Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Prionobrama filigera

Glass bloodfin

Glass bloodfin, Prionobrama filigeraGlass bloodfin, Prionobrama filigera
Photos by Andy Rapson


Prionobrama: Greek, prion, -onos = saw + old French breme, bresme, a fresh water fish.

General Notes:

An unusual looking tetra with a completely transparent body and bright red fins which gives rise to the common name for these fish.
Glass bloodfins are peaceful lively tetras which should be kept in a group of at least five individuals (odd numbers somehow seem to work better and look more pleasing to the eye than even numbers). They can be kept with a wide variety of other similar sized community fish but larger fish such as angelfish may regard them as food. Their aquarium should have open swimming space and some plant thickets where they can hide as this will help them to feel more secure. Glass bloodfins are quite hardy and will normally settle down very quickly.


Wild glass bloodfins feed on insects worms and crustaceans but in captivity they readily accept a good quality flake food supplemented with suitably sized live or frozen food.


Males are smaller and more slender when adult. The anal fin of the male is longer than that of the female.


Breeding glass bloodfins is fairly easy since they are less fussy about water chemistry than most other characins and will even breed successfully in harder more alkaline water. Use a separate spawning tank with some fine leaved plants tied in bunches for a spawning mop. A well conditioned pair will normally breed within a few hours of being introduced to the spawning tank. The parents must be removed after spawning to prevent them from eating their own eggs. The eggs hatch after 24 - 36 hours and the fry will be free swimming about three days later. Once free swimming the fry can be fed on infusoria, a commercial liquid fry food (which incidentally encourages the growth on infusoria in the breeding tank) or hard boiled egg yolk in suspension. After a few days the fry should be large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimps and micro worms and then powdered dry food.

Wild status

The wild status of glass bloodfins has not been evaluated.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 7.5
dGH: 5 - 19
Temperature: 23 - 27°C (74 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 5cm (2in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Middle

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Glass bloodfin, Prionobrama filigera

Origin: South America: Amazon River basin.

Habitat: Tributaries and streams


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae
Genus: Prionobrama
Species: P. filigera (Cope, 1870)

Common name:
Glass bloodfin

Synonyms: Aphyocharax filigerus, Prionobrama madeirae, Bleptonema amazonae, Prionobrama amazonae, Aphyocharax analis