Hot Water Fish


  • Scientific name:  Pelvicachromis Pulcher
  • Common Name:  Kribensis, Purple Cichlid
  • Aquarium size:  50 to 100 liters
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature:  Between 24º and 28ºC
  • pH: Between 6 and 7.5
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Length:  6 cms to 10 cms


Kribensis, also known as Purple Cichlid, is one of the most attractively colored aquarium Cichlids .

Its type of shoal is based on pairs, it
has a life expectancy of 4 to 5 years. The aquarium zone of preference is the low or middle zone. According to its taxonomy it belongs to the Class Actinopterygii, Order Perciformes, family of the Cichlidae (Cichlids) and to the genus Pelvicachromis.


Its body is elongated, semi-cylindrical and slightly compressed , with flattened sides. It presents a variable coloration and generally its upper fins have a brown color with some blue or purple areas , its lower fins have a bluish-white color.

The male can reach up to 10 cm in length, while the females are usually smaller, reaching up to 6 or 7 cm in length.

Sexual dimorphism

Both male and female have a characteristic red spot on their belly, which is more pronounced in females.

They present evident sexual dimorphism,
the females being more colorful than the males, despite being smaller.

Similarly, females have a dark spot on the dorsal fin, while males have one to five spots with a yellowish edge and more elongated dorsal and anal fins.

Distribution and habitat

The Pelvicachromis Pulcher is a fish found in the river region of Africa. They inhabit the lower courses of the rivers in the western part of southern Nigeria and Cameroon, areas where vegetation is abundant.

Over time, they have been artificially introduced into some areas, such as Hawaii.

It can develop both in calm waters and in current areas, but always conditional on the existence of dense vegetation . It is usually found both at the mouths of rivers in the sea where the water is slightly brackish, as well as in soft water rivers.

Aquarium Conditions

An aquarium that is at least 60 cm long and has a capacity of at least 60 liters of water is recommended . If you want to have a pair of these fish, it would be ideal to have at least 80 liters of water.

In the case of having two pairs of this species, then it is recommended that the aquarium has a measure of more than 1 meter in length and at least 100 liters of water, to avoid or reduce attacks during the breeding season.

It is also
recommended to place decorative material in the aquarium such as vegetation , roots, logs, clay pots, and small stones. These materials will serve as hiding places and places to spawn their eggs.

Although this fish is very adaptable, the right conditions for aquarium water are:

  • Water pH: a range of 6.5-7.5 is recommended. A really important aspect is that this range remains stable.
  • The temperature that the water in the aquarium should present must correspond to a tropical habitat, that is, as far as possible, between 24 and 28ºC; Trying to always maintain the smallest temperature variations as much as possible, maximum 1ºC per day.
  • The hardness of the water must be kept between 5º and 20º dGH.

It is necessary to carry out frequent water changes, in addition to periodic cleaning of the bottom and walls of the aquarium, due to the large amount of waste and feces that these fish generate when they feed.

In addition, it is necessary that said aquarium has
a biological filtration system that helps to keep the aquarium clean.


Kribensis are omnivores, they can be fed with frozen food or also live .

A varied diet is recommended for them, if possible with little or no processed foods, whether frozen, lyophilized, porridge or live prey.
They will accept good quality dry food flakes or granules .


When it is not in the breeding season, it can be an extremely passive and somewhat shy fish, ideal for shared aquariums, called community aquariums. It is hardly territorial, it will then explore the entire bottom of the aquarium and the middle part calmly and calmly, being able to be really fast and agile if it were to need it at any time.

For this reason it
is also recommended to have calm fish in the aquarium that are not very scary like some kind of school of corydoras , in such a way that they provide a feeling of «no danger» to the kribensi and encourage them to walk through the aquarium.

In the reproductive or breeding phase, their behavior changes dramatically.

When you live as a couple
it aggressively defends its territory in a father-mother pair, which can reach up to 1m2.

It is dedicated to actively guarding its nest from other fish and from any inhabitant of the aquarium.
It is also in
charge of driving away the rest of the fish, while it goes out with its young to look for food.

It behaves more aggressively generally with fish of its own species, and to a much lesser extent with different species.
However, on certain occasions they
can mercilessly attack the Scalars and also harass the Corydoras.

It is therefore recommended that, in order to maintain better control of the situation, as far as possible the Kribensis tankmates are inhabitants of the middle and upper areas of the aquarium.


If you want to reproduce in captivity, it is very important to maintain a pH very close to neutral in the aquarium water if you want to preserve a sex ratio of approximately 50:50.

If the pH is more acidic and the water softer, then a higher proportion of males will be obtained, on the contrary with alkaline pH conditions and harder water, a higher proportion of females will be obtained.

The act of mating is usually very interesting.
In this ritual,
the female intensifies her colors and bends in the shape of a «U».

Approximately 72 hours after the eggs are spawned, they hatch.
After five days, the fry can go out to look for food accompanied by their parents.

Kribensis photos

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