KRIBENSIS

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Cichlids often come with a cost. Some beauties become giants, while others carry psychotic degrees of rage. Some like their water softer than marshmallow and others harder than granite. They are a fickle crowd.

One small group of African cichlids sits somewhere close to a perfect balance. As well as being quite small, their aggression only flares when their offspring are confronted by offending mouths.

They have sublime colours; so much so that their common names reflect this.

They don?t pick on their females, feed willingly, and, if provided with a little privacy, will quite happily go and spawn. And once they have, they?re happy to raise the fry up themselves. These are the Kribensis ? fish that have become an aquarium standard for the community keeper.

Technically, the original Kribensis was a single species ??Pelvicachromis taeniatus ? which was originally misdescribed as Pelmatochromis kribensis (which also managed to gobble up what is now Pelvicachromis pulcher in the confusion) and later revised.

But, just to really confuse things, many aquarists choose to use 'Kribensis' as a colloquial catchall to refer to any of the seven species of Pelvicachromis. For the majority, P. pulcher is the 'standard' Krib and I use that association here.