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Green Terror Cichlid

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The Green Terror Cichlid, scientifically known as Andinoacara rivulatus, is a vibrant and popular freshwater fish in the cichlid family. Native to South America, specifically in river basins of Ecuador and Peru, the Green Terror is sought after by aquarium enthusiasts for its striking colors and unique appearance.

Key Characteristics:

  1. Coloration: Adult Green Terrors exhibit a beautiful array of colors. They typically have a greenish-blue body with orange or yellow markings. The intensity of colors can vary based on factors such as mood, age, and environment.

  2. Body Shape: These cichlids have a robust and elongated body with pointed fins. The males often develop more extended and pointed dorsal and anal fins than the females.

  3. Territorial Behavior: Green Terrors are known for their territorial nature, especially during breeding. They may become aggressive towards other fish, particularly when protecting their eggs and fry.

  4. Size: Adult Green Terrors can reach sizes of 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) in captivity. Proper tank size and conditions are essential for their well-being.

  5. Habitat: In the wild, Green Terrors inhabit slow-moving rivers and streams with rocky substrates. Providing a similar environment in captivity, including hiding spots and caves, can help them feel secure.

Tank Requirements:

  1. Tank Size: A spacious aquarium is essential for Green Terrors, with a minimum size of 75 gallons for a pair. Larger tanks help reduce territorial aggression.

  2. Water Parameters: Maintain a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) and a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0. Regular water changes are crucial to keep the water clean and stable.

  3. Substrate and Decor: Use a substrate of fine gravel or sand, and include rocks, caves, and driftwood to create hiding spots. Green Terrors appreciate a tank setup that resembles their natural habitat.

  4. Compatibility: While Green Terrors can be kept with other robust cichlid species, avoid housing them with overly passive or small fish that may become targets of aggression.


Green Terrors are omnivores, and their diet should include a variety of high-quality pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small fish. A balanced and nutritious diet contributes to their overall health and coloration.


Breeding Green Terrors can be challenging due to their territorial behavior. Provide them with a dedicated breeding tank with suitable substrate and hiding spots. The female will lay eggs on a flat surface, and both parents will actively protect the eggs and fry. It's recommended to separate the breeding pair from other tankmates during this process.

Caution: Due to their territorial and potentially aggressive nature, Green Terrors are best suited for aquarists with some experience in keeping cichlids. Ensure proper tank size and compatible tankmates to prevent undue stress or aggression.