The Electric Yellow Cichlid in a Home Aquarium

by Dustinius

The Electric Yellow Labidochromis is found in the Nkhata Bay area of Lake Malawi. These fish, along with other Mbuna, are freshwater fish that live around the rocks in the lake.

The Electric Yellow Cichlid, which is also called the Electric Yellow Lab, Electric Yellow, Yellow Lab Cichlid, or just the Yellow Lab, is a variant of the Labidochromis caeruleus species of cichlid, which comes from East Africa’s Lake Malawi. The Electric Yellow Labidochromis variant is specifically found in the Nkhata Bay area of Lake Malawi. These fish, along with other Mbuna, or rockfish, are freshwater fish that live around piles of rocky formations in the lake.

Striking Coloration

Electric Yellows are a bright yellow color that distinguishes them from other East African Cichlids. Their body is bright yellow with the adults also having horizontal and vertical black stripes. Dominant males will display a darker black horizontal stripes. They typically grow to be about four inches in length.

Aquarium Setup and Care

The Electric Yellow Cichlid is a popular fish for freshwater home aquarium setups. These fish should not be kept in a community aquarium with fish other than other cichlids for several social and habitat-related reasons. One, Electric Yellows have a specific type of natural habitat that needs to be duplicated in their aquarium. Two, although Electric Yellows are peaceful among their own kind, they will become territorial over food and potential mates, and can behave aggressively toward other fish with similar size, shape, and color, even tearing at their fins. They should be housed in aquariums with other Malawi Mbuna.

Electric Yellows need a home that that can best mimic their natural habitat in Lake Malawi. A 29-gallon tank can accommodate three or four fish, but larger groups need at least a 50-gallon tank size. The aquarium should provide rocky hiding spaces with rock formations to swim through and caves to swim into, which will give them a sense of security. It should also have plants and a sandy bottom. The water temperature should be between 72 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Feeding Electric Yellow Cichlids

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlids are omnivores, so they need a combination of dry pellet or flake food containing greens along with a meat diet of bloodworms and brine shrimp. Cichlids should not have feeder goldfish, which may carry disease. They should be fed two or three times a day and be given enough that they can finish in about five minutes.

Breeding Electric Yellow Cichlids

Mbuna are generally territorial, and when Electric Yellows are breeding, the males can be even more territorial, so there should be several females for each male. If keeping three or four fish, it’s advisable to have two or three females and one male. Males and females may remain in the same tank after spawning, unless the male is bothering the female. These fish are mouth brooders, which means that the female lays her eggs on rocky surfaces and then takes them into her mouth to incubate and protect them. The female will continue to protect the fry in her mouth after the eggs have hatched. Babies can then be fed brine shrimp for their first couple months.

Updated: 10/08/2012, Dustinius
 
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