Can Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Be Tank Mates?

Hey, fellow fishkeeper! Are you considering adding Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish to your aquarium? While these two fish species may seem like an unlikely combination, they can actually make great tank mates under the right conditions. We'll explore the compatibility of Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish, and provide tips on how to create a harmonious environment for both species to thrive.

No doubt you’ve looked on internet forums and seen mixed reports from people who’ve tried to pair these 2 fish up. 

With the right environment, rummy nose tetras and freshwater angelfish can be suitable tank mates.

But, before you rush out to the pet store we need to go over a few things first to ensure they will live happily together.

Can Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Live Together?

Can Rummy Nose Tetra And Angelfish Live Together?

Yes, rummy nose tetras and angelfish can live together if you provide the right tank setup.

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 peacefully.


Rummy Nose Tetra & Angelfish Temperament

Rummy noses are super peaceful and you’ll hardly ever see them bothering other fish.

Angelfish are mostly peaceful too, but they’re still a cichlid and you may end up with a grumpy one that doesn’t want anything else in its tank!

If you have a group of angels, they will peck at each other when establishing who they want to pair up with for breeding and become more territorial.

Fish Size

Rummy Nose Tetra & Angelfish Sizes

The size of fish plays a role in whether they can be housed together.

In the fish world, anything that fits into a fish’s mouth is considered food.

The rummy nose tetra is one of the larger tetras, growing to 2.5 inches.

The most commonly available angelfish is the Pterophyllum scalare, this is the smallest type and grows up to 6 inches in length and up to 8 inches in height (including fins).

Angels may only be the size of a nickel when you buy them from the store, but you need to take into consideration their size when fully grown.

They have a small mouth compared to most other cichlids so the rummy nose shouldn’t become a tasty snack!

The Altum angelfish can reach up to 13 inches in height, I don’t recommend keeping this type of angel with rummies.


Rummy nose tetras are highly active and 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.

Angelfish are less active but will shoal together if you have 2 or more.

They make a great centerpiece fish as they majestically glide around, and if you only have a single angel in your aquarium they are known to be pretty docile.

Territorial Concerns

Most fish can get a little cranky 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.

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

Community Tank Setup

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

Tank Size Requirements

A group of rummy nose tetras need a tank size of around 20 gallons, whereas angelfish ideally need a tank of at least 29 gallons.

Due to angelfish being taller than they are long, a tall-style tank can work better than a long tank.

I’d go with a tank size of 37 gallons for a 1-2 angelfish with a school of rummy nose tetras and/or other community fish.

If you want to keep a group of angelfish and a school of rummy noses and other community fish, then you’ll want a tank that’s at least 55 gallons.

Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium

This allows both species to enjoy their own space, without territorial issues. If you try to put them together in a smaller tank than this, you’ll likely have problems.

Water Conditions

Rummynose Tetra & Angelfish Water Parameters

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

Both rummy nose tetras and freshwater angelfish thrive in similar water parameters.

The ideal temperature range for rummies is 76°F-82°F (24.5°C-27.5°C).

Angelfish can tolerate the water a bit warmer and their ideal range is 76°F-84°F (24.5°C-29°C).

They both prefer a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.

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 Water Test Strips

Aquarium Setup

When setting up an aquarium for angelfish 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 like to use a dark substrate as it really makes the fish’s colors pop.

A heater is essential to maintain the appropriate water temperature.

I use Fluval heaters and recommend the Fluval E200 for a 37-55 gallon tank due to its high build quality, accuracy, and reliability.

Fluval E200 Aquarium Heater

You’ll also need a filter to keep the water nice and clean. The Fluval 207 or 307 canister filter would be ideal, depending on your tank size.

Fluval 307

Live Plants and Hiding Spaces

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

Java Fern
Amazon Sword

Incorporating a variety of live plants, such as Java moss, Java fern, and Diet and Nutrition

Rummy Nose Tetra & Angelfish Diet

Both rummy nose tetras and angelfish require a high-quality diet to maintain their health and vibrant coloration.

They’re both 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: Most fish love to eat live, frozen or freeze-dried 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

Common Illnesses in Rummy Nose Tetras and Angelfish

Rummy Nose Tetra & Angelfish Illness 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.

From my experience, some of the most common illnesses affecting rummy nose tetras and angelfish 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.
  • Hole In The Head: Caused by an infestation of the single-celled Hexamita parasite.
  • Ich: A parasitic infection resulting in small, white spots on the skin and gills.
  • 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.


  • Perform routine water quality tests to monitor pH levels, ammonia levels, and nitrite levels. Keep nitrates 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.


  • 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.
  • Hole In The Head: Quarantine the infected fish, raise water temperatures gradually, and treat with Seachem MetroPlex.
  • 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 both species’ care requirements helps prevent diseases and keep your finned friends happy and healthy.

Compatible Tank Mates

When selecting tank mates, compatibility is a crucial factor to consider.

Rummy nose tetras are peaceful and make a great choice for community aquariums.

They do best with other fish that share similar characteristics and require comparable water parameters. 

Choose fish that are similar in size so that they don’t end up becoming a snack!

Angelfish can bully and peck at other fish, so avoid fish that are very small or too slow to swim away if being bullied.

Suitable Rummy Nose Tetra Tankmates

Suitable tank mates for rummy nose tetras include:

  • Amber Tetras
  • Angelfish
  • Apistogramma
  • Betta Fish (dependant on bettas personality!)
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Chili Rasbora
  • Clown Pleco
  • Corydoras
  • Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish
  • Galaxy Rasbora
  • German Blue Rams
  • Gold Tetras
  • Green Kubotai Rasboras
  • Honey Gourami
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Neon Tetras
  • Pearl Gourami

Suitable Angelfish Tankmates

Suitable tank mates for angelfish include:

  • Bolivian Ram
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Clown Pleco
  • Corydoras
  • German Blue Ram
  • Golden Danios
  • Golden Ram
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Pearl Danios
  • Rainbowfish
  • Zebra Danios

These aren’t exhaustive lists, I’ve focused on picking popular options that are easier to get hold of at your local pet store, online, or from breeders.

Fish To Avoid Putting With Angelfish

Fish To Avoid Putting With Angelfish

When it comes to what fish to avoid keeping with an angelfish, you need to avoid anything that:

  • Is so small it will get eaten by angelfish – Neon Tetras, micro rasboras, dwarf shrimps, etc
  • Will be aggressive towards your angelfish – Medium to large-size cichlids
  • Will get bullied by your angelfish – Anything slow with long flowing fins
  • Will nip at your angelfish’s fins – Tiger Barbs

Some fish to avoid pairing up with freshwater angelfish include:

  • African Cichlids
  • Betta Fish
  • Celestial Danios
  • Dwarf Shrimp
  • Giant Danios
  • Medium to large-sized south American cichlids
  • Neon Tetras
  • Micro rasboras
  • Tiger Barbs

Again, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but gives you a guide to what type of fish to avoid.

Round-up For Can Angelfish and Rummy Nose Tetras Be Tank Mates?

Yes, rummy nose tetras can indeed live with angelfish if certain conditions are met to ensure a peaceful and comfortable environment for both species to co-exist happily.

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



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.