10 Kribensis Tank Mates – List of Compatible Species

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Kribensis cichlids are becoming more popular thanks to their colorful appearance and non-demanding nature. They look great, and you don’t need to be a seasoned aquarist to care for them.

Furthermore, this dwarf cichlid is great for aquarists with small to medium-sized tanks. You can house one Krib in just a 20-gallon tank; no need to pay for an expensive setup!

Kribs’ laid-back personality makes them a good option for community tanks. If you have an aquarium of 30 gallons, you can stock several species alongside this golden fish.

Are you looking for other interesting fish to add to your aquarium? Then keep reading! This article is all about compatible tankmates for Kribs.

Best Tank Mates for Kribensis Cichlids

There are a few things to consider when choosing tankmates for your Kribensis cichlids.

A general rule is that all your community fish should be compatible in temperament, size, and water parameters.

Kribs, unlike other cichlids, are quite peaceful. You don’t want to house them with feisty and territorial fish; aggressive behavior will stress them out.

Kribensis cichlids also grow up to 4 inches long. Choose tankmates with a similar size to prevent opportunistic fish from eating each other.

As for water parameters, Kribs prefer warm and moderately-hard water. But they can also adapt to soft or hard water. The pH can be anywhere from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

This translates to values between 72–80°F, 5.5-8.0 pH, and 5-15 dGH. The tankmates you choose should be able to withstand these values.

Last but not least, a few words on Kribensis behavior. Although peaceful, this fish has a few quirks. This cichlid is a known fin nipper.

It doesn’t get along with slow-moving, flowy-finned fish. Keep it away from fancy fish like Bettas and Guppies.

Furthermore, this fish can get territorial over caves and other hiding spots in the tank. Cave-dwelling fish aren’t a good match because of the ensuing territorial disputes.

That said, here’s a lit of beautiful and Kribensis-approved tankmates to stock your community tank!

1. Rasboras

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Up to 6 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 72–81°F, 6.0-8.0 pH, 2–15 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 10 gallons

There are over 80 species of Rasboras of different sizes and colors. This little middle-dwelling fish comes in red, orange, blue, gold, green, and more!

Behavior also differs depending on species. Some rasboras are friendly and active, while others are timid and spend more time hiding among tall aquarium plants.

As a side note, some Rasbora species are too small to be Kribensis’ tankmates. Galaxy Rasboras (0.75-1.0”), Chili Rasboras (0.6-0.8”), and other similar species are more likely to become snacks rather than friends.

Opt for Rasboras 2 inches and larger. Harlequin and Scissortail Rasboras would be a good match.

2. Tetras

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate
  • Size: 1.5-3.0 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 70–80°F, 5.5–7.0 pH, 3–12 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 15 gallons

There are over 150 types of Tetras to choose from, all with different species profiles. The numbers above are general approximations for the most common Tetra species.

Some colorful and compatible species for your Kribensis tank include Blue Tetras, Bleeding Heart Tetras, Neon Tetras, Candy Cane Tetras, Diamond Tetras, and White Skirt Tetras.

Tetras are middle to top swimmers in the aquarium column. These fish can be shy and easily startled, so they need plenty of hiding spaces.

They sometimes go for caves and other décor, but the best hiding spot for them is among tall aquarium plants.

3. Danios

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Up to 2.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 64–79°F, 6.0–8.0 pH, 5–19 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 10 gallons

Danios are among the coolest-looking fish you can get. Whether you want pink, green, blue, black, purple, or anything in between, these fish got it.

There are even pricier breeder GloFish Danios that glow in the dark.

Danios are energetic and rapid swimmers. They occupy all levels of the water column, so they’ll be all over the place.

But they prefer staying in the middle and upper layers. Danios aren’t shy, so they don’t need many hiding spaces. However, they enjoy a large, open swimming area.

4. Apistogramma

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size: 2-3.5 inches
  • Temperament: Mostly peaceful (aggressive around its own species)
  • Water Parameters: 79-84°F, 6.0-7.0 pH, 2-15 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 30 gallons

“Apistogramma” sounds like a medical procedure, but it’s actually another name for the often-overlooked Cockatoo cichlid. If you want a wild-looking fish for your tank, this is it.

Their sharp contrast of bright orange fins and black streaks hits you like a punch in the face. Cockatoos also have large, spike-like dorsal fins. They’ve been sporting punk mohawks before they used to be cool.

Although this is a cichlid, this fish is chill and timid around other peaceful community fish. Cockatoos only get aggressive while breeding or when there are multiple male Cockatoos in the tank.

Keeping just one Cockatoo cichlid in the aquarium reduces aggression considerably.

It’s also for the best since this fish needs a lot of room to be happy. Cockatoos, like most cichlids, are bottom-dwellers.

Include plenty of hiding spaces to prevent territorial fights between your fish.

5. Mollies

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 3.5-4.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 72–78°F, 7.5–8.5 pH, 15–30 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 10 gallons for four fish; 16 gallons for a shoal of six

Mollies are short-finned and colorful live-bearing fish. You can find them in white, black, silver, gold, orange, red, purple, and blue.

These fish are peaceful and timid around tankmates. But there can be in-group aggression between males. It’s best to keep only one male Molly for every four females.

Mollies live in shallow waters in the wild, so they prefer to swim closer to the water’s surface. They spend most time swimming in the top layer of the water column.

Mollies are shy and nonconfrontational, so make sure to provide plenty of hiding spaces at all levels of the tank. Free-floating or tall-growing plants are an excellent option.

6. Swordtails

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Up to 6 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 64–82°F, 7.0–8.0 pH, 12–30 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 35 gallons for a small shoal

Swordtail fish get their name from their unique elongated caudal fin, which is shaped like a sword. This fish can come in a variety of colorful morphs.

Some popular sub-species include the Neon Swordtail, Marigold Swordtail, Tuxedo Swordtail, and Solar Flare Swordtail.

This peaceful livebearer fish gets along well with virtually all community fish. As long as they’re kept in a group, Swordtails keep to themselves and don’t go out of their way to interact with other tankmates.

These fish are active and rapid swimmers. They do best when they have lots of open swimming space.

Swordtails occupy the middle and upper layers of the water column and are unlikely to interact with bottom-dwelling cichlids.

7. Platies

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Up to 3 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 70–77°F, 7.0–8.0 pH, 10–28 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 10 gallons

Platies are easily recognizable thanks to their signature fan-shaped tails and short fins. This fish comes in a wide range of colorful morphs.

Some of the most bright and attention-grabbing Platies you can add to your tank are Comet Platies, Rainbow Platies, and Red Coral Platies.

Although not a schooling species, Platies are still sociable and enjoy being around their own species.

Thus, you’ll need at least 10 gallons to keep a group of six fish. Platies occupy the middle and top layers of the water column and enjoy playing among tall aquarium plants.

8. Corydoras

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Up to 4 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 70–78°F, 5.5–7.0 pH, 5–10 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 10 gallons for one fish; 30 gallons for a small group

Corydoras aren’t the most colorful fish. They come in neutral tones like brown, black, or white.

But their whiskers and complex patterns still make them an interesting addition to the aquarium.

The best part is that they make a good cleanup crew. Corydoras are bottom-dwelling and bottom-feeding fish.

They spend a lot of time sifting through the substrate, eating debris and rotting foodstuffs.

Corys are slow-moving, unassuming fish. Luckily, their plain appearance and short fins won’t draw the attention of Kribs.

Their neutral tones provide natural camouflage, so Corys aren’t likely to seek refuge in proclaimed Kribensis territories like caves.

9. Gouramis

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size: 3.5-28 inches, depending on the species
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 72–82°F, 6.0–8.0 pH, 4–15 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 20 gallons

There are close to 100 Gourami species in the aquarium trade. Some of them, like the Giant Gourami or the Snakeskin Gourami, are too large to be Kribensis’ tankmates. But most other species grow up to 4-6 inches only.

Kissing Gouramis, Dwarf Gouramis, Honey Gouramis, Pearl Gouramis, and Blue Gouramis are all excellent community fish, thanks to their medium size and peaceful disposition.

These species also come in various bright colors like pink, red, gold, and blue.

Most Gourami species are slow swimmers. Fortunately, these fish occupy the middle and upper levels of the aquarium.

They won’t interact much with Kribs. Adding more hiding spaces is still a good idea, as Gouramis are timid and can get stressed around energetic fish.

10. Bristlenose Plecos

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 4-5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water Parameters: 73–81°F, 5.8–7.8 pH, 2–20 dGH
  • Aquarium Size: 30-40 gallons for one fish

Finally, we have the freaky-looking, albeit sweet and peaceful Bristlenose pleco. This fish has a wide, flattened body and multiple tentacle-like protrusions sprouting from its head.

It comes in earthy colors like brown, green, and gray and blends seamlessly in dark-colored substrates.

The Bristlenose pleco is a bottom-dwelling herbivorous fish. It can make a good addition to your cleanup crew. These plecos love eating algae and rotting plant matter, keeping your aquarium clean in the process.

This fish is slow-moving and mostly sedentary. During the day, it lies around undisturbed, blending in with the substrate. This fish is most active at night.

Worst Tank Mates for Kribs

As you can see, there are plenty of good tankmates for your Kribs. The ones above were just some of them. Virtually any medium-sized and small-fined peaceful fish will do well in a Krib tank.

But now, let’s look at some fish you should avoid! A good rule of thumb is to stay away from these fish when stocking your community tank:

– Large and Aggressive Cichlids

For obvious reasons, Kribs won’t get along with large and aggressive cichlids. Most cichlids are territorial and feisty.

Kribs will get stressed and injured when around such aggressive tankmates. Their peaceful temperament doesn’t allow them to defend themselves, so they become open targets for prolonged bullying.

Since most cichlids are bottom-dwellers, your Kribs will also constantly have to fight for their territory.

Do yourself and your fish a favor, and avoid stocking species like Red Devils, Flowerhorns, Oscars, Jaguars, or Jack Dempsey cichlids.

– Discus fish

Discus fish are mostly peaceful and have similar water parameters to Kribs. Some people recommend them as a good tankmate.

But I advise against it. For one, Discus can reach a considerable size, up to 8 inches. They’re large and wouldn’t fit in with 4-inch fish like Kribensis cichlids.

Secondly, Discus fish will do two big things that piss Kribs off. Besides being large, Discus are also slow-moving fish.

They usually end up being in the way. As you might imagine, this can lead to frustrated fin-nipping on the Kribs’ side.

Although timid, Discus fish are also territorial. They enjoy the safety of plants and especially caves. They could often end up in territorial quarrels with your Kribensis cichlids. That’s when the two fish become dangerous to each other.

Besides the big two (Discus and Cichlids), you should also avoid other boisterous fish like Tiger Barbs, Bucktooth Tetras, Redtail Sharks, Angelfish, and Pea Puffers.


When choosing tankmates for Kribensis cichlids, you should consider the fish’s size, water parameters, and temperament.

The best tankmates for Cribs should be around 2-6 inches long and have a peaceful demeanor. The fish you choose must also be able to withstand warm and moderately-hard water.

You should also avoid slow-swimming fish with long, flowing fins, as they’ll become victims of the fin-nipping Kribs. Considering all of these factors, you’ll find plenty of compatible fish for your community tank.

Good options include Tetras, Swordtails, Corydoras, Platies, Bristlenose Plecos, and more!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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