Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates - "File:Hemigrammus rhodostomus.jpg" by Gavinevans is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates - "File:Hemigrammus rhodostomus.jpg" by Gavinevans is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


The world of aquarium keeping is a captivating and rewarding hobby that allows us to create miniature ecosystems, teeming with life and beauty, right within the confines of our homes. Within this enchanting world, the rummy nose tetra stands as a vibrant jewel, captivating the hearts of aquarists with its striking red nose and graceful schooling behavior. This tiny fish from the Amazon basin of South America has become a beloved member of countless aquarium communities, admired for its visual appeal and peaceful demeanor.

In this exploration, we embark on a journey into the aquatic realm of the rummy nose tetra, delving into its captivating appearance, its natural habitat, and the key considerations for its care and companionship, especially how to find compatible rummy nose tetra tank mates. Whether you’re a novice aquarist looking to start a new tank or an experienced enthusiast seeking to enhance your aquatic collection, the rummy nose tetra has much to offer, and we invite you to uncover its charms and mysteries within the following pages.

About the Rummy Nose Tetra

The rummy nose tetra, scientifically known as Hemigrammus rhodostomus, is a popular and striking freshwater fish species in the aquarium hobby. It is admired for its distinctive red nose and elegant schooling behavior, making it a favorite among both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the rummy nose tetra:


The most distinctive feature of the rummy nose tetra is its bright red nose, which extends into a triangular patch covering its face. This striking red coloration contrasts beautifully with its silvery body. The rest of the body is mostly translucent, with a faint silver or bluish hue. They have a streamlined and slender body, typical of tetra species, and a forked tail fin.


These tetras are relatively small, typically reaching a size of around 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) when fully grown. Their small size makes them suitable for smaller aquariums and community tanks.


Rummy nose tetras are native to South America, specifically found in the Rio Orinoco and Rio Atabapo in Venezuela and Colombia. In their natural habitat, they inhabit slow-moving, densely vegetated waters. To replicate their preferred environment in an aquarium, providing ample hiding places with live plants and subdued lighting is essential.


One of the most captivating aspects of rummy nose tetras is their schooling behavior. They are highly social fish that thrive in groups of at least six individuals or more. When kept in proper numbers, they form tight-knit schools that gracefully glide through the water. These schools add a captivating and dynamic element to an aquarium, making them a sought-after choice for aquarists.


In the wild, rummy nose tetras are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of small aquatic organisms, algae, and plant matter. In captivity, they readily accept a diet of high-quality flake food, pellets, live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. A varied diet ensures their overall health and vibrant coloration.

Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates - "File:Hemigrammus rhodostomus.jpg" by Gavinevans is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates – “File:Hemigrammus rhodostomus.jpg” by Gavinevans is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Selecting Rummy Nose Tetra Tank Mates

Selecting compatible rummy nose tetra tank mates is essential to ensure a peaceful and harmonious aquarium community. When choosing tank mates, consider the following factors:

  • Size Compatibility: Choose fish species that are of similar size to rummy nose tetras to prevent aggression and avoid any risk of predation. Smaller fish may be intimidated or even become prey for larger tank mates.
  • Temperament: Opt for peaceful and non-aggressive fish species. rummy nose tetras are gentle and can be easily stressed by aggressive tank mates. Avoid species known for fin-nipping or territorial behavior.
  • Water Parameters: Ensure that the selected rummy nose tetra tank mates have similar water parameter requirements, including pH, temperature, and hardness. This will help maintain stable water conditions for all the inhabitants.
  • Activity Level: Consider the activity level of potential tank mates. Rummy nose tetras are active swimmers, so it’s best to choose fish that occupy different levels of the aquarium, such as bottom-dwellers or mid-level swimmers.
  • Diet: Ensure that the dietary needs of the chosen tank mates align with those of rummy nose tetras. Compatibility in feeding habits will help prevent competition for food.
  • Space Requirements: Be mindful of the space requirements of different fish species. Overcrowding can lead to stress and territorial disputes. Make sure your aquarium has enough hiding spots and swimming space for all residents.
  • Disease Compatibility: Avoid introducing fish with known health issues or diseases to your tank, as they can infect the entire community.

Here are some good choices for tank mates that are generally compatible with rummy nose tetras:

  • Other Tetra Species: Tetras like neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and emperor tetras are excellent companions for rummy nose tetras. They share similar water parameter requirements and peaceful behavior.
  • Rasboras: Harlequin rasboras and chili rasboras are small, peaceful fish that coexist well with rummy nose tetras. They add color and activity to the aquarium.
  • Corydoras Catfish: Many Corydoras species make great bottom-dwelling companions for Rummy nose tetras. They are peaceful, hardy, and help keep the substrate clean.
  • Dwarf Gouramis: Dwarf gouramis are relatively peaceful and add a touch of color to the upper levels of the aquarium. However, be cautious if keeping multiple males in the same tank, as they can be territorial.
  • Livebearers: Fish like platies or guppies can work well as tank mates, but avoid larger livebearers that may intimidate or chase the smaller rummy nose tetras.
  • Otocinclus Catfish: These small, peaceful algae-eating catfish are excellent additions for maintaining aquarium cleanliness and are generally compatible with rummy nose tetras.

Remember that individual fish may exhibit unique temperaments, so it’s essential to monitor the behavior of your tank inhabitants. Consider quarantining new fish before introducing them to the main tank to prevent the spread of diseases, and always have a backup plan in case any aggression or compatibility issues arise. Properly researching and selecting compatible tank mates will help ensure a thriving and peaceful aquarium community for your rummy nose tetras.


In the intricate tapestry of the aquarium world, selecting the right companions for your rummy nose tetras is paramount to creating a harmonious and visually stunning aquatic environment. By considering factors like size compatibility, temperament, water parameters, and dietary needs, you can curate a community that thrives and captivates.

The rummy nose tetra, with its iconic red nose and peaceful schooling behavior, brings a touch of elegance to any tank. When paired with suitable rummy nose tetra tank mates such as other tetras, rasboras, Corydoras catfish, dwarf gouramis, or otocinclus catfish, you can create a captivating underwater world that offers both visual appeal and tranquility.

As you embark on your journey as an aquarist, remember that diligent research, careful observation, and responsible husbandry are the keys to maintaining a happy and thriving aquarium community. With the right choices and thoughtful planning, your rummy nose tetras can coexist harmoniously with their companions, creating a living masterpiece that brings joy and wonder to your home.