Ideal Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Size: Setup, Plants & Décor

What is the optimal bleeding heart tetra tank size? Heart Tetras are beautiful and peaceful fish that make an excellent addition to any freshwater aquarium.

To ensure their happiness and well-being, providing them with the appropriate tank size, setup, plants, and décor is essential. 

In this article, we will discuss the ideal tank size for Bleeding Heart Tetras and how to set up their tank with the right plants and decorations to create a natural and enriching environment for these stunning fish.

breeding bleeding heart tetras

Choosing the right tank size is crucial for the health and happiness of your Bleeding Heart Tetras. A bigger tank will allow them to swim and explore freely while providing more stable water parameters.

In addition to the tank size, the plants, and décor in the aquarium can also significantly contribute to creating a suitable habitat for these fish.

Following the tips and recommendations in this article, you can create the perfect home for your Bleeding Heart Tetras to thrive in. 

The Ideal Bleeding Heart Tetra Tank Size

The ideal tank size for Bleeding Heart Tetras should preferably 30 gallons, as these freshwater tropical fish from the upper Amazon basin need ample space to swim and socialize.

Native to slow-moving streams and tributaries in countries like Peru, these strikingly colorful tetra species may reach a lifespan of up to 5 years in captivity if kept in optimal conditions.

Bleeding Heart Tetra Aggressive

With a vibrant red dot near their sickle-shaped pectoral fins, Bleeding Heart Tetras are beginner-friendly and hardy fish that can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful aquatic species.

According to the Encyclopedia of Aquarium and Pond, They prefer soft, acidic water with a pH range of 5.6-6.9 and a temperature between 73–82 °F. High-quality flake, pellet, frozen, and live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and lettuce should be provided to meet the omnivorous diet of these fish.

Aquarium Fish Setup, Plants & Décor for Breeding Bleeding Heart Tetra In captivity

When setting up their tank, include live plants, driftwood, and other vegetation to mimic their natural habitat.

These fish might also appreciate the addition of tannin-releasing materials like oak leaves or java moss to stain the water a tea-like color. Keep the water conditions stable and clean to avoid common diseases like ich and fin rot that can affect their elongated dorsal and anal fins.

Bleeding Heart Tetras are known to shoal in the wild, so it is recommended that you keep them in groups of 6 or more in your aquarium to ensure their well-being and reduce aggression among the male fish.

Bleeding Heart tetras are relatively easy to breed in captivity, given the proper aquarium setup. Here’s what you’ll need:

Tank Setup:

  • Tank size: A 10-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for breeding Bleeding Heart tetras. However, a 20-gallon tank is ideal to provide enough space for the adults, fry, and the growth of live plants.
  • Water parameters:pH: 6.0-7.0 (slightly acidic)
  • Temperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C)
  • Hardness: 5-15 dGH
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm
  • Filtration: A sponge filter is ideal for breeding tanks, providing gentle filtration without harming the fry.
  • Lighting: Low lighting is preferred as Bleeding Heart tetras are shy fish. Floating plants can also help diffuse light further.

Plants & Décor:

  • Live plants: Live plants are essential for breeding Bleeding Heart tetras. They provide hiding places for the fry, help maintain good water quality, and offer infusoria, a microscopic food source, for the newborn fry. Some good choices for breeding tanks include Java moss, which provides dense cover for the fry.
  • Cabomba: Grows tall and provides hiding places.
  • Anacharis: Another fast-growing plant that offers cover for fry.
  • Cryptocoryne: Low-light tolerant plant that provides good hiding spots.
  • Hiding places: Besides live plants, you can add other hiding places for the fry, such as spawning cones or pieces of driftwood.

Breeding Process:

  • Conditioning the breeding pair: Separate a healthy adult male and female Bleeding Heart tetra from the community tank and condition them with high-quality live food, such as brine shrimp or daphnia, for a few weeks.
  • Setting up the breeding tank: Fill the breeding tank with aged water that matches the earlier parameters. Add the conditioned fish and live plants.
  • Spawning: The breeding process usually occurs in the morning. The male chases the female around the tank and nudges her to release her eggs. He then fertilizes the eggs, which are tiny and transparent and usually fall among the plants’ leaves.
  • Removing the parents: After spawning, remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.
  • Hatching: The eggs will hatch in about 48-72 hours.
  • Raising the fry: The fry will be tiny and free-swimming. They will initially feed on infusoria in the tank. After a few days, you can feed them baby brine shrimp or commercial fry food.

Breeding Bleeding Heart tetras can be a rewarding experience. Following these tips can increase your chances of success.

Hyphessobrycon Erythrostigma Aquarium Care

Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma is a stunning freshwater fish native to the upper Amazon. Known for its rosy coloration and eye-catching blood-red spot on its dorsal fin, this species is popular with aquarium and pond fish enthusiasts.

Despite their striking appearance, heart tetras don’t have the aggressive temperament of some other fish, making them a great addition to a community tank.

These omnivores prefer a substrate with wood debris and tannin and will scavenge for invertebrates such as mosquito larvae.

They’ll need a low-maintenance environment with a pH 5.6-6.9 to keep them healthy and thriving. Keeping heart tetras in large groups in a tank of at least 30 gallons is recommended.

Does This Fish Make a Good Tank Mate?

Bleeding Heart tetras can make good tank mates for other peaceful community aquarium fish. Here’s why:

  • Peaceful temperament: Bleeding Heart tetras are generally peaceful fish and won’t bother other fish that are similar in size and temperament.
  • Schooling fish: They are schooling fish, meaning they thrive in groups of at least six individuals. This makes them less likely to target other fish.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Fin nipping: If kept alone or in small groups, Bleeding Heart tetras can become stressed and resort to fin nipping on slower-moving fish with flowing fins.
  • Prey for larger fish: While peaceful, Bleeding Heart tetras are small and can become prey for larger or more aggressive fish.

Here are some excellent fishes are recommended for Bleeding Heart tetras:

  • Other tetras: Many other peaceful tetras, such as Rummy Nose tetras, Neon tetras, or Cardinal tetras, can be good tank mates.
  • Rasboras: Peaceful Rasboras like Harlequin Rasboras or Scissortail Rasboras are another good option.
  • Corydoras catfish: Peaceful bottom feeders like Corydoras catfish are a good choice as they occupy a different zone of the tank.
  • Dwarf gouramis: Peaceful dwarf gouramis like Honey gouramis or Dwarf gouramis can also be compatible tank mates.

Things to avoid as tank mates:

  • Aggressive fish: Any fish known for being aggressive, such as Barbs or some Cichlids, should be avoided.
  • Large fish: Fish much larger than Bleeding Heart tetras could see them as prey.
  • Fin nippers: Fish known for fin nipping, like some barbs or certain tetras, should not be housed with Bleeding Heart tetras.

You can create a peaceful and thriving community aquarium by choosing compatible tank mates and keeping Bleeding Heart tetras in a good-sized group.

What size tank does a bleeding heart Tetra need?

Bleeding Heart Tetras thrive in groups. A minimum 15-gallon tank is ideal for a small school of 6. Choose a tank size for a larger shoal to ensure ample swimming space.

Do bleeding heart tetras eat plants?

No, bleeding heart tetras are omnivores but primarily eat meaty foods. While they may nibble on very soft plants, they won’t harm a well-maintained aquarium.

What is the habitat of the bleeding heart tetra?

The bleeding heart tetra hails from slow-moving, acidic waters in South America’s upper Amazon basin. Think shady creeks, pools, and seasonal lakes filled with plants and submerged wood.

Are bleeding hearts aggressive?

Bleeding Heart Tetras are generally peaceful and non-aggressive. They are best kept in schools of at least 6-8 individuals to reduce stress and promote natural behavior.


In conclusion, creating a thriving aquarium environment for your beloved bleeding heart tetras is essential for their well-being and happiness. These vibrant and mesmerizing fish deserve a tank that accommodates their lively nature and provides ample space for swimming and exploring.

Understanding the specific tank requirements of bleeding heart tetras, such as their need for a larger tank size, can ensure that they thrive in captivity. A tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended to provide enough room for a small school of these graceful fish.

Remember, a well-maintained tank with appropriate filtration, regular water changes, and a balanced diet is crucial for your bleeding heart tetras. Additionally, incorporating live plants and hiding spots will mimic their natural habitat and create a stress-free environment.

So, if you’re considering adding these captivating fish to your collection, prioritize their comfort and happiness by providing a spacious tank that meets their needs. Investing in a suitable bleeding heart tetra tank size will undoubtedly reward you with a blushing red dot and lively behavior.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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