BloodFin Tetra: A Complete Care Guide

BloodFin Tetra: A Complete Care Guide

Table of Contents

BloodFin Tetra: A Complete Care Guide

If you’re an aquarium enthusiast or considering starting a captivating aquatic hobby, the Bloodfin Tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi) is a species that deserves your attention. Known for its stunning appearance and ease of care, the Bloodfin Tetra fish is a sought-after gem in the world of freshwater fishkeeping.

In this glass bloodfin tetra guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of Bloodfin Tetras, exploring their captivating characteristics, care requirements, and expert tips for keeping these vibrant fish in your home aquarium. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this comprehensive resource will provide you with all the insights you need to create a thriving aquatic environment with the mesmerizing glass Bloodfin Tetra fish as your centerpiece.

Species Summary

The Bloodfin Tetra fish, scientifically known as Aphyocharax anisitsi, is a captivating freshwater fish species that has gained popularity among aquarists for its striking appearance and ease of care. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to understanding and caring for these remarkable fish.

Table: Blood Fin Tetra Quick Facts

Common NameBlood Fin Tetra
Scientific NameAphyocharax anisitsi
Average Size1.5 – 2 inches (3.8 – 5 cm)
Lifespan3 – 5 years
TemperamentPeaceful and sociable
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons (larger recommended)
Water ParameterspH 6.0 – 7.5, 72 – 78°F (22 – 26°C)
CompatibilityIdeal for community aquariums
Key FeaturesStriking blood-red fins, shoaling
Breeding DifficultyModerate


BloodFin Tetra: A Complete Care Guide

One of the standout features of the Bloodfin Tetra is its vibrant appearance. These tetras exhibit a slender body, typically reaching around 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) in length. The most striking characteristic is their blood-red finnage, which extends into their caudal fin, creating a vivid contrast against their silver body. The dorsal fin is marked with a distinctive black spot, adding to their allure.

BloodFin Tetra: A Complete Care Guide


Bloodfin Tetras have a moderate lifespan, typically living for about 3 to 5 years when provided with proper care. The longevity of these fish can be influenced by various factors, including water quality, diet, and tank conditions.

Average Size

As mentioned earlier, Bloodfin Tetras are relatively small fish, with an average size of 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm). Their petite size makes them suitable for smaller aquarium setups, but they thrive in larger tanks as well.

Bloodfin Tetra Care

Ensuring the well-being of your Bloodfin Tetras involves careful attention to several key aspects of their care.

Tank Size

Choosing an appropriately sized tank is crucial for the comfort and health of your Bloodfin Tetras. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small school of these fish. However, larger tanks, such as a 20-gallon setup, provide more space for them to swim and thrive.

Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water parameters is essential. Bloodfin Tetras thrive in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. The water temperature should be kept between 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C). It’s important to invest in a reliable thermometer and water testing kit to monitor these conditions regularly.

Table 1: Ideal Water Parameters for Bloodfin Tetras

pH6.0 – 7.5
Temperature72 – 78°F (22 – 26°C)
HardnessSoft to Medium

Setting Up The Rest Of Their Tank

Incorporating live plants and suitable decorations in the aquarium mimics the natural habitat of Bloodfin Tetras, creating a comfortable environment for them. These fish prefer subdued lighting, so consider using floating plants or driftwood to provide shaded areas.

Disease Potential

Bloodfin Tetras are relatively hardy, but they can still be susceptible to common aquarium diseases if proper care is not taken. Regular water changes, a balanced diet, and a quarantine tank for new arrivals can help minimize the risk of disease.

Food & Diet

Offering a balanced diet is essential to maintain the health and coloration of Bloodfin Tetras. These fish are omnivorous and accept a variety of foods, including high-quality flake, pellet, and freeze-dried foods. To enhance their color, consider supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Table 2: Recommended Diet for Bloodfin Tetras

High-quality flakesDaily
Freeze-dried foodsOccasional Treats
Live or frozen foodsWeekly

Behavior & Temperament

Bloodfin Tetras are known for their peaceful and sociable nature. They are shoaling fish, meaning they thrive in groups of at least six individuals. Keeping them in smaller numbers can lead to stress and decreased activity. Their active swimming and schooling behavior make them an attractive addition to a community aquarium.

Bloodfin Tetra Tank Mates

Choosing compatible tank mates is crucial for the well-being of your Bloodfin Tetras. Due to their peaceful nature, they coexist well with other non-aggressive community fish. Some suitable tank mates include:

Avoid keeping them with larger or aggressive species that might intimidate or harass them.

Breeding Bloodfin Tetras: A Step-by-Step Guide

Breeding Bloodfin Tetras can be a rewarding experience for aquarium enthusiasts. These vibrant and peaceful fish are relatively easy to breed, making them an excellent choice for hobbyists looking to delve into the world of fish breeding. In this section, we’ll explore the process of breeding Bloodfin Tetras in greater detail.

Preparing for Breeding

Before attempting to breed Bloodfin Tetras, it’s essential to ensure that your aquarium is well-prepared and that you have the necessary equipment and conditions in place.

1. Separate Breeding Tank

Begin by setting up a separate breeding tank. This tank should be smaller, typically around 10 to 20 gallons, and equipped with a sponge or box filter to provide gentle filtration without sucking up fry. Ensure that the water parameters in this tank match those recommended for adult Bloodfin Tetras (pH 6.0 – 7.5, temperature 78°F or 26°C).

2. Decorations

Add suitable breeding decorations to the tank, such as fine-leaved plants like Java moss or spawning mops. These materials will serve as safe spots for the female to deposit her eggs, protecting them from potential predation.

3. Conditioning the Breeders

To encourage breeding behavior, ensure that both male and female Bloodfin Tetras are well-fed and in good condition. Offer them a varied diet rich in protein, including live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Conditioning the fish for a few weeks in this manner will increase their readiness to breed.

The Breeding Process

Once your Bloodfin Tetras are appropriately conditioned, you can introduce them to the breeding tank and initiate the breeding process.

Distinguishing Between Male and Female Blood Fin Tetras

In the world of Blood Fin Tetras (Aphyocharax anisitsi), understanding the differences between males and females can be valuable, especially if you’re interested in breeding or simply want to know more about the composition of your aquarium community. While the visual distinctions between male and female Blood Fin Tetras can be subtle, there are several key characteristics to look for.

1. Body Size and Shape

One of the primary differences between male and female Blood Fin Tetras lies in their size and overall body shape. Males tend to be slightly smaller and more slender than females. In many cases, you may notice that females have a slightly rounder or plumper appearance, particularly when they are carrying eggs.

2. Fin Shape and Coloration

The most noticeable differences between male and female Blood Fin Tetras are often observed in their fins. These distinctions become more pronounced during the breeding season:

Male Blood Fin Tetras:
  • Males typically have more elongated dorsal fins that may extend farther back.
  • The dorsal fin of a male often features a distinctive black spot or marking near its base.
  • During the breeding season, males may display enhanced fin coloration and vibrancy, especially in their dorsal and anal fins.
Female Blood Fin Tetras:
  • Female dorsal fins are usually shorter and less elongated than those of males.
  • They lack the prominent black spot or marking typically seen on the male dorsal fin.
  • During the breeding season, females may appear rounder, particularly in the abdominal area, as they carry eggs.

3. Behavioral Differences

While not always a foolproof method of identification, observing the behavior of your Blood Fin Tetras can offer clues about their gender:

Male Blood Fin Tetras:

  • Males are often more active and exhibit increased fin displays and chasing behavior, particularly during the breeding season.
  • They may compete with other males for the attention of females by displaying vibrant colors and flaring their fins.

Female Blood Fin Tetras:

  • Females may be seen seeking out hiding spots in the aquarium, especially during the breeding season when they are ready to lay eggs.
  • They may exhibit more reserved or less aggressive behavior compared to the males.

It’s important to note that these distinctions can be more evident during the breeding season, as the sexual dimorphism becomes more pronounced. Outside of the breeding period, the differences between males and females may be less apparent.

If you’re interested in breeding Blood Fin Tetras, having both males and females in your aquarium is essential. Observing their behavior and visual cues can help you determine the gender composition of your school of tetras and provide suitable conditions for breeding if desired.

1. Courtship and Pairing

In a well-prepared tank with suitable conditions, the males will begin to exhibit heightened colors and engage in elaborate courtship behavior, including fin displays and chasing the females. It’s crucial to ensure that there are enough hiding spots in the form of plants or spawning mops for the females to evade overenthusiastic males if necessary.

2. Egg Laying

The female will typically lay her eggs on the fine-leaved plants or spawning mops. These eggs are adhesive and will stick to the chosen substrate. The process can take several hours, during which the female may lay several batches of eggs. Remove the adult fish from the breeding tank once egg-laying is complete to prevent them from consuming the eggs.

3. Incubation

Bloodfin Tetra eggs require a stable environment to hatch successfully. Maintain the water temperature at 78°F (26°C) and ensure that the water quality remains pristine. Use a gentle air stone or sponge filter to provide minimal water circulation, preventing damage to the delicate eggs.

Table 3: Breeding Bloodfin Tetra Conditions

ParameterIdeal Range
pH6.0 – 7.5
Temperature78°F (26°C)
Water MovementMinimal

4. Hatching and Fry Care

The eggs will hatch within 24 to 48 hours, depending on water temperature. Once the fry have hatched, they will initially cling to the substrate or plants. At this stage, they will rely on their yolk sacs for nourishment.

After a few days, the fry will become free-swimming and will require food. Offer them infusoria, powdered fry food, or specially formulated liquid fry food. As they grow, you can gradually introduce finely crushed flake food. It’s essential to provide tiny, frequent feedings to ensure the fry’s survival.

5. Tank Maintenance

Maintain meticulous tank hygiene during the breeding process. Regularly siphon out any uneaten food and waste to prevent water quality issues that could harm the fry.

Bloodfin Tetra Aggressive

Blood Fin Tetras (Aphyocharax anisitsi) are generally known for their peaceful and sociable nature, making them a popular choice for community aquariums. However, like many fish species, their behavior can be influenced by several factors, and occasional aggression can occur. Here are some insights into the factors that might lead to aggression in Blood Fin Tetras and how to manage it:

Factors Influencing Aggression:

  1. Overcrowding: An overcrowded aquarium can lead to increased stress and competition for resources, which may trigger aggressive behavior among Blood Fin Tetras. Providing adequate space and maintaining appropriate group sizes can help mitigate this issue.
  2. Mating Season: During the breeding season, which can be triggered by environmental cues such as changes in lighting or water conditions, male Blood Fin Tetras may become more territorial and display aggression as they compete for the attention of females.
  3. Lack of Hiding Places: Blood Fin Tetras, like many other fish, appreciate the presence of hiding spots in the aquarium. A lack of suitable hiding places can result in increased stress and aggression, especially if fish feel vulnerable.
  4. Incompatible Tank Mates: While Blood Fin Tetras are generally peaceful, keeping them with aggressive or fin-nipping species can lead to conflicts. It’s essential to choose compatible tank mates to maintain harmony in the aquarium.

Managing Aggression:

  1. Ensure Adequate Space: Providing enough swimming space and territories for your Blood Fin Tetras can help reduce aggression. Aim for a well-planted aquarium with hiding spots, driftwood, and decorations to create a natural and secure environment.
  2. Maintain Proper Group Sizes: Blood Fin Tetras are shoaling fish, and they thrive in groups of at least six individuals. Keeping them in smaller numbers can lead to stress and increased aggression. Ensure you have an appropriate number of tetras in your aquarium.
  3. Monitor During Breeding Season: Be prepared for increased aggression during the breeding season. Consider providing separate breeding tanks or additional hiding spots for females to lay eggs if you plan to breed them.
  4. Select Compatible Tank Mates: When choosing tank mates for your Blood Fin Tetras, opt for species that are known for their peaceful temperament. Avoid aggressive or fin-nipping fish that may provoke conflict.
  5. Regular Water Maintenance: Maintain proper water quality through regular water changes and monitoring. Poor water conditions can stress fish and exacerbate aggression.
  6. Observation: Keep a close eye on your aquarium to identify and address any signs of aggression early. If you notice one particular tetra being overly aggressive, consider removing it temporarily and reintroducing it later to disrupt the hierarchy.

Remember that occasional displays of aggression can be normal in a community aquarium, and it’s essential to strike a balance between providing a harmonious environment and allowing for natural behaviors. By understanding the factors that influence aggression and taking appropriate measures, you can help ensure a peaceful and thriving community of Blood Fin Tetras in your aquarium.


Breeding Bloodfin Tetras can be a fascinating and educational endeavor for aquarists. By setting up the right conditions, monitoring the breeding process carefully, and providing proper care for the fry, you can successfully breed these captivating fish. Remember that patience and attention to detail are key to ensuring the health and survival of the next generation of Bloodfin Tetras in your aquarium.

In conclusion, the Bloodfin Tetra is an appealing and manageable fish species for both beginner and experienced aquarists. By providing them with suitable tank conditions, a balanced diet, and compatible tank mates, you can enjoy the beauty and charm of these fish in your home aquarium for years to come.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Aquarium Enthusiast

I love sharing my knowledge about all things aquarium related. I have been keeping aquariums for over 20 years and cannot imagine a life without an aquarium. 

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