Kribensis Cichlid: Care, Size, Tank Requirements

These petite fish are known for their bright colors and active personalities.

This article will cover everything you need to know about caring for these fish, including their size, tank requirements, and behavior.

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium owner or a beginner, this article will provide the information you need to create a healthy and thriving environment for your Kribensis Cichlids.

So let’s dive in and learn more about these fascinating fish!

Species Summary

The Kribensis Cichlid (scientifically known as Pelvicachromis pulcher) is a peaceful dwarf species that stands out among its Cichlid family. Unlike many other Cichlids, the Kribensis is a gentle fish that can thrive in a community environment.

With the right level of care, these freshwater fish can add a stunning display of colors to any aquarium.

Most Kribensis Cichlids available in the fish trade are captive-bred, but their origins lie in Africa. These fish are primarily found in coastal regions of Nigeria and Cameroon.

Fortunately, thanks to their hardy nature, they can easily adjust to most aquariums.

Average Kribensis Cichlid Size

On average, kribensis cichlids grow around 3-4 inches long.

However, it’s important to note that females tend to be slightly smaller than males. This means that when planning for tank size, you’ll want to consider that your male kribensis may grow closer to 4 inches while your female may only reach 3 inches.

It’s also worth noting that while kribensis cichlids may be small, they are still active fish that require plenty of space to swim and explore.


Are you curious about how long your vibrant and active fish will be in your aquarium? Let’s dive into the lifespan of the kribensis!

Kribensis cichlids are known for their longevity, as they can live for up to 5 years in captivity with proper care. However, this lifespan also depends on several factors, such as water quality, diet, and overall health.

To ensure that your kribensis cichlid lives a long and healthy life, it’s essential to maintain a clean and stable aquarium environment. This can be achieved through regular water changes, proper filtration, and maintaining appropriate water parameters.

Additionally, feeding your kribensis a balanced diet of high-quality foods, including pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods, can help promote their overall health and longevity.

By providing your kribensis cichlid with the right care, you can enjoy its vibrant colors and playful behavior for many years.



The fish are stunning with their vibrant colors and intricate patterns that will amaze you.

Their body is elongated and covered in shimmering scales ranging from white, vibrant oranges, and yellows to deep blues and blacks. Some kribensis cichlids even have beautiful iridescent scales that reflect the light in a mesmerizing way.

In addition to their stunning colors, kribensis cichlids have a unique pattern of stripes and spots on their bodies. These markings are different for each fish, making each kribensis cichlid unique.

Their fins are adorned with colorful spots and stripes that add to their beauty. It’s easy to see why kribensis cichlids are popular for aquarium enthusiasts who want to add color and excitement to their tanks!

Kribensis Cichlid Care

If you are just getting into the fish-keeping hobby or have been doing it for a while, Kribensis Cichlid care is quite straightforward. These fish are quite adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats.

Still, there are certain requirements you must meet to ensure your Kribensis Cichlid is healthy and happy. Just stick to the following tips to provide the best care for your fish!

Tank Size

You’ll want to ensure your setup is spacious enough to keep your kribensis happy and healthy.

These fish can grow up to 4 inches in length, so a tank size of at least 30 gallons is recommended.

Providing plenty of hiding places, such as rocks and caves, is also important for your kribensis to retreat when feeling stressed or threatened.

In addition to the size of the tank, it’s important to consider the water parameters. Remember that a larger tank can also help maintain stable water conditions and reduce the risk of fluctuations in pH and temperature.

By providing a spacious and well-maintained environment for your kribensis, you can ensure they live long and healthy lives.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the right water parameters is crucial for creating a comfortable and healthy environment for your vibrant little fish.

Kribensis cichlids are sensitive to water conditions, so keeping a close eye on the tank’s pH, temperature, and hardness levels is important.

The ideal pH range for kribensis cichlids is between 5.0 and 8, while the temperature should be between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Aim for a water hardness range of 5 to 20 dGH.

It’s also important to keep up with regular water changes to keep the water clean and healthy. Aim for a weekly water change of 25% to 30% of the tank’s volume.

When adding new water to the tank, ensure it is at the same temperature as the water already in the tank to avoid shocking your fish.

By maintaining the proper water parameters and performing regular water changes, you can ensure that your kribensis cichlids thrive and live long, healthy life.

Setting Up Their Tank

First, we must ensure the tank is big enough to accommodate their size and active behavior. A minimum of 30 gallons is recommended for a pair of Kribensis Cichlids, with an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish.

Providing ample hiding places is important when setting up their tank, as these fish tend to be territorial. You can use rocks and plants to create a natural-looking environment for them.

Caves offer more than just a haven for these fish; they can also be used for fun. Kribensis Cichlids love to explore and hide in the nooks and crannies of these aquatic structures. It’s like an underwater playground for them!

In addition, make sure to provide a sandy substrate, as Kribensis Cichlids like to dig and sift through the sand.

Lastly, add a few floating plants to provide shade and security for your fish.

To make sure our Kribensis Cichlids are comfortable and happy in their tank, we should:

  1. Choose a tank with at least 30 gallons for a pair of fish
  2. Provide plenty of hiding places using rocks, caves, and plants
  3. Use a sandy substrate for them to dig and sift through
  4. Adding a few floating plants can also provide shade and security for our fish.

Potential Diseases

Knowing about potential diseases that can harm your beloved kribensis cichlid is important.

One of the most common ailments is ich, a parasitic infection that presents as white spots on the fish’s body. This disease can be prevented by keeping the tank clean, ensuring proper water parameters, and quarantining new fish before adding them to the main tank.

Treatment involves raising the water temperature and adding medication to the tank.

Another potential disease is fin rot, which can be caused by poor water quality or injury to the fins. Symptoms include ragged or frayed fins and a loss of color. To prevent fin rot, maintain good water quality, and avoid overcrowding.

Treatment involves improving water conditions and adding medication to the tank.

By staying vigilant and taking preventative measures, you can keep your kribensis cichlid healthy and vibrant for years.

Food & Diet

To maintain the health and happiness of your kribensis cichlid, it is important to provide them with a diverse diet.

These fish are omnivores and will eat plant and animal matter. A good rule of thumb is to feed them various foods, including pellets, flakes, frozen or live foods, and vegetables.

To ensure your kribensis cichlid is getting a balanced diet, consider incorporating the following into their feeding routine:

  • High-quality pellets or flakes designed for cichlids
  • Frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia
  • Vegetables like spinach or zucchini, which can be blanched before feeding

It’s important not to overfeed your kribensis cichlid, as they’re prone to obesity. A good feeding schedule is twice daily, with only as much food as they can consume in a few minutes.

By providing a well-rounded diet, you’ll be helping to keep your kribensis cichlid happy and healthy for years to come.

Behavior & Temperament


They are known for their unique temperament and social interactions within their community.

These fish have a reputation for being peaceful and gentle, but they can also be quite territorial and aggressive toward other fish if they feel threatened.

Kribensis cichlids are also known for their breeding habits. They form monogamous pairs and are very protective of their young.

If you’re keeping this fish in an aquarium, there’s one thing you may want to be mindful of fin-nipping.

This particular species habitually go after other fish with long, graceful tails. So if you’re harboring any freshwater fish with long fins, you’ll want to watch for this behavior.

One interesting behavior to watch out for is their digging and burrowing habits. Kribensis cichlids love to create caves and tunnels in their aquarium, using rocks and substrate to build their homes.

This behavior is not only entertaining to watch, but it also provides natural hiding places and shelter for the fish.

Overall, the kribensis cichlid is a fascinating species that can provide endless hours of entertainment and joy for its owners.

Tank Mates

As social fish, kribensis cichlids can thrive in a community tank, but choosing their companions carefully is important.

Incompatible tank mates can lead to aggression and stress, adversely affecting your kribensis cichlids’ health. Avoiding aggressive or territorial fish is important when selecting tank mates for your kribensis cichlids.

Keeping your fish tank vibrant and lively is a joy; these species are a great way to start.

  • Apistogramma, Congo Tetra, Cory Catfish, and Plecos are excellent choices.
  • The Siamese Algae Eater is an amazing addition that will help keep your tank clean.
  • Tiger Barbs will bring plenty of color and activity to your aquarium.
  • And last but not least, the Harlequin Rasbora will create a stunning display of red and silver.

Put them all together, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, diverse, and healthy fish tank!


If you want to expand your aquarium with some new and adorable baby fish, breeding your kribensis cichlids can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Breeding kribensis cichlids is relatively straightforward but requires careful preparation and attention to detail.

First, you must ensure that your kribensis cichlids are healthy and well-fed, as this will help them breed successfully. You should also provide them with a suitable breeding environment, such as a spawning cave or a breeding cone, where they can lay their eggs and raise their fry.

To encourage breeding, you can also try changing the water temperature slightly, as kribensis cichlids prefer warmer water for breeding.

Once your kribensis cichlids have laid their eggs, remove other fish from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry. You should also provide the fry with plenty of hiding places, such as plants or rocks, where they can shelter and grow.

With the right care and attention, your kribensis cichlids will soon produce adorable baby fish that will bring joy and happiness to your aquarium.


In conclusion, the Kribensis Cichlid is a fascinating and colorful species that is relatively easy to care for.

They’re peaceful fish that can thrive in a community tank with the right tank mates and are also great breeders.

With a proper diet and a well-maintained tank, these fish can live for several years and bring joy to any aquarium enthusiast.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, these fish are a great addition to any tank.

So if you’re considering adding a new fish to your tank, consider the Kribensis Cichlid!