Can Rummy Nose Tetras Live With Angelfish? (A dream set up?)

Can Rummy Nose Tetras live with Angelfish? Rummy Nose Tetras can live with Angelfish. In fact, Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish is a classic combination that has been used by aquarists for years. Both fish look stunning together, especially when kept in a heavily planted aquarium.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

Rummy Nose Tetras are one of my favorite fish. I currently have a school of 50 Rummy Nose Tetras living with a group of Congo Tetras. Their coloration, once they settle into their aquarium, is simply stunning.

When they are happy, Rummy Nose Tetras have an amazingly bright red nose (hence the name!). Angelfish are the classic tropical fish that everybody wants to keep at least once in their fish-keeping career.

A quick caveat before moving on, this article assumes that we are not considering adding very young, small Rummy Nose Tetras to a tank with full-grown, adult Angelfish. A 6” (15cm) Angelfish will happily snack on very small Rummy Nose Tetras. For this aquarium to be successful, size your fish correctly to reduce the chances of one species being eaten by another.



What Size Aquarium For Rummy Nose Tetras And Angelfish Together?

Rummy Nose Tetras are one of the tightest schooling fish available in the hobby today. A small group of 10 or 15 Rummy Nose Tetras will school back and forth across the tank. As such, a 4’ (120cm) tank is probably as small as you would want to go to achieve a good schooling effect.

Angelfish will reach at least 6” (15cm) across. You could keep a single Angelfish is a 30 gallon, but a 55 gallon is better. If you are hoping to keep a small group of Angelfish with a school of Rummy Nose Tetras, I would consider at least a 125 gallon, with a 155 being better still. Clearly, the bigger you go, the better.

A quick note on filtration before continuing. Neither Rummy Nose Tetras nor Angelfish are especially messy in the aquarium. You could easily filter a 125 gallon with just sponge filters or a couple of hang-on-back filters. If you wanted to use a canister filter, the Fluval 407 will do a great job. I can’t recommend them enough!



How To Set Up A Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Aquarium

Both Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish appreciate an aquarium that is set up with lots of live plants. Not only do live plants make your aquarium look natural, but they also help remove some of the fish waste from the water.

I have had great success in the past by planting along the back of the aquarium and down both sides, but leaving a large area in the center for the fish to swim in. Adding a few rocks or some pieces of aquarium-safe wood will also add to the natural feel.

Neither Rummy Nose Tetras nor Angelfish are fussy at all about what substrate you use in their aquarium. I have used both normal aquarium gravel and Fluval Stratum with great success. Don’t overthink the choice of substrate, just go with whatever you like the look of, or what fits your budget.

What Plants Should Go In A Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Aquarium?

Essentially, it doesn’t matter what live plants you put in your aquarium. Neither Rummy Nose Tetras nor Angelfish will eat or damage plants.

In previous tanks, I have had good success with Amazon Swords and Cryptocoryne wendtii. I’ve also used Vasinaria and Java Fern. I personally don’t enjoy being a slave to my aquariums, so I only tend to choose plants that are hardy and easy to grow.

What Other Fish Can Live In A Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Aquarium?

The great news is, there is a long list of fish that can live in a Rummy Nose Tetra and Angelfish aquarium.

In my experience, Guppies work really well, as do Platys. Both Guppies and Platys are livebearers and will multiply in the aquarium. Angelfish will eat baby fish. This can be seen as either a negative or a positive.

There are situations where you don’t want hundreds of Guppies in your aquarium, so keeping them with Angelfish will help keep the numbers down.

Cardinal Tetras make a good addition to any aquarium, although they can sometimes school with the Rummy Nose Tetras, which spoils the Rummy’s schooling effect for some people. I would avoid smaller tetras like Neon Tetras or Ember Tetras as they may be small enough for the Angelfish to eat.

Corydoras also make great bedfellows for both Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish. Peppered Corydoras and Panda Corydoras are both easy to keep and will compliment your planted aquarium.

Adding a plecostomus is a good idea for almost every community aquarium. A Bristlenose pleco will work well in this setup, as would a Rubber Nosed pleco.



My Final Thoughts

Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish are a classic combination. They will live in harmony together, providing you size the fish correctly. If you add a bag of baby Rummy Nose Tetras to a tank of fully grown Angelfish, you have to expect some or all of the Rummy Nose Tetras will be eaten.

Set your tank up correctly from the start, making sure you have plenty of live plants and you will no doubt make your aquarium a success.


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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