Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Green Terror is found in coastal drainages of northern Peru and western Ecuador, however the majority of specimens available within the aquarium trade are commercially produced. A popular cichlid for its beautiful emerald green pattern and vibrant orange outlined dorsal and caudal fins, hobbyists should take into account the relatively large adult size (12″) and aggressive nature of a Green terror before considering one for their aquarium. Maintaining the aquascape in an aquarium with a Green terror can often feel like a losing battle, as they can dig and move around what decor is present. Male Green terrors are generally more colorful than females, and will also develop a nuchal hump on their head in addition to very pointed dorsal and anal fins. Most specimens sold however are mere juveniles that will be difficult to sex. Breeding Green terrors can be extremely difficult, as males will often kill females in the process of pairing. Green terrors begin to reach sexual maturity at approximately 4-6″ in size. One specimen per aquarium is typically best practice for the majority of hobbyists.
Diet Requirements: Green terrors are omnivorous in nature, consuming fish, crustaceans, insects, and plant matter. One the unfussiest eaters in the aquarium trade, a diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, mussels, and pieces of krill or silverside fish. Foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Green terrors will accept large sinking pellet foods and flake foods, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. We discourage feeding live fish to Green terrors because they are often of little nutritional value and increase the risk of introducing disease.
Care Requirements: A minimum 75 to 90 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Green terror. An adult will require much more space upwards of 150 gallons; even more space is required for a compatible pair of Green terrors. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 30 ppm). Poor water quality will result in your Green terror having deformities and hole in the head disease, which are permanent. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter can also be advantageous to maintain a healthier environment. Green terrors are relatively indifferent to aquarium decor, but some stacked rocks to create caves, driftwood and other natural looking arrangements will bring out the beauty of this cichlid and disperse its aggression. Some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate several inches deep is preferred and the aquarium should be well oxygenated. Given the aggressive nature of the Green terror, only other very robust cichlid species with similar temperament and adult size should be considered. Other large, active species such as tinfoil barbs (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii) and silver dollars (Metynnis argenteus) are also a possibility. Purchasing fish at a more juvenile life stage will increase the chances of it getting along with tank mates. Small fish species may be eaten as a Green terror matures. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 5-25, pH 6.5-8.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 2-1/4”, Medium: 2-1/2” to 3”; Large: 3-1/2” to 5”; XLarge: 6” or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.