Bloodfin Tetra: Aphyocharax anisitsi

You can intensify your tank with the Bloodfin Tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi). This lovely fish features a curious bright red body, black eyes, and a golden tail fin. It is a very interesting fish with easy to care for and makes a great addition to an aquarium that already contains live plants. It is also known as Glass Bloodfin, Red Finned Tetra, True Bloodfin, etc.

Systematic Position

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Aphyocharax
Species: Aphyocharax anisitsi C. H. Eigenmann & C. H. Kennedy, 1903

The red bloodfin tetra is one of the most popular freshwater fish in the hobby and is endemic to the Paraguay-Parana basin in South America. It is the most well-known fish among aquarists because they are a popular choice for small, colorful community tanks that feature a high degree of water movement to prevent the fish from getting sick.

Image of Bloodfin Tetra Aphyocharax anisitsi
Bloodfin Tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi)

The body is deeply compressed to give a blood-red appearance from above, although the sides and belly are silvery in color. They are perfect for community tank homes, both freshwater, and saltwater.

They have an unusual body shape, with a streamlined, elongated body and long dorsal fin. They grow to about 2.2 inches (5.51 cm) in length and are very hardy for such a small fish. Their specific attributes and showy appearance have made them popular with both experienced aquatic hobbyists and beginners.

Bloodfins are comparably long-lived fish, with the potential for attaining a lifespan of 8 years or more. They have a very peaceful demeanor and are easy to keep.

They have clear bodies with brilliant dorsal and anal fins that display a significant amount of red pigment more than any other color. The high dorsal fin gives this fish a very graceful look.

Bloodfin will be quite active in the aquarium and they are a delight to watch swim around in schools. It should be kept in tanks with peat for substrate, driftwood for cover, and live aquarium plants for water movement and beauty.

The bloodfin tetra is notable for its bright red coloration on the dorsal and ventral portions of its body and fins, with black spots toward the ends of its long caudal fin.

Their colors make them visually appealing, and, when kept in schools of at least 6 to 8 individuals, they exhibit a marked schooling behavior and are known as one of the safest fish species to keep with others. They may be combined with other colorful tank mates such as otocinclus, guppies, and dwarf cichlids.

It is a medium-sized species of fish known for its black pigmentation and red fins. The Bloodfin tetra is a small aquarium fish that is best kept in groups of five or more specimens.

Like most other tetras they form shoals that should be kept in a group of 5 or more. A school of these active and energetic fish will provide many hours of fascinating viewing as they dart through the tank.

Bloodfin tetras easily adapt to a wide variety of water conditions ranging from acidic blackwaters to alkaline waters with high carbonates. This makes them a great first fish for many aquarium keepers!

Generally, they prefer soft, slightly acidic water and the water temperature should be between 70 and 80 0 F (21°C – 27°C) to match their natural habitat. Bloodfin tetra has small mouths, so they should be kept with very soft or frozen foods such as daphnia or brine shrimp. The pH of the tank water is suitable for bloodfin tetra is 6.0-8.0 with a hardness of 2 – 30 dGH.

Sexual maturity is reached at around two inches. Males are very colorful with brilliant red colors. Once mature, they should be fed a variety of foods such as small flake food, freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, and brine shrimp.

This species is known for its fin-nipping tendencies, so tank mates should be chosen carefully. Similar to other tetras, they prefer dimly lit tanks with dense planting and rocks or driftwood as hiding places. They do best in 10-20 gallon aquariums with plenty of room to swim.

Quick Care Info

Scientific Name: Aphyocharax anisitsi
Common Name: Glass Bloodfin, Red Finned Tetra, True Bloodfin
Adult fish size: 2.2 inches (5.51 cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Tank Region: Middle to Top
Behavior: Peaceful
Breeding: Egg layers
Water pH: 6.0-8.0
Water Temperature: 70 and 80 ° F (21°C – 27°C)
Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons (57 Litre)
Water Hardness: 2 – 30 dGH
Lighting need: Moderate – normal
Care level: Easy
Lifespan: 5 – 8 years