Why are these fish so shy?

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Fishkeeping Answers -

I have two pairs of Kribs in a 60 x 30 x 30cm tank, with flow­er­pots, bog­wood, rocks and some Anu­bias. The ph is 7.6, tem­per­a­ture 24.5°C. I bought them be­cause I have been told they were easy to keep and breed but they just seem to hide all the time. What am I do­ing wrong?

They’ve been in the tank for six weeks and I feed frozen and sink­ing foods and do a weekly 20% wa­ter change. Wa­ter qual­ity is good with no signs of any am­mo­nia or ni­trite. ADAM WRIGHT, BY EMAIL

JEREMY SAYS: Kribs are es­sen­tially rock and cave dwelling and will spend a lot of time in and around places where they can hide.

Of my pair, the fe­male spends most of her time un­der wood, rocks or a co­conut shell cave. This is nor­mal, and close ob­ser­va­tions are that she is be­ing very in­dus­tri­ous, dig­ging, clean­ing and nest­ing. She will be look­ing for ar­eas to spawn on as well as ar­eas close by to move the fry to once they’ve hatched.

Are your Kribs young fish? There are many re­ports of im­ma­ture males not know­ing what to do, re­sult­ing in frus­trated fe­males. Are they si­b­lings? If so try some new blood, prefer­ably a large, un­re­lated male. And maybe re­move one of the pairs. I wouldn’t have two ci­ch­lid pairs in a tank of that size as it may be caus­ing un­der­ly­ing stress by way of the males/fe­males be­ing able to swap part­ners on de­mand. Try just one pair and see if that works bet­ter.

Don’t be tempted to lift the hide­outs your Kribs are in and in­spect. I found eggs last time I did this: they didn’t hatch and now my Kribs haven’t spawned since.

Kriben­sis male.

Kriben­sis fe­male.

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