My Dream Tank: Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose, & Altum Angels

So I often dream of my ideal fish tank. I imagine a tank that attempts to forge a beautiful little window into the natural world. Cardinal tetras and rummynose tetras are spectacular tropical fish. The former for their electric red and blue and the latter for their tight schooling and fire engine red snouts.

Native to the black water tributaries of the Amazon, these fish are at home in low ph water tinted with the natural dark tannins of decaying leaves. I must state, however, that I don’t know how so many fish can safely live in this small of an aquarium, but I speculate that it must be through the daily or bi-daily changing of large amounts of water.

The large fish are Altum angelfish, the largest freshwater angelfish. As breeding occurs in the Amazon or Rio Negro the populations of tropical fish swell into the tens of millions during the wet-season, they are sustainably captured by native fishermen sold to aquarium hobbyists around the world. Since these fish experience incredibly high natural mortality rates in the wild, large quantities can be harvested without damaging the various species’ long term viability. (I must note, however, the fish in the video are a captive bred F1 generation).

Angelfish are hunters so I caution not to set up this aquarium at home unless you are prepared for the possibility of having your Angels pick off your cardinals and rummynose. I wouldn’t be comfortable with the possibility of my prized cardinals getting eaten, but perhaps there’s a trick to keep it from happening. If so, let me know, and I will keep dreaming of such a setup as this.

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7 thoughts on “My Dream Tank: Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose, & Altum Angels

    • Definitely. I really enjoy my little tank. I’ve learned a little bit about getting live plants to grow well. They really make the tank pop.

      My biggest problem is that I’m torn between wanting to have a small zoo and wanting to live around the world. I suppose I’ll be attempting to reconcile these twin passions as long as I live.

      • I understand what you mean. We have been yearning for a dog but there is so much international traveling we still want to do.

  1. You have the same dream tank as me, with Discus thrown in. My Angel pairs are spawning so often my wife is encouraging me to find some Altums! I tell her,”They are not the same!” But she says try it! Ha! I love her confidence in me.

    • Awesome!!! Altums need a lot of tank height and constant clean water. I’m sure you could do it with little trouble! There seems to be a lot of talk about the Santa Isabelle Altums. What have you been thinking on the matter?

      • Never heard of the Santa Isabelle Altums until now. Wow, it looks like a big controversy brewing. I’ll definitely be reading more about them.
        As far as Altums and/or Discus, I will get a small RO system before I try them. We have high pH hard water here.

  2. This is an old post, but because it’s still live, a word of caution for others who may stumble here: this is a terrible tank and entirely cruel and inhumane. It’s grossly over-crowded, it has no hiding places for the smaller and more timid fish, and there’s insufficient room for the large angel fish to swim. These animals are stressed (you can tell by the way they’re pacing back-and-forth), and this is not an aquarium to admire. Shame on the OP for clearly not taking the time to understand what he’s looking at.

    For reference, this would be an appropriately sized tank for a school of about a dozen neon tetras.

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