Breeding My Kribensis (Day 1 - 10)

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I thought i would take the time and share with everyone my progress on breeding my Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher)
This is the first time i have tried breeding Cichlids. My past experience in fish breeding has been with Molly's & Platys, so the Kribs maybe a challenge. I started this Blog on day 3.

I attended my first aquarium auction on 20th March 2011 organised by Atlanta Area Aquarium Association, being a newbie at this hobby i decided to look at the fish in the bags but not get carried away and bid on just anything. Knowing i had a 30 gallon tank at home that was used for Mollys & Platys in the past, i decided not to mix species and just concentrate on 1 species and hopefully breed them. As with any newbie i wanted a fish with bright colors and fun to watch (you know what i mean!)

As i walked around the auction and looked into the bags i wrote down 3 species that i decided to google on my phone and find out more information on them before bidding. All of them were Cichlids !!! Which scared the crap out of me because having been a member on a few fish forums i noticed that the "Experienced aquarists" only had Cichlids. Anyway the 3 species i was frantically googling before the auction started was . . . . Apistos, Lamprologus ocellatus & Kribensis. I decided in the end on the Kribensis (obviously, or the title would say "breeding Apistos")

I had noticed whilst walking around there was a few Kribensis up for auction but the one i wanted was a proven pair. As the day went on my Girlfriend was getting a little bored and asked if we could grab a bite to eat, reluctently i said "sure" knowing i was going to miss the fish off we went. 30 mins later we returned and the "proven pair" had gone. . . . or so i thought ! I was in a sulky mood for the next 5 mins and to be honest i cant remember what i was mumbling to my girlfriend. However the next thing i heard was the auctioneer saying "next up is a proven pair of kribs". . . My face lit up like a fat kid in a candy shop ! I couldnt believe my luck, i thought they had been sold but somebody was holding them and waiting in the auction line ! The auctioneer started the bid at $15.00 but knowing that if nobody bids then he will drop the starting price in which he did. . . $10.00. I then noticed that nobody else was intrested so i pushed my luck a little and see if he would go down again. . . . well he did ! The minute his mouth opened again my hand went straight up. The auctioneer said $5.00, with my hand raised so high almost to the ceiling, my other hand had my fingers crossed. "Sold" he said and i was the happy new owner of a pair of Kribs !

So i got the pair back home and immediately sat their bag in a 10 gallon tank which was easier to set up than the 30 gallon and also because the auction had made me tired and i was in need of a quick ninja nap ! Looking at them i was very dissapointed because the Kribensis i had seen online were bright with rich colors and a rosy red stomach. Mine looked shabby and had less color than a rock fish ! Anyway i put them in the tank after 10 mins and straight away they hid behind the rock/caves i had set up. "Well thats a waste of 5 bucks" i thought. That night i left them alone and went online to read up a little more about them.

DAY 1. . .
The next morning i woke up and got the 30 gallon tank out and cleaned it up. I looked inside the 10 gallon tank that the Kribs were in and saw that they were huddled up together in a corner. I had scaped their new home the best i could and had put 3 Mollys & 2 juvenile Angel Fish in the tank as i heard that 1) There not as shy when other fish are out in the open and 2) They didnt know it but the Mollys are going to be the dither fish once the Kribs breed. Straight away they swam around and checked out their new caves and plants without hiding, although the Female wouldnt go anywhere without the Male. I dropped a cube of frozen brine shrimp in the tank and the Mollys which were used to their "brine shrimp breakfast" went to work fast on the cube and i noticed the Kribs stayed on the bottom and picked up any pieces that the Mollys had let fall to the bottom. After leaving them alone for an hour or 2 i had noticed that the Kribs had changed from the drabby gray color they had been to a really bright Yellow, vivid black lines and a bright red belly. . . .now they were worth 5 Bucks !!!



DAY 2. . .
As i pulled up a chair to watch the tank i noticed the Kribs were "Eating" sand, i instantly thought they had not managed to eat enough of the brine shrimp i had fed them the morning & night before and they were starving enough to eat sand ! Out came the lap top and googled "My Kribs are eating sand" (I google everything !) I found out that they do this when they are ready to breed or they just want to change the depth of substrate around the caves to make them feel more secure. . . . i laughed out very loud because the owner had left me a note saying they had last spawned on the 11th March so that was only 11 days ago so surely they cant be "at it again", so i figured they were just doing some feng shui. Although the female did have a rounded stomach.

DAY 3. . .
Nothing has happened really except they do look like they have settled in with their tank mates. They have now got a lot braver at feeding times, they will come to the surface and push their way in front of the Mollys & Angels to eat the Bloodworms and B.Shrimp. They have also not stopped "Eating" the sand, which is a little annoying because i have a huge mountain of sand on 1 side of the tank now.

DAY 5. . .
The Mountain has stopped getting bigger so i guess they like the decor the way it is now. I went to Lowes earlier and bought a 2" plastic Tee to add to the tank as a cave/ 3 way tunnel. I placed it in the opposite side to the rocks and mountain.
I got back from work at around 6pm and noticed the mountain had gone ! . . . . oh wait . . . Nope its just moved from 1 side to the other ha ha they have moved a mountain of sand in less than 4 hours !!!! Anyway its Friday night and im off out to party :-)

DAY 6. . .
Last night i came home and the Male was inside the new plastic tee i bought but i couldnt see the female, fearing the worst i put the light on and had a quick look around the tank but couldnt find her. I peeked in the tee and she was there. . . . but not alone !!! As the Male came out it gave me a better view and . . . . on the ceiling of the tee was around 50 tiny orange eggs ! I couldnt type this last night as i had a little too much to drink :-)
Im so excited, i cant believe im going to have baby Kribs WOOOO HOOOOO !!!! I also cant believe it was only 2 weeks to the day that they last spawned (for previous owner) It looks like i have some horny little Kribs ;-) She has now lost that "chubby belly", i guess that was the give away after all ! The bright colors on both have also dissapeared but not like when i first got them.

DAY 7. . .
Not that i had counted the eggs but i would say there are about 60-70 eggs. The female is sat inside fanning the eggs whilst the male is just hovering outside the entrance. He doesnt seem too bothered about the mollys swimming about 5-6 inches above the cave. I guess this will change when the fry are born.

DAY 8. . .
Its a sad day :-( I cant see any eggs, there are marks on the ceiling (tiny circles) on the tee where the eggs had been. I do know that its not un common for Kribs to move the eggs, i still feel positive because the parents are guarding the tee although i cant see any eggs anywhere and i set the tee into the substrate so i can see all the way through. Maybe they have hatched and are in the substrate :-)

DAY 9. . .
I fed them B. Shrimp this morning and they are the boss of the tank now. The Mollys wait underneath for the leftover shrimp to hit the bottom. . . . funny how things change! I have noticed both male and female venture out of the cave where the eggs once were, its not looking good. I think i have to admit failure, i am guessing that the parents have eaten the eggs. Both are moving around the tank and are not in any 1 spot "guarding" like they were before. The female has got her "chubby belly" back now so hopefully she will be full of eggs again soon.

DAY 10. . .
Today i tried feeding them cichlid pellets, they do not like them and just spit them back out. The Mollys eat them so they didnt go to waste. I shredded some Zucchini and placed that in the tank, the Female ate a little but the Male looked at me as if "This aint shrimp" i think i might have spoilt them with bloodworms & B.Shrimp !
Before turning the lights off tonight i had noticed the color on both have gotten brighter and her belly has grown since last night. Im feeling positive about this one, i have all my fingers crossed.

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Updated 03-31-2011 at 09:14 PM by stevenjohn21

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  1. JeffG's Avatar
    I really enjoyed your blog. Keep us updated!
  2. Chris Noto's Avatar
    Nice! Thanks!
  3. Dasher's Avatar
    Great blog! Thanks for your effort to write it!