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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Cichlids > Kribensis
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the




Pelvicachromis pulcher


    Perhaps the most widely know of the riverine African cichlids, the krib is a fine addition to any species tank. Not a large cichlid and peaceful for the species the krib is easy to breed and fun to watch. During breeding the bright reds on the body become very bright making it one of the most colorful cichlids available.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 4" (10cm), females smaller
    Tank: 24 inches
    Strata: Bottom, middle
    PH: 5.0 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 0.0 - 12.0
    Temperature: 75°F to 84°F (24-29°C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Percoidi
    Family: Cichlidae
    Genera: Pelvicachromis

Jack dempsey

Common name

    Kribensis, Dwarf Rainbow Cichlid.

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Tropical West Africa, the Niger river Delta

General Body Form
    A fairly slender fish with slight lateral compression. The nose and head area heading toward the back forms a gentle slope The Dorsal fin starts at or just before the Pectoral fins and its rear portion is pointed in the male, rounded in the female. The Caudal fin is somewhat higher than it is long, with its shape being generally round. Males can reach a length of three and one half inches, with the females slightly smaller.

    Kribs are an attractive fish and their coloration varies. Here is a general color. The back is brownish with either a Blue or Lilac sheen to it, becoming an off White to Ivory towards the belly area which also has the same sheen as the back area. The most distinctive trait is the large Rose to Purple colored marking on the belly which extends almost to the back. On the back edge of the gill covers there is a Brown spot edged with Red on top and Blue on the bottom. The Anal fin is a pale Lilac The Ventral fins Have bright Blue front edges with blue fin rays and the body of the fins are is violet in males and Red in females. The males Caudal fin has one to five "eye" spots that dark in color and edged in Yellow.
Male Krib
female krib

    This is one of the most popular Cichlids we keep. They are an African Cichlid, but do not inhabit the Great Rift Lakes so their requirements are not the same. Kribs have several advantages over their larger cousins. They can be kept with other and they don't do the usual digging of the substrate. The territories they establish are small so a large tank is not needed or you can keep several in one large tank. They will even breed in a community set up. The Kribs live mainly in West African rivers and they prefer shallow water with lots of shelter from plants and drift wood and rock caves. They tolerate a temperature range of 77 to 82 F. (25 to 28 C. ) a pH of 5 to 7.5 and soft to hard water. a very adaptable fish. Feeding Kribs is no problem as they will accept all types of food including live, frozen and flake.

    Shallow areas with leafy plants, bog wood and leaf debris in slow moving water in Southern Nigeria.


krib with fry
krib with fry

    The Krib is a typical shelter breeder which will spawn in a rock cave or an inverted flowerpot which have narrow entrances. The Red-Brown eggs hatch in two to three days with both parents guarding the fry. The babies are free swimming four to five days after hatching and are easy to raise. The young can be feed baby brine shrimp "Artemia" and fine flake food. Growth is fairly quick.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Patrick
I was a bit cautious of these fish after reading what aggression they can show but i bought a pair for my community tank. they are the most peaceful fish in the tank and the most fun to watch. i think they don't show aggression when they have their own space. they share the 200L with a few swordtails and a pair of gouramis. FANTASTIC FISH!
From: Craig
These are beautiful fish and aren't overly aggressive if kept with the right tankmates, usually smaller less aggressive tankmates that aren't going to be in their face all the time, my breeding pair live with 2 pearl gouramis, 1 gold gourami and 5 harlequin rasboras and the kribs have not killed any of their tankmates yet, the only time they get really edgy is when they are breeding but the other fish soon learn to stay out the way.
From: Keri
I purchased a male and female a week ago and put them in a community well planted 50 gal tank and they are the most peaceful fish I own. I also noticed today that they have eggs that they are guarding and even then they are peaceful. One of my favorite fish by far!!
From: Damian
For anyone out there who wants to breed kribs they are a very interesting little fish who are quite easy to breed. I purchased a pair from my local petshop. The male immediately began beating on the female so I separated them till she was in good condition. Two weeks after putting them back together I had fry. They ate this first lot (I read somewhere that they usually do) but within a week had another lot. The fry are free swimming after about 7 days and can be fed crushed bottom feeder pellets. The parents do a great job of herding the fry and are very interesting because of their unique personalities. The fry should be removed after 19 days but no sooner or they will die. A clay log or pot makes a suitable breeding site at 25C and ph 7.
From: Joe
These fish are very aggressive. I have 3 pairs of them in a 75 gallon fish tank, mixed with 3 big tinfoil barbs, 3 fully grown pictus cats, two pecostomus, and a pair of huge fully grown convicts. The kribs are the smallest fish in the tank and they are VERY AGGRESSIVE. They are not aggressive towards each other amazingly, but they are at war with the convicts. And at anything else that goes into there territory. The 3 pairs of kribs I have breed constantly and are very colorful and beautiful. They just cant stand the convicts. I do recommend these fish but try to have only 1 pair per tank, unless your tank is 75 gallons and up. Then multiple pairs may be kept, but they need lots of caves and hiding places to call their own. These fish vary too. I have some in different tanks that are peaceful, others are just downright vicious.
From: J3ff
I've had a pair of breeding kribs in my old rekord 60, I recently bought 4 young kribs, for my new 3ft by 2ft by 1 1/2ft high, tons of coverage (Japanese garden look, black sand, gapes decorations and plants), 2 pairs of male and female, had them just other 3 weeks and they get along fine, after a week or so they paired off, pretty much each pair to each end of the tank. a lot of myth covers this species, I've had 1 occasion where one relentlessly attacked my betta, due to it being more decorative, but I've found if the prettier fish are added a few weeks before they seem to leave well alone. Yes they need their own space, but my community tank Has a load of different varieties of fish and I've never had trouble... I have 2 plecos, 2 kissing gouramis (fair size too), 4 black fin tetra, several various danios, the odd barb, khulis, couple pearl and honey gouramis and my 7 inch black ghost knifefish.. no trouble at all, just have to make sure my black ghost has it's own cube of bloowdworms...
From: John
First of all, if you give them enough space and good water quality they WILL NOT fight. The only time when kribensis get edgy is during mating. It has nothing to do with what they think of the other fish, only if the other fish comes too close and the krib doesn't want it too. Please don't keep too may full grown adults in one tank. 2 in a rekord 60 is just about OK. Yes, lots of plants, caves and areas to hide. I use a mixture of slate, polycarbonate rock, real rock and broken terra-cotta pots alongside 4 fake plants and 4 real. (All my pairs are housed in rekord 60's)







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