Kribensis Cichlids Care: Tank Setup, Water Quality, Diet, Breeding, and More!

If you’re looking for a colorful and easy-to-care-for fish, the Kribensis Cichlid might be just what you need. This small and peaceful fish is native to West Africa, where it can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams. With a lifespan of up to 5 years, the Kribensis Cichlid can grow up to 4 inches in length and has a unique appearance that makes it stand out in any aquarium.

Kribensis cichlids require a well-maintained aquarium with suitable water conditions, a varied diet, and a peaceful environment. They need a pH range of 5.5-7.5 and a temperature range between 75-82°F. The aquarium should be decorated with hiding places, and regular water changes should be performed to ensure their health. They are peaceful and social fish, making them an excellent choice for community tanks.

When it comes to tank setup, the Kribensis Cichlid requires a tank of at least 20 gallons with plenty of hiding places and decorations. Proper lighting, filtration, and aeration are also essential for maintaining a healthy environment. Water quality is also important, with a temperature range of 75-82°F, pH range of 6.0-7.5, and water hardness of 5-15 dGH.

While the Kribensis Cichlid is generally peaceful, it may become aggressive during breeding or when defending its territory. In terms of diet, the Kribensis Cichlid is an omnivore and should be fed a varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. With proper care and attention, these beautiful fish can thrive in any aquarium and make a great addition to any community tank.

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Species Summary


Kribensis Cichlids, also known as Kribs, originate from West Africa, specifically from the rivers and streams of Nigeria and Cameroon.


Kribs have a lifespan of 4 to 8 years if properly cared for.


Kribs are small and colorful fish, with males being more brightly colored than females. They have a rounded body shape and are usually yellow or orange with black stripes.


Kribs grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length.

Growth Rate

Kribs have a moderate growth rate and can reach their full size in about a year.

Behavior & Temperament

Kribs are generally peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive fish.

However, they can become territorial during breeding season and may become aggressive towards other fish.

Male vs Female

Male Kribs are larger and more brightly colored than females. Females have a rounder belly and a less vibrant coloration.

Overall, Kribensis Cichlids are a great addition to any aquarium due to their peaceful nature and vibrant colors.

Tank Setup

Setting up the perfect home for your Kribensis Cichlids is essential for their health and happiness. Here are some key factors to consider when setting up your tank.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a pair of Kribensis Cichlids is 20 gallons, but we recommend going for a larger tank if you have the space.

A larger tank will allow your fish more room to swim and explore, which will help them to thrive.


Lighting is important for the health of your plants and fish.

We recommend using a full spectrum LED light to provide the necessary light for your plants to grow and for your fish to thrive.

Filtration & Aeration

Good filtration and aeration are essential for the health of your Kribensis Cichlids.

We recommend using a high-quality filter that can handle the size of your tank and provide adequate water flow.

Additionally, an air pump can help to increase oxygen levels in the water, which is important for the health of your fish.


Kribensis Cichlids are tropical fish and require a consistent water temperature of 75-82°F.

A good quality heater is essential to maintain a stable temperature in your tank.


Kribensis Cichlids prefer a sandy substrate, as this closely mimics their natural environment.

A fine-grain sand substrate will also help to keep the water clean and clear.

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Kribensis Cichlids love to have plenty of hiding places in their tank.

We recommend using natural-looking decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and caves to create a comfortable and secure environment for your fish.


Live plants can help to create a natural and healthy environment for your Kribensis Cichlids.

We recommend using hardy plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword, which are easy to care for and can help to maintain water quality.

By following these guidelines, you can create the perfect home for your Kribensis Cichlids and help them to thrive in your aquarium.

Personally, I found that adding some floating plants to my tank not only provided a natural look but also helped to diffuse the light and create a more comfortable environment for my fish.

Water Quality

One of the most important aspects of keeping Kribensis Cichlids healthy is maintaining good water quality.

This includes monitoring water temperature, pH, hardness, and performing regular water changes.

Water Temperature

Kribensis Cichlids are native to Africa and are accustomed to warm water temperatures.

The ideal temperature range for these fish is between 75-82°F (24-28°C).

It is important to maintain a consistent temperature, as sudden fluctuations can cause stress and illness.

Water pH

The pH level of the water should be kept between 7.0-8.0, which is slightly alkaline.

It is important to avoid sudden changes in pH levels, as this can also cause stress and illness in Kribensis Cichlids.

Water Hardness

Kribensis Cichlids prefer slightly hard water with a hardness level between 5-15 dGH. This can be achieved by adding minerals to the water or using a water softener if necessary.

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Water Changes

Performing regular water changes is crucial in maintaining good water quality for Kribensis Cichlids.

It is recommended to perform a 25-30% water change every 2 weeks.

If the tank is heavily stocked, more frequent water changes may be necessary.

By monitoring water temperature, pH, hardness, and performing regular water changes, Kribensis Cichlids can thrive in their aquarium environment.

Remember to always test the water regularly and make adjustments as necessary.

Personally, I have found that maintaining good water quality has been key in keeping my Kribensis Cichlids healthy and happy.

By performing regular water changes and monitoring water parameters, I have been able to avoid common health issues and enjoy watching my fish thrive in their aquarium.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment is crucial for the well-being of your Kribensis Cichlids. Here are a few tips to help you keep your tank in top condition:

  1. Regular water changes: I recommend changing 20-25% of the water in your tank every week. This will help remove any built-up waste and maintain good water quality.
  2. Clean the filter: Your tank’s filter is responsible for removing waste and debris from the water, so it’s important to keep it clean. I suggest cleaning the filter media every 4-6 weeks, or as needed.
  3. Check water parameters: Kribensis Cichlids prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5, and a water temperature between 75-82°F. Regularly test the water to ensure these parameters are within the appropriate range.

When performing tank maintenance, it’s important to be gentle and avoid disturbing your fish too much.

Kribensis Cichlids can be sensitive to changes in their environment, so try to keep things as consistent as possible.

Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of illness in your fish.

If you notice any abnormal behavior or symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal growths, seek the advice of a veterinarian or experienced aquarist.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Kribensis Cichlids thrive in a clean and healthy tank environment.

Personal anecdote: When I first started keeping Kribensis Cichlids, I struggled with maintaining good water quality in my tank. However, after establishing a regular maintenance routine and testing the water regularly, I was able to create a healthy and thriving environment for my fish.

Tank Mates

When it comes to keeping Kribensis Cichlids, it’s important to choose tank mates carefully.

Some species can be aggressive or territorial, which can lead to fights and stress for all the fish in the tank.

Here are some tips on choosing the right tank mates for your Kribensis Cichlids.

Compatible Fish Species

There are several species of fish that can coexist peacefully with Kribensis Cichlids.

One good option is tetras, such as neon tetras or cardinal tetras. These fish are small and peaceful, and they add a nice pop of color to the tank.

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Another good option is corydoras catfish, which are bottom-dwelling fish that can help keep the tank clean.

Other compatible species include guppies, platies, and swordtails.

These fish are all peaceful and easy to care for, making them a good choice for novice aquarists.

Incompatible Fish Species

While there are many species of fish that can live peacefully with Kribensis Cichlids, there are also some species that should be avoided.

One example is other cichlids, especially those that are larger or more aggressive. These fish can quickly become territorial and may attack the Kribensis Cichlids.

Other species to avoid include barbs, angelfish, and bettas.

These fish are all known for their aggressive behavior and may not be a good fit for a community tank with Kribensis Cichlids.

How Many Kribensis Should be Kept Together

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When it comes to keeping Kribensis Cichlids, it’s important to keep them in groups of at least six.

This helps to reduce stress and aggression, as the fish will feel more secure in a larger group.

However, it’s also important to make sure that the tank is large enough to accommodate a group of six or more fish.

As a general rule, you should have at least 20 gallons of water per six Kribensis Cichlids.

This will provide enough space for the fish to swim and establish territories without feeling cramped or stressed.

Overall, choosing the right tank mates for your Kribensis Cichlids is essential for creating a peaceful and harmonious community tank.

By selecting compatible species and avoiding aggressive or territorial fish, you can help ensure that your Kribensis Cichlids thrive and flourish.

Personally, I have found that keeping Kribensis Cichlids with tetras and corydoras catfish is a great combination. The fish all get along well and create a beautiful and dynamic tank.


What To Feed

Kribensis Cichlids are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They enjoy live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

They also enjoy high-quality pellets and flakes specifically designed for cichlids. It is important to vary their diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

When feeding live or frozen foods, be sure to only feed what they can consume in a few minutes to avoid overfeeding and polluting the tank.

Remove any uneaten food to prevent it from decomposing and affecting water quality.


Kribensis Cichlids should be fed twice a day, with small portions each time. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems. It is important to establish a feeding schedule and stick to it.


One tip to keep in mind is to soak pellets and flakes in water before feeding to prevent them from expanding in the fish’s stomach and causing digestive issues.

Another tip is to add some vegetable matter to their diet, such as blanched spinach or zucchini, to provide additional nutrients.

It is also important to monitor their weight and adjust their diet accordingly. If they appear to be gaining weight, reduce the amount of food given.

If they are losing weight, increase the amount of food or consider adding supplements to their diet.

Finally, it is important to note that Kribensis Cichlids are opportunistic feeders and may eat smaller fish in the tank.

It is important to choose tank mates carefully and monitor their behavior during feeding time.

Personally, I have found that my Kribensis Cichlids enjoy a mix of live and frozen foods, along with high-quality pellets. I also like to add some fresh vegetables to their diet for additional nutrients. By varying their diet and monitoring their weight, I have been able to keep them healthy and happy in my tank.

Common Diseases


Kribensis Cichlids are generally hardy fish, but they can still be susceptible to certain diseases. Some common diseases that affect Kribensis Cichlids include Ich, fin rot, and mouth fungus.

Ich is a parasitic disease that causes white spots on the fish’s body and fins. Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes the fins to deteriorate.

Mouth fungus is a fungal infection that causes white patches to form around the fish’s mouth.


Symptoms of these diseases may include lethargy, loss of appetite, and discoloration of the skin or fins.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Kribensis Cichlid, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish in your tank.


Treating these diseases involves identifying the specific disease and administering the appropriate treatment.

For Ich, raising the temperature of the tank and adding medication can be effective.

Fin rot can be treated with antibiotics, while mouth fungus can be treated with antifungal medication.

It’s important to follow the instructions on the medication carefully to ensure the best results.


Preventing these diseases involves maintaining good water quality in your tank and providing a healthy diet for your fish.

Regular water changes, proper filtration, and a balanced diet can go a long way in preventing disease in your Kribensis Cichlids.

Additionally, quarantining new fish before adding them to your tank can help prevent the spread of disease to your existing fish.

Signs of a Healthy Kribensis Cichlid

When it comes to keeping Kribensis Cichlids healthy, prevention is always better than cure.

By knowing what signs to look out for, you can catch any potential health issues early and take action before they become serious.

Here are some of the signs of a healthy Kribensis Cichlid:

  1. Active and alert behavior
  2. Bright and vibrant coloration
  3. Clear eyes and fins
  4. Smooth and unblemished skin
  5. Healthy appetite and regular feeding

If you notice any changes in your Kribensis Cichlid’s behavior, appearance, or appetite, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Some common health problems that Kribensis Cichlids can experience include bacterial infections, parasitic infestations, and swim bladder disease.

If you suspect that your Kribensis Cichlid is unwell, it is important to take action quickly. Consult with a veterinarian or an experienced fish keeper to determine the best course of treatment.

With proper care and attention, your Kribensis Cichlid can live a long and healthy life.

Personally, I have found that keeping a close eye on my Kribensis Cichlids and monitoring their behavior and appearance regularly has helped me to catch any potential health issues early.

By taking action quickly, I have been able to keep my fish healthy and happy for many years.

Signs of a Sick Kribensis Cichlid

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As a responsible pet owner, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a sick Kribensis Cichlid. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Lethargy and lack of activity
  3. Rapid breathing or gasping at the surface of the water
  4. Abnormal swimming behavior, such as swimming upside down or in circles
  5. Visible parasites or white spots on the body
  6. Discoloration or lesions on the body

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action immediately.

Sick fish can quickly deteriorate and spread disease to other fish in the tank.

One of the most common causes of illness in Kribensis Cichlids is poor water quality. Make sure to regularly test the water for pH, temperature, and hardness, and perform regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment.

Another potential cause of illness is stress.

Kribensis Cichlids are territorial fish and can become aggressive towards other fish in the tank.

Make sure to provide plenty of hiding places and space for each fish to establish its own territory.

If you suspect that your Kribensis Cichlid is sick, it is important to isolate the fish in a separate tank to prevent the spread of disease.

Consult with a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper for advice on treatment options.

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. By maintaining a healthy environment and providing proper care for your Kribensis Cichlids, you can help prevent illness and ensure a long and happy life for your fish.

Personally, I have had a Kribensis Cichlid that became sick due to poor water quality. I noticed that it was swimming erratically and had lost its appetite.

I immediately performed a water change and added some aquarium salt to the tank. Within a few days, the fish had made a full recovery.


Breeding Setup

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Breeding Kribensis Cichlids is a rewarding experience for any aquarist. To set up a breeding tank, you will need a tank of at least 20 gallons and a pH of 6.5-7.5.

The temperature should be around 75-80°F. You will also need a spawning cave or a coconut shell.

How To Breed

To breed Kribensis Cichlids, you will need to introduce a male and a female into the breeding tank. The male will begin to court the female by displaying his fins and colors.

Once the female is ready to spawn, she will lay her eggs in the spawning cave or coconut shell. The male will then fertilize the eggs.


After the eggs have been fertilized, the female will guard the eggs while the male guards the perimeter of the breeding area.

The eggs will hatch in 2-3 days, and the fry will be free-swimming in 5-7 days.

The parents will continue to care for the fry by moving them around the tank and protecting them from predators.

Breeding Kribensis Cichlids can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By providing the right setup and care, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish and watch their fry grow into healthy adults.

Product recommendations for Kribensis Cichlid:

  1. Hikari Cichlid Gold Fish Food: This fish food is specially formulated for cichlids like Kribensis and contains high-quality ingredients to promote growth and vibrant colors.
  2. API Aquarium Test Kit: This kit allows you to test the water quality of your aquarium, which is essential for keeping Kribensis Cichlid healthy.
  3. Fluval FX6 High Performance Canister Filter: This filter is designed for aquariums up to 400 gallons and provides mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
  4. Aqueon Pro Heater: This heater is fully submersible and can maintain a consistent temperature in your aquarium.
  5. Seachem Flourish Excel: This liquid fertilizer provides essential nutrients for plants in your aquarium, which Kribensis Cichlid love to swim around.
  6. Zoo Med Floating Betta Log: This floating log provides a hiding place for your Kribensis Cichlid and adds some visual interest to your aquarium.
  7. Tetra Whisper Air Pump: This air pump creates a stream of bubbles in your aquarium, which can help to oxygenate the water and create a more natural environment for your Kribensis Cichlid.
  8. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum: This substrate is designed for planted aquariums and provides a natural environment for your Kribensis Cichlid to thrive in.
  9. Hikari Freeze Dried Krill: These freeze-dried krill are a great treat for Kribensis Cichlid and can be fed as a supplement to their regular diet.
  10. CaribSea African Cichlid Mix: This aquarium gravel is designed to mimic the natural environment of African cichlids like Kribensis, providing a natural look and feel to your aquarium.


After all the information we’ve covered, it’s clear that Kribensis Cichlids are fascinating and rewarding fish to keep. Their striking colors and unique behaviors make them a standout addition to any aquarium.

While they may require a bit more attention than some other fish species, their care is not overly difficult. With the right tank setup, water quality, and diet, Kribensis Cichlids can thrive in captivity for several years.

I personally have enjoyed keeping Kribensis Cichlids in my own aquarium and have found them to be quite entertaining to watch. Their playful personalities and curious nature always bring a smile to my face.

If you’re considering adding Kribensis Cichlids to your aquarium, be sure to do your research and provide them with the proper care they need. With the right setup and attention, these fish can make a wonderful addition to your aquatic family.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope it has been helpful in your journey to becoming a successful Kribensis Cichlid owner.


Q: How often should I feed my Kribensis Cichlids?

A: It is recommended to feed Kribensis Cichlids twice a day, but in small amounts. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and poor water quality.

Q: Can Kribensis Cichlids live with other fish?

A: Yes, Kribensis Cichlids can live with other fish as long as they are compatible. It is important to research and choose fish that have similar water requirements and temperaments.

Q: How often should I do water changes?

A: It is recommended to do weekly water changes of 25% to 50% of the tank volume to maintain good water quality for your Kribensis Cichlids.

Q: How can I tell if my Kribensis Cichlid is male or female?

A: Males are typically larger and more colorful than females. Additionally, males have pointed dorsal and anal fins, while females have rounded fins.

Q: What is the ideal water temperature for Kribensis Cichlids?

A: The ideal water temperature for Kribensis Cichlids is between 75-82°F (24-28°C).

Q: How do I know if my Kribensis Cichlid is sick?

A: Signs of illness in Kribensis Cichlids can include loss of appetite, lethargy, abnormal swimming behavior, and visible signs of disease such as white spots or fin rot. It is important to monitor your fish closely and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Q: Can Kribensis Cichlids breed in a community tank?

A: Yes, Kribensis Cichlids can breed in a community tank, but it is important to provide them with a suitable breeding environment and monitor the other fish in the tank to ensure they do not disturb the breeding pair.

Q: How long do Kribensis Cichlids live?

A: Kribensis Cichlids have a lifespan of around 5-8 years with proper care.

Q: Can Kribensis Cichlids be kept in a planted tank?

A: Yes, Kribensis Cichlids can be kept in a planted tank, but it is important to choose plants that can tolerate the water conditions and digging behavior of the fish.

Q: What is the best tank size for Kribensis Cichlids?

A: A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a pair of Kribensis Cichlids, but a larger tank is always better for their overall health and well-being.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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