Green terror Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The green terror is a freshwater fish that is well known for being absolutely gorgeous. They have a bright green body with black stripes running down their sides.

This fish is a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and make a great addition to any community tank.

However, there are a few things you need to know before you add one of these fish to your tank. In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about green terror care.

Species overview

Green terrors (scientific name: Andinoacara rivulatus) are a type of cichlid that’s native to South America. They’re most commonly found in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Green terrors are relatively large cichlids, reaching up to about 12 inches in length. They have a reputation for being quite aggressive, which is something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about adding one to your tank.

These fish are mostly green with some yellow accents. Their fins are often brightly colored as well, which is one of the things that makes them so popular among aquarium enthusiasts.

Green terrors are relatively easy to care for, but they do require a tank that’s at least 50 gallons in size.


Green terror

The Green terror is a very brightly colored fish that is sure to stand out in any aquarium. The body of this fish is a beautiful green color that can range from olive to lime green.

This green coloration is broken up by black vertical stripes that run the entire length of the fish’s body. These stripes are usually thinner near the head and get thicker as they approach the tail.

The fins on the Green terror are also brightly colored. The dorsal and anal fins are tall and pointy with a black margin. The caudal fin is forked and also has a black margin.

The pectoral fins are clear with a black margin. The ventral fins are clear with a black stripe running down the center.

The Green terror is a very large cichlid and can grow to be up to 18 inches in length.


Green terrors have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

This relatively long lifespan is due to a few different factors. For one, green terrors are a fairly large fish. They can reach up to 18 inches in length, which is much longer than most other aquarium fish.

This extra size means they have a bit more “wiggle room” when it comes to things like water quality and diet. They’re also less likely to be bullied by other fish, which can be a big source of stress (and early death) for smaller fish.


A full-grown Green Terror will reach an average length of about 18 inches, with some specimens getting as big as 24 inches. Females are typically a bit smaller than males, but both sexes can reach the same max size. As juveniles, they are much smaller and only grow to about 6 inches.


Tank Size

Green terrors are large cichlids that can grow up to 18 inches in length. As such, they need a lot of space to move around. The recommended minimum tank size for one green terror is 75 gallons.

However, if you want to keep more than one green terror in the same tank, you will need an even larger tank. We recommend a tank size of at least 125 gallons for two green terrors.

Green terrors are also known to be aggressive fish. They are not the best fish to keep in a community tank unless you have a very large tank and you carefully select their tank mates.

Water Parameters

Green terrors are tropical fish and need water that mimics their natural environment as closely as possible. That includes maintaining consistent water parameters at all times.

Frequent water changes are key to keeping the water clean and the green terror healthy. A good rule of thumb is to do a 25% water change every other week.

Green terrors are also sensitive to nitrate levels. Be sure to keep an eye on this and do a water change if nitrate levels get too high.

Here are a few water parameters to keep in mind when setting up a green terror tank.

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.8 to 7.6
  • Water hardness: 4 to 15 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up an aquarium for a Green Terror there are a few things that you’re going to need to take into consideration.

The first is the size of the tank. Green Terrors can grow to be fairly large fish, so you’re going to need a tank that can accommodate them. We recommend a minimum of 75 gallons, but bigger is always better.

The second thing you need to think about is the substrate. These fish like to dig, so you’re going to need something that can withstand a bit of abuse. Gravel is always a good choice, but you can also go with something like sand if you prefer.

When it comes to decorations, you have a few options. These fish like to have a lot of hiding spots, so adding some caves or driftwood is a good idea. You can also add some plants if you want, but be aware that they might dig them up.

It’s also a good idea to add a few rocks to their tank. Green Terrors love to swim around and explore, so giving them some things to swim through is a great way to keep them entertained.

Common Diseases

Green terrors are one of the hardier freshwater fish species out there. They’re not immune to disease, but they’re definitely more resilient than most.

One of the main diseases you’ll need to look out for is ich. This is a parasite that can affect any freshwater fish, and it’s pretty common in green terrors.

The most obvious symptom of ich is the presence of white spots on the body of your fish. If you notice this, it’s important to act fast.

The good news is that ich is usually pretty easy to treat. There are a lot of different products on the market that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Another disease that green terrors are prone to is hole-in-the-head disease. This is another condition that’s pretty common in freshwater fish, and it’s often caused by poor water quality.

This disease will present itself as one or two pits/holes in the skin of your fish’s head. While it’s almost always curable, it will usually leave some scarring on your fish.

As always, the best way to prevent these diseases is to maintain the quality of the water in your tank. A tank with clean and stable water conditions is always less likely to experience problems with disease.

Behavior & Temperament

The green terror is a beautiful, but aggressive fish. They are not recommended for beginner aquarists. In the wild, they are found in South America in rivers and streams.

Green terrors are known to be very aggressive towards other fish. They are also known to be very territorial. They will establish a hierarchy in their tank and can be very aggressive towards other fish that they see as a threat.

Green terrors are also known to be fin nippers. They may nip at the fins of other fish in their tank. This can be very frustrating for other fish and can even lead to death.

Green terrors are not recommended for community tanks. They are best kept in tanks with other green terrors or in tanks by themselves.

Tank Mates

Green terrors are one of the few cichlid species that can be kept with other fish. They’re not as aggressive as other cichlids, and they’re also relatively small.

This means that they can be kept with a wide variety of fish, including other cichlids.

Of course, you’ll need to do your research to make sure that the fish you want to add can handle the green terror’s aggression. But in general, these cichlids are a good choice for a community tank.

Some good green terror tank mates include:

  • Angelfish
  • Discus
  • Tetras
  • Gouramis
  • Rainbows
  • Plecos


Green terrors are a beautiful cichlid that are known for being very aggressive. They’re not the easiest fish to breed, but it can be done with some patience and preparation.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 50 gallons and have a sandy bottom. Then, you need to add some rocks and caves for the fish to hide in. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places!

The next step is to adjust the water conditions. Green terrors prefer hard water with a pH of 7.5. The water temperature should be around 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When everything is ready, it’s time to add the fish. You’ll need one male and two females. The male will be the biggest fish with the brightest colors.

Once the fish are in the tank, you need to wait for them to spawn. The female will lay the eggs in a cave or crevice. Then, the male will fertilize them.

After that, the female will guard the eggs until they hatch. It takes about two weeks for the eggs to hatch.

Once the fry have hatched, you need to remove the adults from the tank. They will eat the fry if given the chance.

The fry can be fed baby brine shrimp or other small live foods. They need to be fed several times a day. As they grow, you can start to feed them larger foods.


The Green Terror is a beautiful fish that is perfect for the intermediate to experienced fish keeper. They are not recommended for beginners as they can be aggressive and require a little more care than some other fish.

But, if you’re up for the challenge, we think you’ll be very happy with this fish. They are a lot of fun to watch and their unique personality will be a great addition to your tank.