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Hey guys..

Im pretty sure im going to start a new tank for some American Cichlids..

In particular, Green Terrors..

I have only had experience in African cichlids but so far what I can see is that

Americans like softer water then the Africans and are meat eaters..

Just a few questions to get me started..

What can the green terror go with? Some other Americans you could suggest would be good..

Tank size for them? Would a 3 or 4 footer be suffice?

I dont particulary want oscars but will a green terror be able to hold its own in a tank with an oscar or oscars?

Anything else or any experiences with this fish and other American cichlids of the like would be greatly appreciated..

Thanks guys.. thumb.gif

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green terror much more aggresive than oscars but may still be ok. convicts are ok, texas maybe, blue acaras, rainbow cichlids, ive kept all these together. 3 or 4 foot fine. they are really easy to look after. ive got a mate who is useless and i tested his water not long ago and the ph was much lower than 5 and they all seemed fine, i wouldnt recomend that though. they just fight a bit.

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Americans like softer water then the Africans and are meat eaters..

Most americans are omnivores, not straight up carnivores. Also PH7-8 is the usual - probably medium hardness is more accurate, unless you are after blackwater inhabitants

What can the green terror go with?  Some other Americans you could suggest would be good..

Pretty much anything that won't fit in their mouths! If you have the room which leads me to...

Tank size for them?  Would a 3 or 4 footer be suffice?

... forget a 3 footer, I believe males get upto 14" so a std 4' is pushing it. 4x18x18 or 4x2x2 IMO for anything that gets approx 12"TL

I dont particulary want oscars but will a green terror be able to hold its own in a tank with an oscar or oscars?

It may actually bully the O, but they all have different individual temperments. If you don't want an oscar, don't get one! There are way more interesting fish out there, RD's for instance are just as playful.

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Thanks for the response Ash, I was just asking if an oscar would bully the GT or vice versa.. Oscars are cool fish, but not for me.

Lepperfish rethinks the Americans and ponders another African setup..

Or possibley a community tank consisting of dawrf cichlids and catfish, loaches ect.

thumb.giftongue.gifcool.gifrolleyes.gif : woot.gif

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noooooooooooo don't drop americans! you'll be missing out on a different kind of fish keeping. sorry to the majority of hobbyists on this forum who keep africans but i find americans so m uch more like a pet than a screen saver. i keep africans myself and know that there are many exceptions to this rule but thats only cos they act like americans! LOL.gif

attitude!attitude! and more attitude! is what you will get with most americans and even though some would be deemed 'ugly' from those outside the hobby (such as my girlfriend "eeeew i hate that hump on his head" in reference to my red devil) i guarantee that you will grow to appreciate the different way beauty represents itself in these remarkable fish. (you should have seen the fish displayed at the american exhibition last year)

i agree with the others on forgetting about the 3 footer, forgetting about oscars, and choosing your tankmates well choices may include jack dempseys, texans, firemouths, blue acaras, silver dollars, scats, some africans(such as jewels for instance) and some assorted larger and more armoured catfish.

my golden rules for keeping americans are as follows:

1. get a few juvi sized americans and grow them up from young together.

2. make sure you have a spare 'time-out' tank.

3. feed a varied diet.

4. regular water changes.

5. do your research.

6. spend a bit of time with them to teach them tricks etc.

7. put in a toy they can play with.

8. no plants except plastic and even thats pushing it!

9. always remember to leave lids on you tanks.

the biggest mistakes i have seen with americans are:

housing many amreicans into a tank that very quickly becomes too small resulting in agression (very often fatalities WILL occur in this situation).

poor research when choosing tankmates resulting in unnecessary deaths remember just like africans there are different grades of aggressiveness to watch out for, for example mixing jags with convicts would lead to zipit.gif a simple net search would lead anyone away from a decission such as this.

cheers mate good luck and let us know the final verdict.

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what they said!!!! it depends wether you want pretty fish or pets, my pond is by the back door as is the devil tank, today i was feeding the stupid koi and i could sense something behind me, both devils (and their 50 zillion fry) had come to watch they watched my hand go in the food looking down, then looked up as i threw it in the pond this really seemed to amuse them for some reason, also a friend of mine had an oscar that would deliberately lay on its side so that my friend would put her hand in the tank and right him again!! lepp dont miss out on this dont get me wrong i love my africans but if youve got room for both......

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Go the Americans, Lep !

What they said, but also, your tank doesn't have to be barren, I've found that good quality silk plants survive a very long time.

In the months i've had my male Trimac, he's only managed to rip off about 3 leaves, and believe me, he tries.

For some reason there's an Anubias of some sort in there that they don't touch.... blink.gif

Americans have such personalities ! They're so interesting to watch.

My Brasiliensis, (his name is Fargus) is a real big sook ! as soon as i do anything to 'his' tank, he hides in a corner, blows all the sand substrate away, then fetches all of his silk plants, stuffs them into the corner, and then plows right into the middle of them, and hides in them.

Next day though, of course, he'll be waiting at the corner of the tank as I approach, nearly jumping out of the water in his anticipation of food !

Of course, if you don't want a big personality fish, there a plenty of littler ones, such as Rainbows, Convicts, Sajicas, etc. that can live quite happily in a 3ft.

Here's a good plan of action:

Put your africans in the 4x2, and a big american or two in your 3ft, then once they get too big for it, put them in the 4x2 with your africans !

By this time you'll love your americans that much, you'll want the quickest way to get rid of the africans.

This will leave your 3ft open for more americans. wink.giflaugh.giftongue.gif

(In case anyone took that seriously, i was joking................. of course you wouldn't put africans in the 4x2 first up !!)

Nah, seriously, put the Americans in your 4x2, and some Africans in the 3ft like Ash said.


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cmon lepperfish the pressures on now! and as you can see there are plenty of advantages to keeping americans.

put it this way the only way to find out is to have a go yourself.

i definately encourage anyone to have a go with americans.


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I was given a couple of blue acara and a red hump by katanaone some time ago. It is true that they have more character than the african. So much that I am thinking of selling off my fronts and convert the tank into americans. The only reason that I haven't is I have kept that fronts for over a year and I love them too.

So, have a go with the americans, you won't regret it.


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