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Thread: Kribs

  1. #1

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    Well, i think a thread about Kribs is essential in any FW aquarium forum, and i just happen to have a couple kribs i want to discuss. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] (And such good timing on the addition of the aquarium forums! )

    So, i brought home my kribs a bit over a month ago, and true to the storekeeper's words, the second they hit the water, they went from dreary grey to beautiful pink-bellied and highlighted.

    They also started doing the "krib dance". Anyone who hasn't seen kribs doing their dance, well, you're missing out. I also call it the "shimmy" because they wiggle and, well... shimmy.

    Anyway, so my pair of kribs started courting right away, and they also like to hang out in the fake "treasure" vase in the bottom of the tank. Mostly the female, but the male amazes me by squeezing in their on occasion, too. I expected to have baby kribs really soon after that, but to this day they haven't spawned (or whatever it's called). They still do their dance, and the male has doubled in size, but no fry. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] So, what gives? Can anyone give me suggestions on what to do? They eat flake and krill, and i gave them some white worms last week. The water is around 78F, and the tank is heavily planted:


    (Incidentally, the slightly lighter-colored lacy-leaved plant on the left surrounded by the cabomba is a U. aurea, which has become a monster in the weeks since i took this photo.)

    Suggestions? It's getting a bit depressing; i have platies and kribs, both of which are supposed to be relatively easy to breed (the platies more so, of course), as well as zebras, and i've never had any of them breed. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    Edit: more photos for those unfamiliar with the beautiful krib

    Male:


    Female:


    Inquisitive cavedwellers
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  2. #2

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    Smile

    Hi D. muscipula,

    I raise a little relative of kribs called Pel. taeniatus. They look alot like kribs but are a bit more easy going. I have 2 batches of fry right now, one still with the parents. Your tank conditions seem right -- and your tank looks great too [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] . How often do you change water? I would change 50% once a week. I change almost 75% in mine. Is your water soft and acid? Kribs like water around 6.5 to 7 pH and around 6 to 10 DH (say 100 ppms). They will live just fine outside this range and even breed but this is what is ideal. Sometimes a temperature change will trigger them. If you let the temperature fall to say 74F and then do a water change a few days later and lift it to 80-82F it will often trigger them. The white worms are a great idea as the kribs need extra protein to condition themselves for breeding. Blackworms are good too. Also, mosquito larvae, pin head cricketts, fruit flies, and finely chopped (freeze first) earthworms. Try to feed them the good stuff twice a day for 2 weeks or more.
    The platies may be having babies but the zebras are probably taking them out. Zebras are pigs and swim so fast the babies don't stand a chance. You might try adding a good crop of floating plants -- hornwort, najas, water sprite, etc... You have both sexes of platies right? Had to ask [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] . When the females are ready to drop fry they will be so fat that their tummies will look almost squared off.
    I have some very plain little wild platy species. They are gordoni. couchianus and evelynae. They look like plain variatus platies. All they do is drop fry. They don't get eaten as I only have the platies in each tank. That's why I think the zebras are your "terrorists".
    One last question, can both Kribs fit in the cave? If not, give them a piece of drift wood to dig under to create their own cave (also stimulates them) or a new clay flower pot, upside down, with a little door gently hammered out of the rim leaving no sharp edges and put alot of gravel inside it. They can carry all the gravel out to build their own home and it makes them very happy.

    Bobby

  3. #3

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    Thanks Bobby, that's some useful information. Get some floating plants? LOL i can't keep them weeded out - they keep covering up my poor little aldrovanda. I have water sprite and pond penny floating there, as well as something like duckweed, except larger (came in with some other plants).

    I was wondering if the vase was too small, but they have both been in there at times. Just in case i did just add a custom-made clay "cave" that i had for breeding pl*cos (which unfortunately got cooked when some @!*$ kid cranked up the heater), but it's bigger than i remembered.

    The water here comes out of the tap at pH ~9, but within a day of outgassing drops down to around 7. It's about 10GH, and 3 KH, so i have been adding some baking soda with each water change (got scared when i first got my testing kit and found that the water was ~6 pH due to organic acids). I'll cut back on the baking soda and see if i can get the water more acidic without swings. I'm adding CO2 right now with a yeast and sugar setup, which is another reason i want some buffering capacity. I don't change the water nearly that often - do you have plants? I'll try to change more each week (LOL lately i've been so busy i haven't even been changing every week).

    There is one little "Mickey Mouse" male platy, and two larger females. All the male does all day is eat and chase the females, and all they do is eat and run away. I'm not sure they ever let him get close enough, but i certainly believe that the danios picked the fry off. They are voracious little 'raptors'!

    I'll try the temperature change with my water changes. I just don't want to kill off the plants. The LFS guy told me the water has to be warmer (over 80) for them to breed, but i also didn't want to do that because of the plants. Have you found that they don't need it that warm?

    Thanks again.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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  4. #4

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    Lightbulb

    I wouldn't change the water more than 40%. It is not good to change more water in one water change, it might kill the fish, and the plants.
    a PH of 10 might be too much, try to drop it to 8-9.
    the kribs may need something bigger to spawn on. try a large peice of slate, you can find them at pet shops. If I remember right, the female first lays the eggs, attached to the rock, and the male does the rest [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] .
    let the temperature of the tank drop to about 75 F. for a week, and after a week do a 25% water change, raise the temperature of the tank to 80 F., but not higher, and feed more, and like D. muscipula said, give them those 'treats'. Doing all of this triggers the kribs to think it's the 'wet season', where there's more of a chance of their fry surviving, and should induce them to breed. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    -Spec
    P.S.- Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm using info that i got over the internet, fish stores, etc... (I once planned to keep kribs, but ended up not...)

  5. #5

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    Hi D muscipula,

    LOL, Yeah, after I sent my note I relooked at your photo and saw all the floating plants [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img]. The large "duckweed" might be salvinia. Hornwort or najas would form deeper top carpets and since they are long stemmed with little leaves they would allow the light throw while giving your platy babies a place to hide. They are very easy to grow, especially the najas my favorite [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img] .
    You have good water. Is it ok even for your CP's? The kribs would love the 6 pH and 3 KH but the platies would be unhappy as they need it closer to neutral and a bit more buffered. 7 pH and 5 KH would be great for both. It's not that big of a deal so don't worry it to death. Kribs are very forgiving and very adaptable and I bet your water as it is will prove to be just fine.
    The Kribs do not need to be at temps above 80F to breed. 78F would probably be ok even. The lowering a bit then raising a bit is the real trigger more than just the warmth. The plants actually like it cooler -- mid to low 70's -- so don't worry about letting it go down to 74F and then up to 80F. The plants will be fine. Just keep an eye peeled for ich as temperature change can be a little stressful for the non-breeders.
    I believe in large water changes both for breeding and general health of the tank. There is a risk if the chemistry of the new water is extremely different or if the new water is real low in dissolved oxygen. When the chemistry is close and you have either poured the water into the bucket so it picks up air as it falls in or allowed the hose water to pour into the tank so it pulls in oxygen -- then everything is almost always just fine. I change 75% of the water in my tanks every week. I put the de-chlorinating drops in the tank and then let the hose fill them up. My water is moderately hard and alkaline out of the hose so it is chemically very stable. The fish love it. I am more careful with fry or any fish in soft acid water. When you do small water changes statistically with each one you are actually changing less and less as the tank is building up more and more organics and you are still just taking out the same amount of water each time. That is why the big changes, at least once a month, really help the tank, the plants and the fish. If you change your process just go slow and see how it works for you. I have kept fish, alot of fish, for 30 years, so I know how to wing it and not worry. No need to make yourself worry.
    Try filling the pleco pad with gravel so the Kribs can dig it out. It makes them feel the cave is theirs. They like to build and shape [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] .
    Cichlids often have to fail at breeding a few times to work out the mechanics. They have to learn to be a pair; then how to breed; then how to care for the eggs and then how to deal with herding "cats". Yours might have had a couple of dry runs and you just missed them. Watch for the female staying put in one place day in and day out and the male patroling the area around her. Kribs can be egg eaters so just keep watching.
    The rich diet is very important for the female to have so she has the extra energy to develop eggs and for both sexes to have the body weight to sort of fast while breeding -- they get so focused on the eggs and fry they forget to eat sometimes. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    Female platies play hard to get and they don't like to be caught too often. All it takes is one quick
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img] and she is fertilized. It happens lightening fast and a male gets one for every say 300 tries [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] . Watch how their bellies grow. If they get that squared off look and then deflate babies were dropped.

    Bobby

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    Lightbulb

    no, 75% for one single water change is way too much. doing that will upset the bio bacteria and theph, and all of the chemistry of the water, just because you have been growing them for 30 years does not mean you're right, but it doesn't mean I'm right either (been growing fish for like 7 years)

  7. #7

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    ahhh, i clicked report post to mod, i meant to click edit, ignore the report mods

  8. #8

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    Hi Spectabilis73,

    I didn't mean to imply you were wrong and I was right. Please don't be offended. I was just trying to explain that there was alot of experience behind what I was saying so that it didn't sound like a wild untested idea [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]. Some people change alot of water each week and others change less. Both can work just fine. I just have reasons for doing large changes. It helps the fry to grow large and healthy. It helps keep algae down. Most fish seem to enjoy it -- but not all. It's a great disease preventative. And it stimulates breeding. (Although not changing water and a bit of neglect is sometimes the answer [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] ).
    I agree that if water chemistry is an issue or low dissolved oxygen content is feared then smaller changes are in order.
    The good nitrifying bacteria is not so much free swimming in the water but growing in large colonies over all the objects in the tank (gravel, plants, rocks, etc...) and in whatever biofilter bed you have in your filter system. That is the bacteria you always want to protect by not cleaning the whole tank and setting it up like new or by not washing your biofilter medium in tap water and having the chlorine kill a good deal of it. Bacteria in the water is not a big concern. The potential harmful things in a water change are differences in total dissolved solids in the water; low dissolved oxygen content in the new and/or old water, too large of a temperature difference and not fully de-chlorinating the water.
    Anyway. That's my POV on a complex issue [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    Again, please dont think I thought you were wrong. I just look at it differently.

    Bobby

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