web analytics

Essential Care Tips for Trimac Cichlid: Habitat, Feeding, and Compatibility

trimac cichlid
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trimac_F1_male_three_spot.jpg">Custertrimac</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Trimac Cichlid (Amphilophus trimaculatum), belonging to the Cichlidae family, presents a stunning display of vibrant colors, making it a captivating choice for any aquarium.Its close relatives include popular species like tilapia, Oscars, and angelfish. The species is characterized by a heavy body with a green or yellow hue, adorned with distinctive spots. The males, larger than females, boast more pronounced colors and a notable red spot behind their gills.

Found in the slow-flowing rivers of Central America, Trimac Cichlids have a preference for muddy or sandy substrates. This species is versatile, thriving in various freshwater environments. In the wild, they mainly feed on small fish and invertebrates, showcasing their carnivorous nature. To ensure their well-being in captivity, it is crucial to provide them with a diet abundant in meaty foods.

Trimac Cichlids are not commonly seen in the aquarium trade, lending them a somewhat rare status among aquarists. In terms of variants, the Pyro-Trimac is notable for its increased red coloration. This species’ adaptable nature extends to its temperament, as it is known for being aggressive and territorial, especially during breeding.

A captivating characteristic of Trimac Cichlids is their impressive growth rate and size, as males can reach up to 15 inches, while females tend to be slightly smaller. They can live up to 12 years with proper care. Breeding these cichlids is relatively straightforward, with both parents actively guarding the eggs and fry.

The history of the Trimac Cichlid is as interesting as its physical attributes. It has played a role in creating hybrid species like the Flowerhorn cichlid. However, the introduction of such hybrids into native ecosystems, like in Southeast Asia, has caused ecological concerns.

In summary, the Trimac Cichlid offers an exciting challenge for experienced aquarists. Its vibrant colors, aggressive nature, and fascinating breeding habits make it a unique species to study and care for.

trimac cichlid
Custertrimac, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Information

Trimac Cichlids (Amphilophus trimaculatum) are fascinating fish with a range of variants, each boasting unique colors and patterns. These variants, such as the vibrant Pyro-Trimac, offer aquarists a glimpse into the rich diversity within the species.

PriceVaries; generally higher due to rarity
Common NamesThree Spot Cichlid, Trimac, Red-eyed Cichlid
VariantsStandard Trimac, Pyro-Trimac, etc.
Ideal Tank SizeMinimum 125 gallons
Water ParametersTemperature: 74-86°F, pH: 6.5-7.5, Hardness: 8-24 gH
LifespanUp to 12 years
Full SizeMales up to 15 inches, females up to 10 inches
Natural EnvironmentSlow-flowing rivers in Central America
BehaviorAggressive, territorial
Habitat PreferenceMuddy or sandy substrates in lower river valleys
Aquarium DecorationRocks, driftwood (avoid plants due to uprooting)
Ideal Tank MatesLarge, robust fish; species-specific tanks preferred
Fish to AvoidSmall, timid fish due to aggressive nature of Trimacs
Best Foods/DietCarnivorous – shrimp, bloodworms, earthworms, occasional veggies
DiseaseProne to standard fish diseases; good water quality essential
Sex-SwitchNo known sexual dimorphism beyond size
Gender DifferencesMales larger and more colorful; females smaller
Care LevelHigh, due to size, diet, and aggression
Breeding LevelModerate; parental care observed

Ideal Tank Mates

Finding the ideal tank mates for Trimac Cichlids (Amphilophus trimaculatum) requires considering their size, temperament, and environmental needs. As aggressive and large fish, Trimacs do best with tank mates that can hold their own without provoking conflict. Here are 15 suitable companions:

1. Jaguar Cichlid (Parachromis managuensis)

Jaguar Cichlids are large and robust, capable of defending themselves against a Trimac. Their compatible size and similar water parameter requirements make them a perfect match.

2. Oscar Fish (Astronotus ocellatus)

Oscar Fish are popular among cichlid enthusiasts for their personality and size. They can coexist with Trimacs due to their similar size and temperament.

3. Green Terror (Andinoacara rivulatus)

Green Terrors, with their vibrant colors and aggressive nature, can be a good match for Trimacs. They are sturdy enough to live alongside them without being bullied.

4. Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata)

Known for their striking appearance and strong character, Jack Dempseys can hold their ground in a tank with Trimacs.

5. Texas Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus)

Texas Cichlids are another large, aggressive species that can live harmoniously with Trimacs, provided the tank is spacious enough.

6. Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata)

While smaller than Trimacs, Convict Cichlids are known for their tenacious nature, making them a potential tank mate for Trimacs.

7. Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus)

The Midas Cichlid, sharing a similar aggressive temperament and size, can be a compatible companion for Trimacs.

8. Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus)

Red Devil Cichlids are robust and can be aggressive, which makes them suitable to share a tank with Trimacs.

9. Flowerhorn Cichlid

Flowerhorns are hybrid cichlids known for their unique appearance and strong personalities, capable of coexisting with Trimacs.

10. Severum (Heros severus)

Severums are relatively peaceful but can grow large enough to share a tank with Trimacs without being intimidated.

11. Plecostomus

Plecos are ideal tank mates as they tend to stay away from more aggressive fish such as Trimacs, thanks to their bottom-dwelling nature.

12. African Cichlids

A larger African Cichlid like the Frontosa can be housed together with Trimacs, but it is important to closely monitor them because they have different water requirements.

13. Silver Dollar Fish (Metynnis argenteus)

Silver Dollars are fast swimmers and generally peaceful, able to evade more aggressive fish like Trimacs.

14. Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)

Los gigantes gouramis pueden crecer bastante y tienen un temperamento pacífico, lo que los hace aptos para convivir con los Trimacs en acuarios grandes.

15. Bichir (Polypterus spp.)

Bichirs are bottom dwellers and generally keep to themselves, making them less likely to conflict with Trimacs.

These tank mates are chosen for their ability to coexist with Trimacs, either due to their size, temperament, or differing niche within the aquarium. However, it’s important to remember that individual fish personalities can vary, and what works in one aquarium may not in another. Always monitor new introductions closely and be prepared to make changes if necessary.


Can Trimac Cichlids be Kept Solo?

Trimac Cichlids can be kept alone, especially if you’re concerned about aggression towards other fish. Keeping them solo allows you to focus on their individual needs without the complexity of managing tank dynamics with other fish.

What are the Signs of Stress in Trimac Cichlids?

Signs of stress in Trimac Cichlids include changes in coloration (often becoming duller), reduced appetite, hiding more than usual, and abnormal swimming patterns. Stress can be caused by poor water quality, inadequate diet, or unsuitable tank mates.

How Can You Enhance the Coloration of Trimac Cichlids?

Enhancing the coloration of Trimac Cichlids can be achieved through a varied and nutritious diet, including foods rich in carotenoids. Proper lighting in the aquarium can also help in displaying their colors more vividly.

Are Trimac Cichlids Prone to Specific Diseases?

Trimac Cichlids, like many large cichlids, can be prone to diseases such as Ich (white spot disease) and Hole-in-the-Head disease. Maintaining excellent water quality and a balanced diet is crucial for prevention.

Can Trimac Cichlids Coexist with Invertebrates?

Trimac Cichlids are not ideal tank mates for invertebrates. Their large size and predatory nature make it risky to house them with smaller and more vulnerable creatures like shrimps or snails.

What Are the Best Practices for Transporting Trimac Cichlids?

When transporting Trimac Cichlids, use a large, sturdy bag with enough water to cover them. Oxygenate the water and maintain a stable temperature. Minimize the time they spend in the bag and acclimate them slowly to the new tank.

How Often Should You Feed Adult Trimac Cichlids?

Adult Trimac Cichlids should be fed once or twice a day. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health issues, so it’s important to adjust the feeding frequency and quantity according to their size and appetite.

What Are the Common Breeding Behaviors of Trimac Cichlids?

During breeding, Trimac Cichlids become more territorial and aggressive. The pair usually cleans a flat surface for spawning and both parents actively guard the eggs and fry.


  1. Aquarium Fish City: Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma trimaculatum) Species Profile.
  2. Fish Laboratory: Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma trimaculatum): Ultimate Care Guide.
  3. Wikipedia: Three spot cichlid – Amphilophus trimaculatum.
  4. Seriously Fish: Cichlasoma trimaculatum (Three Spot Cichlid, Trimac).
  5. AquaInfo: Amphilophus trimaculatus.
  6. The Aquarium Wiki: Trimac Cichlid (Amphilophus trimaculatum).
  7. AquaTrill: Cichlasoma Trimaculatum (Three Spot Cichlid or Trimac) All You Need to Know!.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.



Total posts created: 127
A long-time freshwater fish enthusiast with a passion for sharing knowledge about this fascinating hobby. Over the years, Michelle has dedicated countless hours to studying, learning, and experiencing firsthand the joys and challenges of fish-keeping.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *