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Kribensis Cichlid Breeding ( Succuecsful Breeding Facts )

Kribensis Cichlid is a beautiful fish that have the ability to give a vibrant view to your aquarium. So, who would not want to have such a beautiful fish in their tank? Therefore, many hobbyists like to learn about kribensis cichlid breeding techniques, and they try that out. So, from today, this task will be easy for you. 

Kribensis Cichlid breeding

Is It Easy To Breed Kribensis Cichlid?

Yes, breeding this freshwater fish is far easier than we think. Why do I say so? Kribensis cichlid is aggressive more in their breeding season, and they may scare you a little. Because of these reasons, you may think that breeding kribensis cichlids are not easy. But it is totally different from it. Simply breeding this cave dweller, kribensis cichlids, is easy. 

However, if you are a beginner, you may have a question can I do this? Yes, of course, you can breed kribensis cichlids even if you are a beginner. But my opinion is, whether you are a beginner or not, first gain enough knowledge before you put your first step to start any task. So, this article will help you to grab essential knowledge regarding breeding your kribensis cichlids. 

Separating Male And Female Kribensis Cichlid 

Like other live creatures, kribensis cichlids have gender differences. So, first of all, you should know the difference between female and male fish correctly because this knowledge will help you to identify and select the breeding pairs. 

Male And Female Identification Of Kribensis Cichlids

Not unlike some other fish species, you can clearly identify the difference between the gender or sexual dimorphism of kribensis cichlids. So, let’s see them one by one. 

  • Female kribensis cichlids have a colorful red cherry belly. Someone says female fish have pinkish bellies. However, this attractive color becomes more colorful in their mating seasons. But if male fish also have a red belly, it is not vibrant as female kribensis cichlids’ belly. 
  • Another most noticeable feature of male kribensis cichlids is their pointed dorsal fin. Not only that, all fins of male fish end up with points. 
  • Another special sign of male kribensis cichlids’ fins is, male fish have long-flowing fins. On the other hand, female kribensis cichlids have short fins. However, female kribensis cichlids’ fins are rounded. 
  • Their body size may seem similar when considering the size, but the male kribensis cichlid is a bit larger.

When you observe them clearly, you can identify that the male fish is larger, about one inch in size than the female fish of a similar age. It means that the well-grown adult male is about 4 inches in size while the well-grown adult female is approximately 3 inches in size. Similarly, a chocolate brown and golden band run longitudinally along the top half of the fish body. However,  the band on the female is much more dramatic and clearer than on the male fish. 

Preparation Of Breeding Tank For Kribensis Cichlids

Normally, you can allow your kribensis cichlids pair to breed in the community tank. But is it the best way? Generally, kribensis cichlids are aggressive during their breeding season, and the community tank is not a safer place for kribensis cichlid babies. So, the answer is up to you. So, my recommendation is to go to a separate breeding tank. You should maintain this breeding tank until your fry grows into big juveniles in this breeding tank.

Anyhow, you should have at least a 20 gallons tank per pair to set up a breeding tank. Similarly, you should also highly consider the water parameters, filter system, heater, and decorations here. So, let’s go one by one. 

Perfect Water Parameters To Breed Kribensis Cichlid 

The most important thing about any aquarium, including a breeding tank, is the water parameters. So, you should always maintain the water conditions of the tank at the preferable level of kribensis cichlids. Generally, the kribensis cichlid pair will start to mate within 1 week of conditioning inside the breeding tank. Also, if your fish is stressed, it can directly affect their breeding process. For example, when your female fish is stressed, they lose their cherry-red or reddish-pink color on their belly.

So, your fish can be stressed due to unpreferable water parameters such as ammonia spikes, wrong pH, and extreme temperature. However, kribensis cichlids’ preferable water temperature is around 75 to 79 Fahrenheit or 24-26 Celsius. But if your breeding pair is reluctant to mate, you can increase the water temperature up to 80 Fahrenheit or 27 Celsius. When it goes to the pH level of the tank, researchers found out that the pH level determines the female and male fry in your tank.

Here are the findings. If you want to have an equal number of fries in your tank, you should keep the pH level at 7.0. However, you can maintain the pH at the ideal ratio. For instance, if you keep the pH above 7.0, it will help to make female fry. On the other hand, high pH or alkaline pH will encourage to make more males. However, you should keep the pH level at 6-8 in the breeding tank. 

Kribensis Cichlid breeding

Water Quality

Water quality is the most important thing when you rear or breed any fish species. You can maintain the water quality by performing water changes regularly. So, it is better to perform a 25% water change every 2 weeks in the breeding tank because kribensis cichlid likes to live in clean tanks. 


It is better to choose a dark substrate. Generally, kribensis cichlid likes to dig the substrate. So, when you choose the substrate, you should remember this too. However, you can use fine sand as a substrate for the breeding tank. Further fine gravel or gravel with a soft edge also works. Sometimes digging out gravel can be a familiar thing in the breeding tank. It means they also dig to make space for their eggs.  

Filter System

The filter system is the most important thing in the breeding tank. Because it highly contributes to maintaining the water quality of your breeding tank. Therefore, you should go with a high-quality filter system. It is better to go with a sponge filter because it is safe for kribensis cichlid babies. It will prevent the stuck of fry in the filter.   


Providing caves 

When it turns to decorations, caves are the essential part of your breeding tank. If you want to set up a tank environment where kribensis cichlid loves to live, you must add enclosed spaces like caves. They are huge fans of caves. So, caves are highly impacted by their breeding process. Why do they much familiar with caves?In the wild, kribensis cichlid lived in caves for years. Your kribensis cichlid also came with the same genus. 

So, where you can buy caves for your kribensis cichlid? Generally, you can buy caves for your breeding tank online and in stores. If you want to go for another option, do not worry. There are substitutes. In caves, you can use PVC pipes, upturned clay pots, and big coconut shells. However, when you set up caves, you should ensure that the opening of caves is smooth and large enough to enter and exit to kribensis cichlid. 

Under this topic, another question of most hobbyists is how many caves do we set up for one breeding pair? Actually, there is no exact number. However, generally, one breeding pair uses two caves. But sometimes, they will have more caves depending on their moods. So, it is better to set up caves as much. Similarly, some hobbyists set up 4-5 caves for two breeding pairs in a single tank. Consequently, it helps to reduce the aggression level of the kribensis cichlids. 

Place Aquatic Plants 

Live plants will help to imitate the natural environment, and it makes your fish happy. But a bare tank is ok. However, plants, rocks, and caves support establishing their territory. But here, you should keep in mind that the kribensis cichlid digs and uproot the live plants. So, it can damage your live plants. Therefore, you can base the plant on heavy stones. Also, a floating plant is another better solution. 

Mating routine of kribensis cichlid 

Feeding The Breeding Kribensis Cichlid Pair 

A well-balanced diet is the most important thing to accomplish your purpose. Because female fish need to lay eggs, they also have to develop cherry red or reddish-pink color on their belly to attract males. So, female kribensis cichlids need more nutrients. But not only female fish, but male fish also need a good diet in the breeding season. Because they constantly guard the caves to protect their brood. So, you can feed them on foods listed below to give them more energy to their breeding process. 

  • Brine shrimps
  • Blood worms
  • Mashed peas
  • High-quality shrinking pellets rich in omega and vitamins
  • Zucchini
  • Packaged algae 
  • Seaweed products like Nori seaweed 

It is better to feed them live foods. Because it encourages the breeding process, also feed your kribensis cichlid pair frequently. But do not overfeed them. It means to make sure your kribensis cichlid pair finish the foods in under 3 minutes. If any uneaten food is available at the end of 3 minutes, remove it as soon as possible. 

Maintain Water Parameters At Ideal Level 

You should keep the pH level at 6-8. It is better to aim at 7.0. Also, the water temperature should be about 80 Fahrenheit or 27 Celsius because research has proved that this temperature helps to breed the pair. 

Mating Or Breeding Kribensis Cichlid

The starter is female. It means, when ready to spawn, female kribensis cichlid entices or attracts with her cherry-red belly. Also, she arches her body and curls her body to attract the male. Further female fish vibrate their body in a friendly way. Then the breeding pair enter the cave. Generally, kribensis cichlid is egg-laying fish species. Then, the female kribensis cichlid lays -300 eggs in the cave while the male sprays sperm over the eggs externally. So, it can be defined as external fertilization. 

Kribensis Cichlid breeding

How Kribensis Cichlid Eggs Look Like

The eggs of kribensis cichlids are clearly white in color. It is a very opaque white. 

What should we do after kribensis cichlid lays eggs?

Many hobbyists have a doubt, is it better to remove parents after laying eggs? Many hobbyists think about this because some fish species eat their own eggs and fry. But kribensis cichlids are not like that because they are very loving parents. Kribensis cichlids guard the caves where the eggs are in and give good care to their eggs. However, kribensis cichlid parents do not like to separate from their eggs until they hatch.

So, when can you remove parents from the breeding tank? Generally, kribensis cichlid parents lose interest in caring for their babies once they are large enough to take care of themselves. It will happen after about one month of egg hatching. But sometimes, you can experience exemptional cases.

It means that some kribensis cichlid parents take care of their kids for a long time. Here you can separate kribensis cichlid parents from kids when the juvenile reaches half an inch in size. But in some rare cases, hobbyists experienced that the parents’ aggressive behavior. If you have to face this, remove parents or particular fish, either male or female, from the breeding tank. 

Hatching Time Of Kribensis Cichlid Eggs

Generally, kribensis cichlid eggs take about 2 days to hatch. Also, in about 5 days, fry becomes free-swimming. 

Taking Care Of Baby Fish 

Water quality

You should maintain the water quality at the ideal level. Thus, you have to perform regular water changes. In addition to that, here, you can follow the below water parameters. pH level: it should be between 6 to 8. However, a neutral pH is better. Water temperature: you can keep water temperature around 75 to 79 Fahrenheit. Water hardness: the ideal water hardness is 5 to 20 dGH. 

Feeding The Kribensis Cichlid Fry 

Generally, kribensis cichlid eggs hatch within a few days, and at this point, fry feed their egg sacs. But after they become free swimmers, you can serve them with powdered and liquid fry foods. These foods work well with krib babies. Also, kribensis cichlids babies consume algae and microorganisms in the tank. Further, within the parent’s guide, the fry grows rapidly. After about 3 to 4 weeks, they have the ability to handle small frozen foods and crumble flakes. 

Moving Grown-Up Kribensis Cichlid Into Bigger Tanks

After about 6 weeks, you can move grow-up kribensis cichlids into the bigger tank without any issue. Then after about 3 months, you can clearly identify their gender separately. In addition to that, these young kribensis cichlids are sexually mature within about 8 months, and at this point, they can contribute to reproduction. 

Do Kribensis Cichlid Eat Their Eggs or Babies 

No. kribensis cichlids are excellent parents. Actually, they protect and look after their babies well. So, can we guess that this parent can eat their eggs?  But in some rare cases, kribensis cichlids tend to eat their eggs under some circumstances. 

  • Poor water conditions cause kribensis cichlid parents to eat their eggs or fry. 
  • Continued disturbance of aquarists is also caused to eat the fry by their parents. If you bang on the glass or keep poking around the tank, the parent may become spooked. Then they tend to eat their eggs or fry. So, always try to leave them alone. 
  • When both parents or one will ready to breed again, kribensis cichlids will eat their fry. Generally, they breed on a regular basis, but occasionally, their timings can be wrong. 
  • Another reason can be caused to eat their fry is poor genetics. In nature only, fish with strong maternal instincts give birth, and then those fries will inherit the maternal instincts of their parents. But sometimes, it does not happen. 
Kribensis Cichlid breeding

How often do kribensis cichlid breed?

Generally, kribensis cichlids tend to breed every 4-5 weeks. However, another amazing thing is, that kribensis cichlid lives as a pair for their whole life. 

Kribensis Cichlid Mating Or Fighting

Sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether kribensis cichlids are going to mate or fight. Thus, they are aggressive due to territorial issues, especially male fish. However, there are no exact signs to clearly identify whether they are mating or fighting. But you can research your fish closely to understand them because this experience and knowledge will help you to identify their behavior. 

For instance, most probably, lips locking male and female fish may be a sign that they are ready to spawn. But male-male lips locking can be a serious sign of aggression. Also, the meaning of this jaw-locking behavior can be varied from situation to situation. So, the better solution is to understand your kribensis cichlid behavior individually. 

Diseases, During The Breeding Season

Generally, kribensis cichlids are hardy towards diseases. But when you pair the fish, if one is suffering from infections, it can affect another fish too. So, firstly, when you go to breed them, ensure that both male and female fish are healthy. Similarly, kribensis cichlids can also have diseases such as fin rot, drops, and inches that arise due to poor water conditions. Therefore, water quality is very important. 

Recently asked questions

Can you breed Kribensis in a community tank?

Yes. Breeding kribensis cichlids in the community tank with other tank mates are possible. But the aggression of kribensis cichlids in the breeding season is uncontrollable. So, it can be impacted by other fish species in your community tank. On the other hand, a community tank is not much safe place for kribensis cichlids eggs and babies. Because it can be a prey of other fish species, also, at that time, parent fish can be more aggressive to protect their kids. So, why are you going to make trouble in your community tank? Therefore, the best option is to go to a separate breeding tank. 

How long does it take for Kribensis fry to grow?

They take around 6 weeks to grow enough to transfer to the main aquarium. However, they become sexually mature about 8 months in age. 


Breeding kribensis cichlids is a simple and easy thing even for beginners. But you should have enough knowledge unless it can be badly impacting your fish. So, you can achieve this task successfully with a separate tank, heater, and filter. Further, keep in mind to maintain the water quality and provide caves. Then feed your pair well and leave them alone. Then after do not worry much about their eggs and fry because kribensis cichlids are loving parents. However, it is good to keep an eye on them. But not at all. 

Credit to : Blake’s Aquatics
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.