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Ocellated Kribensis – Pelvicachromis Subocellatus


Common Name: Ocellated Kribensis, Ocellated Krib

Scientific Name: Pelvicachromis Subocellatus

Average Adult Fish Size: 3 inches / 8 cm

Place of Origin: Nigeria, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo

Typical Tank Setup: Heavily planted aquarium with low amount of water movement.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 20 gallon / 80 litre

Compatibility: Suitable for the community aquarium although they will become very territorial when breeding so this must be taken in to consideration. Good tank mates might include Barbs, Tetras and Corydoras.

Temperature: 75 – 81 Deg F / 24 – 27 Deg C

Water Chemistry: pH 5.0 – 7.5

Feeding: Will accept most foods. A good quality cichlid pellet can be fed as staple, but ensure the diet is varied with regular feedings of live and frozen foods.

Sexing: Male Kribensis are larger than females and develop pointed dorsal, caudal and anal fins. Females develop a characteristic purple belly when in spawning condition and are rounder-bodied than males.

Breeding: The first sign that a spawn is likely is an intensifying in the colour of both fish, but especially the female. Her belly will darken, becoming deep purple in colour. It is usually she who initiates spawning, dancing in front of the male and displaying her purple belly to entice him to spawn with her. When ready, the pair choose a cave in which to spawn or dig one themselves under a piece of decor. They may then disappear for several days.

During spawning itself up to 300 eggs are usually laid on the roof or wall of the selected cave. The female tends to these while the male defends the territory against intruders.
The eggs hatch in 2-3 days with the fry becoming free swimming after 7-8 days. This is often the point when the unsuspecting aquarist discovers their fish have bred, as the fry leave the cave en-masse, shepherded by both parents. It is wonderful to watch the fry being led around the tank by the parents. Stray fry are either rounded up or taken into the mouth of one of the parents and spat back into the main group. The pair should now be watched carefully as some females can turn on their partners at this point.

Additional Information: The Ocellated Kribensis is one of the less commonly seen Pelvicachromis species in the hobby. There are a few morphs available, including “Matadi” and “Moanda”. Males and females of these should not be cross bred in order to keep the lines pure. It can be distinguished from others in the genus by it’s higher, shorter body shape and by the fact that the spotting in the upper part of the caudal fin is much lighter in this species than in others. A female in breeding condition is hard to confuse with anything else.