The “Peru Bleeding Heart” (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma) is exported primarily from Peru, but is quite widely distributed in the upper Amazon and is also found in Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia.
The three species of bleeding hearts are closely related and look very similar. H. pyrrhonotus is the easiest to recognize because it has a blood red stripe on its back that the other species lack. H. socolofi and H. erythrostigma are most easily distinguished by the coloration of the anal fin: H. socolofi has a bright shiny stripe here that does not run into the anterior tip of the anal fin, while in H. erythrostigma this stripe goes into the anterior tip of the anal fin, making a hook. You can see this well in the photos.
Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma grows to about 6 cm long, with caudal fin this makes about 8 cm total length, the females remain smaller and do not have such a long extended dorsal fin. The fish is rarely bred. The reason is not that it can’t be done, but because it is a portion spawner that lays only a few eggs a day for long periods of time. This makes rational breeding impossible, because 10 young fish make just as much work as 1,000 young fish. That is why professional breeders have no interest in these fish, but this is not a problem at all, because the Peru bleeding heart is common and thus means a good, regular and environmentally friendly income for the fishermen in Peru.
For a community aquarium Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma is particularly suitable and here a troop (there should always be at least 10-15 specimens, the gender composition is irrelevant) is a real feast for the eyes, which also regularly inspires even non-aquarists.
For our customers: the fish has code 260103 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer