freshwater community4


Spotfin Tetra

spotfin tetra

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Scientific Name:   Hyphessobrycon socolofi      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   5.0-7.0/1-10°dGH      
Size:   2"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in shoals with 6 or more of their own species; can be kept with other Tetras, Livebearers, Rasboras, Danios, Pencilfish, Corydoras, Gouramis and Dwarf Cichlids.

Spotfin Tetra

Often called the Lesser Bleeding Heart Tetra, this species of Tetra has a similar appearance, and is sometimes confused with, the Bleeding Heart Tetra. Spotfin Tetras have an overall light gray or silver coloration and some specimens have red coloring at the base of the caudal and dorsal fins. The red spot for which these fish are named is located behind the gills on either side of the body. Spotfin Tetras are native to the Rio Negro basin in Brazil where they tend to inhabit acidic, tannin-stained blackwaters. These fish can be found in forested areas as well as slow-moving tributaries off the main channel.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Spotfin Tetras are highly adaptable and thus can be kept in a variety of tank environments. These fish often develop intense colors when kept in planted tanks and can appear washed out if kept in sparsely decorated setups. Bright light isn't necessary - dim lighting would more closely mimic their natural environment and can be achieved in part by the additon of floating plants. Because the water in their native environment is stained with tannins, these fish may appreciate the addition of leaf litter to their tanks. Filtration over peat will also achieve the desired effect. Spotfin Tetras are recommended for the general community tank because they are a peaceful species, and as mentioned earlier, are highly adapable. However, water conditions should ideally be kept to the acid side of neutral. These fish will get along well with other Tetras and Livebearers as well as Gouramis and Dwarf Cichlids.


The Spotfin Tetra is not a fussy eater and will readily accept most aquarium foods offered. For optimum health and coloration, feed a varied diet of live/frozen foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia, and bloodworms along with a high quality flake. A color enhancing flake rich in carotene will help to bring out the red pigments of this species.


Breeding Spotfin Tetras is similar to other species in the same genus and may require a separate breeding tank. The breeding tank should be filled with soft, acidic water kept at a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 and a temperature around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Like most Tetras, Spotfin Tetras are likely to eat their own young and should be removed from the breeding tank immediately following spawning.

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