Can Betta Fish Live With Rummy Nose Tetras? (Solved!)

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Bettas have been a popular fish in the freshwater fishkeeping hobby for decades. For so many years Bettas have been kept solo specimens in tiny bowls. Now, thankfully, that trend is changing and more people are starting to keep their Bettas as part of a larger community tank.

Rummy Nose Tetras make excellent tank mates for Betta Fish.  Both species of fish like similar water parameters and both will eat the same food.  A Betta and Rummy Nose Tetras will look fantastic together.

Can A Betta Fish Live With Rummy Nose Tetras?​

Keeping a Betta fish with a school of Rummy Nose Tetras makes for a fantastic community aquarium setup. Recently I kept a red veil tail Betta with a large group of Rummy Nose Tetras in a 55 gallon (210 liters) tank and the red of the Betta really offset the red on the Rummy Nose Tetras.  

The tank looked stunning and everyone who saw it was impressed.

Bettas and Rummy Nose Tetras want more or less the same style of aquarium setup and both species of food will eat the same foods.

How To Set Up A Betta and Rummy Nose Tetra Tank​

Unlike Bettas, Rummy Nose Tetras do like a bit of space to swim in.  Rummy Nose Tetras are one of the tightest schooling fish in the hobby, and the more of them you have, the better the schooling effect is.

I would recommend keeping these fish in a 40 gallon (180 liters) tank or larger.

To make the colors of both the Betta and the Rummy Nose Tetras really pop, I would suggest planting lots of live plants.  The tetras will really feel at home with some greenery and as the plants grow they will help consume some of the waste from the fish.

In my set up I had lots of Amazon Sword plants and Water Wisteria.  The plants provided hiding spaces for the Betta when he wanted them and seemed to make the Rummy Nose Tetras feel more at home and more confident.

I also had some pieces of wood, roots, and a few rocks to give a ‘natural’ feel, but you can add whatever decorations you like.

Whilst Rummy Nose Tetras can stand their water quite a bit warmer than Bettas can, they are equally happy with the temperature being in the mid-70s.  I would suggest setting the aquarium heater to 76°F (24.5°C).  Both species of fish will be happy at this temperature.

What To Feed a Betta And Rummy Nose Tetra Tank?​

One of the many reasons a Betta and Rummy Nose Tetras is such a good pairing is because they are happy to eat exactly the same foods.  

Bettas prefer to eat from the surface and upper mid-water, whereas the Rummy Nose Tetras want to eat in the middle of the water column as the food falls through the water.

I have had tremendous success feeding my Betta and Rummy Nose Tetra aquarium lots of good quality flake food as well as slow sinking pellets like Bug Bites, which is made by Fluval (I get these ones from Amazon).

I also feed both my Betta and Rummy Nose Tetras lots of frozen bloodworms and daphnia, as well as frozen cyclops.

What Other Fish can Live With A Betta And Rummy Nose Tetras?​

There are a good number of other fish that will fit in well with a Betta and Rummy Nose Tetras.

I have had good luck keeping both Cherry Barbs and White Cloud Mountain Minnows with both Bettas and Rummy Nose Tetras.

Bearing in mind Bettas and Rummy Nose Tetras both like to occupy either the top of the tank or the mid-water, a bottom dweller like a Sterbi Corydoras or a Panda Corydoras work really well, as does an algae eater life the Bristlenose Plecostomas.

Whatever tanks mate you choose for a Betta, make sure it isn’t too aggressive or likely to dominate all the food.

What Tank Mates To Avoid In A Betta and Rummy Nose Tetra Aquarium?​

So clearly this list could go on almost forever, but some classic fish to avoid would be;

Essentially, Bettas don’t want to live with any fish which is likely to nip at its fins or any other fish which is aggressive.  Although Bettas used to be referred to as Fighting Fish, they are surprisingly timid against bigger, more aggressive fish.

Bettas also should not be kept in the same tank as anything which is more food aggressive.  Any fish which dominates the food will quickly stress the Betta, and a stressed Betta is extremely susceptible to Ich (whitespot).

Will Bettas Eat Tetras?

In my experience, no, Bettas don’t eat Tetras.  Bettas will tolerate many different species of Tetras in the same aquarium as them.

It is best however to avoid some of the nippier Tetras like Black Skirt Tetras which are likely to nip at the Bettas fins.

Are Rummy Nose Tetras Fin Nippers?​

I haven’t found Rummy Nose Tetras to be fin nippers at all.  In fact, over all the years I have been keeping Rummy Nose Tetras I don’t think I have ever seen any aggressive behavior from them.

My Final Thoughts on Can A Betta Live With Rummy Nose Tetras​

A Betta and Rummy Nose Tetras really is an ideal pairing in a tank that is 40 gallons (180 liters) or larger.  I have found red Bettas really bring out the color in the Rummy Nose Tetras.

Add a bottom dweller to this setup and you have an aquarium you will enjoy keeping for years to come.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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