Name: Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma
Origin: Amazon Basin, Peru
Bleeding Hearts are fish that remain very active and very lively in the home aquarium. They grow larger than similarly shaped tetras, so larger aquariums are preferable with Bleeding Hearts. They have a splendid body shape and, after a month or two in captivity, their colors get very beautiful, especially when fed (two or three days a week) with frozen brine shrimp. The dorsal fin of the males can become long and flowing. Both sexes have the eye-catching, blood-red spot at the heart area. Both also have the black/white patch on the dorsal fin (their little pirate flags)! They do best when kept as groups of 4 or 5 or more. They are very hardy, extremely beautiful, quite peaceful, and are not very shy fish. They live to around 5 years or so. Change part of the water of the aquarium (25% or so, using a gravel cleaning siphon device), somewhat frequently, to keep them in tip-top shape. I have my Bleeding Hearts in a 110 liter aquarium in our living room, with Black Phantom Tetras and Neons. All three species get along very well. Bleeding Hearts are excellent aquarium fish!
Very peaceful fish. Make a great tank mate for corydoras and other bottom dwelling species. They are definately best kept in shoals of 5-6. Males are larger and have a blue dorsal fin. Females are thicker bodied and have a reddish tip on their dorsal fin. Provide plenty of plants if it is your intention to breed these hardy yet timid fish.
Bleeding heart tetras are, as all tetras, happier in a shoal. They can get to a fairly large size of 5-7 cm and can be a bit nippy with long finned fish, such as angels. When in prime condition they look fantastic, especially in a group of 6 or more, and show lots of red coloration. The little red shape on their sides is where they get their name from. They feed on flake, bloodworm and all the usual foods you would feed community aquarium fish. Brine shrimp really brings out their colour. A large shaol of 15-20 fish looks pretty amazing.
I've had great luck with the Bleeding Heart Tetras, but like any tetras, they'll do better if you have a group of 4 or more. In groups, they're peaceful, hardly and great fun to watch at feeding time. They'll dart out of nowhere and grab a sinking flake, faster than most of my other fish. It seems to do worse as a single fish than some of the other tetras. If you can afford only one, save for a pair or it'll spend most of it's time hiding and might be a little more aggressive than normal. It loves worms of all kinds and will munch on flakes too. Mine are getting to be a nice size now, about 7 cm, and with the glowing red spot, which gives them their name. They look nice in a heavily planted tank. I have a 250 L with several species of tetras (my favorite) some Cory's and loaches too. Highly recommended.
This species is a great community fish to be housed with all types of South American tetras. They grow to about 7 cm and eat virtually any sort of food you can provide them. I purchased four of these last year (3 males and 1 female) and they are still going strong. They always make a splash at feeding time, because they wait in the middle of the tank, eyeing the food, before bursting towards the surface and snapping it up! On the whole, weekly water changes and a varied diet which includes live food will keep this species in top condition.
My bleeding heart tetras are always stuffing their mouths with food. They are peaceful when they are surrounded by their own kind with a few exceptions, just like tiger barbs. They are also michevious, nipping at others' tails and entering their territory looking for food. With my other fish, they like to follow them and even annoy them to the point of being chased away. They are sweet little fellas, who live a hardy life chasing bigger fish's tails and searching for their next meal.