Lesser bleeding heart tetra, Hyphessobrycon socolofi


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Matt Clarke on a lovely little community fish.

Common name: Lesser bleeding heart tetra, Spotfin tetra
Scientific name: Hyphessobrycon socolofi, Weitzman, 1977
Origin: Found in the Rio Negro basin, Brazil. Most commonly reported from Barcelos, a major area for aquarium fish exports.
Size: 5-6cm/2”.
Diet: Flake and small frozen foods, such as Daphnia, Cyclops and bloodworm are ideal.

Water: Found in very soft acidic water (pH as low as 3), temperature 25-29°C/77-84°F, but adaptable to harder water.
Habitat: This small member of the bleeding heart tetra group is most common in slow-moving tributaries that join the larger channels of the Rio Negro. These are typically shallow waters and do not contain aquatic plants or other features.

Natural habitat would consist of a silver sand substrate with a layer of decomposing leaf litter and bits of driftwood.

Aquarium: An ideal fish for the community tank, the Lesser bleeding heart tetra is best kept in a group of at least six in a tank of 60cm/24” or larger. It can sometimes be a little nippy, but keeping it in a bigger group usually reduces the likelihood of this affecting other species.

Notes: Keep a mixture of sexes. Males develop attractive dorsal fin extensions and will display best when kept alongside females and rival males.
Availability: Bleeding heart tetras are usually captive-bred, but most socolofi are wild-caught so they tend to be far less common in the shops. We spotted these on sale at Wholesale Tropicals, London.

Price: On sale for £3.25 each.