Bloodfin Tetra Complete Care, Breeding, Disease Guide

Bloodfin Tetra

Are you a beginner owner of a fish tank and looking for the first fish to put in your aquarium? Perhaps the Bloodfin Tetra may be a good consideration.

The Bloodfin is a native of the Parana basin in South America, and it grows up to 5.5 cm. The fish is mostly recognized by its blood-red color at the tail alongside the red dorsal and anal fins. Most part of the body is silver

Fish Blood Fin Tetras
Growth 2 inches
Diet Worms, insects, flaked, frozen and free-dried fish pellets
Water Temperature 72-82°F
Swimming Level Bottom to Middle of the tank
Schooling 5 or more
Tank Size 10+ gallons and densely planted
Experience Level Beginner

Despite being one of the smallest fishes around, the bloodfin is ideal for beginner aquarist because of the hardy in nature. They come in diverse colorations and patterns; they can mix well with some other community fishes, most especially Danios, Rasboras, Catfish and the less aggressive species such as gouramis and barbs.

Things You Need to Know About Bloodfin Tetras

Despite their small stature, Bloodfin Tetras can live up to 10 years. They are peaceful and schooling fish that enjoy living with fish species of similar sizes.

When it comes to breeding, Bloodfins can spawn between 300 and 500 eggs at a time. The make bloodfin can be differentiated from the female with the appearance of a small hook on the end of the anal fin. Thee female bloodfins appear bigger than the male species, especially at full maturity.

Tetras do have a special type of teeth, they use in grabbing their prey. They also come in varying colors and their colors can fade when water conditions are unfavorable.

Taking Care of Your Bloodfin Tetras

It is important that you allow some moderate space for the movement of Bloodfin tetras in their tank. The tank must also allow a moderate or normal level of lighting.

For the beginners in aquarium management, Bloodfin tetras should be on the top of their fish lists because they demand lesser care and can be easily managed.

In order to create a healthy breeding environment, Bloodfin tetras must have a stable pH range of between 6 and 8. It is also important that you keep the temperature of the water in the tank at between 64 and 82 F degree.

Never place a heater in an aquarium with Bloodfin tetras, also do not place the tank in direct contact with sunlight, if you do, the temperature may rise quickly above the optimal and that could be detrimental to the health of the fishes.

To keep your aquarium at the right temperature, you should add nature water heaters such as Java moss which is known to produce an environment similar to the Latin American River Basins where Bloodfin Tetras are found in their natural habitat.

If properly taken care of, Bloodfins should live up to 10 years and they will grow to their maximum full length at maturity. Though you can nurture a single Bloodfin in a small tank when raised as a schooling community of between 5 and 7 fishes, you may require a minimum tank size of about 20 gallons.

The tank that can be used successfully for raising Bloodfin tetras must possess enough swimming space since Bloodfins enjoy swimming in-between the upper and middle sections of a tank. You should consider adding some water plants in the lower strata of the tank to provide some privacy and breeding ground.

Experts suggest that you replace at least 15% of the water in the tank on a daily basis, to reduce the risks of parasitic diseases. Similarly, dead plants must be replaced as soon as they are discovered.

Feeding Your Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin Tetras are mostly omnivorous in nature; they consume mostly aquatic crustaceans and aquatic insect larvae. Bloodfins can also be fed with worms.

They can also be fed with a number of freeze-dried foods such as tubifex worms, bloodworms, Daphnia and mosquito larvae. Since tetras enjoy swimming in the middle of the tank, you can add top and bottom swimmers as tank mates.

Bloodfin Tetras are very active, hence they must be adequately fed to help them maintain their energy requirements. You should give them enough food that they can consume within 3 minutes, to avoid rapid contamination of the water.

Excess food in the tank can cause drastic lowering or raising of the pH levels, which in turn can cause serious health issues.

Similarly, the fishes will consume more Oxygen rapidly when there is too much food given at once. Expert nutritionists recommend feeding Bloodfin tetras 2-3 times a day, however, they should not be given extra food if there are few leftovers inside the tank.

Aphyocharax anisitsi

A mixture of flakes and granules of fish formulation especially those containing high protein and fats can be fed to your bloodfin tetras. It has also been observed that brightly colored foods are attracted to bloodfins.

One proper way to prevent food particles from sinking to the bottom of the tank is to use filters. Filters will help in collecting food particles that may cause pollution of the water and lead to infections.

Never feed your bloodfin tetras any form of algae, they are not known to consume such food. Do not encourage algae to grow on the walls of your tank because they can be more harmful to the Tetras than you think.

Making Your Bloodfin Tetras Breed Successfully

When keeping Bloodfin Tetras in schools you should keep in mind that they are great natural breeders that can lay up to 500 eggs during breeding. You need to keep the lighting low and make sure the pH leans slightly towards acidic (between 6 and 6.5).

Nutrient-rich foods such as brine are very important and you must keep the tank plants healthy to ensure sufficient supply of Oxygen.

Once the eggs have been laid, you need to remove the parent fishes from the tank, this will prevent the parent fishes from consuming their own fries, especially when they are hungry.

Since most bloodfin tetras will grow to a maximum of 2inches, they can be swallowed by bigger fishes. Any bloodfin tetras fish that appear boisterous from the school group must be removed immediately before it attacks the rest. Try as much as possible to keep the school group at 6 or less.

Fishes of similar types and sizes must be kept. You may want to consider keeping shrimps and craps as tank mates for bloodfin tetras since shrimps and crabs are more of bottom tank dwellers.

Signs and Symptoms to watch out for in Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin tetras are hardy fish, and they hardly fall ill when they are fed properly and their living conditions are well-optimized. When they become stressed their immunity level will drop drastically. Parasitic diseases are often common when you don’t replace tank water often.

Bloodfin tetras can be affected by protozoa, bacterial infections, and skin flukes. These diseases can be gotten rid of when they are discovered early.  If you are introducing a new tank mate into a tank, make sure it passes through the necessary quarantine procedures.

If your Bloodfin Tetras has been affected by a disease, you will notice some signs of distress. In most cases, the fish will rapidly lose its natural coloration, and as the cyst continues to spread a lump may eventually develop on its body. The fish may also develop some difficulty while swimming, or the spine may become curvy, slowly.

Fin rotting and bloating are some of the commonest secondary infections that may affect Bloodfin Tetras. If you are raising your Bloodfin tetras in a school, it is important that you remove the diseased fish and closely monitor the rest. You need to contact a fish veterinarian for proper treatment.

In addition to maintaining a clean fish tank, it is also important that you don’t buy a sick Bloodfin in the first place. Make sure the fish is tested and certified to be medically fit, at the fish pet store.

Bloodfin fish prefers a habitat with floating plants such as water lettuce, but you need to ensure that the floating plant does not block light source completely inside the tank. Any rotten floating plant must be removed as soon as it is discovered.

Bottom plants such as broad-leaf Aqua plant are ideal plants that will support the laying of eggs by the Bloodfin tetras. Bottom plants, in general, will support fish breeding.

Bloodfin tetras are shy when they don’t school, they can be found hiding behind leaves inside fish tanks. Make sure you incorporate plants that can serve as hideouts in the tank, especially when considering tank decorations.

Your decorations should come in the form of caves, coves, and castles to create hiding places for the fish. Bloodfins like running to shelters even when they are not chased by tank mates.

Create a dark substrate in the fish tank, this substrate will help darken the bottom of the tank and create a natural habitat for breeding. Make sure you clean the tank once every few days because some unwanted debris may hide in the dark spot of the tank.

Bloodfin Tetra Fish

Other Special Care Steps for Bloodfin Tetras

Though the 20-gallon tank is recommended for a group of 5-7 Bloodfin tetras, making the tank bigger is always preferred to ensure that the pack has bigger swimming spaces.

If possible, you should use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the tank water at the hottest period of the day, to ensure that the optimal temperature is maintained.

Make sure Oxygen-generating plants are included in the tank, it is better to keep dissolved Oxygen levels high, than leave the tank depleted of Oxygen.

Make sure the tank is covered at the top to prevent debris, dirt and even your kids throwing items inside. Do now allow your kids to feed the fish especially when you are not around.

If your fish starts to scratch its skin against decorations and plants in the tank, that could be a sign of high pH. Make sure you change at least 50% of the tank water in such cases.

It pays to invest in a cheap water testing kit to test your water from time to time. You can never assume accurately the ammonia and nitrates levels in the aquarium water but a test kit can provide accurate measurements. Excess Nitrates can lead to extremely lower pH while excess ammonia can lead to extremely high pH.

Whenever the Nitrates and ammonia levels are extremely high, you can easily replace the water substantially to balance or restore the pH when fresh and clean water is added.

Water cycling perhaps is the best possible way to maintain healthy water to sustain the performance of your fish but you need to use the water testing kit even after cycling the water.

Make sure you empty your aquarium filter every 4 weeks, which is the estimated time it should be filled up. The dirty filter inserts must be rinsed once you empty it, then place it properly into the tank again.

Do not scrub the inside of your tank filter, and never make use of soap, bleach or any other chemical cleaner to clean it, this will help protect the natural healthy bacteria needed by aquarium water life.

Since Bloodfin tetras are not algae eating fishes, it is important that you clean the walls of your aquarium because harmful bacteria can proliferate on the wall surface and eventually infect your fish. Make use of the cheap filter floss or necessary scrubber to clean the walls.

Try as much as possible to vacuum the gravel in the water tank and replace faulty filter cartridges, inserts, floss and carbon components.

Make sure you clean the top of the aquarium to ensure that light is not disrupted by dirt. All components of the tank, including the tubing, skimmers, and air stones must be checked to ensure they are working properly.

The expiration dates of all aquarium supplies you are using must be checked, the reason being that expired kits will always give false readings, which can make you perform the wrong maintenance step.

Always make use of your aquarium setup guide because one aquarium may be different from another in terms of usage and maintenance.

Related Question

Can Bloodfin Tetras Live with Goldfish?

No, Bloodfin Tetras are often eaten by Goldfish, hence they are not compatible as tank mates. Bloodfin Tetras are very small in size, while Goldfish is larger and consumes more food.

Do Bloodfin Tetras School?

Are you curious about the question of whether Bloodfin Tetras school? The answer is yes. Bloodfin Tetras are known to school with fishes if similar sizes.

Most Tetras are schooling fishes and they tend to swim in groups though they will only school with their own species. In some situations, species of different fishes may school together.

Bloodfin Tetras school with its own species for protection. Since Bloodfin tetras is one of the smallest fishes in the world, it feels safer swimming in groups. The group movement of these fishes can confuse their predators thus making it harder for such predators to kill an individual fish.

Most tetras may not survive unless they are kept in school because being kept alone can create too much stress for them. As a beginner, you are advised to keep your Bloodfin Tetras in a group of 5 or more, if you have a larger tank.

Bloodfin Tetras may school with species that are quite similar to them. Despite their colors and unique markings, neon tetras and Bloodfins have been found to school together on several occasions. Cardinal tetra and other smaller tetras have also been found to school together with Bloodfin tetras.

Though schooling is a desirable feature, Bloodfins must be kept in a tank at moderate numbers to prevent overcrowding.

Can Bloodfin Tetras Live with Betta?

Are you wondering whether it is safe to keep Betta with your Bloodfin Tetras? The answer is Yes, Bloodfin Tetras will only live with Betta if you keep up to 5 tetras at the same time, with the Betta.

Since bloodfin tetras tend to stay in the mid-tank and bottom area, they should be able to keep their distances from the Betta. Bloodfin tetras also prefer hiding among plants, hence you should have sufficient plants in the aquarium.

Bloodfin Tetras will comfortably share a tank with community fishes such as Danios, Rasboras, Catfish as well as less aggressive species like Barbs and Gourami.

Do Bloodfin Tetras Have Teeth?

Are you wondering whether Bloodfin tetras have teeth? The answer is Yes! As a matter of fact, most tetras have teeth and they derived their names from the special shape of their teeth.

Tetras are Omnivorous in nature, and their special-shaped teeth help them to tear their prey easily before swallowing them.

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. You will find some really useful tips and information on this blog about Freshwater Aquariums.

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