Common Name: Green Terror
Latin Name: Aequidens rivulatus
Origin: Still or slow-moving river basins of South America, mainly Equador and Peru.
Temperature: 70-80 degrees…this can be temporarily raised to around 82 degrees for medicinal purposes, but a mid-range temperature is best long-term.
Ease Of Keeping: Relatively easy.
Aggressivness: Very Aggressive…Best kept in a species tank, but can be mixed with cichlids of similar size and temperament.
Adult Size: 6 to 12 inches – Males grow considerably bigger than the females, who tend to top out at 6 to 8 inches.
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallon…bigger is definitely better!
Feeding: Omnivore…will eat pretty much anything, but will benefit from variety and a good source of protein. Some good choices would be cichlid pellets, peas and other veggies, shrimp pellets or krill, and live foods.
Spawning Method: Substrate Spawners…They will spawn on flat surfaces (usually rocks), and can have spawns of up to 400 fry. The Green Terror is typically a good parent, with the female taking the dominant role in tending the eggs and fry. They can, however, be somewhat difficult to spawn. Spawning can typically be induced with softer water and higher temperatures. Comments: This is such a wonderful fish! They are super-aggressive, with loads of personality. There are two main “types” or colorations…the white saum and the gold saum. This refers to the color edging their fins. The males are larger than the females, and their coloration is brighter. The females tend to be a more drab olive, while the males are a bright iridescent/metallic green, with turquoise markings on their face and sides. The dorsal and anal fins of the males develop long points on them as the fish matures. In addition, the male terrors will develop a bump on their heads. (The picture above shows Grumpy Gills, my 6-inch Green Terror. He is of the gold saum variety.)
They prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. They enjoy caves, driftwood, and plants, but be prepared for your terror to rearrange your tank. They love to uproot plants, so stick with hardy ones. I’ve personally had the best luck with good-sized sword plants. Be sure to leave some open swimming areas. Good water quality is a must, so be diligent with your water changes. You will be rewarded with a happy and healthy (and more colorful) fish!