Rummy Nose Tetras

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AC Members
Mar 21, 2020
I agree with F fishorama , cycling a tank takes up to 6-8 weeks, maybe bit more if something gets stuck. Lack of nitrates is usually sign of uncycled tank, I'd recommend you doing a 75% and see if he perks up.
Yes, your water is too hard for rummynose tetras, just like all the tetras, they need soft water.
When cycling a tank with fish in, you will have to test your water for ammonia (NH3/NH4) and nitrite (NO2) everyday and cut down on feeding your fish.
There is a "rule", a rule but not quite, that every user of any forum will say: 'Never trust stores, they look like they know everything about fish, but the truth is that they want to make a sale, only money matters to them, not wellbeing of fish or any other pets'
Honestly, I have heard one employee of my local store say that goldfish "will be fine" in a 30 LITRE tank, the truth is they won't be fine.
Its really sad for me to see fish suffer, because stores and most people have no real knowledge about fish.
Always go on forums, no one here will mind you asking thousands of questions. We'll always be happy to answer even the most stupidest question you have got there :D

Lalo J.

AC Members
Mar 8, 2020
Thanks for all the help and support! I should have come here before I even began thinking about setting up my tank. I feel terrible that I am causing my little fish to die due to my own ignorance about how to take care of them. I did do research before and even made myself laminated notes and care instructions but Stability was talked up so much in the store (and even online) that I thought it was ok.

The only person I know with a stable tank has a saltwater tank, so I'm guessing that I wouldn't be able to since my tank if fresh water.
Don't worry about not starting off on the right foot, many of us didn't;). But now you can take care of giving your fish a good home, follow the advice of fishorama, and now clear your doubts on this site and if you need something from the fish store, according to the advice obtained or reading carried out, go buy it . If you check my thread in this forum, you will see that there are many doubts which have helped me to solve here, and that is the essence of this hobby, here we all learn from everyone😄.


AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
Gwen you could also try using either Dr. Tim's One and Only or Tetra Safestart. Make sure, if you decide to use 1, that it's the 1 for freshwater NOT salt or reef.

They both have the correct nitrifying bacteria & work pretty much instantly from what I've read. I haven't used them but know people who have.
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Apr 2, 2002
New York
Stability may or may not help. that is because it is a bottle of spores, it contains no live bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria and archaea which end up doing the nitritfying in tanks long term do not form spores, they reproduce by division. If you use Dr. Tim's One and Only or Tetra's Safe Start, the bottle contains live bacteria which are dormant. When you pour them into a tank, adding ammonia wakes them up and gets them working. The way you get ammonia in a tank is by adding it or by using fish (not recommended). Some people use fish food allowed to rot for this, but it is messy and inaccurate and there is no good reason for using it given the available alternatives.

What stability may do for some is to act as a bridge by using bacteria that may not be found in a tank once the proper bacteria have established. Also, a single addition of either of the two products above should be enough to jump start or even akmost instantly cycle a tank. Finally, most live plants arrive with the needed bacteria living on them/ So you get some jump start this way. Plus plants consume ammonium

What I am uncertain about is where you wrote, " I've been using Seachem Stability as well to help prevent any spikes" as well as what? How exactly did you cycle the tank the first three weeks, before you got the fish? If you actually cycled the tank, there is 0 reason to use Stability. Also, how often are you adding Prime and at the normal dose or higher?

Yes. SeaChem makes some excellent products, I use a number myself. However, Stability is not one of them, imo. SeaChem knows this but in the Aquarium game, everybody has to offer something in the bacterial starter product area, but only a very few actually offer what will speed a cycle and provide the bacteria that end up there anyway. SeaChem knows this- you can see that here they do not make this easy to find either. (They also have the wrong bacteria for oxidizing nitrite in that article. The ones that will actually colonize tanks are Nitrospira.)

Your water params look fine to me for farmed Rummynose. I assume the numbers for KH and GH are ppm. If so you have hardness of about 6 dH.

General Hardness

0 - 4 dH, 0 - 70 ppm : very soft
4 - 8 dH, 70 - 140 ppm : soft
8 - 12 dH, 140 - 210 ppm : medium hard
12 - 18 dH, 210 - 320 ppm : fairly hard
18 - 30 dH, 320 - 530 ppm : hard
higher : liquid rock (Lake Malawi and Los Angeles, CA)

I keep Rummynose. I have a few with Altum angels at pH 6.0, 86F and about 60 ppm TDS. I also have a bigger group in a planted tank with pH 7.0, about 80F and 85 ppm TDS. They thrive in both tanks. (GH is a limited measure, conductivity and TDS meters measure much more things in the water than GH kits do). My water is soft and neutral pH out of the tap from our well.

I wish I could offer some thoughts on what is killing your fish. I am not sure what might be going on. Are the shrimp OK? Usually inverts are more sensitive to water conditions than fish. That might point to the fish having an issue when you purchased them but which only showed up when it did. Can you go back to the store and check out the Rummynose tank and see how they look? Look for any swimming weirdly, lethargic near the bottom or even dead. That would be a good clue. However, they may have sold out the batch from which yours came and restocked if much time has passed.
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AC Members
Jul 13, 2021
If you want to give your fish and the other organisms in your tank a better chance of survival, you should make the aquarium as close to their natural state as possible. This means you need to have colonies of beneficial bacteria already living in the water in the tank. These bacteria will be responsible for keeping the nitrates and ammonia levels within the acceptable parameters.
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