Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ with new fry

I have a group of P. taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ (one male and three females) that are doing well in a 33-gallon long aquarium with some Neolebias cf. trewavasae and Barbus jae that I brought home from Gabon last Winter.  I used to keep all my kribs as single pairs, but I have discovered that they do better in small colonies, so long as there is enough space.  In this case, I have three females and three breeding locations separated by visual barriers.  This video shows the most dominant female with a group of fry and the male helping her to care for them.  But he sneaks off to visit another female that is ready to spawn!  This is not typical behavior.  Pairs with fry usually have a very strong bond, but captivity does strange things to fish behavior.  I have never had two females of this species together in the same tank guarding fry… it will be interesting to see what happens!


18 Replies to “Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ with new fry”

  1. Hey ted, I love these fish and have a pair of Kribs in a 20 long right now that im in the process of turning into a planted tank. I have a couple of quetions. Do you think I’d be able to add another pair of kribensis to my tank if i have enough hiding spots? and also: Where did you get that low lying cave? I’d love to have one or two as they look as though theyd fit really well under driftwood and would be difficult to see, but the taeniatus seem to love them. Thanks!
    Andy (cichlidnewbie23 on the aca forums)

      1. Ok thanks for the response. I know for a fact we have more female kribensis in the warehouse at the company I work for ( A pair bred and i managed to get a group of 7 that were all females lol) and Ill certainly try to pick one up. Ill also go check out those breeder burritos. Thanks!

  2. Ted,
    I have just finished reading your articial in TFH, and was wondering if you plan to sell your p. Taeniatus fry? I would love to get some, and I even think a harlem of females as you have would be nice. I currently have a pair of p. Pulcher in a 20L and a heavily planted 40 breeder. The 40 is where this species would go. Is this adequate? Also, have you had issues with aggression between the females? I also would love to put a group of Crossocheilus Siamensis in the tank for algea control, but am afraid that they will be injured during the guarding stage. Have you ever experienced this in your breeding set-ups?
    Thank you so much for your great articles and knowledge. I never thought I would love these fish this much, but this is my favorite species I have ever owned!
    Thanks again,

    1. Hi Katie,

      A male with a harem of 3-4 females woudl be fine in a 40-breeder. You can probably get away with two males if you load the corners up with a lot of driftwood. The algae eaters will not be a problem either, but if you keep the light subdued you may not get enough algae growth to keep them healthy. I have a couple batches of P. taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ fry growing, but I do not like to sell them until I can determine their gender. They should be ready to go in Spring 2012. Keep checking the stock shop. Thank you for your kind comments!


  3. Thanks Ted for sharing this vid. I’m a friend of Vince Coopers “Tenn” I’ve been into cichlids for about 6 yrs. now and some of my fav’s are the krib’s and dwarfs. I also have rift lake peacocks and also a tank of Tanganyika lake cichlids . This is some great info as far as keeping a male w/ more then 1 female on the krib’s , I think that I might try this on my next krib type ,I’m looking for super red’s or a scarlett red ,also moliwe,bipindi…. I currently have a pr. of albino and a pr. of yellow/purple form pulcher . Look forward to maybe talking one day and also I have sent a friend request on fb . Have a wonderful Holiday upcoming and a Great New Year
    Steven E. Aldershof

  4. I’ve been looking frantacticly for different kinds of pelvichromis and this is a kind that has never been available to me. I’m in the philadelphia region. Any help on where i can find the different subspecies like these?

  5. Hi Ted,

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts and viewing your videos over the past few days! Would you happen to have any Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ available to buy?



    1. Thanks Jay! I have some growing up. Keep checking my livestock page. When they are ready I will post them there.

  6. At 51 seconds into the video you have several fish by the potted plants and driftwood. What are the yellow fish with black stripes and red tips on the fins?

  7. Hi Ted,
    I am currently conducting a study on the mating behaviour of both Pelvicachromis pulcher and Pelvicachromis taeniatus. What I’m interested in is whether Pelvicachromis pulcher is monogamous and Pelvicachromis taeniatus polygamous. I came across your video of the ‘fickle’ male and wondered if you had any thoughts on the mating strategies of these fish? Any information you could give me would be much appreciated.


    1. Hi Jenny,

      In my experience, polygamous mating events with any krib are rare, but in the artificial environment of an aquarium anything is possible. I have had P. sacrimontis males spawn with two females at once in a relatively small aquarium (48″x13x13), and I have seen pairs of the same species kill other females in larger tanks. I have seen P. pulcher males switch mates multiple times when there are more than one female available, but never when one of his mates has fry. I think that they are relatively monogamous for each mating event, but once it is over the pairing process starts all over again and other females have a chance. Same goes with P. taeniatus (or at least the forms I have worked with… mostly from Cameroon, which will shortly be reclassified as P. kribensis). I believe that natural behaviors are hard to replicate in aquariums, unless you can provide a LOT of space and include natural stress factors. The individual communication displays are probably pretty accurate, but the social dynamics must be affected by small quarters and relatively high population density, but with a low mate selection choice. In the wild, there may be dozens of potential mates, but a pair can drive all competitors several feet away. Even in a 6′ tank, if you mimic the number of potential mates the population density of the system is much higher than in the wild. But if you reduce the population so the system mimics the population density of the wild, then there are too few potential mates.


  8. Hello Ted,

    I currently have a 30 gallon planted tank. Do you have any pairs for sale. In the future I’m planning on purchasing a 180 gallon. What is your opinion on adding a pair of Jewel cichlids, Egyptian mouthbrooders, and a pair of Moliwe? This idea came to me after watching a clip on YouTube where someone actually had these two pairs breeding in the same tank.


    1. Hi Rodney,

      I do not have any pairs at the moment, but fry are growing, so watch my stock list in a few months. I do not list any kribs until they can be sexed. In a 180, mixing multiple pairs or pairs of different cichlid species will work. Not in a tank as small as a 30-gallon. The type of jewel cichlid is also important. About the only one I would try in a mixed group with taeniatus would be H. cf. lifilili ‘Moanda’.


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