Who C.A.R.E.S? – Pelvicachromis sacrimontis

I have a wild pair of Pelvicachromis sacrimontis that are currently raising a batch of fry.  I have had this species many times, but for some reason I cannot seem to keep them around for multiple generations.  That is now my goal.  There is some concern that this species is suffering from its close proximity to the human population of Lagos, Nigeria, and the barely-controlled oil drilling industry in the areas where the fish is found.  Not to mention the deforestation that has decimated 95% of Nigeria’s rainforests.  P. sacrimontis used to be a relatively common export, and we used to see them in stores all the time as ‘Giant Krib’.  I can remember getting boxes of ‘mixed kribs’ and being disappointed when most of them were this species!!!!  If I could only have now what I used to have then…

8 Replies to “Who C.A.R.E.S? – Pelvicachromis sacrimontis”

  1. Ted,
    I would love to have some of the fry, when they are large enough to ship. This would be two birds with one stone, as I want to get more into Westies, and to work with more CARES cichlids. Do you think that maybe our incorrect feeding habits, too much protein, may be the cause of not being to keep “kribs” long term? I have been able to keep Tangs into their teens, including a N. logicauditus for 26 years.

  2. Ted, I love this video! I love the info put into it. Lets me know I am doing them right! I have a trio, and the smallest female has almost been lost twice now. Separated with a divider in a 40 breeder, she is now very healthy again, and I have watched how the pair is aggressive towards her through the divider. And the pair has now bonded and not beating up on each other as they were when I first got them (male beat both females up). Hopefully I will soon get a spawn out of them, so I can get them going through the Cincinnati area!

  3. Ted! I am reading you in TFH now and wanted to reach my excitement out to you and THANK you for all the work you do in the Cichlid world. I have had the pleasure of breeding P. Pulcher, Honduran Red Points, Blue Rams, multiple Appisto species, Red Turq Discus, the list goes on… I LOVE MY CICHLIDS. If possible, I would love to get a different version of Pelvicachromis in house. I dont breed for anything but the joy of it. If we could colaborate I would be extatic. Looking forward to hearing from you!


  4. Oh!
    I bought 2 (male and female) juvenile kribensis that I thought were P. pulcher but my kribs look more like these guys than P. pulcher. They were simply labled “kribensis” in the shop and were the offspring of a mated pair the shop had had previously (I didn’t get to see the parents unfortunately).

    The male has started displaying to the female and when he does he puffs out his gills and his whole throat and the ends of his gills turns a dark navy blue. When he isn’t showing off, his gills have a faint turquoise green-blue iridescence over very faint opaque yellow. I couldn’t find any info on P. pulcher having blue throats / gills so I wondered if I had the right species. Both female and male have turquoise green/blue spots on their gill plates in line with the body stripe, and they have a more rounded / convex head profile than the pictures of P. pulcher that I can find – could I possibly have P. sacrimontis instead? Is there any way to clearly tell them apart?


  5. I have been keeping sacrimontis for seven or eight years (line bred unfortunately) and am down to mostly f2 and f3s. The gender skew is very pronounced and has been the most difficult challenge for me in keeping them going. I get almost three females to every male. I’ve recently kicked my program into overdrive and have three tanks devoted to these guys with a pair in each tank. One odd thing I’ve observed on a couple occasions with these guys is that occasionally they change genders. I had a full grown mature female who I believe had even bred suddenly develop male finnage and coloration. I think she is one of the three males I currently have.

    1. Very interesting on the sex change. A lot of cichlids can change from functional female to phenotypic male… but that ‘male’ cannot breed. Basically, the female loses the ability to produce the hormones that support female phenotype and the male genes (fish have both) take over… but it is all dress. A few species are true, functional sequential hermaphrodites (Crenicara sp. and probably Dicrossus sp.). Try spawning this species in very soft, slightly acidic water (6.5 pH) anf a temperature under 72… you will probably get better sex ratios.

  6. Thanks for this great video. I also have found that using a mirror helps to stimulate spawning behavior in P. pulcher. I know that P. pulcher is relatively easy to breed, but using a mirror for a few hours a day I was able to breed them even in very hard alkaline water. I think the visual presence of competing pairs releases hormones necessary for breeding and may even be a stronger stimulus than water conditions.

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