Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri): Care Guide


Common Name(s)Rummy Nose Tetra
Scientific NameHemigrammus bleheri
OriginSouth America
Temperature75-85°F (24-29°C)
Size2.5 inches
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons
Food & DietOmnivorous diet
Lifespan5-8 years
Water pH6.2-7.0
Tank MatesGuppies, Harlequin Rasbora and Discus
BreedingSpawn on vegetation as a breeding group or pair
DiseaseMay be susceptible to Ich.
Rummy Nose Tetra
Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri)

Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri) is a tropical freshwater fish native to South America. This fish can be found in Rio Negro in Brazil and Rio Vaupes in Columbia. The Rummy Nose Tetra has many nicknames such as Fire Head Tetra, Red Nose Tetra, and Brilliant Rummy Nose Tetra. This iridescent fish is playful with their tank mates which makes them a great addition to an aquarium and is so fun to watch!

The Rummy Nose Tetra is a hardy fish when well took care of that will live to almost a decade ranging from five to eight years. These tiny fish grow up to anywhere from one and a half inches to two and a half inches. The more space these fish have as well as a proper diet will aid them in growing to almost three inches in length. The Rummy Nose Tetra typically has an iridescent white body with a red head and a black and white tail. They can also be found with a white body, black and white tail, and very minimal red coloration on the head only around their eyes. The Rummy Nose Tetra can be very hardy when well looked out for and will be a gorgeous addition to your aquarium as their iridescence makes them stand out from the rest.

Rummy Nose Tetra Care

The Rummy Nose Tetra is a freshwater fish that thrives in warm water temperatures. These fish should be kept in water temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The Rummy Nose Tetra also thrives in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH level of 6.2 to 7.0. This species of fish is highly sensitive to changes in their water chemistry as well as their water temperature, so closely monitoring the water parameters is crucial for their health. The Rummy Nose Tetra is an omnivorous fish meaning they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists mostly of insect larvae and plant debris. While living in captivity they have a much larger variety of meal options. The Rummy Nose Tetra can be fed flake or pellet food, blood worms, brine shrimp, small insects, fish eggs, and finely chopped green veggies such as lettuce or cucumber. Flake food is usually the base of this species diet with added high protein treats about twice a week. The Rummy Nose Tetra should be fed twice daily with only the amount they are able to eat in two minutes. Limiting the amount of food added to the tank will prevent old food that has sunk to the bottom from diminishing the water quality. The Rummy Nose Tetra is an omnivorous tropical water fish that should be monitored very closely as they are extremely sensitive to changes in their water chemistry and fed a simple diet of flake food with high protein treats a couple of times a week.

Tank Setup

While Rummy Nose Tetras are quite small fish, they require quite a large tank for their size due to their schooling nature. The Rummy Nose Tetra should be kept in groups of six or more to initiate their schooling behaviors. These fish require a tank size of 20 gallons or more to live comfortably. About five of these Tetras can fit in every ten gallons meaning 25 Rummy Nose Tetra can comfortably fit in a 30-gallon tank. When setting up a home for the Rummy Nose Tetra their tank should mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. A fine sandy substrate option or pebble substrate can be used to line the bottom of the tank. A dark substrate is often used to make the iridescence of the Rummy Nose Tetra stand out. Plants that reach towards the middle levels or top of the tank should be planted to provide a sense of security for these fish as they are known to be quite skittish. Floating plants can also be added to their tank to give shade from the lighting, though this is not necessary as they typically burrow in rooted plants for shade when needed. While these fish are omnivores, there is no need to worry about plant damage since these fish are not commonly known to munch on aquarium plants. A piece of driftwood or some small rock structures can also be added to the tank to provide additional hiding spots. The swimming room is crucial for the Rummy Nose Tetra, so be sure to not overfill their tank with decorations. While the Rummy Nose Tetra is a smaller aquarium fish, they do require a larger tank for their size with plenty of swimming room which means a variety of tank decorations is not necessary.

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetra

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetra can be quite difficult, so it is not for the beginner. In order to breed this species of fish, a separate tank specifically for breeding should be set up. This only needs to be a tank of ten gallons. The water temperature should be raised to 84 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly acidic water chemistry with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.2 to induce the breeding process. Leafy plants or a spawning mop should be added to provide the Rummy Nose Tetra with a place to lay their eggs. Rummy Nose Tetra can spawn in either a pair or in a group. The female will lay about five to eight fairly large eggs, and once this has happened the parents should be removed from the tank to heighten the survival rate of the fry. The fry will hatch in about a day and a half and will then become free swimming in three to six days. The fry should be kept in the breeding tank until they become a mature size to be moved into the community tank. The fry can be fed flake food until they become large enough to be given high-protein meals a couple of times a week. As the Rummy Nose Tetra fry are growing a one-tenth water change should be done about every two days to maintain pristine water conditions. The Rummy Head Tetra is a difficult species of fish to breed as they need specific conditions to induce the breeding process, but once this has begun it is smooth sailing from there!

Determining the sex of Rummy Nose Tetra can be just as difficult as breeding this species. The male and female Rummy Nose Tetra hold very little differences from each other. Male Rummy Nose Tetra tend to be slimmer than the females. Females typically have a wider body with a fuller belly. While this is difficult, you can always have the sex of your fish professionally identified.

Diseases Commonly Found in Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetra is a hardy species of fish when well cared for with a proper diet and pristine water conditions. The tank a Rummy Nose Tetra inhabits should be kept extremely clean and should be well monitored to ensure the water parameters do not fluctuate as these fish are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. Most diseases found in Rummy Nose Tetra are usually caused by stress or unsuitable water conditions. A common disease found in Rummy Nose Tetra is Ich. Ich is a parasitic disease caused by poor water conditions. Ich causes tissue damage and can lead to bacterial infection when not treated soon enough. This disease can be identified by white spots along the body or fins of the affected fish. It can also be identified by unusual behavior such as rubbing against plants and tank decorations. Ich can be treated by raising the temperature of the water, performing a one-third water change, adding a tablespoon of salt per five gallons, and antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. When well cared for under pristine water conditions, the Rummy Nose Tetra is a hardy fish that is not susceptible to many diseases.

Rummy Nose Tetra Care Guide | Best Schooling Fish

Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates

Selecting suitable tank mates for the Rummy Nose Tetra typically comes quite easy as these fish are known to be very peaceful. This species of fish should be paired with other peaceful fish that are not much larger and that are not known to be aggressive. The Rummy Nose Tetra should be paired with docile fish that inhabit separate levels of the tank so that these tank mates will have an adequate amount of swimming room.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Betta Fish

Rummy Nose Tetra and Bettas make a good pair as these two fish inhabit separate levels of the tank and share similar water parameters. Betta fish are top dwellers while Rummy Nose Tetras are middle and bottom dwellers, so these two species will not interfere with each other’s space. Betta fish require water temperatures of 75 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly acidic to neutral water chemistry with a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Shrimp

Rummy Nose Tetra and Shrimp can potentially be suitable tank mates. Shrimp is one of the Rummy Nose Tetra’s favorite snacks; however, if the shrimp is large enough to not fit in the fish’s mouth, they will do just fine together.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Angelfish

Rummy Nose Tetra and Angelfish can potentially be a suitable pair as tank mates depending on the size of the Angelfish. Once Angelfish become fully grown, they are known to eat smaller fish that inhabit the same tank. To potentially pair these two fish together successfully the tetras should be added to the tank first. If the Angelfish are added before any other tank mates the tank will become theirs and they may become very territorial. Angelfish thrive in warm temperatures of 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly acidic to slightly neutral water chemistry with a pH level of 6.8 to 7.8.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Guppies

Rummy Nose Tetra and Guppies make a great pair as tank mates as these two fish are known to be very peaceful and share similar water parameters. Guppies thrive in warm water temperatures of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly acidic to slightly neutral water chemistry with a pH level of 6.8 to 7.8.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Harlequin Rasbora

Rummy Nose Tetra and Harlequin Rasbora are a suitable pair as tank mates as these two fish are known to be peaceful and share similar water parameters. The Harlequin Rasbora thrives in warm water temperatures of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a slightly acidic to slightly neutral water chemistry with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.8.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Discus

Rummy Nose Tetra and Discus can potentially be suitable tank mates. This pairing will ultimately boil down to the temperature the Tetras are kept at. Discus require warm water temperatures of 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit which could potentially be too warm for the Rummy Nose Tetra as their water temperature should not exceed 82 degrees. Also, when pairing these two species the Rummy Nose Tetra should be added to the tank first to establish their territory. Doing so will prevent the Discus from seeing them as a snack. Discus should be kept in groups, like the Rummy Nose Tetra, as this will prevent any aggressive tendencies.

Rummy Nose Tetra and Tiger Barb

Rummy Nose Tetra and Tiger Barbs do not typically make a suitable pair. Tiger Barbs are known to be a bit aggressive which can put the Rummy Nose Tetras also inhabiting the tank at risk. Tiger Barbs are known to cure other fish of their shyness which could be beneficial to the Rummy Nose Tetra, but this risk should not be taken for the sake of the health of the Tetras.

Where to Find Rummy Nose Tetra for Sale

Rummy Nose Tetra can easily be purchased from online aquarium suppliers. The issue doing this is that you do not get to hand-select the specimen of fish you receive. Rummy Nose Tetra can also be purchased in-store from local aquarist shops that carry a wide variety of fish species. The Rummy Nose Tetra is more on the affordable side of fish costing about $2 to $4, for a school of six this would not cost more than about $25!

The Rummy Nose Tetra is an advanced-level aquarist fish due to the time and care this species requires. The Rummy Nose Tetra requires warm water temperatures, a diet rich in protein, and adequate swimming room to be hardy and happy. This peaceful fish will make a great addition to your community tank bringing joy to watch the schools swim around and play together.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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