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Krib
Pelvicachromis pulcher

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The Krib (short for Kribensis) is easy to sex. The males grow to about ten centimetres (about four inches), they have a more elongated body shape and have the fins extended to a point, the dorsal fin is colored all the way to the point. The females grow to about six centimetres (about 2.4 inches), they are more plump, have rounded fins and are more colorful, but are not colored all the way on the dorsal fin. I have bred Kribs many times. Kribs are cave breeders. Half coconut shells or ceramic flowerpots that are lying down are examples of suitable breeding caves.

As mentioned earlier, the female is stronger colored than the male, something that is rather rare among fishes. The Krib eats most foods offered. During the spawning preparations they can dig a bit, but seldom destroy plants. A densly planted aquarium with lots of roots and rocks is appreciated.

The male forms a territory containing a suitable breeding cave. I usually use a half coconut shell with a little opening, which works very well. The female comes and tries to get the male's attention by showing her bulging belly. The females get deeply red on their bellies and bend their bodies towards the male to make themselves look even more bulgy. (This behavior is also seen when the females do their ritual "fights".) When they have formed a pair they will improve their cave by digging. The female is the most active one during the spawning when the eggs are laid on the ceiling of the cave. Eggs and fry are furiously guarded by the female. The male also helps with the guarding of the eggs and fry just as the female, but mainly takes care of the outer defence. He keeps all intruders away from the territory.

The fry hatch after two to three days and are free swimming four days later. They can eat artemia nauplii as their first food. The fry stay with their parents for about a month until they can make it on their own. If you take away the fry for artificial raising, there's a risk that the male will come into spawning mood before the female does, and that can lead to him hurting the female. If you have several females in the aquarium, the male can change females when the fry leave the pair, but it is more common that a pair continues to stay together and raise another batch.

The percentage of males and females in the batches highly depends on the pH value. Under pH seven, there will be more females and over pH seven there will be more males (on average). If you want to get a lot of fry you can breed the Krib in a separate breeding aquarium, maybe with a few fish that the parents can take out their aggression on. Personally I still think it's most interesting to have and observe them in a community aquarium and let them practise all of their natural breeding behaviours.



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