Kribensis Cichlid

Species NamePelvicachromis pulcher
Common NameKribensis Cichlid
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan5-6 years
Adult SizeUp to 4 inches (males), 3 inches (females)
Minimum Tank Size20 gallons (75 liters)
Temperature75°F – 80°F (24°C – 27°C)
Water ConditionspH 6.0-8.0, Soft to moderately hard

About the Kribensis Cichlid – Species Summary

Kribensis Cichlids, often simply referred to as “Kribs”, are vibrant and captivating freshwater fish native to West African waters. Popular among both novice and experienced aquarists, Kribs are renowned for their striking appearance, intriguing behavioral displays, and relatively peaceful nature. Their adaptable dietary habits and resilience to varied water conditions make them an attractive option for a broad spectrum of fishkeepers. The fascinating aspect of Kribs is their breeding behavior and the way they exhibit parental care, making them a delightful subject for those interested in the breeding aspect of fishkeeping.

Kribensis Cichlid Lifespan

Kribensis Cichlids generally live up to 5-6 years when kept under optimal conditions. Proper diet, good water quality, and a stress-free environment play vital roles in ensuring they reach or even surpass this age. Regular health checks and preventative measures against common diseases can further extend their lifespan.


Kribensis Cichlids boast a dynamic color palette. While both sexes are colorful, females especially dazzle with a radiant pink or red belly, particularly when they are ready to breed. Males, on the other hand, tend to be larger and exhibit elongated dorsal and anal fins. Both genders have a dark lateral stripe that runs from their eye to the base of their tail. Their captivating appearance, combined with a unique shape, makes them a favorite among many fish enthusiasts.

Average Size

While males can reach up to 4 inches in length, females typically remain around 3 inches. It’s essential to provide adequate space, especially if keeping multiple Kribs, to ensure they grow to their full potential.

Kribensis Cichlid Care

Tank Size

For a pair of Kribensis Cichlids, a 20-gallon tank is generally sufficient. However, if you’re planning to house them with other fish or maintain a larger group, a bigger tank would be more appropriate.

How To Set Up Their Tank

While Kribs are adaptable, replicating their natural habitat can make them more comfortable. This would mean a sandy substrate, rocks, and caves for hiding, and dense vegetation. Floating plants can help dim the lighting and make the environment cozier for these West African natives. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots, especially if keeping multiple pairs, to reduce territorial disputes.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting suffices for Kribs. They don’t have specific lighting requirements, but a dimmer setting can help replicate their natural habitat and reduce stress.


Kribensis Cichlids are tolerant of a range of pH levels, but they thrive best in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline waters, with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0.


Maintaining a water temperature between 75°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C) is ideal for Kribs. Consistency is crucial; sudden fluctuations can lead to stress and health issues.

Water Parameters

Regular water tests for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are essential. The aim should always be for 0ppm ammonia and nitrites, while nitrates should be kept as low as possible.

Disease Potential

Like all aquarium fish, Kribs can be susceptible to various diseases such as Ich or parasitic infections. Quarantining new fish and plants, regular health checks, maintaining good water quality, and a varied diet can go a long way in preventing disease outbreaks.

Food & Diet

Being omnivores, Kribensis Cichlids have a varied palate. They readily accept high-quality flake foods, pellets, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Feeding them a varied diet helps ensure optimal health and coloration.

Behavior and Temperament

While generally peaceful, Kribs can become territorial, especially during breeding. They exhibit fascinating behavioral displays, with color intensification during mating rituals. They’re best kept in pairs, and while they can coexist with other fish, ensuring plenty of hiding spaces can reduce territorial disputes.

Tank Mates

Kribs can cohabit with a variety of species that match their temperament. Good tank mates include tetras, rasboras, and some catfish species. However, it’s advisable to avoid very aggressive species or those that might bully the Kribs.


Breeding Kribs is an enchanting experience. They are substrate spawners and prefer to lay their eggs in caves or concealed spaces. Once the eggs are laid, the female usually guards them while the male patrols the territory. Post-hatching, both parents show an endearing level of care towards the fry, guiding them around the tank and protecting them from potential threats.

Kribensis Cichlid FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)