Home Everything About Rummy Nose Tetra That You Should Know

Everything About Rummy Nose Tetra That You Should Know

by Edward
Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetra (Petitella rhodostoma) is a small, colorful fish which is popular in the aquarium hobby. They are known for their bright red noses and striking black-and-white striped tails, making them a beautiful addition to any fish tank. These fish are peaceful and social, often seen swimming in groups. Because of their attractive appearance and calm nature, Rummy Nose Tetras are loved by both beginner and experienced fish keepers mostly in the USA. Here, I will share everything you need to know about these charming fish, including their habitat, diet, tank setup, and more which will help you to easily take care of them.

Origin and Natural Habitat

Rummy Nose Tetra originate from South America, specifically the Amazon Basin. They are found in the rivers and streams of Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. These waters are typically slow-moving and filled with dense vegetation, providing plenty of hiding spots and a rich environment for these small fish.


There are 3 types of this fish based on their geographical area which are commonly know as Rummy Nose Tetras.

Rummy Nose Tetra Appearance

Rummy Nose Tetras are known for their striking and unique look, making them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts. Here’s a simple breakdown of their appearance:

  1. Coloration: The most distinctive feature of Rummy Nose Tetras is their bright red nose, which gives them their name. This vibrant red color covers the front part of their head, creating a bold contrast with the rest of their body.
  2. Body: Their bodies are slender and torpedo-shaped, with a silvery, transparent color. This sleek body helps them move gracefully through the water.
  3. Fins: Their tail fins have a black and white striped pattern, which adds to their distinctive appearance. The other fins are mostly clear, making their colorful nose and tail stand out even more.
  4. Eyes: They have bright, clear eyes that add to their alert and active look. The combination of their red nose, striped tail, and sleek body makes them easy to recognize and a beautiful addition to any aquarium.

Rummy Nose Tetras’ vibrant colors and elegant shape make them a visually appealing choice for fish keepers. Their unique appearance is attractive and makes them stand out in a community tank.

Rummy Nose Tetra: Male vs Female

Distinguishing between male and female Rummy Nose Tetras can be a bit challenging, but there are subtle differences that can help:


  • Body Shape: Males are usually slimmer and more streamlined.
  • Coloration: Males may exhibit slightly brighter colors, especially during breeding.
  • Dorsal Fin: The dorsal fin of males can sometimes be slightly more pointed compared to females.


  • Body Shape: Females tend to have a rounder, fuller body, particularly when they are carrying eggs.
  • Size: Females can appear slightly larger due to their rounder bellies.
  • Coloration: While generally similar to males, females might have slightly less intense colors.

Overall, the differences are subtle, and careful observation is needed to accurately distinguish between male and female Rummy Nose Tetras.

Rummy Nose Tetra Size

Rummy Nose Tetras are small, slender fish that add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. Here’s what you need to know about their size:

  • Adult Size: Rummy Nose Tetra typically grow to about 2 inches (5 cm) in length when fully mature.
  • Juvenile Size: Young Rummy Nose Tetra, or juvenile, is smaller, usually around 1 inch (2.5 cm) when you first get them from a store.

These compact size make Rummy Nose Tetras suitable for both small and large aquariums, allowing them to swim comfortably and display their vibrant colors effectively.

Tank Setup and Requirements

Creating the perfect home for your Rummy Nose Tetras is crucial for their health and happiness. Here’s a simple guide to setting up their tank:

1) Tank Size:

  • At least 20 gallons tank is recommended. Rummy Nose Tetras are active swimmers and need enough space to move around.

2) Water Conditions:

  • Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 75-81°F (24-27°C). They prefer warmer water, similar to their natural habitat.
  • pH Level: Maintain the pH level of water between 6.0 and 7.0. Slightly acidic to neutral water is ideal.
  • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is best, with a hardness level between 2-12 dGH.

3) Filtration and Aeration:

  • Use a good quality filter to keep the well-oxygenated and water clean. Rummy Nose Tetras thrive in clean, well-circulated water.

4) Substrate:

  • Use good  gravel or sand as the substrate. This mimics their natural riverbed environment and makes the tank look more natural.

5) Plants and Decorations:

  • Add live or artificial plants to provide hiding spots and create a natural look. Plants like java moss, ferns, and anubias are good choices.
  • Include driftwood and rocks to create hiding places and territories. These decorations help replicate their natural habitat.

6) Lighting:

  • Use moderate lighting. Too much light can stress the fish, while dim lighting can help show off their vibrant colors.

7) Water Changes:

  • Perform regular water changes, about 25% weekly, to maintain good water quality. This helps keep the tank environment healthy for your fish.

8) Cover:

  • Make sure the tank has a cover or lid. Sometimes Rummy Nose Tetras can be jumpy, especially when they are new to a tank.

By setting up a tank that meets these requirements, you can create a comfortable and healthy environment for your Rummy Nose Tetras, allowing them to thrive and display their best colors.

Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates

Rummy Nose Tetras are peaceful and sociable fish, making them great additions to a community aquarium. Here are some ideal tank mates for Rummy Nose Tetras:

  • Other Tetras:
  • Rasboras:
    • Harlequin Rasboras
    • Chili Rasboras
  • Livebearers:
    • Guppies
    • Platies
  • Corydoras Catfish:
    • Panda Corydoras
    • Bronze Corydoras
  • Otocinclus Catfish:
    • Common Otocinclus
    • Zebra Otocinclus
  • Dwarf Gouramis:
    • Honey Gourami
    • Sparkling Gourami
  • Small Barbs:
    • Cherry Barbs
    • Gold Barbs
  • Dwarf Cichlids:
  • Kuhli Loaches:
    • Striped Kuhli Loach
    • Black Kuhli Loach
  • Shrimp and Snails:
    • Cherry Shrimp
    • Amano Shrimp
    • Nerite Snails

Tips for Choosing Tank Mates:

  • Peaceful Nature: Ensure tank mates are non-aggressive and peaceful.
  • Similar Water Requirements: Choose fish that thrive in similar water conditions, such as temperature and pH levels.
  • Avoid Fin-Nippers: Avoid species known for nipping fins, as Rummy Nose Tetras have delicate fins.
  • Schooling Fish: Opt for other schooling fish to create a harmonious and visually appealing tank environment.

By carefully selecting compatible tank mates, you can create a vibrant and peaceful community tank where Rummy Nose Tetras and their companions can thrive together.

Rummy Nose Tetra Diet

Feeding your Rummy Nose Tetras the proper diet is essential for their health and vibrant colors. Here’s how to ensure this Tetra get the nutrition it need:

Flakes or Pellets:

  • High-quality tropical fish flakes or micro-pellets are great as the main part of their diet. These provide the necessary nutrients they need.

Supplementary Food:

  • Live or Frozen Foods: Treat them with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. These foods are rich in protein and help enhance their colors.
  • Vegetables: Occasionally, you can offer finely chopped vegetables like spinach or zucchini. Blanch the vegetables first to make them easier to eat.

Feeding Schedule:

  • Feed them small portions 2-3 times a day. Only give them what they can consume in about 2-3 minutes to avoid overfeeding and water contamination.


  • Provide a varied diet to ensure they receive a balanced mix of nutrients. Rotate different types of food to keep their meals interesting and nutritious.


  • Watch them during feeding times to ensure all fish are eating well. This helps you spot any potential health issues early on.

By offering a balanced diet and sticking to a regular feeding schedule, you can keep your Rummy Nose Tetras healthy, active, and brightly colored.

Social Behavior

Rummy Nose Tetras are known for their social and peaceful nature.

Rummy Nose Tetras are schooling fish, meaning they feel happiest and safest in groups. Keep at least 6 of them together to see their best behavior and vibrant colors.

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetras

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetra is a rewarding experience. Here’s a easy guide for your help:

Setting Up a Breeding Tank:

  • Use a separate tank for breeding to protect the eggs and fry. A 10-gallon tank is usually sufficient.
  • Keep the Rummy Nose Tetra water temperature between 78-82°F (25-28°C).
  • Maintain a slightly acidic pH of around 6.0-6.5.
  • Add fine-leaved plants or a spawning mop to give the eggs a place to stick.

Selecting Breeding Pairs:

  • Choose healthy, mature fish. Females are usually rounder, especially when full of eggs, while males are slimmer and more vibrant in color.
  • Introduce a pair or a small group into the breeding tank.

Breeding Process:

  • Condition the fish with high-quality, protein-rich foods like live or frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms.
  • When Rummy Rose Tetras are ready to spawn, the female will scatter eggs among the plants or spawning mop, and the male will fertilize them.
  • This process usually happens in the early morning.

Caring for Eggs and Fry:

  • Remove the adult Rummy Nose Tetra after spawning to prevent them from eating their eggs.
  • The eggs will start hatching  in about 24-36 hours.
  • The fry will be very small and will feed off their yolk sacs for the first few days.

Feeding the Fry:

  • Once the fry starts swimming, feed them infusoria or liquid fry food.
  • As they grow, introduce finely crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp.

Monitoring Growth:

  • Keep the water clean with regular, gentle water changes.
  • Monitor the fry’s growth and move them to a larger tank as they grow.

Breeding Rummy Nose Tetras requires patience and careful attention to their needs. With the right conditions and care, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish and watch them grow from tiny fry to vibrant adults.

Health and Disease

Keeping Rummy Nose Tetra healthy is important for their well-being. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand their health and how to prevent diseases:

Common Diseases:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): Small white spots appear on the fish’s body and fins.
  • Fin Rot: Fins look frayed or discolored, usually due to bacterial infections.
  • Fungal Infections: White, cotton-like buds grows on the fish’s body.

Preventing Diseases:

  • Clean Water: Keep the tank clean with regular water changes (20-25% weekly).
  • Stable Water Parameters: Maintain a stable temperature (75-82°F or 24-28°C) and pH (6.0-7.0).
  • Good Filtration: Use a quality filter to keep the water well-oxygenated and free of toxins.
  • Quarantine New Fish: Before adding new fish to your tank, quarantine them for a few weeks to ensure they are disease-free.

Recognizing Signs of Illness:

  • Behavior Changes: Watch for lethargy, unusual swimming patterns, or hiding more than usual.
  • Physical Symptoms: Look for spots, discoloration, frayed fins, or abnormal growths.

Treating Diseases:

  • Ich Treatment: Raise the water temperature slightly and add aquarium salt or a commercial ich treatment.
  • Fin Rot Treatment: Improve water quality and use antibacterial medications.
  • Fungal Treatment: Use antifungal medications and keep the tank clean.

Improve Diet:

  • Balanced Diet: Feed a variety of diet such as high-quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods.
  • Avoid Overfeeding: Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health problems. Feed small amounts that the Rummy Nose Tetra can eat within 2-3 minutes.

Stress Reduction:

  • Proper Tank Setup: Ensure the tank is appropriately sized and well-decorated with plants and hiding spots.
  • Peaceful Environment: Avoid aggressive tank mates that might stress the Rummy Nose Tetras.

Note: Regular monitoring and proper care will ensure they live long and happy lives in your aquarium.

Final Words:

Rummy Nose Tetra is a fascinating and vibrant fish that add beauty and activity to any aquarium. By providing them with a suitable environment, proper diet, and compatible tank mates, you can ensure their health and happiness. With their striking red noses and peaceful demeanor, Rummy Nose Tetras make a delightful addition to both beginner and experienced fish keepers’ tanks. Enjoy their lively presence and vibrant colors as they thrive in a well-maintained aquarium setup.

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