Rummy Nose Tetra Care (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)

rummy nose tetra fish

The rummy nose tetra is a small fish that is found in the wild in South America. They are peaceful fish and make good additions to community tanks. They have a unique coloring in their body. They grow to about two inches long and should be kept in groups of six or more. They are hardy fish and can do well in most water conditions.

They will eat flake foods, but they also like live food such as blood worms or brine shrimp. You should avoid overfeeding them because that could cause health problems for the fish. One of their unique traits is how males put on a show when breeding with females.

Origin and description

rummy nose tetra fish

The rummy nose tetra is a small, colorful fish that is native to South America. They are popular in the aquarium hobby because of their unique appearance and personality. They have a bright red stripe on their head that extends down their body.

They are also very active and playful, making them a favorite among aquarists.

Rummy nose tetras are schooling fish, meaning they prefer to live in groups of six or more. They can be kept in a community tank with other small fish, but should not be housed with larger fish that may eat them.

In the wild, rummy nose tetras inhabit slow-moving streams and rivers in the Amazon.

They feed on worms, crustaceans, and insects that live among plants or other structures. Rummy nose tetras are omnivorous, meaning they will eat both plant matter and animals to get all of their nutrients.

The fish has 3 different species that are all called the rummy nose tetra, they are;

  1. The true rummy nose tetra          – Hemigrammus rhodostomus
  2. The false rummy nose tetra         – Petitella georgiae
  3. The common rummy nose tetra  – Hemigrammus bleheri (Also known as the firehead tetra)

Species profile

rummy nose tetra fish

The rummy nose tetra is a characin that belongs to the genus Hemigrammus. It comes from South America, and its natural habitat includes slow-moving rivers in Brazil. The fish can grow up to six centimeters long, but it typically reaches lengths of five centimeters. In their native habitat, they live among aquatic plants in the shallows of rivers.

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They are peaceful fish that can be kept with other community tankmates. They swim at the middle-to-bottom levels of their aquarium, and they should not bother any slow-moving or long-finned creatures living above them. Their preferred water temperature is between 18°C (64°F) and 26°C (79°F), so they can be kept in most home aquariums.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the rummy nose tetra fish is Hemigrammus rhodostomus

Range and habitat

The rummy nose tetra fish is found in the slow-moving rivers of Brazil. They live among aquatic plants and prefer water temperatures between 18°C (64°F) and 26°C (79°F) which is generally similar to the water temperature in spring and autumn.

The fish prefers shallow waters that are heavily vegetated, which provide it shelter from predators. It also requires this area for spawning (reproduction). The depth required by these creatures ranges between 0.35 meters (14 inches) and 0.75 meters (29 inches).

The rummy nose tetra fish is able to adapt well to a variety of habitats as long as there are plants, rocks, or driftwood for it to hide in. It requires both open areas where sufficient light can penetrate and darker areas such as caves and crevices where it can rest.

Rummy nose tetra size

The average size of a rummy nose tetra is about two and a half inches in length. However, they can grow up to four or five inches long.

Tank size

The rummy nose tetra fish requires at least a 30 gallon (around 136 liters) tank or larger to live in.

Tank setup

The rummy nose tetra fish prefers a heavily planted tank with driftwood and rocks. The water should be soft, acidic between pH of about five to seven and the temperature around 26°C (79°F). You can use sand as a substrate for these creatures, but keep it covered as they may bury themselves into it during feeding or when stressed.

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The tank should have a tight-fitting cover since it is an excellent jumper and will need to be kept in a covered aquarium. The water level must not go below half of the height of the glass or else these creatures may jump out. You also need to include a lid with no escape points that can fit tightly on top of your tank.

A good filtration system will help to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated, but it should not create currents as this may stress these creatures out. A filter that hangs on the side of your tank is a better choice than the one that sits under or inside of it. The rummy nose tetra fish prefers hiding places over swimming areas.

Rummy nose tetra tank mates

They are peaceful fish and can be kept with other small, non-aggressive community fish. Some good tank mates include guppies, platys, neon tetras, harlequin rasboras, and zebra danios.

How many rummy nose tetras should be kept together?

Usually, a group of six or more rummy nose tetras is considered ideal, but you can keep as few as three.

Are rummy nose tetras fin nippers?

No. Rummy nose tetras are not considered fin nippers. They get along well with most other fish, however, they will pester slow or long-finned fishes like guppies and angelfish.

Life cycle

Once the water conditions in your tank are right, you can introduce a pair of rummy nose tetra fish into it. They will be very shy and spend hours hiding during their first days with you but will eventually come out to explore their new surroundings.

The eggs produced by these creatures are fertilized by the male, and take about six days before they hatch into larvae that look like a small black dot with a red tail. The fry (newly hatched fish) will start to eat micro-organisms such as brine shrimp and flake food within the first few days after hatching.

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The rummy nose tetra fish can live up to six years in captivity if cared for properly.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The rummy nose tetra fish is a peaceful fish and can be kept with other small, non-aggressive community fish.

Rummy nose tetra care

rummy nose tetra fish

The rummy nose tetra fish is easy to care for and can be kept in a variety of water conditions. However, it does require good water quality and a healthy diet to live a long and happy life.

To keep your tank’s water quality high, you will need to perform regular water changes. The recommended weekly change is 25% of the tank’s volume. You should also use a gravel vacuum to clean the bottom of your tank and remove any uneaten food or waste.

The diet of the rummy nose tetra fish should consist of both live and frozen foods.

What they eat

The rummy nose tetra will eat a variety of foods, including flake food, freeze-dried bloodworms, and brine shrimp. They also enjoy eating algae wafers.

It is important to provide your fish with a varied diet to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. If you only feed them one type of food, then they will become picky.

Water conditions

The recommended water conditions for the rummy nose tetra are a pH level between six and eight, with an ideal temperature of 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you wish to keep your tank at different temperatures, then this is fine; however, it will require more frequent water changes, since they cannot adapt as well to sudden changes in their environment.

You should also avoid using certain chemicals in your tank, including any medications with copper sulfate or malachite green. These can be fatal to the rummy nose tetra fish.

Are rummy nose tetras Hardy?

Yes. They are a hardy variety of fish. You can keep them in the community aquarium, but they will be more comfortable if you add some driftwood and have soft water with neutral pH levels.

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Rummy nose tetra breeding

rummy nose tetra fish

The rummy nose tetra is one of the easier fish to breed. They will usually spawn in pairs and the female will lay her eggs among the plants in your tank which will then be fertilized by the male.

The eggs will hatch within two or three days and the fry will be able to eat baby brine shrimp right away.

If you have a large tank, then you can also try breeding them in groups of at least six fish. However, be sure to separate any breeders from other tetra species as they may eat their fry.

How long do rummy nose tetras live (lifespan)?

The lifespan of the rummy nose tetra fish is typically between five and eight years, although some have been known to live much longer.

Parasites and diseases

They are susceptible to a variety of parasites and diseases, including ich, velvet, and fin rot.

If you notice any signs of illness or distress in your fish, then be sure to treat them with the appropriate medication. However, it is always best to try and prevent illnesses from occurring in the first place by keeping your tank water’s quality high.


They are small fish and therefore make easy prey for larger predators in the tank. Be sure to keep your tank well-covered to prevent any unwanted escapees.

In addition, you should avoid keeping aggressive or territorial fish with your rummy noses as they may become stressed and more susceptible to disease.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. They make excellent pets for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers. They are easy to care for and do not require a lot of maintenance. In addition, they are very hardy fish and can tolerate a variety of water conditions.


The rummy nose tetra is a beautiful fish that makes an excellent addition to any tank. They are easy to care for and can be kept in a variety of water conditions. However, it does require good water quality and a healthy diet to live a long and happy life.