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Male Kribensis chasing females, who are now hiding in fear of their lives!


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First post here, from Brit in Singapore!

I have three Kribensis (two females and a male) in a 40 gallon (also in the tank, 5 khuli loach, two hillstream loach and a couple of leopard corys - will be getting more soon to get it to about 10)

The tank is island style (two islands and two caves) in the main cave on the left the male has been digging the sand out and guards the main island ferouciously! The substrate is fine sand.

He chases the females whenever they come out of their hiding spots (one on the left behind the filter intake and one who hides on the right behind the heater).

I want them to breed but am concerned that he is going to stress them out and kill them. They all come from the same shop (a great local shop), but got the male and females about a week apart.

I have heard that I could/maybe should get some dither fish (neons?) perhaps more hiding spots, more caves, also planning on planting some vallisneria at the back on the right.

Any thoughts?

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Edited by Windellberry
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Nice tank. I did recently have kribs form a pair from a group of 6 sub adults (the remaining 4 did nothing but get beat up and hide). I am not an expert on kribs but they seemed to be a monogamous bonded pair ... once they find a mate they like and decide to become a pair. Someone else may be more familiar with the nuances of Kribs but in my situation the brighter dominant female dug just as much as the darker dominant male. The pair chased the rest of the kribs around a 75 gallon until I removed the other 4 Kribs. The 4 seemed pretty hardy and were fine once removed. If I had not noticed  breeding colors on one of the females I would try to add a couple of more kribs short term. A bigger group it might allow a pair to form or to form faster. I would try and bring the extra kribs back to the store once a pair sorts itself out. If that is not an option I would try and rearrange the tank a bit to break sight lines and add a few krib caves on the ends of the tank in addition to the ones you have already 

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