Can these fish live together and minimum space


Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Sure I can live without frogs but is there anyway I can increase the ph because I want platys and guppies definitely
You can add some limestone, shells or dead coral skeletons/ rubble to the tank or filter. Add a few small bits to start with and monitor the pH over a week and see how it goes. If the pH is still too low, add a couple more pieces and monitor the pH over another week. Continue doing this until the pH settles where you want it.

Not familiar with test strips, not sure why the GH requires 3 readings.
The 3 squares for the GH are how you see what the level is. If you have 3 bluey green squares, that means there is less than 6dGH. 1dGH = 17.9ppm so your water is less than 110ppm and is soft.

If the top square is pink and the bottom 2 squares are bluey green, the hardness is above 7dGH.

If the top 2 squares are pink and the bottom square is bluey green, the hardness is more than 14dGH.

If all 3 squares are pink, then the hardness is above 21dGH.

The pH is about 6.8 and the GH is below 110ppm.

Tetras, barbs, Corydoras catfish, loaches, angelfish and gouramis will be fine in this water. Kribensis will be fine too.

Depending on the tank dimensions (length x width x height), you could possibly keep a pair (1 male & 1 female) Kribensis in the tank. They are very easy to keep, and breed all the time. The big issue will be finding homes for the babies. There are other species in the Pelvicachromis genus that aren't as common as the Kribensis but are just as colourful and often more colourful. They are just as easy to keep and breed and because they aren't as common, you can sell more of them.

One of the nicest fish in the group is Pelvicachromis subocellatus from Moanda. they are a lovely fish and the female get a bright pink belly with a frost white edge around the pink. If you are interested in these fish, ask your local pet shop to order you in a pair consisting of a male and a female. Depending on the time of year, it might take a month or more to get them, but they are well worth the wait.

If you want guppies and platies, get a second tank and buffer the pH and GH with some Rift Lake water conditions designed for African Rift Lake cichlids.

If you are limited to space, get a double or even a triple tier stand and have 2 or 3 tanks on the same stand. Then you can have guppies and platies in one tank, and the other fishes in the second tank.


Fish Fanatic
Sep 6, 2020
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United States
You can't keep those fish together, as some (like the sword tails) need hard water, and others (like the neon tetras) need soft water.

Is this based on research or just an assumption based on their native habitat?

Someone once said you can't fight evolution but a key factor in evolution is the ability of a species to adapt to changing/different environments. You just can't assume that a specific fish needs water condition from its native habitat as it may have the ability to adapt to a wide range of water conditions. This may be a reason why certain fish are popular in the aquarium industry, they can adapt.

You cannot ignore the fact that most fish come from fish farms and may have never seen water condition similar to their native habitat. And these are not 1st generation fish, these farms have been in operation for decades.

I hear this advice alot on this forum, you need to match water hardness. I am just not sure if this is really required for a common fish such as sword tails or neon tetras.



Fish Addict
Apr 21, 2020
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North Of London
I’m not familiar to test strips either tbh all I’ve had in the past is goldfish.I have soft water but would I still be able to get the Kribs? And how many Khuli loaches would you recommend?
One of the best sources of fish info is this places back pages. Just stick kribensis and/or kribensis or whatever into the search facility and you’ve nigh on 20 years of discussion on the subject of your choice A lot of results will just mention stuff in passing but if you’ve a spare few hours you can whizz through a lot. Unfortunately it will bring up all the posts in a thread mentioning the subject but once you get the hang of it you’ll spot them and ignore.

There’s some very knowledgable posters who don’t seem to post any more, which is a shame.


Fish Fanatic
Oct 11, 2020
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Yeah I’ll skip the frogs but are kribs easy to keep? I’ll skip them too if there hard to keep but would I be able to keep 1 Bristlenose Pleco,7 corydoras,5 loaches,20 Neon tetras, a few guppies and maybe the kribs ( if their easy) in the same tank? Or not

I have had a male and female kribensis together in a community tank. They got on fine with all the fish in the tank (angels, rainbows, clown + yoyo loaches, BGK and bristlenose. Then the female died and the male is on his own now. The only fish he has beef with is my Empire Gudgeon now, otherwise he's pretty chill. I've heard they can have different personalities though so guess it depends on the particular fish you get.