Kribensis and Pictus cat issues??

SagesSeaEscape

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Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with Kribensis and Pictus cats. So I’ve had my Pictus for about 9 months now and recently added 6 Kribensis to the tank. They are the only fish at this time. I have a 29 gal tank with 8 caves in it and some vegetation for hiding. recently my Pictus has started to go nuts at night swimming up and down the sides on the tank. From what I read this is a sign of stress but not positive, as it is completely completely fine during the day (swimming at the bottom, eating normal, etc).

Water parameters are still the same as they have been which is good parameters for both the Pictus and kribs. I haven’t seen any aggression between the kribs and pictus. I have seen aggression in the kribs towards each other. The kribs were introduced to the tank 2 days ago (after a 14 day quarantine).

Could it possibly just be a new tank mate issue that the pictus could calm down from eventually?

Thanks in advance!
 
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SagesSeaEscape

SagesSeaEscape

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He is scared stiff of what will happen next. Pictus cats and any Cichlid are not a good mix

Okay, how do I go about separating him? I have a 40 gal that has guppies which has been cycled but I also have a few 10 and 20 gal tanks that are not in use currently. Thank you for the insight. It was just hard to find info on kribs specifically I just thought Africans were more aggressive (which is what most of the info I could find was referring to)
 

GaryE

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First off, kribs are Africans. They come from river systems in Nigeria and northern Cameroon. As a fan of African fish, it drives me crazy when people use "Africans" to describe the fish from one single lake in a vast, complex and rich continent - Lake Malawi. Nothing personal - everyone seems to do it, but African Cichlids are as diverse as African cultures.

A South American pictus likes a dimly lit tank, and is likely to be very active by night. It has high oxygen needs (which might explain the wild swimming on the glass). If you give the tank a good strong current, with maybe a powerhead to go with a power filter, it will be much happier.

Six kribs? I'll take a guess this is a young pictus, or there's no way a 29 gallon would work. P. pictus is one of those fish stores sell to hobbyists with tanks way too small for their long term health and happiness. But a fully grown pictus is a skilled predator, and very small kribs will be weeded out fast. You would never be overwhelmed with fry if a night hunting pictus is in there.

Six kribs surviving in a 29 will not be good. A single pair will be great. I haven't kept kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher) for a long time, although I have kept P. kribensis (no one calls it a krib - an old mistake by importers). When young, fish in the group show differences in the dorsal markings, and often in the ventral fins. Hit google images using the Latin name to avoid confusion, and sort a pair out. Then try to take the other 4 back.
 
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SagesSeaEscape

SagesSeaEscape

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First off, kribs are Africans. They come from river systems in Nigeria and northern Cameroon. As a fan of African fish, it drives me crazy when people use "Africans" to describe the fish from one single lake in a vast, complex and rich continent - Lake Malawi. Nothing personal - everyone seems to do it, but African Cichlids are as diverse as African cultures.

A South American pictus likes a dimly lit tank, and is likely to be very active by night. It has high oxygen needs (which might explain the wild swimming on the glass). If you give the tank a good strong current, with maybe a powerhead to go with a power filter, it will be much happier.

Six kribs? I'll take a guess this is a young pictus, or there's no way a 29 gallon would work. P. pictus is one of those fish stores sell to hobbyists with tanks way too small for their long term health and happiness. But a fully grown pictus is a skilled predator, and very small kribs will be weeded out fast. You would never be overwhelmed with fry if a night hunting pictus is in there.

Six kribs surviving in a 29 will not be good. A single pair will be great. I haven't kept kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher) for a long time, although I have kept P. kribensis (no one calls it a krib - an old mistake by importers). When young, fish in the group show differences in the dorsal markings, and often in the ventral fins. Hit google images using the Latin name to avoid confusion, and sort a pair out. Then try to take the other 4 back.
Thank you for the info, I was shortening the name to type faster lol. Now I will be upgrading the tank in the near future. How do I go about picking out a pair of Kribensis, from what I read they naturally pair up, is that at all true? They’re pretty easy to sex right now so should I just pick the best looking male and female? I have 2 75 gallons that are currently leaking so I have to fix them still, but that’s besides the point. Thank you for the info on them being african cichlids, I did know that. I was referring to the “assorted African cichlids” like at pet stores I forgot that I’m talking to people that tend to know about more about the hobby than I do.

I’ve also read that pictus catfish are better in groups, so with that should I get more of them when I upgrade his tank to the 75 gal? Yes, he’s very young about 1.5 inches when I got him and maybe 2ish now

Thank you for all the advice
 

GaryE

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I have no direct experience with pictus, but have been told they are social young and less so as they age.

Sorry for dumping my 'African Cichlid' rant on you. 30 years ago, I found a battered copy of a book on African river Cichlids in a second hand bookstore, and it lead to a fascination with these overlooked fish. If you knew how many times I bred delicate softwater species, only to have people try to throw them into mbuna tanks because "everyone knows all Africans are the same".
It qualifies as a strong pet peeve.

I always choose pairs myself. Kribs are pretty easy to please. The females are the power fish, and if they don't like the male, you'll see it fast. A lot of krib males never seem to catch on that the female is interested. They are the fish version of basement boys with video games.
 
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SagesSeaEscape

SagesSeaEscape

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I have no direct experience with pictus, but have been told they are social young and less so as they age.

Sorry for dumping my 'African Cichlid' rant on you. 30 years ago, I found a battered copy of a book on African river Cichlids in a second hand bookstore, and it lead to a fascination with these overlooked fish. If you knew how many times I bred delicate softwater species, only to have people try to throw them into mbuna tanks because "everyone knows all Africans are the same".
It qualifies as a strong pet peeve.

I always choose pairs myself. Kribs are pretty easy to please. The females are the power fish, and if they don't like the male, you'll see it fast. A lot of krib males never seem to catch on that the female is interested. They are the fish version of basement boys with video games.
Completely understandable on the “rant” I don’t mind it’s just more knowledge for me! The comparison of the males and basement boys was hilarious! I’ll try to pick a pair and see how it goes!

I’ll have to use a new tank to separate them, I’ve never done a “fish-in cycle” before. I really don’t want to harm my Kribensis when I transfer them, is there any useful tips that you have? I know the daily testing and water changes from the forum that’s on here but besides that any tips?
 

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How many Pictus catfish do you have? From post #1 I am thinking it is just one fish, is that correct?
 
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SagesSeaEscape

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How many Pictus catfish do you have? From post #1 I am thinking it is just one fish, is that correct?
Correct just one as I don’t have any breeders near me that breed them and the pet stores rarely have them here
 

GaryE

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I'm an old heretic - I don't pay any attention to fishless cycles and haven't owned a test kit since sometime last century. I'd try to get the future filters onto the current tank for a couple of weeks to get them started - you can run 3 filters on one tank. Then, add the fish and ideally plants, and go slowly - water changing regularly and not overfeeding.

I had to restart a 50 tank fishroom after a move in which all my filters were killed, or close to it, and didn't lose a fish to any cycling issues. Slow but steady, cautious and patient wins the race.
 

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Correct just one as I don’t have any breeders near me that breed them and the pet stores rarely have them here

This is your problem. The following is from my profile of this species, Pimelodus pictus.

Compatibility/Temperament: Peaceful but it is predatory and as it matures it will eat small fish. Should be kept in a small group of at least 5; single fish may pine away. Tankmates should not include sedate fish like angels, discus, gourami and even cichlids as these will be pestered by the nocturnal habits of this catfish, nor nippy fish like barbs. Medium-sized characins, larger rasbora, rainbowfish are suitable.

This striking catfish should only be kept in a group of 5 (more if space permits); when kept singly the fish is frequently less active and more prone to stress-related health issues. Glass surfing is a sign of serious stress with this fish.
 
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SagesSeaEscape

SagesSeaEscape

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I'm an old heretic - I don't pay any attention to fishless cycles and haven't owned a test kit since sometime last century. I'd try to get the future filters onto the current tank for a couple of weeks to get them started - you can run 3 filters on one tank. Then, add the fish and ideally plants, and go slowly - water changing regularly and not overfeeding.

I had to restart a 50 tank fishroom after a move in which all my filters were killed, or close to it, and didn't lose a fish to any cycling issues. Slow but steady, cautious and patient wins the race.
Okay, I’ll try this out and see how it goes, thank you!! I’ve done fishless for both my tanks
 
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SagesSeaEscape

SagesSeaEscape

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This is your problem. The following is from my profile of this species, Pimelodus pictus.

Compatibility/Temperament: Peaceful but it is predatory and as it matures it will eat small fish. Should be kept in a small group of at least 5; single fish may pine away. Tankmates should not include sedate fish like angels, discus, gourami and even cichlids as these will be pestered by the nocturnal habits of this catfish, nor nippy fish like barbs. Medium-sized characins, larger rasbora, rainbowfish are suitable.

This striking catfish should only be kept in a group of 5 (more if space permits); when kept singly the fish is frequently less active and more prone to stress-related health issues. Glass surfing is a sign of serious stress with this fish.
Thank you for the info! I’ll try to find a breeder near me! So I assuming a 75 gallon should be good for atleast 5 when I have it setup?
 

Byron

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Thank you for the info! I’ll try to find a breeder near me! So I assuming a 75 gallon should be good for atleast 5 when I have it setup?

Yes. And, make sure you add the new four/five fish at the same time, not one this week, etc. The current pictus is obviously stressed, but sometimes this results in aggression with new fish, but the group of four or five will hopefully avoid this.
 

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