cichlasoma festae (Red Terror) 3.5-4cm
THE South American Cichlid, the Red Terror is a ‘top shelf’ cichlid. They are one of the best looking cichlids in the hobby in my opinion. Their colors are nothing short of amazing for a fresh water fish; many of your house guests will assume they are salt water fish. Even though the Red Terror is becoming more readily available I still wouldn’t call it a mainstream cichlid. No major chain pet stores carry them yet (most that have labels that say Red Terror are actually selling Cichlasoma uropthalmus). But that is part of what makes them desirable, they are some what uncommon. I had 5 juvenile Red Terrors a year ago. 3 died very quickly due to aggression. These fish do not fool around, and it seems they are much much more aggressive towards conspecifics. A solo male can be kept in a 75g tank, a female could possibly stay in a 55g. A breeding pair will need a 75g minimum and probably a divider. Males have been known to kill their mates during the courtship process, and vice versa. A 125g would be ideal for a pair in my opinion. You will need a 6ft tank to keep either sex of these fish with tank mates long term. They can be very aggressive, but they seem at their worst when they are breeding. A ‘wish list’ fish for sure.
Adult fish pictured