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Rummynose Tetra Behavior


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I’m a long-time keeper of mbuna and Tanganyikan cichlids and I just started my first South American community tank, including a group of 10 rummynose tetras.

These guys are freaking me out a bit because they’re doing these head down vertical spirals and even going almost upside down. Based on my past experience it looks like they are asserting dominance and establishing a pecking order. I would totally expect to see this in African cichlids but I don’t know if tetras behave this way as well. 

I would appreciate hearing the thoughts of more experienced hobbyists. 


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In my experience I’ve only seen this behavior during or soon after I have to net them. They seem to wiggle into gravel or try to wedge themselves behind a heater or other decorations. I think for a couple days until they feel safe I’ve seen this when I come to feed or put my hand in the tank. Casting shadows can affect them as well. I think if you give them a couple days with minimal interaction they should settle in. Could also cover front of tank with a towel to help. Check water parameters and temperature rummynose can be a bit finicky adjusting to new water. 

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