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Family: Characidae, Sub-Family Aphyocharacinae

Common Name: Bloodfin Tetra, Glass Bloodfin Tetra

Origin and Habitat: Rio Parana basin in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, South America. Inhabits streams and rivers shaded by floating and overhanging vegetation.

Compatibility/Temperament: Generally peaceful, but must be kept in a group of at least six though a larger group is preferable to contain fin nipping. Good companion for peaceful fish sharing similar water parameter requirements such as livebearers (basic/hard) or other characins (soft, acidic) and small catfish and loaches. Not good with long-fin fish as it may then nip at the fins.

Bloodfin Tetra Diet

Readily accepts most prepared foods including flake and frozen.


Reaches 2.2 inches.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

24 inches in length

Water parameters for Bloodfin Tetra

Soft to moderately hard (hardness to 30 dGH) and acidic to basic (pH 6.0 to 8.0) water, temperature 18-28C/64-82F.


Although tolerant of cooler temperatures than most tropical aquaria, the colours will be their brightest in aquaria maintained at the normal tropical fish temperatures. This species prefers to swim in the upper half of the aquarium, and may jump occasionally, so the aquarium should be covered.

A hardy and adaptable fish, it has been known to live more than 10 years in captivity. Males have a small hook on the anal fin and are a bit more colourful than females.

This species appears under several common names including Glass Bloodfin, Red-fin Tetra, etc. Scientifically, the names originally assigned to fish believed to be different species, namely Aphyocharax affinis, A. ipacarayensis, A. rubropinnis and Phoxinopsis typicus, are now determined to be synonyms of A. anisitsi [Eigenmann & Kennedy 1903].

The Subfamily Aphyocharacinae was originally proposed by Eigenmann in 1909 and included six genera. Since then, it has sometimes been considered within the Cheirodontinae, but today it is deemed to be a monophyletic group that contains only the one genus, Aphyocharax. There are now 10 species recognized as valid within this genus, with the remainder of the original 22 species transferred to other genera [Lima, in Reis et al. 2003].

The genus Aphyocharax was established by A. Gunther in 1868 for the type species A. pusillus. Thed name is derived from the Greek aphye, -es, [=sardine, anchovy] and charax [= a marine fish]. The subject species was described by Eigenmann and Kennedy in 1903.


Reis, R.E., S.O. Kullander & C.J. Ferraris Jr. (2003), Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America.

Tagliacollo, V.A., F.F. Roxo, R. Britzke, F. Foresti & C. Oliveira (2009), "Molecular systematic of the subfamily Aphyocharacinae (Characiformes, Characidae)," Resumos do 55 Congresso Brasileiro de Genetica, 30.08.-02.09.2009, Aguas de Lindoia, Sao Paulo, Brazil, p. 80.

Contributing Members

The following members have contributed to this profile: Byron


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