Glass Bloodfin Tetra Care: Tank Setup, Diet, and Feeding Guide

glass bloodfin tetra
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Last Updated: June 27, 2023 by Flora Gibbins

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are a unique and elegant-looking species of aquarium fish that can make a great addition to any tank. These tetras are commonly known as Glass Bloodfins or Silver Bloodfins and are native to the Paraguay and Paraná river basins in South America. It may be confused with Bloodfin Tetras, which may look similar and also come from South America, but are a whole other species altogether.

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the fascinating world of Glass Bloodfin Tetra care from finding the right tank mates to feeding and breeding. By the end of this post, you will have a comprehensive understanding of these wonderful fish and whether they are the right fit for your aquarium.

Glass Bloodfin Tetra Facts and Overview

  • Common names: Glass Bloodfin Tetra, Silver Bloodfin Tetra
  • Scientific name: Prionobrama filigera
  • Adult size: 1.5-2 inches (4-5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Colors and markings: Glass Bloodfin Tetras have a silver body with a translucent or glass-like appearance, hence the name “Glass” Bloodfin. They have a distinct black line that runs along the bottom half of their body and a red tail fin.
  • Origin: Glass Bloodfin Tetras are found in the Paraguay and Paraná river basins in South America.

Origin and Distribution

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are native to the Paraguay and Paraná river basins in South America, spanning Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. In the wild, Glass Bloodfin Tetras inhabit slow-moving streams and tributaries with dense vegetation.

Historically, Glass Bloodfins were not widely known in the aquarium trade until the 1950s, when they were introduced into the hobby by tropical fish enthusiasts. Since then, they have become a popular and widely available species in the aquarium trade.

They are known for their shoaling behavior and can be found in large groups of up to hundreds! This social behavior makes them an excellent choice for community tanks, as they get along well with other peaceful species.

In the aquarium trade, most Glass Bloodfins are bred in captivity rather than collected from the wild. This has helped to reduce the impact of wild harvesting on the species, which is a concern for many tropical fish species in the hobby. It’s very important to make sure that any Glass Bloodfin Tetras you purchase are ethically sourced and not taken from the wild.

Glass Bloodfin Tetras vs Bloodfin Tetras

Here are some of the main differences between Glass Bloodfin Tetras and Bloodfin Tetras:

  • The scientific name of Glass Bloodfin Tetra is Prionobrama filigera, whereas the Bloodfin Tetra’s is Aphyocharax anisitsi
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras have a silver body with a translucent or glass-like appearance and a red tail fin, whereas Bloodfin Tetras have a silver body with a pinkish-red tail fin and a bright red lower half of the eye.
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras only grow up to 2 inches (4-5 cm), whereas Bloodfin Tetras grow up to 2.5 inches (6 cm).
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras are known for their shoaling behavior and can be found in large groups in the wild and in the aquarium, whereas Bloodfin Tetras are also social fish but are not known for forming large shoals.
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.0-7.0), whereas Bloodfin Tetras can tolerate a wider range of pH levels (6.0-8.0).

Glass Bloodfin Tetras vs Glass Tetras

Although their names might cause some confusion, Glass Bloodfin Tetras and Glass Tetras are two distinct species of fish with unique characteristics.

Here are the key differences between Glass Bloodfin Tetras and Glass Tetras.

  • The Glass Bloodfin Tetra’s scientific name is Prionobrama filigera, whereas the Glass Tetra’s is Moenkhausia oligolepis.
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras have a more elongated body shape with bright red coloration on their tail and dorsal fins, whereas Glass Tetras have a more standard body shape with nearly transparent bodies and faint black tips on their dorsal and anal fins.
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras are slightly larger, reaching an adult size of up to 2.4 inches (6 cm), whereas Glass Tetras grow to an adult size of around 2 inches (5 cm).
  • Glass Bloodfin Tetras are native to the Amazon River basin, including Peru, Brazil, and Colombia, whereas Glass Tetras inhabit the Paraguay and Paraná River basins.


Glass Bloodfins have a unique and striking appearance that sets them apart from other tetras. As their name suggests, their body has a translucent or glass-like appearance that gives them a distinct look. They have a silver body, with a black line along the bottom half. This line is more prominent in males, and during breeding season becomes more intense and defined.

One of the most notable features of these particular tetras is their red tail fin. This bright pop of color adds a vibrant touch to their overall appearance. Additionally, they have a small, pointed mouth and two dorsal fins that are almost symmetrical in shape.

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are smaller than some other tetra species, growing to only 1.5-2 inches (4-5 cm) in length. This makes them a great choice for smaller aquariums or community tanks where space is limited.

Behavior and Temperament

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are a peaceful and social species that are known for their shoaling behavior. In the wild, they can be found in large groups of up to hundreds of individuals, and they retain this behavior in the aquarium. It’s recommended to keep them in groups of at least 6 to 8, as this will help them feel more secure and reduce stress.

In the aquarium, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are a great choice for community tanks, as they are not aggressive and get along well with other peaceful species. However, they may be intimidated by larger or more aggressive fish, so it’s important to choose appropriate tank mates for them.

Glass Bloodfins are active swimmers and enjoy having plenty of space to swim around. Providing ample hiding places and vegetation can help them feel more comfortable and reduce stress levels.

Tank Mates

Choosing the right tank mates is crucial for the health and happiness of your Glass Bloodfin Tetras. Here are some compatible and non-compatible species to consider:

Compatible Fish Species

  • Other peaceful tetra species, such as Neon Tetras, Ember Tetras, or Cardinal Tetras.
  • Small rasboras, such as Harlequin Rasboras or Chili Rasboras.
  • Peaceful community fish, such as Guppies, Platies, or Corydoras Catfish.

Non-Fish Tank Mates

  • Freshwater shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp or Ghost Shrimp.
  • Snails, such as Mystery Snails or Nerite Snails.
  • Live plants, such as Java Moss or Anubias.

Tank Mates to Avoid

  • Large, aggressive, or territorial fish, such as Cichlids or Angelfish.
  • Fin-nipping fish, such as Tiger Barbs or Serpae Tetras.
  • Bottom-dwelling fish, such as Plecos or Loaches, that may compete with Glass Bloodfin Tetras for food or territory.

Glass Bloodfin Tetra Care

Taking good care of your Glass Bloodfin Tetras is crucial to ensure their health and happiness. By understanding their specific requirements, you can create an environment that helps them thrive.

Tank Setup

Having a suitable tank setup for your Glass Bloodfins is essential for their health and well-being. Providing enough space, hiding places, and vegetation, along with appropriate filters and substrate, can help create a comfortable and natural environment for your fish. Follow these guidelines, and you can create the ideal home for your fish

Tank Size

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are a small species, so they don’t require a large tank, but it’s still important to provide them with enough space to swim around and explore. So minimum tank size of 10-20 gallons should be good for a small school of Glass Bloodfin Tetras.

What to Put In Their Tank

Glass Bloodfins are a shoaling species that prefer plenty of hiding places and vegetation. Providing live plants, such as Java Moss or Anubias, can help create a natural environment for your fish and reduce their stress levels. Driftwood or rocks can provide additional hiding places and add visual interest to your tank.


For Glass Bloodfins, a gentle filter that doesn’t create too much water flow is recommended. This will help to simulate their natural habitat and create a more comfortable environment for your fish.


Choosing the right substrate is important for the health of your Glass Bloodfin Tetras. They prefer a soft and sandy substrate that won’t damage their delicate fins. Also, a dark substrate can help to enhance the colors of your fish and create a more natural-looking environment.

Water Parameters

To provide the best environment for your Glass Bloodfins, try to replicate the water quality of their natural habitat. Maintain these numbers and your fish will be happy:

  • Temperature: 75-82°F (24-28°C).
  • pH Levels: a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0-7.0.
  • Water Hardness: 2-10 dGH.
  • Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: below 20 ppm

Performing regular water changes is essential for maintaining good water quality in your aquarium. Aim to change 20-30% of your tank water every 2-4 weeks to remove harmful toxins and maintain optimal water quality.

Diet and Feeding

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods in the wild. In captivity, it’s important to provide a varied diet that includes both live and prepared foods. A diet that includes high-quality flakes, pellets, and frozen foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia, can provide the essential nutrients your fish need to thrive.

These fish have small stomachs and should be fed small amounts of food several times a day, and just give them only as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes, as overfeeding can lead to health problems and water quality issues.

You can provide live or frozen foods that float on the surface to simulate the movement of insects in the wild. You can also use a feeding ring or target feeding to ensure that all fish get a fair share of the food and reduce waste.

You may also consider giving vitamin supplements to help provide additional nutrients and ensure that your Glass Bloodfin Tetras receive a well-balanced diet. But it’s important not to rely solely on supplements and to provide a varied diet that includes a mix of live and prepared foods.

Common Diseases

Like all aquarium fish, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are susceptible to various diseases and health problems. Here are some common diseases that can affect your fish and how to identify and treat them:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): Symptoms include small white spots on the body and fins, flashing, and lethargy. Ich can be treated with over-the-counter medications or aquarium salt treatments.
  • Fin Rot: Symptoms include ragged or frayed fins, discoloration, and lethargy. Fin rot can be treated with antibiotics or aquarium salt treatments.
  • Velvet Disease: Symptoms include a gold or rust-colored dusting on the body and fins, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Velvet disease can be treated with over-the-counter medications or aquarium salt treatments.
  • Dropsy: Symptoms include a bloated body and protruding scales. It’s a bacterial infection that can be difficult to treat, and it’s often a sign of underlying health problems. Dropsy can be treated with antibiotics, but it’s important to address any underlying health problems so it doesn’t recur.

Prevention is the best way to avoid common diseases in your Glass Bloodfin Tetras. Maintaining optimal water quality, feeding a well-balanced diet, and avoiding overstocking can help prevent stress and disease.

It’s also good to remember that regular monitoring and maintenance of water quality, along with quick action at the first sign of illness, can help prevent the spread of disease and promote the overall health of your fish.

glass bloodfin tetra care

Breeding Glass Bloodfin Tetras

Breeding Glass Bloodfins can be an exciting and rewarding experience for aquarium hobbyists. If you’re thinking of trying it out, here’s what you need to know:

Gender Differences

To breed Glass Bloodfin Tetras, you’ll need to have a male and a female. Males tend to be slimmer, while females are rounder and less vibrant. Females may also have a slightly larger abdomen when carrying eggs.

The Breeding Process

Breeding Glass Bloodfin Tetras is relatively easy and can occur naturally in a well-maintained aquarium. However, you can encourage breeding by providing a suitable environment and diet. Make sure your aquarium is well-planted and has plenty of hiding places, and feed your fish a nutritious and varied diet to promote good health and breeding.

Here are some tips to help you successfully breed Glass Bloodfin Tetras:

  • Provide a suitable breeding environment with plenty of hiding places, such as plants or caves.
  • Condition your fish by feeding them a high-quality diet of live and prepared foods.
  • Maintain optimal water quality with regular water changes and appropriate filtration.
  • Observe your fish for signs of breeding behavior, such as chasing or courtship displays.
  • Once breeding has occurred, remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry.

Glass Bloodfin FAQs

Are Glass Bloodfin Tetras sensitive to water quality?

Yes, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are sensitive to changes in water quality and require clean, well-filtered water with stable pH and temperature. It’s important to regularly monitor and maintain water quality to keep your fish healthy and happy.

Do Glass Bloodfin Tetras need a heater in their aquarium?

Yes, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are tropical fish and require a stable water temperature between 75-82°F (24-28°C). A reliable aquarium heater is necessary to maintain a consistent temperature.

Can Glass Bloodfin Tetras jump out of their aquarium?

Yes, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are known to be active and curious fish that may jump out of their aquarium if they feel threatened or stressed. It’s important to have a secure lid or cover on the aquarium to prevent this.

Do Glass Bloodfin Tetras have any special lighting requirements?

No, Glass Bloodfin Tetras do not have any special lighting requirements and can do well with standard aquarium lighting. However, providing a natural day-night cycle can help promote their natural behaviors and rhythms.

Can Glass Bloodfin Tetras live with shrimp or snails?

Yes, Glass Bloodfin Tetras are generally peaceful and can coexist with shrimp or snails in the aquarium. However, keep in mind that larger or more aggressive fish may see them as food and may not be suitable tankmates.

Can Glass Bloodfin Tetras be kept in a planted aquarium?

Yes, Glass Bloodfin Tetras can thrive in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places and decor. Live plants can also help maintain water quality and provide a natural environment for your fish.

Related Species

Glass Bloodfin Tetras are part of a large family of small, colorful, and peaceful tetra fish. Here are some tetra species that you may also enjoy keeping in your aquarium:

  • Neon Tetras: One of the most popular aquarium fish and are closely related to Glass Bloodfins. They are known for their bright blue and red colors, and their peaceful and social nature.
  • Cardinal Tetras: Similar in appearance to Neon Tetras, but have a larger body size and a deeper red coloration. They are also peaceful and social fish, making them an excellent addition to a community aquarium.
  • Ember Tetras: Smaller than Glass Bloodfin Tetras and have a bright orange coloration. They are active and social fish that do best in groups of six or more.

Are Glass Bloodfins Right for Your Aquarium?

Giving the best possible care for your Glass Bloodfin Tetras requires attention to detail and a willingness to adapt and learn. Keep your tank clean and well-maintained, feed a varied and nutritious diet, and let have them live with compatible tank mates, and your fish are going to live a long and happy life.

So, keep things interesting and mix it up from time to time — try out new decor, experiment with different types of food, and observe your fish closely to truly get to know them. With a little bit of effort and a lot of love, your Glass Bloodfin Tetras can bring joy and beauty to your life, bursting with life and personality that will keep you entertained and amazed.

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