Cichlasoma Trimaculatum (Three Spot Cichlid or Trimac) All You Need to Know!

The three Spot Cichlid is a very attractive fish. The males are fairly dark, with three bright spots on the dorsal fin. Mature females are generally lighter, with faint spotting on their dorsal fins. However, they can be fairly dark at times as well.

Their natural habitats are the slow-moving tributaries of Lake Tanganyika in Africa, where they feed on algae.


The three Spot cichlid has a pale tan body with three yellowish spots on each side of the dorsal fin and a gray-tan hue to the base color over the back half of its body.

The three Spot cichlid is a member in good standing of the family Cichlidae, which also includes the tilapia, the Oscar, and the angelfish.

The Trimac is also a member of the genus Macropetenia which contains six other species, including the electric blue Trimac and the multicolored (or rainbow) Trimac.


The diet of Cichlasoma Trimaculatum is primarily composed of invertebrates and vegetation. They will eat a variety of invertebrates, such as crickets, grasshoppers, and worms. They also eat aquatic and terrestrial plants (e.g., water spinach).

It eats mostly algae during its juvenile stage, but when it matures into an adult, it eats mostly plants instead.


The maximum size for a three Spot cichlid is about 4 inches (10 cm).


The 3 Spot Trimac is a peaceful cichlid and does well in a community tank with other fish. It is not a good idea to keep the Trimac with aggressive fish such as cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and should be kept in groups of 4 or more.


The 3 Spot Trimac is a peaceful and timid cichlid that you should not keep with aggressive fish.

Tank Size

The 3 Spot Trimac requires a minimum tank size of 55 gallons and is best kept in groups of 4 or more. A sandy substrate with rocks and pieces of wood for hiding places suits this fish well.

The lighting should be fairly dim so as not to stimulate algae’s growth too much. Because they consume algae as part of their natural diet, the 3 Spot Trimac does not require supplemental feeding.

Water Parameters

The water parameters for the 3 Spot Trimac should be pH 7.5-8.5, alkalinity 120-180 ppm, and a temperature of 75-80°F.


The 3 Spot Trimac is an egg layer. You can easily keep a breeding pair in a 55-gallon tank all to themselves. Males will fight with each other, but it’s not uncommon for several males to court the same female at once.

When ready to spawn, she will choose her mate and chase the others away. She then lays several hundred eggs on the tank’s glass and is immediately fertilized by her chosen mate.

The eggs are adhesive, so they will not fall off the glass. Once hatched, the fry will eat their way out of their eggshells before being free swimming in 24 hours or less.

Parental Behavior

The parents do not care for their fry. Once the eggs have been laid, you can remove them to a holding tank to raise the fry on their own.

They are incredibly easy to breed in captivity, so they don’t need to remain with their parents after hatching.

Algae Eater

The 3 Spot Trimac is an algae eater and doesn’t require supplemental feeding. However, they can be fed spirulina flakes along with their normal diet of flake food every other day if you wish. They will also accept brine shrimp, bloodworms, and tubifex worms.


The Trimac is a relatively easy fish to keep. The only maintenance required is weekly water changes of 25-30%.

When considering a 3 Spot Trimac Cichlid for your home aquarium, be sure to keep in mind their need for plenty of swimming space and dim lighting.

They are not difficult fish to care for but require a minimum tank size of 55 gallons. The 3 Spot Trimac is a great addition to any community tank with its attractive coloring and peaceful nature.

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