Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Hyphessobrycon pyrrhonotus

Flameback bleeding heart tetra

Flameback bleeding heart tetra, Hyphessobrycon pyrrhonotusFlameback bleeding heart tetra, Hyphessobrycon pyrrhonotus
Photos by Andy Rapson


Hyphessobrycon: Greek, hyphesson, -on, -on = a little smaller + Greek, bryko = to bite.

General Notes:

Flameback bleeding heart tetras should be kept in a group of at least five individuals in an aquarium which replicates as much as possible their native habitat. Soft acidic tannin coloured water, subdues lighting and with bunches of plants and branches. Peat filtration will help to produce the right water conditions because this fish won't thrive in hard alkaline water.

Once settled rival males will begin displaying to each other in order to determine a pecking order although no physical harm will result from these displays. These fish can be kept with other small peaceful fish of a similar size as part of an active colourful community. They are not recommended to be kept with fish which are slow moving or have log or flowing fins, they aren't really known as a fin nipper but it would be inadvisable to put temptation their way.


Flake, micro pellets along with live or frozen blood worms, daphnia, mosquito larvae and brine shrimps will ensure a healthy and varied diet.


Males have longer fins and more vibrant colours.


This species has not been bred by hobbyists.

Wild status

Nothing is know about the wild population of flameback bleeding heart tetras. They may live in the entire rio negro basin but have only been reported from one location so far. These fish are commercially bred using hormones.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 7
dGH: 2 - 12
Temperature: 24 - 27°C (76 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 4.5cm (2.8in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Flameback bleeding heart tetra, Hyphessobrycon pyrrhonotus

Origin: South America: Negro River tributary Rio Ereré.

Habitat: Acidic streams around fallen branches.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Hyphessobrycon
Species: H. pyrrhonotus Burgess, 1993

Common name:
Flameback bleeding heart tetra

Synonyms: None