Green Terror cichlids, Andinoacara rivulatus, are beautiful green fish with blue markings. They are not difficult to care for and are a popular fish among fish keepers and are readily available in the aquarium trade.
You may be curious about what other fish you can keep with these cichlids. The problem is that cichlids, in general, are one of the more aggressive freshwater fish available. This holds true for the Green Terror cichlid as well.
This means it is a good idea to make sure you are careful when choosing the best species as companions for these fish. Different fish species do not always coexist peacefully. You can also only place a certain number of fish in a given space and this will vary depending on the species.
The best Green Terror Tank Mates include the Flowerhorn cichlid, Jack Dempsey cichlid, Oscar, Firemouth cichlid, Texas cichlid, Cory catfish, Chocolate cichlid, Red Spot Severum, Silver Dollar, and Blood Parrot Cichlid.
The 10 Best Green Terror Tank Mates
Below we have included a discussion on each of the 10 best fish to choose as tank mates for your Green Terror cichlids. We also include some reasons why each species can work as a tank mate for your Green Terror fish along with some information on each of these fish species.
1. Flowerhorn Cichlid
The Flowerhorn fish is a species that is a hybrid that was made by mating a Texas cichlid with another fish such as the King Kong Parrot.
The Flowerhorn does makes a nice contrast to the colors and appearance of the Green Terror since it has a humped look to the head and it has colors of pinks and reds with black patches on the body.
A Flowerhorn cichlid can grow bigger than a Green Terror, reaching 16 inches in size. This is not to say that a Green Terror won’t grow bigger than 8 inches, because they can be in very large tanks.
These two different types of cichlid fish can coexist together in a tank but you need to be aware that aggression is still possible.
You can estimate tank size based on the rule of thumb of 3 gallons of space per 1 inch of fish. You may need to get a bigger tank as your fish grow to prevent any harmful conflicts. It is best to not underestimate how much space they need.
If you only have one Green Terror fish you can have a smaller tank of between 50 and 55 gallons, less than this is not a good idea because the fish also needs to be able to move around easily.
Cichlids are one of the more actively moving fish that you can find in the aquarium trade, so lots of space is important if you want your fish to be healthy and happy. Then if you add a Flowerhorn cichlid you need a larger tank of 75 gallons or more.
2. Jack Dempsey
A Green Terror and a Jack Dempsey cichlid, Rocio octofasciata, are suitable as tank mates in terms of growing to about the same size and also being of the same level of aggression.
Both these two cichlids can grow up to 12 inches in size and the best strategy to keep the peace in your tank is to have a large tank again. It may be best to have up to a 100-gallon tank as this is the recommended size for keeping two Jack Dempsey fish together.
It is always a good idea to be careful and take note of any physical interactions that occur between the Jack Dempsey and Green Terror that could be causing harm to one or both fish.
Similar to what we discussed with the Flowerhorn, agonistic interactions and straight-out fighting can happen as fish grow larger and outgrow their space.
Most cichlids have territorial tendencies, and the Jack Dempsey is no exception to this rule. It can be fed on live food or fish flakes that you also feed to your Green Terror.
The Oscar, Astronotus ocellatus, is also a cichlid but it is not quite as aggressive as many of the other cichlid species that occur. The Oscar is quite peaceful in temperament for a cichlid but it can have a few outbursts of territorial behavior at times. More often than not this fish will get on well with the Green Terror cichlid.
This fish likes temperatures at about 77oF and pH between 6 and 8, which are the same requirements for a Green Terror fish. The Oscar feeds on a variety of foods and is easy to look after. It will consume plant material, flakes, and live food as well.
While quite placid in temperament relative to other aggressive cichlids, the Oscar can grow quite large though. They actually can grow very rapidly to reach a size of about 15 inches, so a large capacity aquarium is a definite must for keeping an Oscar and a Green Terror together.
Even an Oscar on its own needs a spacious tank of up to 75 gallons. A 55-gallon tank will do when the animal is small but it is much better if you aim for a larger tank and obviously if you expect to house this fish with a Green Terror you will need a large tank, much bigger than 55 gallons.
4. Firemouth Cichlid
A Firemouth is another cichlid species that you can consider getting to live in the same tank as your Green Terror. This species is an omnivorous fish that can be fed flakes and live food.
The Firemouth, Thorichthys meek, is not quite as aggressive as a Green Terror but it does display territorial behavior. The size is similar to a smallish Green Terror at 6 inches.
Another benefit of the Firemouth is that it enjoys hiding away, which can help protect it if you do find your Green Terror getting a bit agitated and pugnacious. Place pieces of driftwood and plastic plants in the aquarium, where the Firemouth can hide behind or in.
The Firemouth enjoys similar water parameters to a Green Terror but water temperature should remain above 75°F. While this fish can be a suitable tank mate in a big enough tank, as we have mentioned previously, you need to keep watch, particularly if your Green Terror begins growing larger.
5. Texas Cichlid
The Texas cichlid, Herichthys cyanoguttatus, has similar requirements to a Green Terror. It can grow up to 12 inches in size and can be housed with a Green Terror in a large tank.
A single individual Texas cichlid needs a large tank of at least a 55-gallon capacity, so you do need a more spacious tank if you expect to cohabitate this species with a Green Terror.
Another drawback is that the Texas cichlid grows fast, so it may outpace the size of your Green Terror cichlid, leading to an uneven match in aggressive interactions.
Vigilance is necessary when placing different species of cichlids, such as these two, together. Cichlids are known to dig up live plants, but the Texas cichlid is one of the worst offenders when it comes to this and to moving décor around. It also likes to dig around in the gravel.
The Texas cichlid is considered a fairly easy fish to keep and it feeds on a range of foods, being an omnivore. The water requirements for this species also match those for the Green Terror, which is another advantage and reason why this fish would be a good choice as a tank mate.
6. Chocolate Cichlid
The Chocolate cichlid is the species known as Hypselecara temporalis. This is another cichlid species that you can put in the same tank as your Green Terror.
This cichlid can grow quite big, up to 12 inches and they are not aggressive fish. The bigger size makes it less likely that the Green Terror will fight with them although there may be territorial behavior that occurs.
A Chocolate cichlid needs a big tank so you are looking at 75 gallons or more with your Green Terror included. Another benefit of the Chocolate cichlid is it likes water of similar temperatures and pH that a Green Terror likes. You do need to make sure you have a sandy substrate because this fish likes to dig and also bury its body in the sand.
7. Cory Catfish
These fish are not aggressive and can live in the same tank as other fish, including Green Terror cichlids if there is enough space. They do eat algae and are mainly benthic fish, preferring to swim along the bottom of the tank.
They may be useful in helping keep the tank clean because they like to graze on algal growth that develops on the substrate and sides of the tank.
They do better in groups so having more than one is a good idea. Since they move along the substrate choosing sand is a better option. It turns out sand is also better as a substrate for your Green Terror anyway because they like to dig in the substrate.
Cory catfish, Corydoras, grow up to be about 4 inches in size, so depending on the size of your Green Terror, there is a risk that they may be eaten. This becomes more likely as your Green Terror grows bigger but one solution is to provide hiding places for the catfish.
You can place some driftwood in the tank which will provide shelters for the catfish to escape from the Green Terrors if they need to.
8. Red Spot Severum
The Red Spot Severum is a species of Heros fish that comes in an attractive gold and red color. The fish is adaptable and tolerant of quite a wide range of conditions.
They do also eat a variety of food items and are, therefore, quite easy to keep. This fish can be housed with Green Terrors in a large tank since they do grow up to about 10 inches in size.
This is not an aggressive fish but may try to eat fish that are a lot smaller than it, so it is best to avoid placing with very small fish. They can coexist peacefully with similar size Green Terrors in a large tank where territorial interactions will be less likely to occur.
9. Silver Dollar
The Silver Dollar is a fish in the genus Metynnis and can be a good tank mate for a Green Terror cichlid. They are not aggressive and like to be in a school, so you should have a couple of these fish.
These fish grow up to 6 inches long so you need a sufficiently big tank to accommodate a school of these along with your Green Terror fish.
The water parameters that the Silver Dollar prefers closely match those of the Green Terror so it is not a problem in regards to that. The Silver Dollar fish like vegetation and also feed on plants. You can stock the tank with some live plants or use vegetable fish flakes.
10. Blood Parrot Cichlid
This is a hybrid species produced by crossing a type of Severum cichlid with another type of cichlid. In terms of size, they grow anywhere between 8 to 10 inches and are peaceful fish.
They can be placed in a tank with Green Terrors that are of a similar size. You should also provide places where the Blood Parrot can hide when needed. This species likes both any open areas and sheltered places where it can retreat at times.
The water parameters needed for the survival of this cichlid match those of the Green Terror and they can coexist in a large tank. Just like a Green Terror, the Blood Parrot enjoys warm water and can cope with a range of water hardness.
How To Best Choose Your Green Terror Tank Mates?
Green Terror fish do eat other smaller individual fish. Your first step is to choose a fish that is not too much smaller than the Green Terror fish that you have.
The next step is to think about the temperament of your fish and what species are evenly matched. It is a fact that not all fish species can peacefully coexist.
Some fish are peaceful while others are semi-aggressive, and yet still others are much more aggressive. Cichlids fall into the latter category of aggressive fish that can be kept with similar types of fish or larger fish that they are less likely to attack.
However, the Green Terror can also coexist with peaceful fish if the fish are all in a large enough space and if there are lots of hiding places like vegetation and driftwood where fish can seek shelter from one another.
You need to consider the type of tank conditions the proposed tank mate requires as well. In other words, you cannot put two species of fish together that have vastly different pH or water temperature or hardness requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can A Green Terror Breed With?
A Green Terror can breed with other individuals of the same species that are of the opposite sex. If housing two individuals, including for breeding purposes, you will need to buy a tank that is about 75 gallons in size. Green Terrors can grow quite large, with a minimum size of 8 inches.
If you do decide you want to mate Green Terrors then you need to keep the pair separate with no other tank mates. This is because these cichlids do have greater levels of aggression when spawning, which will endanger the lives of your other fish.
Can A Green Terror Live With A Flowerhorn?
The Green Terror Cichlid can live in the same tank as a Flowerhorn provided the space is large enough and the fish are similar in size.
It is advisable to keep an eye on the fish, particularly as these two fish will grow bigger in time and will likely need more space when this happens.
Will A Green Terror Eat Smaller Fish?
As we have mentioned before, smaller fish will be on the menu for Green Terrors. They will be quick to feast on anything smaller than them so you should definitely watch the size of any companion fish you add as tank mates for your Green Terror cichlids.
Green Terrors feed opportunistically, in other words, they will feed on whatever they can find but generally, they are not vegetation eaters. Food choices for your Green Terrors should include the usual fish flakes but also should be supplemented with pellets and other living organisms.
Since Green Terrors do predate on small fish one can also offer small minnows and even small goldfish as food for them, just not as tank mates!
Any freshwater insects will do for food too. This includes bloodworms and small shrimp. You can feed brine shrimp as well on occasion and even live crickets.
Can A Jack Dempsey Live With A Green Terror?
If the fish have enough space, then both a Green Terror cichlid and a Jack Dempsey cichlid can coexist fine. It is likely there will be some pugnacious behavior at times but this takes the form of them fanning their gills at each other.
Generally, these two fish are fine to keep together but do keep an eye on them and plan to buy a bigger tank if agonistic interactions increase in frequency as they grow.
What Is A Red Terror Cichlid?
A Red Terror cichlid is the species Cichlasoma festae, which is found in freshwaters of certain regions of South America. The fish is attractive with the female having pretty red and yellow colors with alternating black bands on the body, including a spot by the tail.
These fish vary in size between 12 to 18 inches depending on if the fish is a female or male. The female Red Terrors are smaller than the males. The coloration of males does fade in time and as they get bigger.
The water conditions that the Red Terror cichlid prefers are similar to those of the Green Terror, so in terms of tank conditions, it would be fine in the same water as a Green Terror.
However, the Red Terror is aptly named because it is an aggressive animal, which means that finding a compatible tank mate may be tricky and it may actually be best to keep the fish alone.
It is also not a fish that is a good idea to keep if you are a novice fish keeper. If you do decide to try to keep this fish along with a Green Terror, make sure that both are of similar size and watch for signs of agonistic behavior between the two species.
Red Terror is thought by many to be more pugnacious and difficult than a Green Terror or some of the other fish species we have mentioned already.
Conclusion To Green Terror Tank Mates
We have provided you with some ideas for choosing a good fish to add to a tank with your Green Terror. Each of the fish species we have mentioned has its own requirements as well and you must do your research and also check tank size. These fish, in general, have similar requirements to those of the Green Terror in terms of water parameters such as pH and temperature.
Remember you do not have to have a tank mate for your Green Terror or even keep more than one fish. You can start off small by keeping one Green Terror cichlid in a 55-gallon tank.
In time, you may decide to expand and either add a mate to breed with your Green Terror fish or you may decide that you do want to add a tank mate of a different type of fish. Remember that tank size is an important factor when adding fish. You can use our list as a guide to some of the best tank mates to keep with your Green Terror cichlid.