Pelvicachromis Pulcher (Kribensis Cichlid)

pelvicachromis pulcher

Last updated on July 16th, 2022 at 08:42 am

The Pelvicachromis Pulcher is one of the best cichlids to keep in your home aquarium. They are fun and very active, as well as being small and easy to take care of. With proper care and maintenance, they can live up to 10 years or more! There are three different kinds of Kribensis Cichlids, the Pelvicachromis Pulcher, Pelvicachromis Taeniatus, and Pelvicachromis Nkongsae.

The Kribensis Cichlid, also known as the Pelvicachromis Pulcher, is known for its distinct yellow, black, and purple/red coloration. A member of the Cichlid family, it can grow to be as large as six inches in length and has a lifespan of between six and eight years in captivity. The Kribensis Cichlid was first discovered in 1944 by Ad Konings and named after his wife’s maiden name, Pulcher.

What is a Kribensis cichlids (Pelvicachromis Pulcher)

A Kribensis cichlid (also commonly known as the Krib or Pelvicachromis Pulcher) is a small, energetic African cichlid that can be kept successfully in smaller aquariums of 20 gallons or less. They are peaceful fish and should be kept with other peaceful African fish, such as other Pelvicachromis species, African tetras, and dwarf cichlids such as the Hemichromis fasciatus (Electric Blue Hap).

It is a species of cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. This fish, which was first described by the German zoologist Peter Pallas in 1793, can reach a length of about 12 cm (4.7 in). It has been introduced to some areas outside its natural range including Florida, Hawaii, southern Japan, western and southern Europe.

Kribensis, or Kribs for short, are small African cichlids native to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. They are an extremely popular fish to keep in freshwater aquariums due to their small size and wide range of colors. This species is great for fishkeepers who wish to have a unique-looking cichlid but lack a large tank or water space.

Origin and description

pelvicachromis pulcher

Scientifically named Pelvicachromis pulcher, Kribensis cichlids are native to Lake Tanganyika in central Africa. This type of cichlid can reach a length of four inches and has a reputation for being quite colorful. The Kribensis cichlid is considered a hardy species because it adapts to various water conditions.

They tend to like shallower waters and do well in community aquariums or fish tanks with other non-aggressive fish species. Kribensis cichlids also enjoy having rock structures placed within their tank; they like swimming around them and hiding behind them as they search for food items such as worms, small invertebrates, vegetables, and flakes.

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

Owners who have a large number of Kribensis fish should make sure that each one gets plenty of space to explore within their aquarium environment. Keeping these fish happy involves adding live plants (water lettuce), keeping up on regular maintenance, and paying attention to pH levels when doing weekly water changes.

It’s recommended that aquarists perform 20 percent water changes every week in order to remove waste matter from decomposing plant matter that would otherwise be harmful to your pet fish if left untouched.

Species profile

pelvicachromis pulcher

Pelvicachromis pulcher is a small, colorful fish found in the rivers of East Africa. It is one of the hundreds of species that belong to the genus Pelvicachromis.

The Krib’s scientific name – pelvicachromis pulcher – originates from two Latin words: pulcher meaning beautiful, and chromis meaning colored. These are indeed an attractive group of fishes with rainbow-like colors such as turquoise, orange, or pink (depending on lightness/darkness).

Habitat and description

Kribs come from Lake Tanganyika, Africa. They live in sandy areas of rivers or lakeshores. They are popular because they are relatively peaceful and easy to care for. These fish need a minimum tank size of 20 gallons with lots of hiding places but can be kept in smaller tanks too.

Because these fish are territorial, it is necessary to have at least 3 to 4 females per male. Females will fight over territory so make sure males have enough room between territories. It is also recommended that you keep one male with two or three females instead of having multiple males in your tank.

All African cichlids should be fed several times a day, although all too often people will only feed their fish once every few days. Feeding once every day may result in nutritional deficiencies, which could lead to illness and even death for your fish.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher size and weight

The male is a moderate-sized cichlid that can grow up to 6.7 inches or 17 centimeters in length and weigh up to 5 ounces or 140 grams. It has quite a streamlined body shape with a long rounded head, big eyes, and its back is often adorned with white stripes and spots. The female Kribensis cichlid is smaller than her male counterpart, averaging about 6 inches in length but generally weighing more at about 0.5 pounds or 225 grams.

Bumblebee Goby Fish (Brachygobius doriae)

Pelvicachromis Pulcher tank size

The recommended tank size is 20 Gallons (75 Liters), but 15 Gallons or less is ideal. The aquarium should have a sandy substrate and plants are a must, along with rocks and bogwood for them to hide in.

Tank set up

Because Pelvicachromis pulcher is a dwarf cichlid, it can be kept in an aquarium with a width of about 7 inches and a length of 20 inches. It will swim up to 3 feet, so an aquarium that is at least 4 or 5 feet long is needed.

Kribs are very active fish and require ample swimming space. As such, tanks should be decorated with rocks and driftwood for hiding places as well as some open spaces for swimming. Plants will be eaten without fail if they are not placed high enough from floor level.

The water temperature should range between 76°F – 82°F and ph levels 6.8 -7.5.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher tank mates

Pelvicachromis pulcher needs to be kept in schools of at least six fish. It can do well with other Central American cichlids like Astronotus ocellatus, Nandopsis tetracanthus, and rams. Generally, they are peaceful fish that will not pick on their tank mates, but they are also territorial and can fight over territory.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher breeding

pelvicachromis pulcher

The Kribensis cichlid can be bred in a well-established aquarium. The male will clean up any rocks and make space for the female to lay her eggs. She will lay about 20 eggs, and he will fertilize them. The parents should be removed after spawning to prevent harm to their offspring.

After a couple of days, the fry can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flake food. At about 1 week old, you can feed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food. Currently, there are only a few breeders known who have managed to successfully breed these fish.

Reedfish, Rope Fish (Erpetoichthys calabaricus)

Unlike most African rift lake cichlids, Kribs cannot tolerate poor water conditions because they have less tolerance for pH swings and temperature fluctuations than other African rift lake species do. They also get very stressed when kept in an overcrowded tank.

It is possible to keep more than one pair together if you have an extremely large tank but even then it is not recommended since aggression occurs between males regardless of whether they were raised together or not. In addition, keeping many males together without enough females can cause unneeded stress as well with males attacking each other as well as fighting off intruders into their territory.

Are pelvicachromis pulcher aggressive or peaceful?

Kribs can be very aggressive. They may be tiny little guys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pack a punch! I have had my Kribs kill other fish in my aquarium that was a lot bigger than them. The exception to how aggressive they are is that they are not likely to get into altercations with their own kind or their fry. They will tolerate other members of their species and even keep an eye on each other young together.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher care

pelvicachromis pulcher

Kribs are not at all fussy eaters. They will accept a wide variety of foods including flake, frozen, freeze-dried, and live/frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms. Kribs should be fed a minimum of three times per day to ensure maximum growth and coloration, with slightly more food being provided during spawning periods.

What they eat

Pelvicachromis pulcher, like most African cichlids, is an omnivore. This means that they are not picky eaters and will eat just about anything. A staple diet of cichlids consists of fish flakes and pellets designed for cichlids. Pelvicachromis pulcher can also be fed live blackworms, brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms, and other types of insects.

Water parameters

The ideal pH is 6.5 – 7.5, dH range of 10-20, and temperature range of 26 – 30°C (78 – 86°F), suggested minimum tank size 100 Litres (25 gallons) or more. What else to consider when you buy a Pelvicachromis pulcher?

Lighting: Kribs are primarily Midas cichlids and need plenty of light both to aid with digestion of their natural diet and for overall health reasons.

African Monodactylus Sebae (African moony)

A 50-watt bulb will be enough but 75 watts is ideal if your tank can accommodate it. Try not to use direct sunlight from an open window as these fish can easily be sunburned. It should also never be exposed to infrared heat lamps as these dry out their delicate skins. This is especially important for those that have vertical stripes on their bodies as they will quickly become prone to Bumblefoot due to excessive drying of these stripes.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher lifespan

The average lifespan is 5 to 7 years. Larger Kribs are not uncommon and specimens have been recorded at lengths of 10 inches. The average size for a healthy specimen is around 6 inches, which is still huge for such a small fish! Lifespan will depend on numerous factors such as care, tank mates, and most importantly diet. Many Krib owners choose to hand feed their fish in order to keep them happy and healthy.

Parasites and diseases

Kribs are susceptible to typical fish ailments, especially if water is stale and of poor quality and oxygenation. Ich can be a common problem, as well as other skin flukes and parasites. One common problem is an apparently healthy fish appearing to have just sunk to the bottom and died for no apparent reason. Most often it’s a case of Stomach Fluke.


Most predators like barbs and Oscars are much bigger than a Kribs and might gobble them up if given half a chance. This fish is perfectly safe in tanks that have no other fish present, however.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. Kribs are known to make wonderful companions. They’re friendly and quite tolerant of tankmates, as long as they aren’t too much bigger. While they may be fine with their own species in a community tank, they can become territorial when it comes to other species.