Rhodostomus – Red-Nosed Tetra

The rivers of tropical South America have provided aquarists with a large number of ornamental fish species. One of them is the rhodostomus or red-nosed tetra. This fish cannot boast of bright body color, but its black and white striped tail and a ruby spot on its head give it a special charm. The features of the content of this tetra will be discussed in our article.

General information

Rhodostomus or red-nosed tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus) is a small fish from the Kharatsin family, which is very often a resident of aquascapes. Creators of underwater landscapes opt for this tetra because of its specific color. The body of the fish is gray, the tail is striped, and there is a bright red spot on the head. On the one hand, the flock of rhodostomuses looks very interesting, on the other hand, it does not distract attention from the contemplation of the herbalist. At the same time, the fish will not harm living plants.


The red-nosed tetra has a slender, elongated body. The size of an adult does not exceed 5 cm. The body is silvery, with a greenish tint. The fins are transparent. Tail with black and white stripes. The main distinguishing feature is a red spot on the head, for which the fish got its name.

The intensity of the color directly depends on the conditions of detention. If the fish is stressed, the stain turns pale red. In comfortable conditions, on the other hand, the head is colored ruby ​​red. So a color change is a good indicator of the condition of the aquarium.


Rhodostomus was first described in 1886. The homeland of the red-nosed tetra is South America. Schools of these fish can be found in the rivers Rio Negro, Colombia, Orinoco, and numerous tributaries of the Amazon. The water in these reservoirs is acidic and soft, has a brownish tint, due to the high content of tannins – organic decay products (fallen leaves, tree roots, etc.).

Care and maintenance

Rhodostomuses are schooling fish, therefore it is recommended to keep 6-8 individuals. For such a number of fish, a container of 60 liters or more is suitable. The best design option is a biotope. Coarse river sand is used as soil, on which several natural snags are placed and live plants are planted. It is undesirable to place the aquarium in noisy and passable places because the fish are very shy.

Red-nosed tetras are very sensitive to the content of hazardous nitrogenous compounds (ammonia, nitrites) in the water, therefore it is important to ensure effective filtration and aeration in the aquarium. A change in fish color indicates a deviation from the norm. Dimmed lighting is recommended because in nature the fish live under the dense crowns of tropical trees.

Once a week in an aquarium with rhodostomuses, a 15-20% water change is required. Fish prefer soft (2-15 DH) slightly acidic water (pH = 5.0-7.0). The comfortable temperature of the content is 24-28 ° C. Tetra ToruMin can be used to create the natural black water effect.

Red-nosed tetras get along well with any living plants and look great against their background.

After purchasing rhodostomuses, it is very important to transfer them correctly to the aquarium, the fish are very sensitive to changes in water parameters. With a sudden transfer or a very large water change, the fish may even lie sideways on the bottom and it may seem that they have died. But after a while, the tetras begin to swim again.


Very peaceful look. It goes well with any peaceful schooling species: neons, thorns, other tetras, danios. They are able to live with calm South American cichlids: scalars, discus. Can also be kept with shrimp, the fish do not show gastronomic interest in them.

It is strictly forbidden to plant it next to large and aggressive cichlids.

Reproduction and breeding

Breeding rhodostomus at home is a serious task, it takes not only experience but also a certain amount of luck. Difficulties begin already at the stage of selecting manufacturers. Gender dimorphism in fish is not pronounced, therefore, it is possible to reliably distinguish a male from a female-only immediately before spawning – in females, the abdomen is strongly rounded from the eggs. It is very important that growers are grown in soft water. Long-term maintenance of fish in water with increased hardness makes them sterile.

For spawning, an aquarium with a volume of 20 liters or more is required. Juveniles of rhodostomus are very sensitive to water quality, so it is important to ensure perfect cleanliness. An air-lift filter and heater are required. Bunches of Java moss should be placed on the bottom.

A week before the expected spawning, the producers are planted in spawning grounds and abundantly fed with high-protein feed. The light should be dim.

To stimulate spawning, the water temperature is gradually increased to 30-32 ° C. Hardness should not exceed 5 degrees. It is recommended to add a conditioner to create a black water effect to create conditions as close to natural ones as possible.

Tracking spawning is not easy, males chase females and knock out eggs from them. After the end of the process, the producers are deposited, and antifungal drugs are added to the water since caviar is often affected by infections. During the entire incubation period, the eggs should be in semi-darkness, since bright lighting is destructive for them. The larvae hatch on the third or fourth day and feed on the yolk sac for another 24 hours. Starter feed for fry – Tetramin Baby dry food for fry.

After hatching of fry, breeders have another problem. They grow very slowly, it is necessary to feed the fish with micro-food until the age of 6 months. The lower the temperature, the longer the juveniles develop.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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