by TFH Magazine on October 12, 2012 at 6:27 am
By Ted Judy
Excerpted from the November 2012 “Cichlid World” column.
Almost everything about the wild origins of the giant krib (Pelvicachromis sacrimontis) is unclear. We know that the fish come from the Niger River, but we do not know exactly where. I find this a bit odd because someone has been collecting them by the thousands for decades. Whoever mans the nets must know where they are, but the fact that outside of Nigeria we are still in the dark on the issue is a testament to how difficult it is to get into Nigeria to learn anything first hand.
We know that wild giant kribs are not nearly as easy to get as they used to be, and that is all the scarier because we do not know why. The C.A.R.E.S Preservation Program has listed P. sacrimontis on its Conservation Priority Species at Risk List because we have to assume that exports are diminishing due to the fact that wild populations are also diminishing. Very little of the Nigerian rainforest remains intact, and the area of the Niger River Delta around Lagos (where we assume the populations of giant kribs are located) is heavily impacted by oil drilling and the burgeoning human population of the capital city.
Twenty years ago, the fish were available year-round, but today, the exports are very seasonal. Wild fish come out of Nigeria for only a few months each year, and the numbers of boxes are limited. Most of the receivers of these wild fish are specialty importers rather than the general wholesalers who used to get them so frequently. And the price is higher. Sadly, giant kribs are rarely found in aquarium stores anymore. That is not an entirely bad thing, however, because increasing prices drive down the demand. The hobbyists who are willing to pay the price will be the responsible keepers who really want to work with the species.
For those willing to make the effort to acquire and work with giant kribs, as the video below shows, they make excellent parents and breed readily.
Photograph by Ted Judy.