Rummy Nose Tetra – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Full Details!

The Rummy Nose Tetra stands as an exquisite species of freshwater fish that makes an excellent choice for diverse aquarium setups. Believe me when I say that Rummy Nose Tetras can quickly become one of your favored freshwater species.

Their mesmerizing charm makes watching them glide through your tank a captivating sight, regardless of how long you’ve been nurturing them.

The Rummy Nose Tetras’ distinctive appearance and docile disposition have garnered them substantial popularity among aquarium enthusiasts. Their distinctive color patterns set them apart, making them a centerpiece in any habitat.

Technically, Rummy Nose Tetra refers to three similar fish species. The primary species, Hemigrammus rhodostomus, is known as the true Rummy Nose Tetra.

However, the Hemigrammus bleheri and Petitella georgiae closely resemble it, to such an extent that even experienced breeders might struggle to distinguish between them.

Their commonality lies in their origin. The true Rummy Nose Tetra hails from the Amazon Basin, although they can also be spotted in the Rio-Vaupes River in Colombia and the Rio Negro River in Brazil.

The other “lookalike” species share the Amazon river as their native habitat, though they inhabit different regions within it.

While Rummy Nose Tetras serve as a stunning addition to any tank, they require some unique care and attention.

With our comprehensive guide, you will acquire the necessary knowledge for their optimal care, keeping them healthy and content in your home aquarium.

Quick Stats About Rummy Nose Tetra

Scientific name: Hemigrammus Bleheri
Family: Characidae
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Color: Silver, red, black, and white
Lifespan: 5-6 years
Size: 2-2.5 inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum tank size: 20 gallon
Temperature: 75°F – 84°F
Water conditions: pH 5.5 – 7.0
Tank mate compatibility: Other tetra species and catfish

Rummy Nose Tetras Appearance

Unarguably, the most striking aspect of the Rummy Nose Tetra is its distinctive appearance. It seems as though this fish embodies elements from various diverse species, creating a truly unique visual treat.

The body of this species resembles a torpedo. It’s a relatively small creature that possesses a slender profile, broadening slightly towards the head.

The base color of these fish is predominantly silver, although some specimens may exhibit a subtle translucent green tinge.

The fins, for the most part, are transparent. They are small and neatly squared-off, imparting the fish with a polished look.

The tail fin, however, is the exception – it boasts vibrant black and white stripes, providing an intense contrast to the muted body hues.

The head is another feature that immediately grabs your attention. It’s brilliantly red and extends into the fish’s irises. On rare occasions, this color may stretch past the head to the gills.

It’s worth noting that distinguishing between male and female Rummy Nose Tetras is difficult, as physical features between the genders aren’t starkly different.

Natural Habitat of Rummy Nose Tetra

To provide the best care for Rummy Nose Tetras, understanding their natural habitat is vital. Their home, the Amazon Basin, is an environment that can be challenging to mimic, especially in colder climates.

The waters of the Amazon River are warm and soft, with minimal mineral content.

The rivers where these fish reside are fairly sparse. Most of the river bed consists of decomposing leaves from the overhead trees, making the water slightly acidic.

Rummy Nose Tetras are notably sensitive to changes in water conditions; therefore, regular water changes and rigorous monitoring of the water chemistry are crucial to their wellbeing.

Rummy Nose Tetra: Origin and Distribution

Originating from South America, the Rummy Nose Tetra is primarily found in the Amazon Basin, specifically the Rio-Vaupes River in Colombia and the Rio Negro River in Brazil.

The other similar species, Hemigrammus bleheri and Petitella georgiae, are also native to the Amazon River, albeit in other regions.

Given their common habitat, the environmental conditions for these species overlap considerably, with slight differences depending on the specific location within the Amazon Basin.

Growth, Size & Lifespan of Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetras are not large fish by any means. When fully grown, they average around 2.5 inches in size, though some may not exceed 2 inches.

Their relatively small size makes them an excellent choice for smaller tanks. Nevertheless, remember that providing sufficient space for them to swim around comfortably is paramount to their well-being.

In captivity, the average lifespan of Rummy Nose Tetras is between 5 to 6 years. With careful monitoring and optimal care, these fish can live up to 8 years.

The water conditions and diet greatly influence their lifespan, making vigilant care essential to help them reach their full potential.

Behavior and Temperament of Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra is truly an energetic and sociable fish species. It displays a remarkable level of activity, darting back and forth in the tank with exceptional vigor.

They are also known for their schooling nature, often seen swimming in large, coordinated groups, which can be an engaging sight for any aquarium owner.

Unlike some other fish species, Rummy Nose Tetras aren’t aggressive or territorial. They are quite peaceful, making them a desirable addition to a community aquarium.

Given their sociable nature, these fish do best when kept in a group of at least six.

Despite their activity level, Rummy Nose Tetras are also known to be sensitive to changes in their environment.

Sudden shifts in water parameters, lighting, or diet can cause stress, potentially leading to color fading and illness.

Setting up a Rummy Nose Tetra Tank: A Detailed Guide

Creating a suitable living environment for Rummy Nose Tetras is crucial for their health and well-being. Below is a comprehensive guide to setting up your fish tank, ensuring it meets the specific needs of these active swimmers.

Tank Size

When it comes to tank size, consider the active nature of Rummy Nose Tetras. They love swimming around, and therefore, a tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended for a group of six. Remember, the larger the tank, the more comfortable your fish will be.


Replicating the natural riverbed habitat of Rummy Nose Tetras involves using a dark, sandy substrate. This not only mimics their natural environment but also enhances the vibrant coloration of the fish.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Add plenty of vegetation, driftwood, and rocks to provide hiding spots and emulate the complex environment of the Amazon River. Floating plants can also help recreate the shaded conditions found in their natural habitat.

Water Parameters

Water parameters are crucial for the survival of Rummy Nose Tetras. Maintain a water temperature between 75-81°F, a pH of 6.0-7.0, and a water hardness between 4-12 dH. Regular water changes will help to keep the water conditions stable.

Filtration and Aeration

As these fish are sensitive to water conditions, having a good filtration system is vital. It should effectively remove chemical impurities and keep the water clean. Additionally, a moderate level of aeration will maintain appropriate oxygen levels for your fish.


Moderate to low lighting is best for Rummy Nose Tetras, reflecting their natural shady habitat in the Amazon River. Lighting also aids in displaying their vibrant colors to the fullest.

Tank Mates

Given their peaceful temperament, Rummy Nose Tetras can coexist well with many other non-aggressive species. Suitable tank mates include Corydoras Catfish, Dwarf Gourami, and other Tetra species.


Rummy Nose Tetras are omnivorous, and their diet should reflect this. Feed them a mixture of high-quality flake foods, frozen or live foods such as Daphnia and brine shrimp, and occasional plant-based foods.

Regular feeding should be done once or twice daily, with only what they can consume in 2-3 minutes.

Tank Maintenance for Rummy Nose Tetra

Maintaining an ideal environment for Rummy Nose Tetras is essential for their health and longevity. This involves regular water changes, cleaning the tank, ensuring filter efficiency, and monitoring fish health.

Here’s a detailed guide to maintaining a Rummy Nose Tetra tank effectively.

Regular Water Changes

Rummy Nose Tetras thrive in clean and stable water conditions. To maintain this, a regular water change is necessary. Usually, changing about 25-30% of the tank water every two weeks is a good practice.

This helps in keeping the water parameters stable, minimizing the build-up of harmful toxins, and ensuring the overall well-being of your fish.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Along with changing the water, cleaning the tank and its decorations also plays a vital role. The tank should be cleaned once every few months to remove any accumulated algae and debris.

Be careful not to disturb the beneficial bacteria during cleaning. Similarly, the decorations, including rocks and plants, should be cleaned periodically to prevent the build-up of harmful substances.

Filter Maintenance

The filter in your Rummy Nose Tetra tank plays a crucial role in maintaining water quality. It should be checked at least once a month to ensure it is functioning correctly.

Rinse or replace the filter media as needed, based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, an efficient filtration system is key to a healthy tank environment.

Monitor Fish Health

In addition to the physical maintenance of the tank, monitoring the health of your Rummy Nose Tetras is equally important. Observe their behavior and appearance regularly. If they are less active, losing color, or not eating well, these might be signs of stress or illness. In such cases, check the water parameters, and consider consulting a fish health expert.

Remember, a clean and well-maintained tank, along with vigilant monitoring, will ensure your Rummy Nose Tetras remain vibrant and healthy.

Maintaining your fish tank might seem daunting, but with regular care, it becomes a routine that provides immense satisfaction, especially when you see your aquatic friends thriving.

Acclimating Rummy Nose Tetra

Acclimation is a critical process to ensure the smooth introduction of Rummy Nose Tetras to their new tank environment. When you bring new Tetras home, they are usually in a bag filled with water.

The water parameters inside the bag, such as temperature and pH, will likely differ from your home aquarium’s conditions. Sudden exposure to these differences could stress or even harm your fish.

A popular method for acclimating fish is the drip method.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Float the sealed bag in your aquarium for 15-20 minutes. This helps match the bag’s water temperature to your aquarium’s water temperature.

  2. After this, open the bag and roll its edges to make it float without tipping over.

  3. Using airline tubing, create a siphon to drip water from your tank into the bag. Adjust the dripping rate to 2-3 drips per second.

  4. Continue this until the bag is full, then remove about half the water from the bag. Repeat the dripping process until the bag is full again.

  5. Now your Rummy Nose Tetras are ready to be gently introduced into their new home!

Rummy Nose Tetra Diet and Feeding

A proper diet is essential for the health and vibrancy of your Rummy Nose Tetras. These fish are omnivores, and they require a varied diet for optimal health.

Here’s a detailed guide:

Balanced Commercial Foods

Start with high-quality, nutrient-rich flake foods or pellets as the base of their diet. These are specially formulated to provide the essential nutrients your fish need.

Live and Frozen Foods

Rummy Nose Tetras love live foods, which also help enhance their color and vitality. You can feed them brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. Frozen variants of these foods are also a good option.


Occasionally supplement their diet with blanched vegetables, such as spinach and peas. These provide beneficial fiber and other nutrients.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your Rummy Nose Tetras 1-2 times per day. Give them only as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and health problems for the fish.

Remember, a varied diet will help ensure your Rummy Nose Tetras get a wide range of nutrients, promoting their health and longevity. Regular feeding times and controlled portions will keep them happy and vibrant, contributing to a lively and energetic aquarium environment.

Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates and Tank Mates to Avoid

Rummy Nose Tetras are peaceful fish that thrive in a community aquarium, but not every species makes a good tank mate. It’s important to choose companions that share similar temperament and water requirements.

Good Tank Mates

Here are some suitable tank mates for Rummy Nose Tetras:

  1. Cardinal Tetras: Known for their peaceful nature, Cardinal Tetras share similar size and water parameters with Rummy Nose Tetras, making them great companions.

  2. Harlequin Rasboras: They are a peaceful species that won’t bother your Rummy Nose Tetras. Their bright coloration also provides a beautiful contrast.

  3. Dwarf Gouramis: These fish are calm and slow-moving, which aligns with the temperament of Rummy Nose Tetras.

  4. Corydoras Catfish: They are bottom dwellers, keeping to a different part of the tank and thus reducing potential conflicts.

  5. Honey Gouramis: A small, peaceful species that appreciates the same conditions as Rummy Nose Tetras.

  6. Bristlenose Plecos: They are non-aggressive and share similar water requirements.

Tank Mates to Avoid

Avoid adding fish that are known to be aggressive or significantly larger.

Some to steer clear of include:

  1. Oscars: These fish are aggressive and can view smaller tetras as a snack.

  2. Jack Dempsey: Known for their territorial behavior, they can pose a threat to Rummy Nose Tetras.

  3. Cichlids: While some exceptions exist, many cichlids are territorial and may harass or harm tetras.

  4. Arowanas: They are predatory and will likely consider Rummy Nose Tetras as food.

  5. Red Tail Sharks: These fish can be quite aggressive and territorial, which can stress out the more peaceful tetras.

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetra and Fry Care

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetras can be a rewarding experience for aquarium hobbyists.

Here are some key steps for successful breeding:

Preparing for Breeding

  1. Separate Breeding Tank: Set up a separate tank with soft, slightly acidic water. Dim lighting and a sponge filter can also help create a conducive environment.

  2. Diet: Feed the breeding pair high-quality foods, including live or frozen foods, to promote spawning readiness.


  1. Introduction: Place the conditioned male and female in the breeding tank.

  2. Spawning Behavior: You’ll notice the male chasing the female, a sign that spawning is imminent.

  3. Egg Laying: The female will scatter eggs among fine-leafed plants or a spawning mop, which the male will then fertilize.

Post-Spawning Care

  1. Remove Parents: After spawning, remove the parents to prevent them from eating the eggs.

  2. Egg Care: The eggs will hatch within 24-30 hours. During this period, maintain water conditions and keep the lighting dim.

Fry Care

  1. Feeding: Once the fry are free-swimming, usually after 5 days, feed them infusoria or commercially available fry foods.

  2. Growth: As they grow, gradually introduce them to finely crushed flake food.

  3. Water Changes: Perform regular water changes to keep the water clean and support the fry’s growth.

Remember, patience and attention to detail are key when breeding Rummy Nose Tetras. With careful observation and care, you’ll have the joy of watching the new generation of tetras grow!

36194079 nice red head fish from genus hemigrammus.

Signs of Stress in Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetras are hardy fish, but like all aquatic creatures, they can experience stress.

Here are some signs to watch for:

  1. Faded Colors: If your Rummy Nose Tetra’s signature red nose starts to fade, it might be under stress.

  2. Lethargy: These active fish may become less lively when stressed, showing less interest in swimming and exploring.

  3. Loss of Appetite: A noticeable decrease in eating habits can be a warning sign.

  4. Rapid Breathing: Increased gill movement may indicate your fish is stressed or not getting enough oxygen.

  5. Hiding: If your normally outgoing Rummy Nose Tetra is constantly hiding, it could be a sign of discomfort or stress.

Common Health Issues and Treatments for Rummy Nose Tetra

Despite their hardy nature, Rummy Nose Tetras can suffer from common fish diseases.

Here are a few along with their treatments:

  1. Ich (White Spot Disease): Ich is marked by small white spots on the fish’s body. It’s treated with increased tank temperatures and medications like copper sulfate.

  2. Fin Rot: If you notice the fins of your tetra becoming ragged, it might be suffering from fin rot. This can be treated with antibiotics and frequent water changes.

  3. Fungal Infections: These present as white or grey patches on the body. Antifungal medications are the best course of action.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

Maintaining a healthy aquarium is the best way to ensure the wellbeing of your Rummy Nose Tetras:

  1. Regular Water Changes: Replace about 25% of your tank’s water every two weeks to keep it clean and the water parameters stable.

  2. Balanced Diet: Offer a varied diet to your fish to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

  3. Monitor Water Parameters: Regularly check your tank’s pH, temperature, and hardness. Keep these parameters consistent.

  4. Provide Plenty of Space: Overcrowding can lead to stress and disease outbreaks. Provide enough space for all your fish to swim freely.

  5. Quarantine New Fish: Before introducing new fish to your main tank, keep them in a quarantine tank for a few weeks to prevent the spread of potential diseases.

Should You Get a Rummy Nose Tetra for Your Aquarium?

Rummy Nose Tetras are a fantastic addition to any community tank. Their vibrant coloration and active behavior make them a joy to observe.

They’re also relatively hardy, making them suitable for both beginner and seasoned aquarists.

However, they require some specific care requirements such as warm, soft, and slightly acidic water. If you’re able and willing to provide these conditions, then a Rummy Nose Tetra could be the perfect new addition to your aquarium!

Remember, they thrive best in schools, so consider getting a group for your tank.

Brilliant Rummynose Tetra 1

Conservation Status

As of my knowledge, Rummy Nose Tetras are not listed as endangered or threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They’re quite common in the aquarium trade due to their popularity among hobbyists. However, it’s always a good practice to ensure your fish are ethically sourced and not caught from the wild, thus disturbing natural populations.

Availability & Pricing

Rummy Nose Tetras are widely available in pet stores, aquarium shops, and online marketplaces. They are quite popular due to their vibrant colors and fascinating behaviors, which makes them a captivating addition to any aquarium.

The price for a Rummy Nose Tetra can vary depending on the location and size of the fish, but generally, they’re quite affordable. As of my last update in September 2021, they typically cost between $2 to $5 per fish.

It’s always a good idea to shop around for the best price, but remember, healthy and ethically-sourced fish are worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rummy Nose Tetra

1. How many Rummy Nose Tetras should be kept together?

Rummy Nose Tetras are schooling fish and prefer to be kept in groups of at least six. However, the larger the school, the more comfortable and active they’ll be.

2. Can Rummy Nose Tetras live with bettas?

Rummy Nose Tetras can coexist with bettas as long as the tank is large enough and there are enough plants and decorations for hiding.

3. Why is my Rummy Nose Tetra’s red nose fading?

A fading red nose can be a sign of stress or poor water conditions. Check your water parameters and make necessary adjustments.

4. What do Rummy Nose Tetras eat?

Rummy Nose Tetras are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms.


Rummy Nose Tetras are a fantastic addition to any community tank. Their vibrant colors, unique features, and active, schooling behavior make them a joy to watch.

They are hardy and relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for both beginner and seasoned aquarists. Remember to maintain their specific water conditions, offer a varied diet, and provide them with a suitable tank environment to ensure their health and happiness.

With a little care and attention, Rummy Nose Tetras will become a favorite in your aquarium.