Angelfish and Kribensis

In this post, we will learn more about the relationship between Angelfish and Kribensis. We will also discuss some of their specificities and requirements, as well as if they can be housed in the same tank.  

Angelfish and Kribensis

Angelfish and Kribensis are Cichlids classified as semi-aggressive species, mainly during the breeding season. In the beginning, Kribensis and Angelfish may repel each other. From the general list of Angelfish tank mates, Kribensis is the one less probable to be successful.

Although they are small fish, Kribensis are not really welcome in community tanks. Similarly to the Angelfish, these fish need to establish their territory. Thus, they may get somewhat aggressive.

Everything about Kribensis

Kribensis, also known as Kribs and P. pulcher, are semi-aggressive fish. These fish are attractive and can be found in a variety of colours such as yellow, red, green, and blue, in addition to the albino variety that has been bred for several decades.

This species is small, a trait that makes them popular with people who do not have enough space or interest in keeping large fish. Adult males grow to 4 inches, while females grow no more than 3 inches.

Kribensis have extremely bright colours and mostly peaceful temperaments. Albino varieties were bred several decades ago and are often offered for sale in stores.

Owners reported that normally coloured males prefer albino females, but all females prefer normally coloured males. Experts find that the red belly that is present in females that are ready to spawn acts as a powerful magnet for the male, and it is better shown in albino females.

How to take care of Kribensis

Kribensis are not demanding fish. In general, they tolerate a wide range of tank conditions. 

Water pH

The ideal way to decide on the pH and hardness of the water is to match it with the parameters of the tank the fish was raised in. Ask the store owner a few questions before you buy the fish. If you cannot determine their history, use the water available at home. That way you do not need to adjust it, and the fish will be more likely to have consistency when performing water changes. Sudden changes in water chemistry are a stressor that can contribute to fish disease.

Best Kribensis tankmates

Kribs are often kept in community tanks. However, be careful when choosing tankmates. Although they are peaceful fish, they can nip the fins of slow-moving fish such as Angelfish. If other cichlids live in the community aquarium, choose a species that is not at the bottom so they will not compete for the same territory.

Avoid keeping them with another kind of cavefish, as P. pulcher love their caves and are extremely territorial fish.


Even if you are not planning to spawn your Kribs, give them two caves. Rock formations or flower pots are the most used materials. 

To create a rock cave, select rocks that fit together well and glue them in place with silica gel or approved aquarium glue. This will avoid any collapse on the fish. The cave does not have to be big, but it should have only one entrance that allows the least amount of light in.

You can use clay or ceramic vases to mould a cave, however, make sure there are no chemicals in the vase or that they are smooth. If you are using a flower pot, make a small opening, turn it upside down and bury it in the gravel. Even plastic pipes, coconut shells or logs can be used to create suitable caves. 

For PVC, cut a piece of foot and secure it to the gravel. Make sure all items are washed and toxin-free. To use a coconut shell, cut a small piece off one end to make an entrance, set it aside, and press into gravel. Do not offer loose stones, as the structure they create could collapse onto them, causing injury or death.


The substrate is also an important factor in creating a comfortable habitat for P. pulcher. They prefer darker gravel, which they quickly rearrange to suit their taste. The tank itself should be well planted with live or artificial plants. While they are generally not destructive to vegetation, P. pulcher likes to dig and they can uproot plants.

Swimming areas

In addition to caves and plants to provide cover, provide an area for open swimming. Like other cichlids, Kribensis are fast swimmers. They are territorial and if they are space limited, they can become aggressive, so avoid overstocking the tank.

Everything about Angelfish

Angelfish are freshwater members of the cichlid family and are native to South America. This group includes other popular fish such as Oscars, Jack Dempseys, and Discus fish.

Well-kept Angelfish reach about 6 inches in height in adulthood, which is about a year and a half. If they are housed in very large tanks and are not overcrowded, they can grow to almost 10 inches, although this is very rare in captivity.

They are often considered community fish, meaning they can coexist with a variety of other tropical species. Angelfish usually become  territorial and aggressive when adult. For this reason, it is usually best to house them in a separate tank as adults and introduce them to new tankmates while young.

Angelfish can also become aggressive towards each other, which usually occurs during the breeding season. Males can fight other males for mates, and females can be aggressive in protecting their young from other male and female fish looking for a snack.

What do angelfish eat? 

Angelfish will eat live foods and plants, so these omnivores need to be fed the right foods to help them reach their ideal size and stay healthy.

It is usually best to offer a daily flake feed or a pellet diet formulated for Angelfish. Supplement the fish diet with live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and newly hatched Daphnia. Angelfish can also eat smaller fish that are in the tank, such as fingerlings and small tetras.

How to make this combination work?

As both species are classified as semi-aggressive, introducing them may be a tricky task. Some tips may help you with the introduction.

–       Try to introduce them while they are still young: Younger Cichlids tend to be less aggressive and less territorial than adults;

–       Set matching conditions for both species: Temperature between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit and neutral pH levels;

–       Set a feeding routine and guarantee both species are getting food;

–       Avoid breeding any of them in the tank: Both species tend to be more aggressive during breeding periods, also regarding their offspring; 

–       Provide enough space: Plenty of space is necessary for the fish to establish their territories without disputes;

–       Provide hiding spots, caves, and plants: Caves for the Kribs, plants and other hiding spots for both.


In this post, we learnt more about the relationship between Angelfish and Kribensis. We also discussed some of their specificities and requirements, as well as if they can be housed in the same tank.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Kribensis

What is the ideal temperature for raising Angelfish and Kribs?

The ideal temperature is around 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When do Kribs get more aggressive?

They are generally peaceful species that can become aggressive during the breeding season and territory disputes.

What are the main characteristics of the Angelfish?

They have extra-long fins that resemble an angel’s wings. Their slim body is usually silver, with some dark stripes or other markings. Some are all, or almost all, black.

What kind of cichlids can live with Angelfish?

Some Cichlids species can live with Angelfish. They are some Rams (i.e. German Blue and Bolivian), Kribensis, and Keyholes. 

What does an Angelfish eat?

Feeding in an aquarium can be done with animal feed, brine shrimp or tiny worms. Fresh vegetables or even industrialized pellets and flakes.

Can two female Angelfish live together?

You would have to buy several of them to make sure you had a couple of the same sex. However, females are not prone to fight, except during breeding season.


Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p.

Schliewen, U.K., 1992. Aquarium fish. Barron’s Education Series, Incorporated. 159 p.

Mills, D. and G. Vevers, 1989. The Tetra encyclopedia of freshwater tropical aquarium fishes. Tetra Press, New Jersey. 208 p.

Daget, J., 1991. Pelvicachromis. P. 363-366. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Checklist of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4.