Rummy Nose Tetra Care, Size, Tank Mates, and More

Rummy Nose Tetra Care, Size, Tank Mates, and More

It can be tough to choose the right shoaling species for your aquarium because there are so many to choose from. Even if you’ve reduced it down to the tetra family, each individual has a distinct appearance that will entice you.

Rummy nose tetras have a wide range of colors and patterns on their bodies. They stand out in your tank as one of the most attractive fish due to their distinctive blend of styles.

As they move about in tandem, keeping a shoal will increase these colors and patterns. The greater the number, the better the effect.

They’re easy to feed and care for; all you have to do is keep a close eye on the conditions in your tank. To keep them healthy, a little experience is required.

This article covers all you need to know about caring for rummy nose tetras, including the best tank settings, breeding techniques, and more…

Rummy Nose Tetra Overview

The rummy nose tetra belongs to the Characidae family of freshwater fish.

Rummy nose tetras are made up of three species that are all quite similar:

  • Rhodostomus hemigrammus (The True Rummy Nose Tetra)
  • Hemigrammus bleheri is a species of Hemigrammus (Also known as The Brilliant Rummy Nose Tetra or The Common Rummy Nose Tetra)
  • Petitella georgiae (Petitella georgiae) is (The False Rummy Nose Tetra)

The Amazon River is home to all three species, which are endemic to South America (each species occupies a different region).

Beginners frequently choose shoaling fish, however these aren’t the easiest to care for. They can are very sensitive to changes in water parameters, so keep an eye on them; they don’t handle mistakes well.

In a community tank, a group works well. They get along with a wide variety of other species as tranquil fish, but they won’t get along with loud fish that stress them out.

Because rummy nose tetras are so popular, most aquarium stores sell them for a low price. Each fish should cost no more than $4, but you may usually save money if you buy several at once.

If kept in a healthy habitat, they can live for 6-8 years.

Common Behaviour

Because these fish shoal, they will spend the majority of their time together. This results in some spectacular displays. When they swim together, the colours are more vibrant, and their mannerisms are more spectacular.

The better the displays, the greater the shoal. However, don’t be tempted to overstock your tank; rummy nose tetras want plenty of swimming room.

They usually swim in the middle of the water, but if they need to feed, they may stray up or down.

If they are stressed by bright lighting or bothersome fish, you may notice them hiding among the plants.


These tetras are well-known for their vibrant colours and patterns all over their bodies.

The majority of their body is silver. Their name comes from the intense red colour of their head.

The caudal fin is equally as noticeable as the head. It has black and white horizontal stripes in a zebra-like pattern.

Their body is shaped like a torpedo and has short, transparent fins (except the caudal fin). They should reach a length of 2.5 inches when completely developed.

Between the three species, there are a few distinctions. The most apparent difference is that the common rummy nose tetra is around 2 inches shorter than the other two. Other distinctions are slight and difficult to notice (even by those who have looked after them for years).

Individual sexing is equally as tough. Although there is no good way to tell them apart by sight, some people believe that females have a slightly larger physique.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

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All three species can be found in the Amazon River in South America in their natural habitat. Despite the fact that they live in different parts of the country, they are all accustomed to comparable situations.

The riverbed’s substrate is soft and sandy. There are several planted places that provide food and shelter, as well as rocks and caverns.

The water is mildly acidic and warm. The river’s flow keeps the water moving, and there is plenty of light.

Closer to the Atlantic coast, the real rummy nose tetra can be found. The common rummy nose can be found inland and has a limited range (the middle portion of Rio Negro in Brazil). Finally, the false rummy nose tetra can be found further inland, although its range is much larger (living in Brazil and Peru).

Setup of Tank

The setup is straightforward and easy to maintain.

A fine-grained substrate should be used at the bottom of the tank. This will most nearly reflect the natural habitat of these animals. Because rummy nose tetras don’t spend much time in the bottom layers of the tank, you can use gravel if you prefer.

Choose plants that will grow into the water’s middle levels. Tetras prefer to hide in these places when they are stressed; they may wish to get away from other fish or strong lighting.

Decorations aren’t necessary, however they can be added if desired. Just remember to give plenty of room for swimming.

To keep the water heated, a heater is required. To resemble the tropical waters of the Amazon, the temperature should be between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to maintain the pH in check; it should be between 6.2 and 7.0. The hardness should be between 2 and 10 KH.

You won’t need an air or water pump because the filter output will keep the water moving, but you can if you like. Standard aquarium lighting will suffice; when they need to hide from the lights, they will seek refuge in the plants.

Because rummy nose tetras are sensitive to ammonia/nitrates in the water, an external filter is recommended. External filters are more effective.

Tank Mates

They’re peaceful fish that work well in community aquariums. They won’t bother their tank companions, but more loud fish might quickly stress them out.

Large fish with mouths big enough to swallow your rummy nose tetras should be avoided. Also, stay away from animals that have a bad reputation for being hostile. This eliminates a large number of cichlids, but not all of them (such as angelfish).

Larger fish can also be rather unruly. This will make it more difficult to maintain ideal water conditions for rummy nose tetras.

Most small fish, including danios, tetras, mollies, Corydoras catfish, yo-yo loaches, hatchetfish, harlequin rasbora, cherry barbs, and dwarf gourami, can be kept with them.

Snails and shrimp are both nice companions for your tetras, but keep an eye on your plants as snails may eat them.

Keeping Them Together

Tetras with a rummy nose should be kept in groups. They are accustomed to living in large groups of their own species, so buy at least six.

When left alone, they might become stressed and become easy prey for rambunctious fish.


Tetras with a rummy nose are omnivores. They would eat little bits of plant detritus, small insects, larvae, or eggs in the wild. Anything that will fit into their mouths, in general.

Stores sell a variety of foods that can be used to give children with a comparable diet at home. The simplest options are flake and pellet feeds, which are designed to provide all of the nutrients they require.

Feed them flakes or pellets as a mainstay of their diet, with extra treats once or twice a week.

Both live and frozen meals are wonderful sources of protein and can be used to bring diversity to your tetras. Daphnia and bloodworms are excellent options.

Any green vegetables that are left over can be added to their aquarium. Make sure they’re all chopped up into small pieces.

Even though these fish can devour plants, as long as you feed them well, they won’t do much harm.

Feed them twice a day if possible. This allows them to digest their food by breaking up their feeding. Give them only as much food as they can finish in two minutes, and then remove any surplus food so it doesn’t spoil in the tank.


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Your tetras will be healthy if you keep your tank in the conditions we specified previously.

However, even if your tank is kept clean, disease is occasionally unavoidable, and your fish may become ill. Dropsy and Ich are two prevalent illnesses.

Looking at their crimson noses, which typically become much paler in bad water conditions, is a quick way to tell if something is amiss.

Dropsy is a condition in which the body swells due to a build-up of fluid. Ich causes white spots to appear all over a fish’s body.

It’s critical to understand how to properly clean a tank because poor water quality aids disease transmission through the water. Give your tank a good cleaning and see if it makes a difference.

If your fish isn’t showing any signs of healing, you can purchase remedies from a store.

These issues can also be exacerbated by poor nutrition. Your tetras will be more prone to disease if they aren’t getting everything they need from their diet. Changing their diet is an excellent method to ensure they obtain all of the nutrients they require.

The lifespan of a healthy rummy nose tetra is 6-8 years.


When breeding a rummy nose tetra, the first issue you’ll face is ensuring that you have a good mix of men and females. Because they’re so tough to sex, it’s usually a case of trial and error. When you buy them, the best option is to have their sex certified by a qualified breeder.

To encourage breeding, the tank’s conditions must be ideal. Warm the tank to roughly 84 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage spawning. Filtration is critical since these fish are delicate and will not breed in dirty water.

Because the breeding process takes place in the presence of plants, make sure you have sufficient in the tank. The female will swim up to a leaf, roll over, and wait for the male to fertilise the eggs.

She’ll lay a couple of big eggs. After that, separate the adults from the eggs so that they don’t get eaten.

The fry will hatch in 24 hours, but they will not begin swimming for another 6 days. They’ll be slightly bigger than fry from other species of the same age. Feed them specialised fried foods until they’re big enough to eat an adult’s diet. The fry can be kept together after they are almost the same size as the adults.


Rummy Nose Tetras: Are They Good For Your Aquarium?

They get along nicely with other peaceful fish, and their setup requirements are similar to those of many other fish.

There are only a few things to remember.

Keep them away from aggressive or huge fish. They are easily stressed, and their health will suffer as a result.

Because this species is highly susceptible to pollutants in the water, the water should be kept clean. They will flourish in a clean tank, resulting in a vibrant display of colours.

A school of these fish will bring life to your aquarium. After only a few minutes of watching them, you’ll realise you made the perfect decision.

What Aquarium Size Do They Require?

Rummy nose tetras require a tank of at least 20 gallons. Despite their small size, they appreciate having lots of room to shoal and swim.

How many per gallon can be kept?

With one fish every two gallons, there will be plenty of room to avoid overcrowding. Ten tetras can be kept in a 20 gallon tank.

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