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Breeding Apistogramma Trifasciata


New Member
New Zealand
Got a pair of Apistogramma Trifasciata a month ago, and they have given me nothing but headaches. The male constantly bashed the female when they were first introduced. She wasn't feeding, so I moved the Male for a couple weeks. At the end of this first segregation; the male was reintroduced; and they showed really good behavior for a day. There was no shock, and the Male really wanted to breed, but she kept chasing him off. The next day the male had won dominance, and the female lay next to some stones, the yellow color she had the previous day completely gone. She was feeding, but I noticed some caudal fin damage so I moved her over to my 54l spare setup. There were plenty of hiding places, but she didn't use any of them. She is 2.5cm, and he is 4cm. Now, I've found that they are a wild pair, and not only that they are the only pair in my country; New Zealand. Thus, I want to breed them. Does anyone have a tried and tested method that will work? I'm thinking about putting the male in a breeding box for a couple of days, then if shes looking good, let him loose. Below are a couple photos.
Top is the male in 90l 'Main' Tank
First picture of female. More yellow now.
54l when I first set it up. The hair grass has propagated to a decent carpet, and the vallis has increased in size.


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5 Year Member
She needs a very small cave/space that she can enter and he can't. I used some 3 inch flowerpots turned upside down. The hole in the bottom was big enough for her, but not for my male. I had two females, and he spawned with both of them at almost the same time, certainly within a day of one another. They were in a long 20 gallon tank, and he still hunted down the second male and killed him. And mine were domestically raised, I think.

I've had a few species of Apistos where the males were much bigger, and keeping them out of the cave worked. They can spray sperm from the door, they do not need to enter the cave.


New Member
New Zealand
I have one of those flowerpot school in the 90l, but I decided to make an entrance, and clogged the hole at the inverted top with a pebble. Would the 54l be fine for the pair? I'll grab a couple more of those pots over the weekend while the female recovers, but will they be fine in the 54l if I stick a couple more pots in?
When do you think the female is ready to spawn. I've seen a couple bits about her being yellow, but when I put the male in, it was gone within a day. What should I look when before adding the male?

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
You have several problems right now. Your aquarium isn't properly decorated to provide adequate breeding sites, as Chromedome wrote, and no territorial boundaries as well. A. trifasciata males are notorious for being aggressive courters. It is best to breed them in a larger tank with 2 or more females. Since this is impossible in your case, try this. First partition the tank with a grid-style tank partition, 1/3 for male and 2/3 for female. Next place only 1 breeding cave (no other breeding sites) in the female's side, with the opening 2-3 cm from and pointed toward the male's side of the partition. Now both fish can see each other, but can't reach each other. Feed well with live and frozen foods and let them spawn through the partition. This worked for me with Hüzer Red-tail Blue A. agassizii that I "separated" because I didn't want them to breed. Where there's a will, there's a way. Good luck.

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