Sunday, 16 February 2014

Kribensis (Pelvicachromis Pulcher)

Kribensis, often called shortly the kribs, are scientifically known as Pelvicachromis Pulcher. Its name has been derived from the three Latin words Pelva” meaning abdomen; “chormis” meaning color and “pulcher” meaning beautiful. They have got their name for their most special feature that is when in breeding condition both the male and the female of the monogamous pair displays a vibrant cherry red/pink color on their abdominal area. This fish has a shy but semi-aggressive temperament and belongs to the dwarf cichlid (pronounced as sick-lid) family. Kribensis are originated from western African belt consisting of the Ethiop River of the Niger delta.

Water conditions, tank setup and care
Kribs are naturally able to adapt a varying range of water parameters as they comes from area which varies from acidic to alkaline and soft to moderately hard waters. A preferred pH range is 6.5-7.5. They can also adapt to a range of temperature of around 25-32 degree Celsius. A preferred temperature is 28-30 degree Celsius. The kribs are basically cave-dwellers so they require a lot of hiding spaces and cave like structures in their tank. Addition of live or artificial plants is highly appreciated by them and will equally reward you with their stunning burst of lively colors. Kribensis can be kept in a community tank with fishes of the same size or slightly bigger. Fishes with flowing fins like betta and angelfish are prone to being bullied and nipped. They usually like to stay at the bottom and mid level of the tank, thus it is advised to avoid any other cave-dwellers to avoid harsh competition over the tank bed and cave superiority. If you intend to have a species tank and house more than one pair of kribs, it is highly recommended that you add more dense caves so that each pair has its own cave and not fight for a territory. Such fights can be lethal at times. Use fine gravel as they love to dig small pits, often just beside their territorial cave, so rest or guard their caves. They might nip on plant leaves or dig near the planted area but are not likely to harm or uproot any plants.

Food for your Kribensis
Kribensis are omnivores and will readily accept dry foods that are available in our LFS (Local Fish Store). As for any other fish, a varied diet is always expected. Live food, such as tubifex worms, daphnia, infusoria and mosquito larvae are also accepted by them. Home-made and processed food or dried fish can also be fed.

Sexual Dimorphism
The males are longer in length (maximum 4 inch) and slimmer, while the females are shorter in length (maximum 3.5 inch) and plumper with a convex belly. Females might start to display the pinkish tint on their belly when they are filling up with eggs. Males have a sharp and pointy end of their dorsal fin whereas the females have a round and smooth dorsal fin.

Breeding Kribs
Kribensis are cave spawners. They lay there eggs inside or on the top of their territorial cave. They prefer slightly acidic water, but can also be bred in slightly alkaline to neutral waters. They tend to produce around 100-200 eggs and increasing with maturity till they reach their infertile age. The kribensis are well known for their protecting parenting behaviors. At this point they usually become very aggressive, guarding the eggs and will most of the time find success in protecting and raising the fries by themselves. Although at the very first few spawns, they might devour on their brood due to being scared or simply not knowing what they should do. With time and proper care, this problem can be easily solved.

Like any other fish, kribensis likes neat and clean water with no or very minute fluctuations in the water parameters. They are overall a fine species to be a part of a tank. With proper and devoted care, this fish can be enormously rewarding. With gratitude and wishes, Happy Fish-keeping.