Rummynose Tetra

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Hemigrammus bleheri - Géry & Mahnert, 1986
Rummynose Tetra

The glowing nose is an early indicator of poor water quality when it starts to fade. Neil Hepworth


The Rummynose Tetra has a distinctive bright red area around its “nose” that literally glows when the fish is in a good environment. It is often kept with discus because the changing glow of the nose is an early warning sign of water quality problems that would affect the more valuable fish as well. Two similar species are often sold as Rummynoses—Hemigrammus rhodostomus and Petitella georgiae.

Family: Characidae

Other common name(s):

  • Firehead Tetra

Native range:

Habitat: The Rummynose Tetra is found in clear, shaded blackwater areas in nature. Prefers a darker environment, including substrate and background.

Maximum length: 5 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater.


Omnivore. The Rummynose will accept all types of fine-grade meaty foods, as well as vegetable-based foods. Supplement their diets with occasional feedings of freeze-dried, frozen or live foods, such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Color-enhancing rations with carotinoids will help keep the red pigments rich and bright.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Rummynose Tetra is a peaceful, schooling species that should be kept in groups of at least three, with other small, mild-mannered fishes like other smallish tetras and Corydoras catfishes.


The Rummynose is an egg scatterer that may need soft, peat-steeped water to encourage spawning.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: NH
Text credit: KW