquarium fish from the family of tetras.


South America. The species is found in the upper Amazon basin in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Most of them inhabit slowly flowing waters, small rivers, watercourses or forest lakes. Found near sunken roots, branches, vegetation hanging down to the water or clusters of aquatic plants.

In places where they occur, the water has a low content of dissolved minerals and is saturated with acids and tannins released into the water from decaying matter. The ground is usually sandy.

Characteristics and disposition

Males grow up to 6 cm in length, females up to 5.3 cm. Body laterally flattened and relatively tall, both in males and females, gray-green in color with a bright red tinge. The lower body in a shade of silvery red, the throat and belly are orange.

Behind the gill cover they have a characteristic red spot, which resembles a heart in shape, hence the colloquial name of the species Bleeding heart tetra . Males are larger, color more nicely and have more elongated fins. Their dorsal fin is longer and more pointed, in females it is shorter with a rounded tip – in both sexes it is black, pink, purple and white. The anal fin in males is white and longer – in females the color is not so visible. They can be confused with the very similar species Hyphessobrycon socolofi and H.

pyrrhonotus . In adults H. erythrostigma , the white band on the anal fin covers 70-95% of the rays, and in H. socolofi only 45-50%. H.

pyrrhonotus is smaller and has clearly more red pigment in the upper body – visible division. Fish are considered to be mild-mannered, but be careful as males become territorial with age, especially in relation to similar-looking species. It is recommended to keep a group of min. 8-10 specimens , with females predominating (ideally there should be 3 females for 2 males). In this amount, they are bolder, color more nicely and show more interesting behavior.

Kept in smaller numbers or singly, they may show aggression towards other inhabitants by fin-nicking. Active and lively, males often compete with each other for the favor of females and position in the group.

Nutrition and feeding

In their natural environment, they feed on insects, insect larvae and the remains of fruit falling into the water. Upon examination, their stomach contained 75% animal matter, 20% plant matter. In an aquarium, carmine is not a problem.

They can be fed good quality dry foods in flakes or granules with a plant additive. The diet should be regularly supplemented with live or frozen foods, such as Daphnia, Artemia, and Wodzień. From time to time, you can also serve pieces of fruit, but remember not to stay in the water for too long. These can be, for example, an apple, a banana, soft forest fruits, such as crushed strawberries.


A group of 8-10 Bystrzyków Peraza requires an aquarium of at least 80 cm long , locally densely planted with vegetation and preferably with a dark substrate.

Decorations in the form of dry pieces of wood, roots, branches and dry leaves can be placed in the tank. The decaying leaves will release the desired tannins into the water and also provide an additional source of food for the fry. The light should not be too bright, preferably muffled with floating plants. Fish sensitive to water pollution , which should be changed regularly. They should never be introduced from an unstable tank.

In a sufficiently large social aquarium, they can probably live in harmony with other similarly sized tetras, tetras, slagfish, smaller cuirass, or barnfish and mild, medium-sized cichlids. They should not be combined with calm and free-swimming species. In a poorly arranged, too small aquarium, aggressive behavior may occur – fin picking.


Breeding Perez’s Bubbles is difficult , but not impossible. Females often ignore male advances, are reluctant to spawn, and fry are difficult to raise.

A separate spawning tank is required for reproduction. The water should be of excellent quality, very soft (hardness close to zero), acidic, approx. 5.8 pH and temperature approx. 27-28 ° C. The tank should contain clumps of live plants or artificial aquarium mops.

It is worth protecting the bottom with a mesh with eyelets so that only eggs can pass through them. Before spawning is planned, it is recommended to separate the fish by sex and increase the amount of frozen and live food fed. When the females are clearly thicker and the males will acquire intense colors, we choose the prettiest male and the thickest female and in the evening we transfer them to the previously prepared tank. The steam is usually wiped off the next morning. Spawning is preceded by vigorous swimming among dense vegetation, the fish squeeze with the sides of the body, and after a brief shaking, eggs are released that stick to the plants or fall to the bottom.

As soon as we spot eggs, the parents should be caught. Hatching takes place after 2-3 days. After another 3-4 days, the fry begin to swim on their own. It is small in size and difficult to feed. During the first few days, it requires the administration of the smallest foods.

Water quality is also very important in the success of fry rearing – daily changes are recommended.


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