The Red Terror Cichlid or Amphilophus festae
is another large classic South American cichlid from Ecuador. If you like big and colorful cichlids with lots of personality this fish is for you. Males are said to reach around 15 inches in length with females smaller near 12 inches give or take. This species is sexually dimorphic which means you can easily tell male from female and the females are absolutely stunning with bright red and orange colors with dark black vivid vertical bars. Young Harlequin Cichlids are difficult to sex until they reach around 4 inches at which point males display green coloration and females become red-orange and yellow coloration.
You are going to need a large tank to be fair to these fish in terms of them reaching their full size and for them to properly establish territories. So a large community tank would fit the bill. That said you could keep a pair in a 55 gallon tank. One strategy to manage aggression but to enable successful spawning is to divide the male and female. This can be accomplished one of two ways by placing slate next to the divider for the female to deposit her eggs so the male is able to fertilize thru the divider or to utilize openings in the divider to allow the female to pass thru to the male’s side when she is ready to spawn.
A.festae is also known as the Guayas Cichlid
is a great fish which is sure to provide interest and enjoyment. Just remember to seek the right balance of tank makes and provide ample hiding places and water changes. These South American cichlids are beautifully colored, inexpensive and remember they love to dig and will uproot and plants.
Interesting Red Terrors have been sold erroneously in pet store where they can be confused with another cichlid which may look similar and that cichlid is called Cichlasoma urophthalmus
known as the Mayan cichlid in the trade. There have been similarities noted in body shape with another cichlid from South America called Cichlasoma atromaculatum. Interestingly there is another cichlid which carries the name terror in its common name which is the Green terror cichlid
but it's not related to the
Red terror cichlid
Amphilophus festae for Sale
List of commons names for Festae
Red Terror Cichlid
Other South America cichlids and related links