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Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra, a small and vibrant freshwater fish, is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Known for its distinctively colored nose and energetic swimming patterns, it adds both beauty and dynamism to a home aquarium. In this comprehensive guide, we explore various aspects of caring for and understanding these delightful creatures.

Rummy Nose Tetra Facts

Fact Category Details
Scientific Names Petitella rhodostoma, Hemigrammus bleheri, Hemigrammus rhodostomus
Common Names Rummy Nose Tetra, Red Nose Tetra, Firehead Tetra
Natural Habitat Amazon River Basin in South America
Adult Size Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Lifespan 5 to 6 years in captivity
Water Parameters pH 6.0 – 7.0, Temperature 72°F – 80°F (22°C – 27°C)
Behavior Peaceful, schooling fish
Diet Omnivore – flakes, live, frozen foods
Breeding Egg scatterer, requires soft and acidic water conditions
Compatibility Good for community tanks with non-aggressive species
Unique Feature Distinctive red nose and black and white striped tail fin

Rummy Nose Tetra Profile

The Rummy Nose Tetra, scientifically known as Hemigrammus rhodostomus or Petitella rhodostoma, originates from the Amazon River Basin in South America. These fish typically grow up to 2 inches in length and have a lifespan of about 5 to 6 years in a well-maintained aquarium. They are known for their peaceful nature and schooling behavior, making them excellent additions to community tanks.

Rummy Nose Tetra Coloring

One of the most striking features of the Rummy-nose Tetra is its vivid red nose, which contrasts beautifully with its silvery body. The intensity of the color can be an indicator of the fish’s health and water quality. A distinct black and white striped pattern on the tail fin adds to their visual appeal.

Rummy Nose Tetra Habitat

The Rummy Nose Tetra naturally inhabits the warm, acidic waters of the Amazon River Basin in South America. These fish thrive in densely vegetated areas with a soft, sandy substrate, often found in slow-moving or still waters. Their environment is characterized by a rich biodiversity, providing ample hiding places and a variety of food sources, essential for their well-being.

Red Nose Tetra Aquarium Setup

Creating a comfortable and healthy environment for Rummy Nose Tetras requires attention to several key aspects of aquarium setup:

Tank Size and Schooling Considerations

  • Rummy Nose Tetras are schooling fish and thrive best in groups.
  • A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a school of 6 to 10 fish.
  • Larger tanks not only provide more stable water conditions but also allow for natural schooling behavior, essential for the well-being of these fish.

Water Parameters

  • Rummy Nose Tetras prefer soft, slightly acidic water.
  • The ideal pH level should be between 6.0 and 7.0, with water hardness of 2-10 dGH.
  • The temperature should be maintained within the range of 72°F to 80°F (22°C to 27°C).
  • Regular monitoring and adjustments are necessary to keep these parameters stable.

Decoration and Plantation

  • The aquarium should mimic the Tetras’ natural Amazonian habitat.
  • Use dark substrates and add plenty of live plants like Java Fern and Anubias.
  • Include features like driftwood or caves to provide hiding and resting spots.
  • This setup not only creates a natural-looking environment but also helps the fish feel secure, reducing stress.

Filtration and Lighting

  • Effective filtration is essential to keep the water clean and oxygen-rich.
  • A filter with an adjustable flow rate is ideal, as Rummy Nose Tetras prefer gentle water currents.
  • Subdued lighting is recommended to replicate the dimly lit conditions of their natural habitat and encourage plant growth.

Maintenance and Water Quality

  • Regular maintenance, including weekly water changes of about 20-25%, is vital for maintaining water quality.
  • Regular testing of water parameters ensures they remain within the ideal range.
  • Good maintenance practices are crucial for preventing diseases and keeping the Firehead Tetras healthy and vibrant.

Rummy-nose Tetra Breeding

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetras can be an exciting challenge for aquarium hobbyists. Here are the key details:

Breeding Environment

  • To encourage breeding, a separate breeding tank is recommended. This tank should be calm, without too much light or current.
  • The breeding tank should be equipped with fine-leaved plants or a spawning mop to provide a place for the fish to lay their eggs.
  • The water in the breeding tank should be soft and slightly acidic, with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.5, and a temperature slightly higher than the main tank, ideally around 80°F to 82°F (27°C to 28°C).
  • A sponge filter is often used in breeding tanks for gentle filtration and to avoid sucking up the eggs or fry.

Spawning Process

  • Rummy Nose Tetras are egg scatterers, meaning they scatter their eggs over plants and substrate rather than laying them in a specific location.
  • Before breeding, it’s common to condition the breeding pair with high-quality foods, such as live or frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms, to improve their health and increase spawning success.
  • During spawning, the female will scatter her eggs, and the male will fertilize them externally.
  • It’s important to remove the parent fish from the breeding tank immediately after spawning to prevent them from eating the eggs.

Egg and Fry Care

  • The eggs will typically hatch in about 24 to 36 hours.
  • Once hatched, the fry will be very small and can be fed infusoria or specially formulated fry food until they are large enough to eat baby brine shrimp or finely crushed flake food.
  • Frequent water changes and careful attention to water quality are crucial during the early life stages of the fry.

Rummy Nose Tetra Diet & Feeding

Red Nose Tetras are omnivores and thrive on a varied diet. High-quality flake foods, along with occasional treats of live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or daphnia, provide them with the necessary nutrients. Feeding small amounts two to three times a day is recommended to maintain their health and coloration.

Firehead Tetra Compatibility

As peaceful and sociable fish, Rummy-nose Tetras do well in community tanks with other non-aggressive species. Ideal tank mates include other small tetras, dwarf cichlids, mollies, Corydoras catfish, dwarf gourami, cherry barbs, danios, common pleco, and rasboras. It’s important to avoid larger, more aggressive fish that may view them as prey.

Rummy Nose Tetra Common Diseases

Red Nose Tetra, like many aquarium fish, are susceptible to common diseases such as Ich (white spot disease), fin rot, and fungal infections. Ich manifests as small white spots on the fish’s body, while fin rot leads to the deterioration of their fins. Fungal infections typically appear as cotton-like growths. These diseases often stem from poor water quality or stress, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a clean and stable aquarium environment.


The Rummy Nose Tetra is a captivating and delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. With their unique coloring and peaceful nature, they bring a sense of tranquility and beauty to their environment. By providing them with the right tank conditions, diet, and compatible tank mates, you can enjoy the vibrant presence of these charming fish for many years.