If you’ve never kept cichlids before, Pelvicachromis pulcher, more commonly known and sold as kribensis (but also known as the rainbow krib and the palette cichlid), may well be the perfect place to begin. Unlike most cichlids which have a reputation for either becoming extraordinarily large or even more aggressive, kribensis are a small, relatively hardy fish species which are peaceful when they’re not spawning. These West African cichlids are quite literally gorgeous, their species name, pulcher, meaning “beautiful” in Latin, and are quite easy to distinguish. Males have an extended dorsal fin with spots on this and their caudal fin, whilst females are slightly less colourful. However, both sexes colour up during the breeding season, and once the eggs have been laid (on the substrate or sometimes in ‘caves’), both parents will guard them and, like all protective parents, can get a little aggressive whilst doing so. These small fish, reaching around 7cm (3 inches), are best kept in neutral water conditions, but are adaptable and great beginner cichlids, thus earning them Fish of the Week.
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