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Green Terror

(Aequidens rivulatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-84° F, pH 5.5-7.5, KH 2-8
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Amazon Basin, South America   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: Aequidens   • Aquarium Type: New World Cichlid Aquarium

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Species Information

Green Terror native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Green Terror is a hardy species that is native to still and slow moving waters in South America. Known for their beautiful colors and bad attitudes, they will add a lot of color and personality to any aquarium. Green Terrors are often confused with their less aggressive relative, the Blue Acara (Aequidens pulcher).

They have a tan base color with vertical, dark striping on the body and distinctive, iridescent, electric blue-green markings over their operculums (gill covers) as well as iridescent, blue-green scales on their flanks that become translucent at their fins. They also have (to varying intensity) a black ocellus spot on and below their upper lateral line and their caudal and dorsal fins of end with thick, orange outlines.

Green Terror males will also develop a nuchal hump on their heads and will grow out to be much larger than the females. Females tend to have a washed-out coloration, while males display vivid colors.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Green Terror in the home aquarium.

Green Terrors require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons and should be provided with multiple places where they can find shelter (driftwood, rock structures, or dense vegetation). Green Terrors appreciate soft, acidic, and clean water as well as live plants, but have been known to dig, which will cause some uprooting issues.

They do exhibit a fair amount of aggression towards others of their own kind and will bully weaker, smaller fish especially if they are similar in shape. Green Terrors are generally territorial, which means that tank mates should be considered carefully and should be comparable in size.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Green Terror and provide a healthy diet.

Being an omnivore, the Green Terrors should be fed a variety of foods, such as live, frozen or freeze-dried ghost shrimp, minnows, shrimp, crickets, bloodworms, blackworms, earthworms, flake food, and Cichlid pellets.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Green Terror in the aquarium environment.

Green Terrors are egg layers that practice brood care. For the ideal breeding environment, the water temperature should be raised to and maintained at about 86° F. The female Green Terrors will lay 300-400 eggs in a carefully cleaned location (driftwood, rocks, stones, slate, large plant leaves, etc).

The eggs will hatch in 2-3 days and the fry should be swimming around within a week. The newly hatched fry should be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food and then moved to other foods as they mature.

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