Rummy Nose Tetra – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

Rummy nose tetra is loved by almost every aquarist because of its fantastic features. It is an outstanding fish in every aquarium and as a fish lover, you will definitely have a soft spot for this fish.

However, like every other fish species out there, rummy nose tetra has special attributes and some aquarium conditions that must be met. This is to ensure that at all times, they are in their optimum state.


The Types of Rummy Nose Tetra

The general scientific name for Rummy nose tetra is Hemigrammus Rhodostomus. However, it has 2 other subspecies. The first one is known as Brilliant Rummy Nose with the scientific name Hemigrammus Bleheri, while the second one is the False Rummy Nose with the scientific name Petitella Georgiae.

Even though these subspecies are widely known and have different names, it is very difficult to differentiate between them if you are not an experienced aquarist. This is because of how similar they look.

So, most people do not care which of the species they have in their tank since they are all being referred to as Rummy nose tetra.

Origin of Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy nose tetras originate from South America. It is majorly found in Colombia and Brazil rivers. Most of the rivers where they live are known to have low pH. This means that they live in acidic waters. Examples of these rivers are the Amazon river, the Rio Negro River in Brazil, etc.

The reason for this low pH is the contents found underneath these water bodies. They include a lot of organic matters and dead plants that tend to affect the acidity of the water. This is because these rivers run along forests that have tall deciduous trees.

Rummy nose tetras are rarely found on water surfaces. They love to be beneath the water where they can enjoy their privacy.

Rummy Nose Tetra Appearance

Rummy nose tetra is one of the most colorful fish for your aquarium, this is why a lot of aquarists fancy them and love to rear them in large quantities.

The fish body usually has about 3 to 4 colors namely, red, black, white and silver. The combination of these colors for just one fish is a sight to behold, talk less of when you have multiple of them in a tank.

The red color is a very bright one and easily noticeable on the fish since it is on the head region and goes as far as the gills. The black and white colors take up the fluke region, while most of the other body parts are silver in color. The fish’s tail is also striped, however, the region is mostly dominated by the color black.

As an aquarist, one special attribute of this fish you must take note of for its wellbeing is the color. This is because the color could help you determine the state the fish is in. Under normal conditions, they assume their usual color as stated above. But when they are is a stressed state, the color begins to turn pale, especially the bright red color on its head.

Although the fin region will still have the white color, it won’t be as pronounced as when the fish is in a healthy state. Finally, the beautiful silver color will wear off, making the fish look transparent.

When it comes to this fish’s color, there is no notable difference in both male and female species. But there are some other ways to differentiate between male and female Rummy nose tetra. The female tends to be bigger than the male.

Feeding Rummy Nose Tetra

Another interesting attribute of Rummy nose tetra is that they eat almost every kind of fish food. With this, if you have them in your aquarium, you can feed them with the same food you give other fishes. This is unlike other species of fish that require a special diet which results in more expense.

However, the only thing you have to be peculiar about is that their food must be as small as possible for them to be able to swallow. Some common fish foods that you can feed them with are flakes and pellets. Also, provide them with foods that have various nutrients like live worms.

You can also feed them with tiny insects that they will able to swallow. You should also know that only on rare occasions will you see Rummy nose tetra feeding on the water surface. They enjoy their meals best at the bottom of the tank or in middle regions, just like when they are out there in the wild.

Feeding Rummy nose tetra is very important because the more they are being fed, the healthier they become. With good health comes more color, so if you want those fascinating colors, you have to feed them well.

Water Condition for Rummy Nose Tetra

Every fish has its own water requirement for them to perform well. This is why you have to make your research before cohabiting fishes. Another option is having an entirely different tank for various species of fish.

For Rummy nose tetra, the water temperature should not be more than 27 degrees in Celsius measurement. Also, so as to imitate their home in the wild, you have to make the water hardy and a little bit acidic. The pH should not be more than 7 and not less than 6.5.

The water does not need too many additives, especially with calcium. Calcium tends to make the fish incapable of reproducing. This could affect you especially if you are rearing the fishes for breeding purposes.

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetra

Breeding in Rummy nose tetra should be carefully done so as to make the outcome successful. First of all, make sure that both male and female species are separated before breeding.

While separated, feed them well. Most of their diet in this period should be live worms or any other live food available.

The next thing to do is to reduce the water hardness and raise the pH a little. The best way to accurately get this is by mixing the same quantity of normal water and that of rainwater. The water temperature should also be raised, but this should not be more than 2 Celsius.

Also, the water depth should be paid attention to. For tanks, make sure that the water level does not go lower than 15cm. The required dimension of a tank for breeding Rummy nose tetra is 50 X 40.

After all these requirements have been met, you can now put the breeding fishes together. If the fishes don’t actively begin spawning in 48 hours, then you should increase the temperature by another 1 degree Celsius. This will increase the male’s sexual anxiety such that it would begin to look for the female.

The spawning process usually takes place under the tank where debris like leaves would be. This is where the female will lay the eggs. After the whole breeding process, the fishes become pale with unattractive colors. It is at this time that you move them away from the tank.

The eggs, on the other hand, need dark conditions to hatch properly. Most times they are always laid under a leaf to provide them with this condition. If not, you can make the tank dark for them.

Rummy nose tetra eggs hatch after about a period of 1 week. From there henceforth, you have to pay due attention to the fry. They need the best conditions to properly mature because they have a slow growth phase.

Rummy nose tetras are due for breeding after about 8 to 12 months from their last reproduction phase.

Rummy Nose Tetra Disease

For the domestication of Rummy nose tetra, it is very easy to avoid the diseases. All you need to do is meet all the requirements in terms of feeding and hygiene. However, try as much as you can you cannot be a hundred percent accurate.

There are some common diseases that rummy nose tetra are susceptible to. Inch is one of them, it is a parasitic disease that causes white spots on the fish scales. Another common disease is fish bloating known as dropsy.

Both diseases are very prevalent and can wipe out a school of fishes very quickly. It is very easy to identify when rummy nose tetras are down to disease or stress. Most times, they lose their color and become very weak to swim energetically in the tank.

Rummy Nose Tetra Behavior

You have to be wary of their tank mates because they cannot successfully cohabitate with a lot of fishes out there. As a matter of fact, any fish that is quite aggressive in nature should not be tank mates with Rummy nose tetras.

They are very gentle species and don’t go about looking for trouble. They love to remain underneath the water, playing around with themselves. They are very peaceful fishes and are easily scared when threatened by species of fishes with bigger sizes.

However, they can cohabitate with species like neon tetra, angelfish, bettas, etc. All of these species have about the same size and behavior with Rummy nose tetra, so it’s safe for them.

You have to be very conscious while rearing rummy nose tetra. They are very sensitive species and if you do not carefully observe them, you might not notice the common changes they depict.

Rummy nose tetras react to almost all types of conditions in an aquarium. When you refuse to change the water, they react to it with the color intensity of their eyes. This is especially when the water contains a lot of droppings and feed wastes.

Generally, when you notice an unusual pattern in their normal physical appearance or how they go about their daily activities, you must make investigations to know what is wrong. If you choose to ignore it, then the chances of more serious complications are high.

After you notice a change in color intensity, you should change the water. With clean water, they will go back to their normal color shade. You can make a decision on when to change the water in the tank just by carefully assessing their colors. You can also buy other tools to help you know when to change it.

Even though there are species they can easily cohabitate with, make sure you limit the number of times you migrate them from one tank to another. Rummy nose tetras are very delicate and changing their tanks is enough reason to stress them out.

There is also the possibility of some of them dying while changing their tanks. Other complications that may occur include pale colors and paralysis of the fishes.

Keep rummy nose tetras together in schools. This way they can be more active and free to carry out their daily activities. But make sure the tank is big enough to contain the fishes. They need a lot of space for freedom.

Finally, rummy nose tetras get tired, especially after feeding. In this state, they won’t have enough energy to swim around. They use the plants in the aquarium as a resting place until they are able to swim around again.

With this behavioral pattern, you can easily track their movements and know what they are up to at certain points in time.


As you can see, Rummy nose tetra is a very fun fish to keep. As an aquarist, it won’t give you much trouble because of its timid nature. Also, its beautiful bright colors mean it’s are a great choice for aesthetic especially.

Rummy nose tetra is also a fish in demand and can earn you a fortune as a breeder. But one of the major challenges in rearing them is the breeding stage which requires a lot of technical know-how.

Pay very close attention to their behaviors, this is the most important factor in knowing what to do. Also, you have to be very reactive because they cannot withstand adverse condition for long period due to how delicate they are.

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