his lips together and making the noise.
Is this something they’re known for, or
am I the proud owner of the world’s first
snapping severum? Thanks, and keep up
the good work.
Sound production during
aggressive displays and
spawning is observed in various
cichlid species (and in many
other fishes, for that matter), including
severums, so I’m afraid your specimen won’t
make the record books for being the first
snapping severum. Still, it’s neat to observe
such behavior in denizens of the underwater
world, which was once erroneously assumed
to be a silent realm. It’s believed that they make
these sounds by grinding or striking together
their pharyngeal teeth (teeth located in the
throat on the pharyngeal jaw apparatus).
It’s interesting to note that many
clownfishes and damselfishes of the family
Pomacentridae—a family of marine fishes
that are related and very similar to cichlids
both behaviorally and anatomically—are
also known to communicate acoustically in
Are kribs easy to breed relative
to other cichlids? Thus far,
I’ve only bred livebearers, but now I’d like
to try breeding something different in
my 29-gallon tank. My dealer has a tank
full of beautiful kribs, and they seem to
have so much personality! Please tell me
they aren’t too challenging to breed! If
they aren’t too hard, can they be bred in a
Assuming the kribs in
your dealer’s tank are a
Pelvicachromis species (several
species from this genus, chief
among them P. pulcher, are sold as kribs or
kribensis), I’m happy to oblige! In fact, many
Pelvicachromis species breed quite readily in
the aquarium and would make an excellent
bridge between livebearers and the more
challenging cichlid species in this regard.
Set up your tank with lots of hiding places,
including caves (e.g., overturned flowerpots)
to serve as breeding sites. Plants are a fine
addition to the kribensis tank as well, since
It is perfectly normal to see red to orange coloration in the eyes of Pterophyllum angelfish.
Heros sp. “rotkeil,” like many cichlid species, may produce sounds in the aquarium during bouts
of aggression and breeding.
unlike many cichlids, they tend to leave them
alone for the most part.
The ideal pH for breeding kribs depends on
the particular species. For example, the ideal
pH for breeding P. pulcher is neutral ( 7.0).
At this pH, you’ll get an approximately equal
ratio of male and female fry. A pH below 7.0
will yield a higher percentage of females,
and a higher pH will yield more males.
Similarly, other Pelvicachromis species have
their own ideal pH for breeding. But that
doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t breed if
the pH departs somewhat from the ideal—just
that you’ll get a higher ratio of either males
or females depending on whether the water is
more acidic or basic.
To ensure that you’ve got a breeding pair,
you can either purchase a single male and
single female and hope for the best, or buy a
half dozen juvenile specimens and allow them
to pair up naturally. If you need some pointers
on sexing Pelvicachromis spp., males tend to
be more streamlined while females are more
plump. Males also have longer, more pointed
fins than females do. Females tend to have
more pronounced pink to purple coloration on
their bellies as well.
The eggs are typically laid on the ceiling
of a cave and hatch in about two days. The
fry are usually free-swimming within five
days. Both the female and male share the
duty of tending the fry. Kribs are rather
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