Kribensis Cichlid (Pelvicachromis Pulcher): Ultimate Care Guide

Common NameKribensis Cichlid, Purple Cichlid, Rainbow Krib
Scientific NamePelvicachromis Pulcher
OriginWestern Africa
Temperature75°F to 78°F
Water pH6.5
Adult Sizeup to 4 inches

Kribensis Cichlid Facts

  • The Kribensis Cichlid gets its name from the Latin words that refer to its vibrant colored belly.
  • You can tell male Kribensis Cichlids from females by simply looking at them. The males are thinner, longer, and have more pointed fins. The females tend to be more rounded and smaller at full maturity.
Striped Raphael Catfish (Platydoras Armatulus)
Kribensis Cichlid (Pelvicachromis Pulcher)

Kribensis Cichlid

Kribensis Cichlids is an African Cichlid that is vibrant fish with many different color variations. Kribensis Cichlids can be identified by their flashy, silver-colored bodies that have a thick black like that runs laterally from their tail to their head. They have bright yellow colored heads, and vibrant red bellies. Kribensis Cichlids also have black spots on their dorsal and tail fins. There are other fish that closely resemble the Kribensis Cichlid, so make sure that you are getting the correct fish when ordering online, or purchasing in a pet store.

Male and Female Kribensis Cichlids

Male Kribensis Cichlids are typically longer, thinner, and have more pointed fins. The female Kribensis Cichlids are smaller and more rounded. They have more rounded bellies, and are more brightly colored than the males are. Female Kribensis Cichlids get darker when they are ready to spawn.

Are Kribensis Cichlids an African Cichlid?

Kribensis Cichlids are endemic to the waters of southern Nigeria and the coastal waters of Cameroon, in Africa. Therefore, Kribensis Cichlid are an African Cichlid.

Kribensis Cichlid Food & Diet

In the wild, Kribensis Cichlids are omnivorous, scavenger fish who spend most of their time at the bottom looking for food they can eat. In captivity, you can expect your Kribensis Cichlid to accept a variety of foods. They should be fed sinking pellets to make sure that the food reaches the bottom of their aquarium where they usually are. Bloodworms, Daphnia, and Brine Shrimp are good foods to offer them.

Size & LIfespan

The average Kribensis Cichlid male can grow up to 4 inches in length, while the female remains slightly smaller at around 3 inches. If Kribensis Cichlids are maintained in the proper habitat, and given the correct care, you can expect them to live up to 5 years in captivity.

Tank Setup, Tank Size, Temperature, and Water pH

Kribensis Cichlids are tropical, Freshwater Cichlids that require a heater to keep their tank at 75F to 78F. Raising the temperature slightly higher to 80F will trigger spawning.

For water parameters, Kribensis Cichlids prefer more neutral waters kept at around 6.5 pH.

Kribensis Cichlids can be kept as a pair in a 20 gallon tank, but if you can manage it, they prefer a much larger tank. You can keep a single Kribensis Cichlid in a tank, but it will not display the brighter colorations, or behaviors that make the Kribensis Cichlid  such an interesting fish to keep.

Kribensis Cichlid Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for Kribensis Cichlids, you will want to make sure that you choose a powerful filtration system. Kribensis Cichlids produce a lot of waste, and it is important for their health and lifespan that they are kept in a clean environment.

A Kribensis Cichlid tank should also have a heater to ensure that the water maintains a comfortable, constant temperature. Kribensis Cichlids are not fans of bright lights, and they will do best with a lower level lighting.

You will want to put in a fine gravel substrate in their tank, and live plants that are secured in the substrate. Kribensis Cichlids are not plant eaters, but they will uproot any plants that aren’t rooted in place. Java Moss is a great plant to consider for Kribensis Cichlid  tanks.

You will want to make sure to place driftwood, and rocks strategically around the tank so that it creates places for Kribensis Cichlids to hide. You will want to consider the placement of decor and plants so that the Kribensis Cichlids can have their own territories.

Kribensis Cichlid Breeding

When Kribensis Cichlids are ready to spawn they will pair off, and will guard their territory a little more aggressively. It is for this reason that it would be best for the Kribensis Cichlids that they have their own dedicated breeding tank. If you notice that your fish are not wanting to spawn right away, you can slightly raise the temperature to 80F. This should help trigger them to spawn.

When the female is ready, she will deposit anywhere from 50 to 300 eggs on a flat surface in their territory. Once she is done laying her eggs, the male will come and fertilize them. Kribensis Cichlids are very good parent fish, who watch over their eggs until they hatch. The parents will take shifts guarding them so that they can eat.

The Kribensis Cichlid eggs hatch within 3 to 8 days, and become free swimming around 3 days after that. Baby brine shrimp are a good choice when feeding Kribensis Cichlid fry as they are big enough to eat them as soon as they become free swimming.

Kribensis Cichlid Disease

Kribensis Cichlids are susceptible to many of the diseases as all freshwater fish. Fungal infections, parasitic infections, and bacterial infections. Most of these ailments can be helped if they are caught early on, and treated.

It is important for the health of your Kribensis Cichlids that they are kept in clean waters. Many of these ailments arise from improper care and stress. Make sure to monitor the water parameters carefully so that you can correct any issues as they arise.

Kribensis Cichlid Tank Mates

Kribensis Cichlids do best when kept in a breeding pair in a larger tank. Kribensis Cichlids are not considered to be aggressive fish, but they are territorial. If you want to keep more Kribensis Cichlids together in a community tank, you will want to consider keeping more males than females so that they do not get aggressive towards one another.

When Choosing other tankmates for Kribensis Cichlids, you will want to keep in mind that Kribensis Cichlids occupy the bottom of the tank. So there are no overcrowding or territory issues, you will want to choose other fish that occupy the middle or the top of the tank.

Kribensis Cichlids are fin nippers, and they will nip at the fins of other slow moving fish such as Angelfish.

Are Kribensis Cichlids Aggressive?

Kribensis Cichlids are not considered an aggressive fish species to keep. They can be kept in a community tank setup, but there are some conditions to keeping them with other fish. It is important to know that Kribensis Cichlids are territorial fish, and they will also nip at the fins of slow moving fish.

You will want to make sure that you are monitoring any new fish that you place together so that you can identify and solve any problems before they get too serious.

Can You Add Kribensis Cichlids to a Community Tank?

Kribensis Cichlids can be added to a community tank as long as it is large enough, and meets the needs of all the fish placed inside. Kribensis Cichlids are territorial, especially when they are ready to spawn. The success of keeping Kribensis Cichlids with other fish is to give them plenty of room, places to hide, and territory to claim.

Do Kribensis Cichlids Need to be Kept in Pairs?

Kribensis Cichlids do best when kept in breeding pairs. A single Kribensis Cichlid can be kept alone, but it will not display the vibrant colorations or behaviors that make it such an interesting fish to keep.

Kribensis Cichlids and African Cichlids

You can keep Kribensis Cichlids with other African Cichlids as long as you give them the appropriate setup and keep in mind that they are territorial fish that will fight if there is not enough space in the aquarium.

Kribensis Cichlids and Angelfish

It is not advisable to keep Kribensis Cichlids with Angelfish. Kribensis Cichlids are fin nippers, and they will go after the slow moving, peaceful Angelfish.

Where Can I Purchase Kribensis Cichlids?

Kribensis Cichlids can be purchased from pet stores or from breeders online. You can expect to pay $5 to $10 per Kribensis Cichlid. You will want to make sure that you are purchasing your fish from a reputable place to ensure that you receive a healthy fish, and the right species. There are other species of Cichlids that appear similar to the Kribensis Cichlid.

Kribensis Cichlid vs Striped Kribensis

Striped Kribensis are somewhat more rare of a fish to find to purchase. Striped Kribensis are very similar to Kribensis Cichlids in coloration, temperament, and behavior. The major difference between the two fish is their appearance. The Striped Kribensis lacks the dark spotting on the fins, and has a more vibrant colored fin tip.

Unfortunately, there are many types of Cichlids that are very similar to Kribensis, and it is not uncommon to find them mislabelled by the breeder, or pet store.