Red terror cichlid tankmates and tank compatibility with other cichlids
Selecting Suitable Red Terror Cichlid Tankmates
The red terror cichlid (Amphilophus festae) is a large, semi-aggressive fish that can reach up to 12 inches long as an adult. With their bold personality and intimidating appearance, red terrors should only be paired with tankmates that can hold their own.
Choosing appropriate red terror tankmates comes down to selecting fish of comparable size and temperament. Slow, passive fish are likely to be bullied and should be avoided. Rather, robust cichlids with some attitude make the best companions.
make excellent tankmates as they share a similar Central American origin and have a feisty spirit. Firemouth
and jack dempsey cichlids
also work well, providing they are comparable in size to the red terror. Avoid significantly smaller tankmates.
Some of the best tankmates are those that inhabit different areas of the tank. Bottom dwellers like plecostomus can help keep the substrate clean. Large tetras, silver dollars, and other active mid-water swimmers work if given enough space.
No matter the tankmates selected, extra care should be taken when red terrors are breeding. They become even more territorial and aggressive when spawning and rearing fry. Provide plenty of sight breaks and hiding spots in at least a 75 gallon aquarium.
With some consideration of size, temperament, and habitat preferences, red terror cichlids can coexist successfully with select tankmates. Robust, active companions are best suited to stand up to their bold antics. Proper planning allows red terrors to peacefully cohabitate.
Mesoheros festae are large cichlids that produce a lot of waste and require a lot of space. Formerly classified Cichlasoma festae is known in Ecuador as the 'vieja roja'. That said its best to keep Festae cichlids with other large fish of the same temperament.
Never keep Red terror cichlids with smaller tank mates because they will be tempted to eat them.
A 55 US Gallon aquarium should the minimum size tank for M. festae.
Larger tanks are preferred to house these cichlids such as 70, 100, 120, or even 150 US Gallon tank.
Some decent potential tank mates would be South American Cichlids, such as the Ornatus cichlid, Mesoheros cf. ornatus, Mesoheros gephyrus, and Mesoheros atromaculatus. Other possible tankmates include Theraps species like the Black Belt Cichlid or Theraps maculicauda, the Redheaded Cichlid Cichlid, Theraps synspilum
, and the Redspotted Cichlid, Theraps bifasciatum.
Other tropical fishes that may be compatible with Nandopsis urophthalmus
are large freshwater catfishes, such as the suckermouth armoured catfish of the Loricariidae family. This family includes favourite aquarium denizens like Hypostomus plecostomus, Pterygoplichthys pardalis and other plecostomus species.
Its sugggested not to house Festae Cichlids
with members of the Parachromis group, such as the Wolf Cichlid
, Parachromis dovii, the Jaguar Cichlid
, Parachromis managuensis, or the Motagua Cichlid, Parachromis motaguensis
. This due to their close relations and all of these cichlids will fight each other for territory and for dominance.