Blue Apistogramma, Three-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid Apistogramma trifasciata
Synonyms: Apistogramma trifasciatum, Biotodoma trifasciatum, Heterogramma trifasciatum
Physical description: An elongated fish with its first rays being very similar to those of the Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid. These rays are pointed and usually tipped with red. The red tips actually continue on all the rays. The rest of the dorsal fin is dark violet in color. 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.
Size/Length: Males to 2.3" (6 cm), females to 1.5" (4 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Inhabits black water lagoons and ponds along that have leafy bottom. South America; Southwestern Brazil in the headwaters of the Paraguay and the Guapore Rivers.
Aquarium: A tank measuring 32" (81 cm) with a capacity of 30 gallons (114 L) is fine for a harem of fish. Be sure to provide a cave or flower pot for each female. Follow suggestions for A. borellii .
Water chemistry: pH 5-7.2 (6.5), 0-12 dH (3), 79-84°F (26-29°F)
Social behavior: A territorial fish that should be kept in a ratio of three to four female to every one male. This species is peaceful, outside of the spawning season, towards other fishes. Males form harems.
Suggested companions: Corydoras , tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish, Loricarids.
FOOD: Live; crustaceans, insects, insect larvae; finely chopped meat; possibly flakes.
SEX: Males are larger, more colorful, and have more elaborate fins. While caring for the brood the female may develop a bright yellow body color.
Breeding techniques: Use water with a pH from 6.0-6.5, a water hardness of 1-4 dH, and a temperature from 82-86°F (28-30°C). Follow suggestions for other Apistogramma species. The female lays up to 100 eggs which are very carefully cared for. The fry will be guarded for several weeks after they are free-swimming. Females may steal other female's broods. Occasionally, females may round up groups of Daphnia to care for, when they have lost or failed to produce a brood. Start feeding with Artemia nauplii.
Breeding potential: 7. A moderately difficult fish to breed.
Remarks: Perform only partial water changes as this species is sensitive to changes in water conditions.
Difficulty of care: 6. A fish that requires live foods in its diet.
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