Kribensis Cichlid, aka Krib, Rainbow Krib or Palette Cichlid (Pelvicachromis pulcher) is endemic to Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. It’s an aquarist’s dream as they are hardy, peaceful and have some of the most startling colours with pointed trailing fins that one would expect from a far more expensive species. Minimum tank: 40 litres, adult size up to 10 cm.
Both sexes have a dark longitudinal stripe that runs from the caudal fin to the mouth and pink to red abdomens, the intensity of which changes during courtship and breeding. The dorsal and caudal fins also may bear gold-ringed eye spots or ocelli. Kribensis are well known for their innate shyness and are not especially bold, though there are rare exceptions.
A 40 litre aquarium is large enough for a single pair, but if you wish to combine them with other fish, you’ll need more space and try to plan for a tank of no less than 90cm long. If going for a single pair, 60cm (40 litre) should be the smallest you use. Though Kribs don’t get huge, they’ll be grateful for extra space. Despite being fairly peaceful creatures, both sexes will grow territorial and aggressive while protecting their spawn. Therefore, it is important that the aquarium includes natural borders and at least one cave to provide hiding spots for other fish.
They will appreciate having plants in the tank. Kribs normally don’t eat them, so live plants are a great way to decorate the tank. However, it’s a good idea to protect the plant base with heavy stones, or choose species that tolerate being uprooted since Kribs sometimes dig. Due to this digging habit, sand or fine gravel without any sharp edges is recommended as bottom substrate in order to prevent injury.
Caves are a must! They love hiding spots, and providing at least one will make them much happier, while also decreasing the risk that they’ll become overly aggressive during the breeding period. By cleverly using numerous caves and natural borders, it is even possible to house several couples in the same tank. Flowerpots, coconut shells, or PVC pipes will be just as appreciated—but make sure there is an opening just large enough for the fish to use as their entrance.
Kribs are often kept in community aquariums with other fairly passive fish, such as other dwarf cichlids, tetras, and small barbs. They should not be housed with slow-moving species with long and flowing fins because they can turn into fin nippers. Avoid housing community Kribs with other cichlids that may not share the laid-back approach to life. Fish like Blue acara or Jewel cichlids are likely to pick a fight with a Krib and should be avoided. Likewise, catfish careening about the base of the tank and ousting Kribs from their homes will not be appreciated.
Kribs are omnivores and therefore very easy to feed. Ideally, you want a veg-heavy flake food or supplement with algae foods. They will readily accept most types of food. Keeping them on a varied diet will boost their immune system and provide a more comfortable life for them in captivity.
Kribs are quite resilient to disease, and provided with the right care it can live up to five years. As an additional bonus, kribs readily breed without any special coaxing. They also engage in highly entertaining fry-rearing behavior, wherein they herd their offspring around the tank for several weeks.
In the wild, Kribs are only found in the fresh, usually soft waters, and never in brackish conditions.
See Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets for help with diagnosing and treating diseases.
|Adult Size:||males 10 cm, females 8 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner to intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||40 litres, +5 litres/add. fish|
|Tank Level:||Mid to bottom dweller|
|Diet:||Omnivore, eats most foods|
|Water Flow:||Moderate to Fast|
|Temperature:||24 to 26°C|
|pH:||5.6 – 7.0|
|Hardness:||upto 7°KH (soft)|