conjures up the imagination of even the most hardened tropical
fish keeper. The tropical fish that have been coming out
of Africa for years and years is seemingly endless. The "Lake
Cichlids" have captured the pocketbooks of many a newcomer
to the hobby and plenty of the old timers as well. This is
for good reason too. Some of them have the colors of the
saltwater fishes and for sure some of the "Lake Cichlids" have
really unusual spawning habits and of course they are hardy "to
There are other African fish that have attracted my attention and the first
one of those was the Pelvicachromis pulcher,
the Kribenses. What a very nice and attractive fish. Actually the very first
Krib I saw was an albino that was in a fish shop almost three years ago and
I purchased a pair and they lasted in my 55 gallon community tank for
almost 2 years. I began to get interested in the real krib, as opposed to
the albino form and I tracked that form of the Pelvicachromis
pulcher until I found a pair and I was a bit disappointed because
it was evidently terribly in-breed and the colors were very subdued. I understand
that the "old" Krib was really quite a striking fish.
. . the Red Krib
This leads us to lately. A friend of mine had a bunch of Pelvicachromis
taeniatus "Nange" for sale. I
read some literature about this "new" African
species and all of it's color forms and decided that
this is a nifty fish and probably not as inbreed as the
Kribs I had seen so I grabbed a pair and went home to
give them a tank of their own. What a great idea that
was. This is a tremendous fish. Colorful, hardy, relatively
new to the hobby, you don't find them at the local fish
stores and I think I have something pretty special.
My friend had told me that there would be a transformation
of colors under two conditions: Age and Spawning!
For starts the "Nange" is a pretty
fish anyway but there really was a big change and it was for the better.
As pretty as they are in the beginning they became more striking with age.
The original coloration is a darkish brown/gray, it's hard to describe but
there are hints as to the color that is coming. The beautiful deep purple
on the male is very obvious and there is a hint of the yellow on the chest.
The females are always plump, like the kribs, and carry the same basic coloration
of the females but the red belly of the Krib gives way to a beautiful very
A young group of Pelvicachromis taeniatus "Nange".
Individual fish from the young group of Pelvicachromis
I have not been successful with raising the young so far but the pair has
spawned. The colors the pair took on were almost stunning! The pair turned
and the purple lit up like a Christmas tree. The people that saw these wonderful
fish were just amazed at the beauty.
The Pelvicachromis taeniatus fishes come mainly
from Northern West Africa to the southern parts of Cameroon, and there are
plenty of choices as to color varieties:
I am told that these locations may not be all that there are in West Africa
but for the moment we have plenty of new fishes to choose from and an exciting
group of fishes it is indeed! Here are some maps to get you located as to
where the wild Pelvicachromis taeniatus roam.
Click on Maps to enlarge.
Map of Africa and Cameroon, West Africa
Map of Cameroon in West Africa
is the country immediately to the North of Cameroon and
is the location
of the northern most Pelvicachromis taeniatus.
It will be a lot of fun seeing what the future holds for
this very interesting tropical fish. They are colorful,
relatively peaceful and are very hardy. You will be glad
you took the time to track some of these beauties down
and give them a home. They
will fascinate you for quite some time.