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  1. #1
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    Am I out of my mind? (Kribs/Rams with guppies?)

    Well, my peaceful community tank has been going swimmingly (pun intended!) for over a year now. I'm really happy with it and I don't think I want to change anything at this point... so I'm now looking at the two empty 20 gallon highs I have. I have a bad cold and have been spending most of my time in bed thinking up a plan for these tanks. Now i need to expert opinions.

    What I would like to do is have a lot of male guppies and then a pair of either rams or kribs. My water is very hard, so I think the kribs would be better. I realise the kribs will be very agressive when breeding. I realise that even when not breeding the kribs may devour the guppies. I realise the guppies may devour krib fry. I would use the other empty 20H to raise the surviving krib fry which would then be sold/given away. The tank would be heavily hardscaped and will probably have some plants (though I want to keep the plants to a minimum in this tank). I would introduce the kribs after the guppies had time to settle in and grow a bit.

    So my question to you: Am I out of my mind? Is this setup possible? I'm drooling over the idea of this tank (so much colour!) but I want to make sure it is actually plausible.

    If it could work, how many male guppies would fit (for lack of a better word) with a pair of kribs. The tank will be filtered with 2 HOBs, one rated for 30g and one rated for 20g.





  2. #2
    Senior Member TL1000RSquid's Avatar
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    Can't help on the Krib side, but my pair of Bolivians in a heavily planted 29g with some guppies hasn't led to any conflicts. The majority of the time the guppies stay to the upper half and the rams to the lower half of the tank.



  3. #3
    Senior Member vwill279's Avatar
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    Here are a few pointers from a fellow krib owner.

    1.) plants and driftwood in addition to plentiful caves will make them feel most comfortable and get them into breeding condition faster.
    2.) Flowing fins with kribs are generally a bad idea. I have 1 male guppy and 2 females in with my kribs and generally everyone gets along, but my tank is almost twice the size of yours.
    3.) Feeding live food with the flakes in small amounts more times a day and 2x weekly water changes with slightly cooler water will help to condition your kribs to breed.
    4.) Kribs, like most cichlids, need very good water quality. I would keep the stock low. If it were me, I would only have 5 guppies at most. I have 4 swordtails, 1 bulldog pleco, and 3 guppies in my 38 gallon tank. That is all the stock I will have (not counting fry from either the kribs or the livebearers - I have fry growout tanks for them)
    5.) Faster, more active fish like barbs or tetras are best for kribs since the activity will help to prevent them from becoming shy while being fast enough and sturdy enough to deal with the breeding kribs. Kribs may kill guppies from aggression during breeding, but they cannot eat adult guppies. Kribs get around 4" for the male, 3" for the female. Not big enough to eat an adult guppy. Fry maybe, though I havent noticed them showing interest in my swordtail or guppy fry, even when they're only a day old.
    6.) Baby kribs grow slowly. It takes them approx 4 months to reach sellable size. A pair can breed every month, though 2 months is more common. Make sure you have somewhere for the babies to go or you'll be overrun!
    7.) Use a sand substrate. They LOVE to dig in it and make their own caves. You wont be disappointed watching their behavior.
    8.) Just from watching the activity of my krib pair, a 20high is the absolute lowest limit on footprint size. They stay on the bottom so make sure that when you aquascape with your caves and plants and driftwood etc, you leave enough open space for them to swim while still having plenty of places for caves.
    9.) A female will move her brood from cave to cave while they are growing. This means that the more cave locations you can provide, the more comfortable she will feel having her brood out for you to observe.
    10.) It is common for a pair to eat their first few broods while learning how to be good parents, they'll catch on.
    11.) Courtship can last for up to a week. My pair spawned 8 days after I bought them after courting for the previous 7. The female will show her belly and flare her fins and will dig the caves. The male will oversee. They will both "shimmy" to each other during this time.
    12.) You probably wont be able to watch them spawn. With mine, I see them take turns going into and out of the cave, the female for longer than the male. I can tell its spawning because they are no longer moving sand around. This happens for a few hours. Then the male will keep watch over the general area and the female will stay in the cave to fan the eggs. She does come out for feeding time, but only to snatch a few mouthfulls before going back into the cave. Also, after spawning both her and the male's colors dulled significantly. This occurs for about a week until the fry become free swimming. Then the parents will defend them and take them out around the tank. I'm not sure whether or not your guppies will eat the fry. Mine never eat their own fry and always give the kribs a wide berth, so I am not worried about my baby kribs.
    13.) For a pair's first couple successful spawns you may need to use a turkey baster to squirt powdered flake food or other fry food down at them so they can eat. However, experienced parent kribs will "chew" up their own food and spit out small pieces to their babies so you really shouldnt have to feed them specially. *TIP* use the turkey baster to feed the parents the live food while you're conditioning them so that they get used to and anticipate its presence and the fact that it means food. This will help to prevent the pair from hiding from it with their babies.

    Any other questions, please ask! I love my kribs, they are super interesting and cute with beautiful coloration. I've never had rams, simply because my water is really hard. 8.4 pH right out of the tap and these guys are doing great in it! They get REALLY bright right before spawning. Here's a short vid of mine excavating one of their caves (they dug out 4 before they spawned). They eventually dug out under this rock entirely and spawned on the other side of it.



  4. #4
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    Thanks for all the wonderful information! Your pair is just lovely.

    Oh, and how are they with snails?



  5. #5
    Senior Member RazzleFish's Avatar
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    I have a pair that is currently protecting their first batch of fry. They are in a 45 gallon with some barbs and tetras and a lot of snails. They go after the other fish from time to time but they have yet to do any dammage. As for snails, if you want any go with nerites or ramshorns. Any of the other common snails seem to lift their shell too high and end up getting attacked. With guppies, if you want males look for roundtails. They have the wild version tail but with the same domestic color. They tend to be a little faster which helps when a krib is attacking.

    HTH
    Science is constructed of facts as a house is of stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.
    ~Henri Poincare

    You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.
    ~Albert Einstein



  6. #6
    Senior Member vwill279's Avatar
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    I have nerite snails and pond snails in with them and they've shown zero interest in them, even when the snails were in the cave she was digging.



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