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The bleeding heart tetra, Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma, is a freshwater tropical fish native to the Upper Amazon River basin. It grows to the size of 64mm and lives for around five years.

Bleeding heart tetra
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Hyphessobrycon
H. erythrostigma
Binomial name
Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma
(Fowler, 1943)


The female is more full bodied and the male has a larger dorsal fin. The male is distinguished by longer extended dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal fin is elongated into a sickle shape that arches to the length of the tail base. The female has a shorter rounded fin.

Breeding in captivityEdit

This egg-laying fish has been bred successfully, with difficulty, in captivity.


The dorsal fin of the males can become long and flowing. Both sexes have the eye-catching blood-red spot in the pectoral area. Both also have the black and white patch on the dorsal fin.

Aquarium careEdit

A group of 6 fishes will feel comfortable in a 15 gallon tank, but a bigger tank (preferably 30 gallons) and more fishes are recommended.

See alsoEdit