- Scientific Name: Pelvicachromis pulcher
- Family: Cichlidae
- Size: Males to 4 inches, females to 3
- Temperature: 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
- Alkalinity: Around neutral
- pH: 6.6 to 7.4
- Origin: Tropical West Africa
The “krib” is one of the most common and easy to keep of the constellation of Pelmatochromis/Pelvicachromis genera in the hobby. This fish is very hardy, adapt to almost any water conditions and will breed in wet cotton. Only the convict cichlid is on a par with the krib for being easy to breed. And, like the convict, the krib will spawn and raise its babies in a community tank, much to the suffering and discomfort of the rest of the tankmates.
Males have long extensions to the dorsal and anal fins, and females — especially when they are in a breeding mood — get bright reddish bellies. If you have a pair in a community tank and they start showing their breeding colors, they will soon have all the other fish in the tank cornered. They spawn in caves, so you should provide them with an upturned flowerpot, a coconut shell or something where the entrance is small and the ceiling is pretty low. It takes about a week for the babies to become free-swimming, at which point the parents will lead their new offspring around the tank, pointing them in the direction of possible food and keeping intruders at bay.
Totally undemanding about pH or hardness, the only thing to consider is that if you want an equal distribution of males and females from a litter of babies, the pH needs to be just about neutral at 7.0. Any deviation of more than 0.2 degrees will shift the sex ratio of the spawn considerably. The krib will eat almost anything, but seems to do best on a diet consisting of flakes supplemented by frozen bloodworm or brine shrimp. At some point in your fishkeeping you should definitely have kribs at least once.