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Green Terror

Green Terror

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Andinoacara rivulatus

Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image


Acara aequinoctialis, Aequidens azurifer, A.
rivulatus, Chromis rivulata


Ecuador and Peru.

Sexual Dimorphism

Mature males are larger, develop extensions to
the anal and dorsal fins, and a prominent nuchal hump.

Maximum Size

25cm (9.8")


20-24 deg C (68-75 deg F)

Water Parameters

Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions.
pH: 6.5-8.0, dH: up to 25 degrees.


Community of robust medium-large species only.






The Green Terror is native to the coastal streams of
northern Peru and northwards to western Ecuador, as far as the Esmeraldas
River. Specimens from further north of the Esmeraldas River are thought to
represent Andinoacara stalsbergi (once believed to be synonymous with A.
rivulatus). The aquarium should be spacious, with a soft sand substrate and
plenty of hiding places/visual barriers created using driftwood, rocky caves,
and robust planting such as Java Fern or Anubias sp. tied to the decor, along
with some floating species. Filtration should be efficient but water movement
not too vigorous, and small frequent water changes will help keep nitrate to a
minimum. Green Terrors are notoriously aggressive and territorial fish, and as
such are best maintained singly or as a known compatible male-female pair. If
housing a pair, they should be the only fish in the tank as tankmates would be
attacked and quite likely killed if they decide to breed. If keeping a single
specimen, in larger quarters it could be combined with other robust cichlids,
large armoured catfish, silver dollars, sizeable barbs etc. May also be seen on
sale as the Gold Saum.




Omnivorous and will accept most aquarium foods offered. Try
to keep it varied with good quality carnivore and herbivore flakes, sinking
pellets/sticks, and a mixture of frozen foods such as white mosquito larvae,
bloodworm, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, Mysis, krill, and chopped prawns,
along with some fresh vegetable matter.




This species has been bred in the home aquarium and is
quite straightforward providing that you can obtain a mated pair. Simply
placing a male and female fish together is unlikely to work, and the male could
end up killing the female if they are not compatible. It may be possible to spot
juveniles pairing off in your dealer's tanks, otherwise, it is best to use a
clear divider and let the fish get used to seeing one another for a few weeks
before removing the divider and observing carefully. Tankmates are not an
option if these cichlids decide to breed, so if there are other fish in the
tank, they will need to be moved for their own safety. In order to encourage
successful breeding, the water should be soft and slightly acidic, with the
temperature set at the higher end of the preferred range and the fish
conditioned on plenty of frozen foods. Spawning often follows a large, cool
water change. The pair will chose and clean a spawning site, usually a flat
rock or a pit dug in the substrate. The female then deposits a line of eggs
before moving away and allowing the male to move in and fertilise them. This
process is repeated until up to 600 eggs are laid/fertilised, and these should
hatch within 3-4 days. The female will tend to the eggs during this time,
whilst the male vigorously defends the perimeter. Upon hatching, the fry are
moved to a pre-dug pit in the substrate, where they will stay until the yolk
sac has been absorbed. The young should become free-swimming within a further
week, and can then be offered baby brineshrimp (Artemia nauplii) and powdered
first foods. It is always best to leave the fry with the parents until
broodcare begins to cease (usually 4-6 weeks) because if they are removed
early, the male may attempt another spawning with the female, and if she is not
receptive, he may kill her. Observe very carefully.