- Scientific name: Apistogramma trifasciata
- Common name: Three-stripe dwarf cichlid
- Synonyms: Biotodoma trifasciatum, Heterogramma trifasciatum
- Group: Cichlids
- Habitat: South America, Brazil
- Size: Male: 6 cm, female: 4 cm
- Biotope: In the thickets and lagoons of northern Rio Paraguay and Rio Guapore, that have leafy bottom.
- Social behavior: Territorial and polygamous, you should always keep several females with one male. The male chooses upper tank areas while the females use the lower. Peaceful, the fish will burrow some, especially during spawning.
- Diet: Carnivorous, give them live foods as daphnia, cyclops and moquito larvae.
- Breeding: Quite hard.
- Tank: Minimum 60 litres.
- Population: 1 male and 3 females for 90 litres
- Decoration: Needs as large tank as possible to allow you observe the interesting family structure. Keep the tank well planted with neutral noundaries of rock or roots.
- Temperature: 25-28 °C
- pH: 6-7
- Hardness: 0-15 NK°
- Lifespan: 3-5 years
Description: The third to fifth rays of the male dorsal fins are pointed and long. The caudal fin is rounded and has a red tinge. The anal fin is violet-red, while the pelvic fins in white and elongated. The body is whitish-yellow in color and marked with three lateral stripes. The first runs along the base of the dorsal fin; the second runs from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal fin; the third runs near the belly. Recommended a tank with 30-inches long or more with three or four females and one male. Territorial females need an area about 8-inches square. Put a breeding cave in the center of each female's territory and use a sandy bottom. The Three-stripe dwarf cichlid is very susceptible to water changes.
Breeding does best in soft, slightly acid water (2-5° dGh, and pH about 6,5) at temperatures between 28-30 °C. A cave breeder, a female will lay to 100 eggs. The mother cares for the fry intensively, often for weeks. Start feeding with Artemia nauplii. The female like to kidnap each other's fry. Sometimes the female are so intent on care that they even care for water fleas or tubifex.
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