Name: Hemigrammus rhodostomus|
Origin: Lower Amazon Basin|
The Rummy-Nose Tetra gets its name from the red color of their snouts. This red stain only comes to full color when the fish is in top shape. Actually, there are 3 very similar species, the "True Rummy-Nose" from Belém (Hemigrammus rhodostomus) and two "False Rummy-Nose" from Manaus (Hemigrammus bleheri e Petitella georgiae). The subtle differences are in the size and shape of the red, and also the tail fin stripes. Oddly enough, the True Rummy-Nose is the least colorful of the three, but it's also the most resistant. These small tetras aren't as hardy as most others and are sometimes very shy, but if feeling healthy and secure they're a great school fish to have in a community or amazon tank.
The experience I have had with the rummy nose tetra is their activity level is right up there with the zebra danio. I have a school of 11 in a heavily planted tank. I watch them for hours playing "fish tag", zig zagging in and out of the plants. These are the perfect community tank fish if you want to add color and activity.
The rummy nose tetra is a great fish that will add heaps of activity to the tank. The hardest part of keeping them is the transit, where water parameters are crucial. These fish are also very sensitive to chlorine and salt. I topped up my tank (95 L) with about 2 L of tap water without dechlorinating, and lost 2. A shoal of 8 now swims around, very very colourful.
The Rummy Nose Tetra is a beautiful addition to a planted aquarium. They're also perfect matches for Cardinal Tetras, as their bright colors play beautifully off of each other. Most are wild caught, and are pretty sensitive to change, so I don't recommend them for beginners. They are probably the nicest schooling fish I have ever seen. They seem to do best in groups of 7 or more.
My first experience with rummy was disastrous, 10 deaths within 3 days. In fact, I made a big mistake to introduce them into my tank where it was not properly established. Apparently a good (or rather established) water is crucial, and many experts have told me pH should remain at about 6.5 to keep it's "running nose" red. Rummy also acts as a good "alarm fish" to alert you when water parameters fluctuate or deteriorate, simply by their redness of their nose. If they are healthy in your tank, there shouldn't be any problem for other similar species to be healthy as well.
A few months ago, I purchased 3 rummy nosed tetras. Three days later, I got 3 more. Apparently they are "false" (the bleheri species). They are gorgeous. And they school so well together, I'm going to have at least 10 of them in the near future. I keep them in a 110 liter tank with a pH of 6.8 and at 26°C. Fairly soft water as well. After one day, their noses looked like beets. The rest of their bodies glow a very soft pink, as well. This fish responds almost instantly (with color) to stress zyme. I added a capful for the first two days each time I added 3. No problems since. They look even better against the background of a heavily planted tank.