Three-Striped Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma Trifisciatus)
Native Location: South America
Size: 4 – 5.5cm (1.5 – 2 inches)
Temperature Range: 20 – 25℃ (75 – 81℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.0 – 7.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 94 L (25 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Tetras, Pygmy Corydoras, Rasboras
Care Level: Beginner
Three-striped Dwarf cichlids are not the easiest fish to keep, but their unique appearance makes them more than appealing. Dark, striking stripes across their bodies and vibrant blue fins.
Three-striped Dwarfs are predatory fish and love the thrill of the chase that comes with live foods. Only entertain them with this once or twice a week. To be sure your fish remain healthy, do supply them with nutrient-rich pellet or flake food. These Three-Striped Dwarfs are curious wee creatures and will be rather outgoing, perhaps too much for shy species to handle. Make sure that any tankmates are of a similar size, have a dynamic nature, and are non-aggressive. Three-Striped Dwarfs also have tempting fins for any fin-nippers, so avoid these fish as tankmates, or they could cause ongoing issues for your cichlids.
While they will swim all around, and even up to the glass to see what is going on, Three-Stripes are a peaceful species and won't look for trouble, so long as they have enough places to hide from other fish. While females don't have a problem with each other, males tend to become territorial against other males. Objects like driftwood and rocks can provide good shelter from others and light. Three-Striped Dwarfs prefer a sandy substrate with plenty of plants.
Male Three-Stripes will be more colourful than the females. And as the name expresses, these dwarf cichlids are much smaller than typical cichlids. These cichlids are easy to breed at home; beginners should be aware of movement in your tank, it can disrupt breeding. Keeping a high ratio of females to males in your breeding tank will also help them recognise their breeding season, as this is how it would be for them in the wild.