The Kribensis – Pelvichromis Pulcher

The Kribensis is a dwarf cichlid from Africa. One of the most beautiful of all dwarf Africans, the Krib is a peaceful fish until it comes to spawning. During spawning a krib can succeed in scaring off a fish 3 times its size, a great feat for such a small fish. Although the krib is not the easiest fish to spawn, their prices are fairly high. My local fish store charges eight dollars for an adult male, and ten dollars for an adult female.



Although the krib often has a reputation for being hard to spawn, it can be easily accomplished in peaceful tank, with a few small cory cats, and some small platys or tetras. Simply keep your water conditions very good. No ammonia, no nitrites, very low nitrates. Add a couple caves, lots of plants. And feed some nice live foods as well as quality flake. Just simply wait. My pair lost their eggs/young before they became free swimming for the first couple of times, but after a couple times they will get it right.

A pair with fry.

Family: Cichlidae

Common names: Dwarf rainbow, krib, Kribensis, purple cichlid

Origin: The krib is from Africa, throughout the river systems.

Size: The krib very rarely grows larger than 4 inches, and in the aquarium stays at about 3 inches. The female grows to be only about 2 inches.

Sexing: The females are much more colorful until spawning time, when the male becomes very colorful to keep the predators away from the fry.

Feeding: Feeding of the krib is very easy, as long as you have a tank bred specimen. For wild specimens all you can feed is live brine, daphnia, worms, and mosquito larvae. For tank bred specimens you can feed flake, frozen food, freeze-dried, as well as live food. Ghost shrimp also act as good feeders. They scavenge, clean your tank, and provide fresh meat for the fish.
Baby kribs will take flake, microworms, ghost shrimp, and baby brine.

Breeding: Simple, clean water, low nitrates, no ammonia, no nitrites, and caves.

Lifespan: 2-4 years, depending on what you feed and how well you take care of them.

Temperament: Peaceful, until breeding time. When breeding they can become very aggressive, my female just killed my male a couple of days ago.

Possible tank mates: Small livebearers, small tetras, cory cats, maybe a pleco, you can add shrimp but they will end up getting eaten sometime.