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Kribensis Cichlid and Angelfish: An Unsuitable Match

Kribensis Cichlid and Angelfish: An Unsuitable Match

Kribensis cichlids and angelfish are colorful fish that look as friendly as can be. Kribensis especially are cheerful and active, with bright colors that make us want to add them to every tank possible. 

However, they might not be the best tank mates for many animals we’d like to pair them up with.

What about angelfish? These unique-looking freshwater fishies are friendly and thrive in community tanks. Due to their cute looks, many fish keepers might think they look like a perfect match for kribensis. 

However, combining the two might not be the best idea, and the main reason is kribensis’ somewhat temperamental nature.

Here’s what I mean:

Can Kribensis Be Kept with Angelfish?

In general, both kribensis cichlid and angelfish are friendly fish that need to be in community tanks. They love having suitable tank mates they can spend time with. 

To a certain extent, kribensis and angelfish can be tankmates. Angelfish are large enough not to fall victim to the kribensis’ somewhat aggressive nature, and they certainly won’t become their food. 

However, there might be better choices for highly active kribensis than peaceful and slow angelfish. There are several reasons behind this.

Nipping Behavior 

The main reason why keeping kribensis cichlid and angelfish together might not be the best option is due to kribensis’ nipping behavior. 

Adult kribensis cichlids tend to nip at slow-swimming fish’s tails and fins. This can be quite annoying and stressful to their tankmates, ruining the angelfish’s quality of life. 

It isn’t entirely certain why kribensis nip at fins. Some keepers think that they do this playfully, as they consider chasing and nipping other fish to be rather fun. 

Others think the reason is much more malicious, and that nipping is the way in which kribensis show their dominance. Also, this might be a sign that your kribensis is aggressive.

The main reason to stop this is to make sure your tank is large enough for all the fish you have in it

A general rule is to keep 2-4 fish in a 5-gallon tank. However, this depends on the size of the fish, and kribensis do their best when kept in larger, 20-gallon tanks. 

Still, if you crowd your tank with fish, no matter how large it is, the fish inside it might become stressed out and territorial

Kribensis in general prefer to have lots of space for themselves. As such, if their tank is too small, they’re more likely to nip at angelfish’s fins.

Another issue is that inexperienced fishkeepers might confuse dangerous diseases such as fin rot with the product of fish nipping. This might result in not quarantining contagious fish on time, and the disease might spread to your entire tank.

Does Age Matter?

The age of the fish is also important when it comes to keeping certain fish breeds together. Of course, the main reason behind this is the fish’s size, but there’s more to this. 

First and foremost, keeping young kribensis with adult angelfish is usually a good choice. Young kribensis are fairly small, and they won’t pose a threat to peaceful angelfish. 

Also, young kribensis aren’t that likely to spawn, so they won’t become as territorial as adults that are getting ready to mate

On the other hand, keeping young angelfish with adult kribensis will usually end badly. Kribensis are omnivorous fish that aren’t shy of eating baby fish, and this includes tiny angelfish fry. 

Also, young angelfish are no match to much faster adult kribensis that will constantly find a way to nip at them. 

While keeping adult kribensis cichlids and adult angelfish isn’t an ideal solution, most of the time it won’t result in angelfish’s death. 

Can the Two Coexist Peacefully?

kribensis cichlid and angelfish

It isn’t impossible to have kribensis cichlid and angelfish live together peacefully. However, it can be tricky. 

First off, make sure your tank is spacious and not crowded with too many fish species. This will reduce the chances of fin-nipping behavior. 

Next, if you plan on breeding either of the species, make sure you have a 40-gallon breeder tank. You want to keep aggressive spawning kribensis away from peaceful angelfish, and angelfish fry must stay away from kribensis that would gladly eat them. 

If you have to add new fish to an existing tank, make sure that you add young kribensis to a tank with adult angelfish. However, this isn’t a long-term solution, as your kribensis will eventually grow up and start harassing their more gentle tank mates.

All in all, while there is a way to keep the two together, and while this will unlikely result in the death of your fish, I would, personally, avoid keeping kribensis and angelfish as tank mates. It is better to be safe than sorry. 

The Bottom Line

Kribensis cichlid and angelfish are among the most beautiful freshwater fish you can find. They are colorful, interestingly shaped, and live in the same water parameters. All of this might make you think they are amazing tankmates. 

However, the two wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to tank mates. Their temperaments are too different and it’s likely that this combination won’t end well for calm angelfish. 

Still, adult fish won’t eat or kill each other. If you’d like to try to keep them together, there is nothing stopping you from this. 

Of course, it should be in your best interest to provide your fish with the best conditions possible, and this includes choosing suitable tankmates. As kribensis will stress your angelfish out, I would advise you to make a better choice for the sake of your pet.