Green terror

Aquarium fish: Green terror (Andinoacara rivulatus)
Size: 20 – 30 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 20-25 ° C
Aquarium volume: 300 l

Green terror (Andinoacara rivulatus ) – endemic, aggressive species of aquarium fish from the cichlid family.


The fish come from South America, where they live in Peru and Ecuador. They inhabit streams, stagnant waters and the main channels in the delta of the Tumbes and Esmeraldas rivers.

Characteristics and disposition

In aquariums they are about 15-20 cm long (20-30 cm in nature). They are characterized by a fairly large head, a mouth with thick lips, and large eyes with a yellow border.

The head and the front part of the body are light brown in color. There are irregular stripes and dots around the lips and on the gill covers. In the central part of the greenish-bluish torso, there are two vertical stripes, connected by a black dot in the upper part. On the rest of the surface, the body is covered with green and blue dots. The color of the fins is navy blue, purple.

The dorsal and caudal fins are decorated with an orange border. Males are much larger than females and have longer dorsal and anal fins. With age, they develop a large fatty hump. It is worth mentioning that this hump in the natural environment develops only during the breeding period, while in aquariums it is constantly visible. Fish swim in all parts of the water.

They are considered to be very aggressive , so they should not be kept with fish smaller than themselves.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous and not very picky fish. It is recommended to give good quality food in chopsticks and supplement the diet with live foods, such as chopped earthworm, shrimps, mussels and plant foods, such as peas, spinach. Foods with a high protein content, such as beef hearts and other red meats, that harm the digestive system of these cichlids should be avoided .


Orangefin acars require at least a 150 cm long tank, with a soft, preferably sandy base, and numerous decorations in the form of roots and flat stones for them to spawn.

If we plan the company of other fish, we must provide them with as many hiding places as possible. Despite the fact that this procedure will not eliminate Akar’s aggression completely, we will at least distract it a bit. It is best to shade the aquarium with floating plants. Vegetable roots in the substrate will sooner or later be dug up. Select species that grow attached to the decoration, such as Anubias , Winged Microzory, which have a much better chance of survival.

Orangefin acarsthey are fish quite sensitive to water pollution , therefore an efficient biological filter and frequent water changes are necessary. As a rule, they are very aggressive and territorial fish, unless we have a huge aquarium, it is advisable to keep a single fish or a selected pair. In larger tanks (over 650 liters) they can be kept together with other large cichlids, armored fish and catfish. More active species, such as Barb Shark, Brzanka Wielka, and some piranhas will also be a good company . Do not be tempted to keep a pair of Orangefin Akar in a social tank, because as soon as they spawn in the tank all hell breaks loose.


As long as we manage to choose the right pair, the same reproduction is relatively easy. The matchmaking process itself, however, can be risky. If we let a male and a female into the aquarium at the same time, the female is likely to be killed. Some breeders separate the fish with transparent material until they get used to each other, which happens after a few weeks. A much easier method is to buy a group of young fish and let them pair up.

As soon as steam forms, the remaining fish must be caught because they will most likely be killed during spawning. Prepare the aquarium as above. The water should be soft and acidic with a pH of 6.5-7.0 and a temperature of 24-27 ° C. An air cube is enough to oxygenate the water. Be sure to place flat stones on which the fish willingly lay their eggs.

We stimulate fish to reproduce by giving them large amounts of live and frozen food. The fish become sexually mature at about 10-15 cm. They can be encouraged to spawn by a larger change (30-50%) of slightly cooler water. In their quarter, the pair selects and clears a spawning site. It can be, for example, a flat stone, a large pot or a hole dug in the ground.

Spawning takes place in a manner similar to many other cichlids, the female lays the eggs in line and gives way to the partner who fertilizes the eggs. Up to 400 eggs can be fertilized in this way. Hatching takes about 3-4 days. During this time, the male defends the territory and the female takes care of the eggs. After hatching, the fry are transferred to a previously dug hole in the ground, where they remain until they begin to swim freely.

Usually it takes 6-8 days. The young can be fed with artemia, mosquito larvae or ground dry food.


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