What Do Bloodfin Tetras Eat? (The Comprehensive Guide)

Image of a bloodfin tetra in an aquarium

A diverse and well-balanced diet ensures a long and healthy life for aquatic animals. So, what do bloodfin tetras eat?

Bloodfin tetras eat live, freeze-dried, and frozen food such as bloodworms, insect larvae, brine shrimp, daphnia, small insects, fruit flies, etc. They also eat packaged food like high-quality flakes and pellets. Since bloodfin tetras are omnivores, they need a diet made of plant and animal matter.

Bloodfin tetras are not fussy eaters. So when it comes to their diet, you can feed them a variety of food. Let’s now discuss the diet of bloodfin tetras in the wild and captivity.

What Do Bloodfin Tetras Eat In The Wild?

Bloodfin tetras are omnivores. They eat plant as well as animal matter in their natural environment.

Their diet is based on what they find in the water around them that fits in their tiny mouths.

In the wild, bloodfin tetras eat algae, aquatic insects, crustaceans, fish eggs, and small invertebrates such as worms, snails, insect larvae, plants, detritus, and decaying organic material.

They also feed on dead animals washed in from the shorelines or fallen into the rivers from trees.

Ideal Bloodfin Tetra Diet In A Home Aquarium

Bloodfin tetras need a well-balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients for optimal growth.

The protein-rich foods help keep the bloodfin tetras strong.

On the other hand, fiber-based food is essential for strengthening their digestive tract.

Likewise, calcium is essential for healthy bone development, fat for energy storage, and phosphorus and vitamins for cell growth.

All these nutrients also help in maintaining good health.

Since bloodfin tetras are not picky eaters, they eat anything you feed them.

There are various types of foods available in the market that can fulfill their nutritional needs.

Here are the different kinds of food that are ideal for bloodfin tetras.

1. Flakes and Pellets

Many aquarists prefer high-quality commercial flakes and pellets for bloodfin tetras.

While choosing flakes, you should select those that can contain vegetables as bloodfin tetras need vegetable content in addition to meat in their daily diet.

There are numerous types of flakes available in the market.

You can select the one that closely resembles the natural diet of bloodfin tetras.

Flakes high in protein are best suited for bloodfin tetras.

The only disadvantage of feeding flakes is that they quickly sink to the bottom of the tank.

So, if the uneaten flakes are not removed immediately, they can contaminate the tank water.

Nevertheless, you can always maintain the tank water quality by using a filter and regular water changes.

Other than flakes, pellets are preferred more for feeding bloodfin tetras as they are usually of high quality and look more natural than other foods.

In addition, you can select pellets that contain 30% crude protein to ensure that your bloodfin tetras get enough amount of protein.

There are two types of pellets available in the market:

  1. Floating pellets, and
  2. Sinking pellets.

Floating pellets are suitable for bloodfin tetras as they can eat the pellets either on the surface or in the middle of the fish tank.

Moreover, you can easily remove any uneaten pellets from the tank before they pollute the water.

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2. Live Foods

Live food is the best choice for bloodfin tetras due to its high nutritional value.

In addition, they are highly recommended for bloodfin tetras as they are an excellent source of proteins.

Although highly nutritious, you should feed live foods with caution as they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites.

You should avoid catching live food from the wild for feeding your bloodfin tetras.

Instead, you can purchase them online or from a reputed store.

Also, you should feed live food within 2 to 3 days of purchase.

Some of the live foods that bloodfin tetras can eat include:

  • Bloodworms,
  • Microworms,
  • Brine shrimp,
  • Fruitflies,
  • Mosquito larvae,
  • Daphnia,
  • Small insects, etc.

3. Frozen Foods

Frozen food is another great alternative if you don’t wish to take the risk of feeding live food to your bloodfin tetras.

Frozen foods contain all the essential nutrients needed for an active life.

You can always choose frozen foods that contain high-quality protein content.

It will help maintain the strength of your fish. Besides, frozen foods don’t need much maintenance, unlike live food.

Frozen foods come in many varieties like frozen shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, etc.

The biggest advantage of feeding frozen food is that they contain the same nutritional value as live food.

Moreover, they are not expensive either.

The only thing to remember is to defrost the frozen food before feeding bloodfin tetras.

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4. Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried food is yet another good option when it comes to feeding bloodfin tetras.

They are made up of a single organism, such as mosquito larvae or bloodworms.

Since this food is freeze-dried, moisture is removed from them. Hence, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to digest.

So feed freeze-dried food only twice or thrice a week to bloodfin tetras along with their staple diet.

Freeze-dried foods have become popular among aquarists because of their convenience.

You don’t need much time to prepare them. Just mix the freeze-dried food with warm water and serve it to your fish.

Besides, they are easy to carry while traveling.

However, make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully.

If you skip this step, you may end up harming your fish.

Also, you need to store the freeze-dried food in a dry and cool environment to maintain its quality.

5. Veggies

As bloodfin tetras are omnivores, they eat both plant and animal matter.

Therefore, veggies are equally crucial for the healthy development of bloodfin tetras.

However, you should feed them in small quantities.

You can feed various veggies like lettuce leaves, spinach, cucumber slices, carrots, broccoli, peas, beans, etc.

You can boil the veggies to soften them and cut them into small pieces before feeding your bloodfin tetras.

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6. Tetra Color Bits

Tetra color bits are another food option that is healthy for bloodfin tetras.

These foods contain balanced nutrition and are meant to enhance their color. They are specifically designed to suit tetras.

Tetra color bits sink at a slower pace in the aquarium water.

Since bloodfin tetras prefer eating food at the surface of the water, they can immediately consume the tetra color bits as soon as you put them in the tank water.

Although tetra color bits help bring bright coloration in bloodfin tetras, they shouldn’t be a part of their daily diet.

Instead, you should feed them only occasionally as a treat.

How Often Should You Feed Bloodfin Tetras?

Bloodfin tetras should be fed twice a day. You can set their feeding time. Once you set the time, ensure that you regularly feed your bloodfin tetras at the same time every day.

The feeding time is crucial as fish build their other habits based on this.

Besides, fluctuating the feeding time can cause stress to bloodfin tetras.

Since bloodfin tetras are very active, they burn a lot of calories.

Hence, you must feed them a well-balanced and nutritious diet.

Besides, scarcity of nutritious food can make bloodfin tetras malnourished and weaken their immune system.

They will then be prone to diseases.

Also, you shouldn’t overfeed bloodfin tetras. Overfeeding can lead to improper digestion.

Besides, bloodfin tetras will produce more waste, thus contaminating the tank water.

Also, if the leftover food is not removed immediately from the tank, the food particles can clog the filter and break down into harmful toxins.

This can prove fatal to bloodfin tetras.

Therefore, the best amount of food to feed bloodfin tetras is what they can consume in 2 to 3 minutes.

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How Long Can Bloodfin Tetras Survive Without Food?

Bloodfin tetras can survive for around a week without food. But, it’s not advisable to keep bloodfin tetras without any food for a long time.

The absence of food can make bloodfin tetras lose weight rapidly and get sick.

They will then start to lose appetite and can stop eating altogether.

If left unattended, bloodfin tetras may even die due to starvation.


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