Kribensis are one of my favorite Cichlids. I have 2 pairs and trying get them into mating mood. They are dwarf Cichlids so don’t become huge or extremely aggressive. But they are aggressive and specially females can become real pain in a$$ to everyone else in tank. But they are beautiful fish and would be great for big community tank of dwarf Cichlids or other medium size fish who can stand up for bulling.
They used to be bit uncommon even though one of the cheaper types of Cichilds. When I was a kid I seldom see Kribensis in pet-shops. But these days you can see them often and still cheap. Having the in a peaceful aquarium is not something possible most of them. Females can be aggressive towards smaller fish. This can get worse if a pair decide to mate. So you need to know everything you can find out about them before buying this beautiful fish.
There is an Kribensis albino type is also developed aquarium trade but not every common and you would rarely see them in pet shops. There are 3 know Kribansis kinds and it’s recommend not to inter breed these 3 type of fish to preserve the original types.
Origin, Size, Behaviour
Kribensis are endemic to Nigeria and Cameroon. Their scientific name is P. pulcher (pulcher means beautiful in Latin). These guys are also known as rainbow Cichlid and purple Cichlid. They won’t grow bigger than 13cm and live around 5-6 years. Even they are fine with both acidic and soft water conditions they prefer densely planted areas also make sure tank is a planted tank with lots of caves and driftwood too. They need clear water and even thought they are hardy they won’t last long when ammonia levels going up.
They are easy to breed and would breed anywhere if they are happy about this. Can become a real problem if they decide to have babies in a community tank. Sometimes it might be better having just one fish a female or male rather than a pair. Both male and female look beautiful when they are fully grown and most of the time female is more colorful than male. They can get really territorial and aggressive time to time so even thought it’s a dwarf Cichild this guy should be kept in bigger aquariums if you want have several fish in same tank. Biggest downside of Kribensis is they are not peaceful at all. Females can get really aggressive and can even kill the male if he is smaller.Also you need to have fish who swim around the tank without staying hide. Kribensis are shy so they might stay hidden in caves and in middle of plants if they find everyone stay that way.
Kribensis eat both meat and green stuff. They will happily eat pellet food but make sure to mix their diet with other things like raw fish or meat, hard boiled egg york etc. You will find them always search for food digging around the tank. Don’t over feed, shouldn’t give them food more than twice a day for adult fish.
Sexing and Breeding
Kribansis are not easy fish to breed. It’s not so good to let them do it in a community tank because they get really aggressive. When female is in mood for mating you can see bright colors on her and she gets aggressive. It’s not hard sexing these fish like Oscar or some other Cichlid fish. There are clear differences between males and females.
It might not be easy when they are too young but when they become adults you can see differences clearly. You can see from the image that female has more rounded shape and make has torpedo shape body. Also usually female is more colorful than Kribensis male. Also both male and female can have this red or pink color spot on their bellies but males might have spread over grills to their mouths. Females have it only in their belly area. Also Male grown bigger and make sure to buy a bigger make if you are only going to buy one pair. Female can get quite aggressive when she is getting ready to mate and male might not survive if he is smaller in size and can’t stand for females aggression.
They might dig gravel or lay eggs in a cave they find in tank. So it would be cool for them if you can provide those artificial caves which you can buy from pet shops or Amazon. These are cheap and make fish happy. Also you will make parents less stress about their babies safety.
Eggs take around 72 hours to hatch and the fry stick with parents for weeks before start going in their own separate ways. These guys are very protect parents so won’t let any other fish come closer to their fry. If you have a well planted tank then you don’t need to worry about feeding fry. They will find things to eat in tank like micro ceatures in water and on plants.