In our opinion, Bloodfin Tetra is one of the most underrated species in the aquarium industry. Due to many other widespread grouse, these freshwater fish are nowhere near receiving the attention they deserve.
We have been huge fans of these fish for several years. They are quite pretty, easy to maintain and peaceful.
This guide will give you an overview of all aspects of Bloodfin Tetra care. You’ll learn about your ideal water settings, tank mates, how to set up your tanks, and even breeding tips!
Summary of species
Bloodfin Tetras ( Aphyocharax anisette ) are visually striking freshwater fish that are fun and easy to care for. They are part of the Characin family and share many of the same properties as other grouse.
These fish are endemic to the rivers of South America. They are more common in the Parana River basin. However, they have also been seen throughout the Amazon, eastern Peru, and Colombia.
Today, you are more likely to see these fish as part of a colourful community aquarium. Bloodfin tetras are suitable for large groups and get along well with most peaceful fish. No matter the size of your community aquarium, these fish are sure to be the stars of the show.
The typical life expectancy of Bloodfin Tetra is between 5 and 8 years in captivity. This is similar to many other popular types of tetra.
Of course, there is no guarantee. Despite their winter hardiness, these fish can be sensitive to low water conditions. It would help if you had well-maintained living space and lots of quality foods to thrive truly. Otherwise, its lifespan can be significantly shortened due to illness or injury.
While Bloodfin Tetras may not have the flowing fins or unique body shape of other aquarium fish, they are indeed wonderful on their own. These are smaller fish that take the form of a torpedo. They are tighter towards the head and the midsection. However, its shape narrows to accommodate its large tail fin.
The primary colour of the fish is silver. The scales acquire a slightly iridescent finish. As a result, you may notice greenish-blue flashes as the light reflects off your body. The silver colour covers most of its mass.
The only thing about this fish is its fins! They are aptly named for the bright red colour that covers their dorsal, anal, fat and caudal fins. It provides a stark contrast to the rest of its body and allows the fish to stand out in any environment.
Red generally covers most of the fins. The only part that isn’t red is the tips, which are usually transparent. They are striped fish. However, rays are very sensitive and difficult to see compared to other species.
You won’t find too many differences between men and women. Sometimes, mature males develop visible gill glands and subtle hooks on the anal fins. However, this is not a guarantee.
The best way to find out the gender is to look at the colour red. Men tend to be more spirited than their female counterparts. Women also tend to be slightly bigger. This is especially true for the breeding season.
The size of a fully grown Bloodfin Tetra is just over 2 inches long. Thanks to their small size, they are convenient and suitable for short to medium-sized tanks.
Important Note: When these fish are born in poor condition, they are usually a little smaller than average. This is due to developmental issues that ultimately affect its size.
Bloodfin Tetra Care
Maintaining Bloodfin Tetra is pretty straightforward for the most part. This species is hardy and can adapt to a wide variety of environments, which is a perfect trait for a community aquarium. They are also relatively peaceful and rarely harm others.
Of course, these fish still need proper care if you want them to be healthy. To reach their full potential, Bloodfin Tetras require carefully monitored environments. Providing them with everything they need will ensure that they achieve their most extraordinary greatness while also leading a long and happy life.
Bloodfin Tetras trains fish. They are best suited for large groups. So don’t expect much success keeping just one fish in a small tank.
At a minimum, we recommend that you start with a 20-gallon tank. An aquarium of this size is suitable for 5-7 fish. Of course, the bigger, the better.
Author’s Note: If you plan to host different species with your Bloodfin Tetras, or have a larger school, you will need to increase your tank size significantly.
The best thing about Bloodfin Tetras is that they aren’t incredibly picky about the water settings. They adapt well and don’t have too many problems with slight fluctuations.
Even so, you should still adhere to a broad range of water parameters. Like all fish, Bloodfin Tetras do best in waters similar to their natural habitat.
This species is native to the waters of South America. They prefer things to be warmer (but can survive in more relaxed tanks as well ) and have a relatively neutral pH. Here are some parameters to follow:
- Water temperature: 64 ° F to 82 ° F (around 70 degrees preferred)
- PH values: 6.0 to 8.0
- Water hardness: 2 to 3 GH
As long as you stay in these areas, your fish should have no problem staying healthy. However, it is essential to test these values continue to ensure that they are stable.
This is where you can get creative.
Bloodfin Tetras needs a lush reservoir with a natural setting (they come from the rivers of South America, after all). The goal when planning your tank should be to replicate this environment as closely as possible.
You can start with a small dark sand bottom. The dark colour is reminiscent of river beds, often covered with dead plants. Bloodfin Tetras doesn’t spend a lot of time at the bottom of the tank, but having that base doesn’t hurt.
Now use live plants to decorate the tank. Bloodfin Tetras needs plants for a variety of reasons.
First, they offer protection. These fish can get shy at times and need places to hide.
Second, it helps block light. The rivers in South America from which they originate are often full of vegetation. Besides, the banks are lined with trees that protect from the sun.
You can choose between floating aquatic plants and choose tall plants. Try options such as Java Moss, Anubias of BROADLEAF and closing anacharis sheet.
When adding plants, make sure there is enough room to swim in the center of the tank. Arrange the vegetation around the perimeter so that nothing prevents the fish from swimming freely.
In addition to plants, consider using artificial hiding places. You can use plastic caves, real stones, or even driftwood.
As far as equipment goes, your standard filter will do. Just make sure it’s powerful enough to run the tank efficiently. Redfin tetra does not need a tank heater if the water stays above room temperature all year round. The light can always heat something if needed.
Author’s Note: Don’t forget a sturdy cover! Bloodfin tetras are known to jump on the surface of the water. It tends to happen more often when they recur. Then it would help if you had this cap to make sure they don’t come off.
As mentioned above, Bloodfin Tetras are quite picky. Despite their small size, they are hardy and relatively healthy. The only time to worry is when the water conditions drop.
Like any other species of fish, Bloodfin Tetras are sensitive to extreme changes in water. Rapid changes in temperature or high levels of ammonia in your water can harm your health.
They become stressed, which increases the risk of several common fish diseases. This includes bacterial infections, fungal problems, and even parasitic infections. The most common illness that you are likely to face is yourself, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Fortunately, you can easily control the disease with some over-the-counter medications. Just be sure to quarantine your infected fish as I am very contagious.
The best way to avoid disease ultimately is to monitor the water conditions. Check the settings regularly and change the water every week or two.
Food and diet
In the wild, Bloodfin Grouse often eat insect larvae and plant material. They are omnivores, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something they like. For the most part, you can stick with commercially available flakes or granules.
However, we always recommend supplementing dry foods with high protein snacks. Shrimp, brined bloodworms, Tubifex worms, and daphnia are good high protein options.
Feed these fish only the amount of food they can eat in about 2 minutes. They have small stomachs, and overeating is a genuine risk.
They should be fed twice a day, but make sure the meals are small.
Behaviour and temperament
Bloodfin Tetras are active swimmers. You will see them buzzing in groups all day long. They usually only occupy the top half of the aquarium.
Aggression is not a big deal. They are generally relatively peaceful and get along well with other temperate fish species.
However, depending on the situation, you might notice a few small signs of aggression here and there. They will fight in their group from time to time. Sometimes the bigger fish pick up the smaller ones. You may notice that Bloodfin Tetras munchies on other people during meals.
Usually, that’s not a big deal, but keep an eye out for them to be safe. If this becomes a constant problem, it is best to get rid of the attacker to make sure everyone stays healthy.
Bloody fin grouse are known to nibble the fins of some other fish as well. You are drawn to the flowing fins of guppies and angelfish, and you may not want to keep these species of fish in the same tank.
Bloodfin Tetra tank comrades
Bloodfin tetras are best for groups. We recommend a group of 5-7 fish. If you have space, don’t hesitate to add more! Having a larger group can reduce the likelihood of a fight and help each specimen feel more comfortable in the aquarium.
These fish mix well with other fish species of similar size. Different types of grouse are excellent. In general, try to keep the fish a similar size.
Avoid all large and aggressive fish. With their small size and bright red fins, they can quickly become targets.
Here are some great Bloodfin Tetra tank mates who can live in peace with this species:
- Neon tetra
- Cardinal tetra
- Cory Catfish
- Neon green tetra
- Peaceful shrimp (we love the ghost and love )
- All freshwater aquarium snails
- Ember Tetra
- Plecos soft (try the hairs lips or rubber )
- Ground Catfish ( Pictus and Bumblebee are excellent)
Important Note: There are plenty of other Bloodfin Tetra tank mates to consider. This list should only be used as a starting point. As long as the species is similar in size and peaceful, it is probably compatible (behaviorally).
The process of growing Bloodfin Tetra is relatively straightforward. We recommend that you install a separate breeding tank. Fill it with plants and plenty of open space.
To start the process, you can keep the light levels low and provide plenty of protein-rich foods. When cooked, the fish naturally mate, and the female lays eggs.
You may notice that she jumps out of the water. This is normal. These fish often jump to the surface of the water and let the eggs sink into the lower pools. They are sometimes a little more organized and choose broadleaf plants to lay their eggs.
In all cases, it is essential to remove adult fish after spawning. You will not show parental behaviour and will try to eat the eggs. In total, females can lay between 300 and 500 eggs!
They will hatch in a few days. Roasts consume the egg sac first. After that, you need to prepare powdered infusions and fries until they are large enough to consume brine shrimp.
The Bloodfin Tetra love to eat worms and small insects from the wild. They also enjoy traditional flake food, but you can feed those tubifex or silkworms, daphnias, brine shrimps, dried food, or frozen food to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
Diverse diets are always best. For example, you can mix and match carnivore foods with plant or vegetable food.
The Bloodfin Tetra is a very active fish and will require a lot of food. However, it’s important to remember that they cannot eat for more than 3 minutes.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you are familiar with the care for Bloodfin Tetra and all the reasons they are a tremendous freshwater species, you should consider which ones to buy.
These fish are fun to have and so much pleasure from start to finish. They are low maintenance, beautiful and fun to look at.
Over the years, many owners have told us they have nothing but great things to say about this species. Maybe you should join their club!
Frequently Asked Questions
A neon tetra can make an excellent addition to your tank, and it’s also a great tankmate for your betta. You will need at least 6 neon tetras, but 10-12 is the best. Because of their speed and the places they spend most time, neon tetras are great tank buddies.
The Bloodfin Tetra can be adapted well and maintained within the same water parameters. It will become extremely hardy and easy to care for if it is properly taken care of. It is best to use a heater to maintain the water temperature as high fluctuations can stress fish.
A single bloodfin tetra should be kept. The fish may become stressed by the presence of other fish and from competition for food. This can lead to death and disease quickly. Therefore, we do not recommend that you only get one fish from a schooling animal.