Can Rummy Nose Tetra Live with Betta Fish? Compatibility Guide

Hey, fellow fishkeeper! If you have a beautiful betta fish and are wondering if you can add rummy nose tetras into the same tank, you're in the right place. We'll go through the requirements for each fish and discover if they can happily coexist.
Can betta fish and rummy nose tetra live together?

Spoiler alert! Yes, rummy nose tetras can live with betta fish, but before you rush out to the pet store we need to go over a few things first to ensure they are happy tank mates.

Can Rummy Nose Tetra Live With Betta Fish? Things To Consider

We’ll go over the requirements of both fish, to give you a better understanding of how to house these 2 types of fish together without it turning into the WWE Royal Rumble!

Temperament

Betta fish and rummy nose tetra temperament

When it comes to understanding whether rummy nose tetras can live with betta fish, one crucial aspect is their temperament.

I’ve found that both of these fish species are generally peaceful, rummy noses are super peaceful and you’ll hardly ever see them bothering other fish.

Betta fish on the other hand don’t have the nickname Siamese fighting fish for no reason, but on the whole, I have found most bettas I have kept to be peaceful, you do get the odd feisty one though!

Male bettas are more aggressive than female bettas.

Fish Size

betta fish and rummy nose tetra size comparison

The size of the fish plays a pivotal role in their compatibility, if you have one fish much larger than the rest, it will make a tasty snack out of them! Aim to keep similar sized fish.

Rummy nose tetras are larger than most other tetra species, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem when living with bettas. In fact, their larger size might help them avoid potential conflicts with bettas.

Behavior

Rummy nose tetras and betta fish have complementary behaviors that make them good tank mates.

Bettas are not the fastest swimmers and hang out at the top, middle, and bottom of the tank (mine loves to chill out on his favorite anubias leaf), while rummy nose tetras are faster swimming and usually occupy the middle of the water column.

Rummy nose tetras prefer to live in groups, so it’s important to add at least 6 to keep them happy and peaceful. Having a group of 8-12 really brings out their tight schooling behavior, which is great to watch.

Territorial Concerns

As I mentioned earlier, betta fish can be territorial and feisty, primarily when they feel that their space is being invaded. To address these concerns, it’s necessary to offer plenty of swimming space in the tank. This will allow both species to establish their territories without feeling threatened or stressed.

A well-decorated tank with plants and hiding spots will help to diffuse any tension between the two species.

Give them both enough space, consider their preferred positions in the tank, and create a comfortable environment and they should both coexist peacefully.

Creating a Suitable Community Tank

So that betta fish and rummy nose tetras can live in harmony, you need to provide them with a large enough tank so they can each have their own space.

Tank Size Requirements

If you keep your betta in a 5 or 10 gallon tank, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger size if you want to add some rummy nose tetras, as they are schooling fish and need to be kept in groups of at least 6 for them to thrive.

A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended to house these fish together successfully.

This allows bettas and rummy nose tetras to enjoy their own space, without territorial issues, if you try to put them together in a smaller tank than this you’re more than likely going to have problems.

Water Conditions

Water conditions required for betta fish and rummy nose tetras

Maintaining the best water conditions is critical to the success of a healthy tank.

Both rummy nose tetras and bettas thrive in similar water parameters. The ideal temperature range for these fish is 78-80°F / 25.5-26.5°C.

They also prefer a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. and water hardness should be around 2-12 dGH.

If your water pH is too high, add some driftwood or catappa leaves (Indian almond) to bring it down naturally.

Pristine water quality is a must, especially for rummy noses as they are very sensitive to raised ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. 

Aim to keep nitrate levels below 20ppm, using water test strips regularly is a super quick and simple way to check this.

API 5 in 1 Test Strips

Aquarium Setup

When setting up an aquarium for bettas and rummy nose tetras, it’s necessary to include all the right elements.

Begin with a suitable substrate, such as sand or fine gravel, to mimic their natural habitat, I use a dark substrate as it really makes their colors pop.

A heater is essential to maintain the appropriate water temperature. As always, I use Fluval heaters and recommend the Fluval E100 for a 20 gallon tank due to its high build quality, accuracy, and reliability.

Fluval E100

You’ll also need a filter to keep the water nice and clean. The Fluval 107 canister filter would be ideal.

Fluval 107

It’s a breeze to set up and maintain, and the adjustable flow rate is a great feature for betta keepers as they don’t like fast-flowing water because of their long fins.

Plants and Hiding Spaces

Anubias Barteri aquarium plant

Live plants and hiding spaces enhance the visual appeal of your aquarium, they also provide essential hiding spaces for your fish.

Bettas and rummy nose tetras feel more comfortable and less stressed when they have places to hide and explore.

Incorporating a variety of live plants, such as Anubias (my betta’s favorite, he loves to chill out on the leaves), Java moss, Java fern, and Amazon Swords, help to maintain water quality and provide shelter.

Avoid toxic plants, so you don’t make your fish sick.

Don’t forget to include additional hiding spots like caves, pipes, or pots, which can also serve as perfect retreats for your fish to hide. It’s important to avoid any sharp edges as your betta may damage its delicate fins.

By paying attention to their specific needs and consistently monitoring their living conditions, you’ll create a beautiful and healthy environment for your finned friends to enjoy.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding your betta fish and rummy nose tetra the right diet is essential for their health and well-being.

This section will cover their dietary needs, including tips on what to feed them and how often.

Feeding Betta

I’ve found that it’s essential to provide a varied diet for my Betta fish to ensure he gets all the necessary nutrients and keep his colors lovely and bright.

Some of the best foods for bettas include pellets specifically designed for them, as these contain the ideal combination of proteins, vitamins, and minerals for these carnivorous fish. 

Keep in mind that not all Betta pellets are created equal. I always look for high-quality pellets with a good balance of protein and other nutrients.

Aqueon Pro Betta Formula Pellet Food

In addition to pellets, I like to offer my Betta the occasional treat of live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia, being carnivores your betta will eagerly gobble these up, Bert (my betta) cannot get enough of the Ultra Fresh Shrimp Patties – he loves them!

These types of food closely resemble their natural diet and can help to enhance their color and overall health.

Ultra Fresh Shrimp Patties

When feeding my Betta, I offer a small amount of food, enough for him to consume within a couple of minutes, once or twice a day.

It’s essential not to overfeed, as this can cause health problems and lead to poor water quality in the aquarium.

Skipping feeding your betta fish for a day or 2 won’t cause it any harm, in fact, it can be beneficial.

Feeding Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetras, like Bettas, require a high-quality diet to maintain their health and vibrant coloration.

They’re omnivores so they enjoy a mix of protein and plant based foods.

  • Flake foods: high-quality flake foods are a primary staple in the diet of Rummy Nose Tetras. These flakes should contain a good balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to promote overall health.
  • Pellets: In addition to flakes, pellets can be a staple food source. Pellets provide nutrients and help to ensure your tetras receive a well-rounded diet.
  • Live, Frozen, or Freeze-dried Food: Rummy Nose Tetras love to eat live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia.
  • Veg: Shelled boiled peas or blanched spinach offer some variety and nutrients.

    When you provide a high quality varied diet, you’ll notice improved coloration and overall well-being of your fish.
TetraMin Tropical Flakes
Ultra Fresh Tetra Fish Food
Hikari Brine Shrimp
Hikari Blood Worms
Hikari Daphnia

Offering a small amount of food once or twice a day is sufficient, as it enables them to eat everything before it can sink to the bottom of the tank and create problems with water quality.

Health and Disease

As an aquarist, keeping your fish healthy and disease-free is a top priority.

In this section, I will discuss common illnesses that affect both species and the prevention and treatment plans for these diseases.

Top Tip: If your rummy nose’s head loses its vibrant red color, that’s a big indication that there’s an issue in your tank, such as poor water quality, disease, or bullying.

Common Illnesses in Rummy Nose Tetras and Bettas

From my experience, some of the most common illnesses affecting rummy nose tetras and bettas include:

  • Dropsy: Caused by stress, resulting in a swollen belly and pineconing (scales protruding).
  • Fin rot: Often caused by bacterial infections, it results in the deterioration and loss of fin tissues.
  • Ich: A parasitic infection resulting in small, white spots on the skin and gills.
  • Popeye: One or both eyes will be protruding or bulging outwards.
  • Swim Bladder Disease: Affecting the fish’s ability to swim properly, possibly due to poor water quality or nutrition.
  • Velvet: A parasitic infection leading to a gold or rust-colored dusting on the fish’s body.

Maintaining excellent water quality is essential, as it helps prevent the majority of diseases in the first place.

Prevention and Treatment

As a responsible fish owner, it’s important to focus on prevention measures to ensure your fish remain healthy, as the old saying goes prevention is better than the cure.

Prevention:

  • Perform routine water quality tests to monitor pH levels, ammonia levels, and nitrite levels. Keep below 20ppm.
  • Regularly check and adjust the aquarium heater to maintain the appropriate temperature.
  • Don’t overcrowd the tank, as it can lead to fin nipping and aggressive behavior among fish.
  • Provide a varied high-quality diet and avoid overfeeding, which can lead to poor water quality and diseases.

Despite my best efforts, if I notice any signs of disease in my fish, I take the necessary steps to treat the issue quickly.

Treatment:

  • Dropsy: Epsom salt bath and antibiotics formulated for gram-negative bacteria.
  • Fin rot: Addressing the issue with an antibacterial medication and ensuring optimal water quality.
  • Ich: Raising the water temperature gradually and treating the tank with an appropriate ich medication.
  • Popeye: There are different treatment types depending on if your betta has unilateral popeye (one bulging eye) or bilateral popeye (two bulging eyes), see my linked guide for treatment plans.
  • Swim bladder disease: Providing a more varied and balanced diet, along with improved water quality.
  • Velvet: Using an anti-parasitic medication specifically formulated for treating velvet alongside a water change

I’ve linked above to much more in-depth articles on treatment plans for your fish should you be unfortunate enough to have to treat them for these diseases.

Being proactive about the care requirements of both species helps to prevent diseases and keep your finned friends happy and healthy.

Tank Mates

Best Betta Fish Tank Mates

There are plenty of other fish that can happily live with bettas if you fancy something different from rummy nose tetras.

Choose peaceful community fish that prefer to hang out in a different area of the tank and that won’t nip at the betta’s fins and importantly, require similar tank conditions.

Suitable Betta Tank Mates

Some popular betta tankmates are:

  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Clown Pleco
  • Corydoras
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Lambchop Rasboras
  • Pygmy Corydoras
  • Mystery Snail
  • Neon, Ember, Emerald or Gold Tetras
  • Nerite Snail
  • Otocinclus Catfish

Occasionally bettas will harass snails, it depends on the personality of your betta. Snails also need a decent amount of calcium in the water to keep their shells healthy, so you’ll need to supplement if you have soft water.

Betta Tank Mates To Avoid!

Avoid keeping large, aggressive, fin-nipping, or coldwater fish with your betta. Also, avoid other betta fish (male or female) as it won’t end well!

Fish to avoid keeping with a betta:

  • Angelfish
  • Barbs
  • Cichlids
  • Danios
  • Goldfish
  • Livebearers (Endlers, Guppies, Mollies, Swordtails etc.)
  • Shrimp

Although I have seen some people successfully keep endlers and guppies in with bettas, there have been mixed results, so I’ve erred on the side of caution.

If you do decide to try endlers or guppies, be aware that they breed super easy and that your betta will eat the babies, which could be a good or bad thing depending on if you are squeamish about that!

Round-up For Can Rummy Nose Tetras Live With Betta Fish

Yes, rummy nose tetras can indeed live with a betta, but certain conditions must be met to ensure a peaceful and comfortable environment for both species to co-exist happily.

Check out the aquarium health section for more guides on keeping your aquarium in tip-top shape.

Paul

Paul

Hey, fellow fish enthusiast 👋! I'm Paul and I've been an aquarium addict since I won my first goldfish at the fair many years ago. Let me share with you the knowledge that I've gained along the way (and avoid the mistakes I've made!), so you too can create an underwater paradise for your aquatic friends.