Rummy Nose Tetra: Appearance, Size, Care, Diet, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

If you are a fish enthusiast, you might already know about the Rummy Nose Tetra – a small, vibrant freshwater fish perfect for aquariums. These small fish have a unique and appealing appearance with their red noses and silver bodies that make them stand out from the crowd. They are ideal for both experienced and beginner aquarists as they are easy to care for and can live for several years.

This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about Rummy Nose Tetra, including their size, care, diet, tank mates, breeding, and more. So, let’s dive in!

A brief overview of Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra is a popular freshwater fish known for its attractive appearance and peaceful temperament. These small colorful fish make a great addition to any aquarium.

Native to South America, soft and acidic water bodies are the preferred habitats of these creatures. The rivers’ acidity results from decomposing plant matter and other organic materials. They tend to reside in the middle to mid-lower areas of the water, where there is less aquatic flora and fauna.

Three different types of fish are classified as rummy nose tetras. The Hemigrammus rhodostomus is considered the true Rummy Nose Tetra, while the Hemigrammus bleheri is known as the common rummy nose tetra, and the Petitella georgiae is the false Rummy Nose Tetra. Even though they look almost identical, some minor differences in their size and the color variations of their fins and heads set them apart.



Physical characteristics

The Rummy Nose Tetra exhibits unique physical characteristics that make it stand out in any aquarium. This small freshwater fish has a slender, torpedo-shaped body and a larger head. Its base color is silver, with a subtle translucent green tinge. The fins are mostly translucent, except for the tail fin, which showcases vibrant black and white stripes.

However, the most striking feature of the Rummy Nose Tetra is its bright red head. This eye-catching color covers the entire head and extends into the irises, making it a beautiful addition to any tank.

Male and female Rummy Nose Tetras are quite similar in appearance, with some breeders claiming that females may have a slight plumper abdomen. Their quirky and distinct physical characteristics make them fascinating species to observe.

The average size of Rummy Nose Tetra

The Rummy Nose Tetra is a small fish with an average size of around 2.5 inches when fully grown. Some specimens may reach less than 2 inches in size. Despite their small size, these fish greatly impact aquariums with their vibrant colors and unique markings.

Care for Rummy Nose Tetra

Water parameters

When it comes to caring for Rummy Nose Tetras, one of the most important factors to consider is ensuring the right water parameters. These fish are native to South American rivers’ warm and acidic waters. Keeping the water temperature between 75°F to 84°F, with a pH level ranging from 5.5 to 7.0, is recommended. They prefer soft water to replicate their natural habitat, so the hardness should be around 2-6 KH.

It’s crucial to regularly test the water levels and monitor any changes in the water chemistry, as Rummy Nose Tetras are sensitive to variations. By maintaining optimal water conditions, you can help these beautiful fish thrive and stay healthy in your aquarium.

Tank setup

Setting up the tank for Rummy Nose Tetras is relatively easy and flexible to suit their natural habitat. These peaceful and gentle fish prefer a tank with at least 20-25 gallons of water, providing ample space for them to swim and explore. It’s important to mimic their natural environment, including a sandy or gravel substrate, rocks, driftwood, and other decorations for hiding places and relief from bright lights. Plants can also be added, providing both shelter and a natural look to the tank.

If you plan to add decorations to your fish tank, just remember not to go overboard. These fish require plenty of space to move around and explore, so it’s important to leave open space in the middle of the tank for them to swim and feed. External filters and water heaters are recommended for maintaining optimal water conditions.

With the right tank setup, your Rummy Nose Tetras will thrive and provide a beautiful display in your aquarium.

Water changes

Maintaining a clean and healthy tank for Rummy Nose Tetras includes regular water changes. These peaceful fish are sensitive to changes in water conditions, so keeping the water quality pristine is important. Water changes help remove excess waste and prevent the buildup of algae, which can alter the water chemistry and lead to stress and disease.

Aim to perform water changes regularly, ideally once a week or every two weeks. When conducting water changes, make sure to use a trusted water level testing kit to ensure proper water parameters. This will ensure that the Rummy Nose Tetras stay healthy and thrive in their environment. Remember, consistent water changes are key to maintaining a thriving and beautiful aquarium for these stunning freshwater fish.

Common health problems of Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetras are prone to getting sick like any other fish. The two most common diseases they may suffer from are Ich and Dropsy.

Ich is a parasitic infection that can cause white spots all over the fish’s body. It’s a contagious disease, so it’s essential to isolate the infected fish to prevent others from getting sick. Luckily, you can cure it with straightforward medications.

On the other hand, Dropsy is a condition where the fish’s body swells up due to an accumulation of fluids inside. A bacterial infection usually causes it, but there could be other reasons too. Fortunately, there are available medicines to cure it.

Disease Prevention

Taking care of Rummy Nose Tetras involves preventing diseases and keeping them healthy. One way to do this is by maintaining clean water conditions. These fish are sensitive to changes in water chemistry, so regular water changes are crucial. Additionally, using a high-quality filtration system will help remove waste and keep the water clean.

Providing a balanced diet also is important. Finally, observing the fish closely for any signs of illness, such as white spots or bloating, and taking immediate action, such as quarantine and treatment if needed, can help prevent diseases from spreading and keep your Rummy Nose Tetras healthy and thriving.

Tank Mates

Rummy Nose Tetras are peaceful and gentle fish, making them compatible with a variety of other fish species. They are best kept in a community tank environment, especially with bottom-dwelling fish. Some suitable tank mates include Angelfish, Harlequin Rasbora, Neon Tetra, Betta Fish, Gold Tetra, Discus Fish, American Flagfish, and the Corydoras Catfish. These fish will not pose any threat to the Rummy Nose Tetras and can create a harmonious and visually appealing tank setting.

It is important to avoid aggressive or large fish, as the distinctive markings of the Rummy Nose Tetra can make them a target. By selecting peaceful fish species, you can ensure a peaceful and compatible tank for your Rummy Nose Tetras to thrive in.


The feeding habits of the Rummy Nose Tetra are relatively easy to manage. These fish are omnivores and have a diverse diet. They are not picky eaters and will devour small bits of plant debris or algae. However, providing them with a balanced diet is essential to ensure their optimal health. Fish flakes and pellets that contain all the necessary nutrients are suitable options for their main meals.

Additionally, providing them with occasional treats like live or frozen foods, such as daphnia or brine shrimp, can be beneficial. It is recommended to feed them two small meals a day and avoid overfeeding to prevent changes in water chemistry. Monitoring their food consumption and adjusting will help maintain their well-being.



Breeding Rummy Nose Tetras can be a rewarding and exciting experience for aquarium enthusiasts. To successfully breed these fish, providing the right conditions in the tank is important. First, ensure that you have both males and females in the tank by observing their behavior and pairing them off. Increase the temperature of the water to around 84 degrees Fahrenheit to mimic the warmer breeding season in the wild. It is crucial to maintain a clean and healthy environment for optimal breeding. Provide ample hiding places, such as plants and decorations, for the female to lay her eggs.

After the eggs are laid, it is best to remove the adult fish to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours, and the fry can be fed specialized food like infusoria or brine shrimp. You can successfully breed Rummy Nose Tetras with patience and care in your own aquarium.


The Rummy Nose Tetra is a beautiful and peaceful freshwater fish that is a great addition to any aquarium. These tiny fish have a unique appearance with a silver body and a bright red head, along with black and white stripes on their tail fin. They are relatively small, reaching a size of around 2.5 inches when fully grown.

Rummy Nose Tetras are social and like to swim in groups, so keeping them in a shoal of at least six is recommended. They are compatible with most small fish species but should not be kept with aggressive or larger fish. Regarding care, these tetras require a minimum tank size of 20-25 gallons and need water parameters that mimic their natural habitat in the Amazon Basin. They are sensitive to changes in water conditions, so regular water changes and good filtration are important.

Feeding them a balanced diet and providing plenty of hiding places in the tank is also essential for their well-being. Breeding Rummy Nose, Tetras can be achieved by creating optimal conditions in the tank, such as higher temperatures and softer water, and observing the pairing off of males and females. Overall, Rummy Nose Tetras is a rewarding and fascinating fish species to keep in your aquarium.