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Skittish Rummy Nose Tetras

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I have about a dozen rummy nose tetras. I’ve had them for about a year, and they’ve always been very active, schooling, not shy, etc. A few weeks ago they started hiding in the driftwood. They won’t come to the surface to eat when previously they would go nuts at feeding time at the surface. They’ll eat if I put food in the area of the driftwood – they’ll dart out quickly to grab it and go back.
I change half the water every week. I don’t think it’s anything with water quality. Their noses are still bright red. Something has got them spooked though. I’m wondering if it was one of my cats. The older cat sometimes drink from the tank. Not a big deal. He’s not interested in the fish, just the water. He’s been doing it for a long time now and the rummy nose weren’t bothered. The younger cat recently started doing it too, except she has to jump on the tank to drink and tends to paw at water (or ground) when she drinks (she’s weird). She’s not really interesting in the fish either, but I’m thinking that she freaked the fish out. Perhaps her weird pawing was perceived as an act of aggression. It’s the only thing I can think of. I keep the room with the tank closed all day normally. I got a glass cover a week ago to keep the cats at bay, but the rummynose remain hidden and skittish. Funny thing is that I got some apistos a couple weeks ago and they’re not really shy or afraid at all. Would it help if I got some calmer dither fish to help ease the tension in the tank? Or should I consider rehoming these rummy nose?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No. The apistos are juveniles. They're about the same size or smaller than the rummy's now. I might have suspected that, but the rummy nose were acting this way a few days before I got the apistos. I was hoping that the rummy nose would eventually chill out and go back to normal given some time, but it hasn't been the case.
 

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I have heard of equipment malfunctioning and leaking electrical current into the tank. Try unplugging equipment one by one and watch to see if fish stop hiding(plug it back in before unplugging next one) It's a long shot but worth a try.
 
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