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Picture of Kribensis/purple cichlid Picture of Kribensis/purple cichlid

Photos taken at Wharf Aquatics
Photos © Sean Evans

Common name:Kribensis, Krib, Rainbow Krib, Purple cichlid
Scientific name:Pelvicachromis pulcher
Synonyms:Pelmatochromis kribensis (based on a misidentification)
Size:4" (10cm), females smaller.
Origin:Nigeria, and coastal zone of Cameroon.
Tank setup:Planted aquarium with rocks or bogwood for shelter. A 2ft (60cm) tank would be the minimum for a pair, a 3ft (90cm) or larger would be suggested if kept as part of a community tank.
Compatibility:Often kept in community tanks, but can be very aggressive when spawning.
Temperature:24-27oC (75-80oF)
Water chemistry:Not critical, a wide range is tolerated, but medium hard with a pH of 6.5-8.0 is fine. May be found in slightly brackish waters.
Feeding:Omnivorous, will eat most aquarium foods including granular and flake foods, and frozen/live foods.
Sexing:The male is larger and has longer dorsal and anal fins, mature females have a pronounced purple stomach region.
Breeding:Spawning takes place in a cave - broken flower pots or coconut shell halves make good breeding caves, but caves formed by bogwood can also be used. The breeding cave is guarded by the female, while the male guards the territory. Eggs hatch in about 2 days and the fry will become free swimming a few days later. A pH around neutral or slightly acidic should be used for breeding, as the pH value can affect the male:female ratio of the fry.
Comments: The fish commonly known as the "Krib" is just one of several similar species in the genus Pelvicachromis, and the species originally given this name is not the species commonly seen in the hobby.


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