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Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid (Labidochromis caeruleus)

The Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid, scientifically known as Labidochromis caeruleus, is a popular freshwater fish among aquarium enthusiasts. Native to the warm waters of Lake Malawi in Africa, these vibrant fish are known for their striking yellow color and peaceful temperament, making them a favorite for both beginners and seasoned aquarists.

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Facts

Scientific Name Labidochromis caeruleus
Common Names Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid, Lemon Yellow Lab, Blue Streak Hap, Yellow Prince, Yellow Labidochromis Cichlid
Origin Lake Malawi, Africa
Size 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm)
Lifespan 6-10 years
Diet Omnivorous
Water Temperature 75-82°F (24-28°C)
pH Level 7.8-8.6
Temperament Peaceful but can be territorial
Aquarium Size Minimum 30 gallons
Compatibility Best with similar size and temperament fish
Breeding Mouthbrooders
Coloring Vivid yellow with occasional black markings

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Profile

The Electric Yellow Lab typically grows to about 3-4 inches in length. They are part of the Mbuna group, a term in the Tonga language of Malawi meaning “rockfish,” due to their preference for rocky habitats. These yellow african cichlids have a lifespan of around 6-10 years, provided they are kept in optimal conditions. Yellow mbuna are known for their hardiness, adaptability, and relatively peaceful nature, which makes them suitable for community tanks.

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Coloring

One of the most captivating features of the African Cichlid Yellow is its vivid yellow coloring, which covers most of its body. The intensity of the color can vary depending on the fish’s diet, health, and tank conditions. Males often display a slightly brighter hue and may have some black coloring on their fins. This striking appearance is not only beautiful but also helps in identifying individual fish and observing their behavior in the aquarium.

Lemon Yellow Lab Habitat

The Yellow Labidochromis Cichlid originates from the rocky, warm waters of Lake Malawi in Africa. They inhabit the lake’s rocky shores, thriving in the crevices and caves formed by the rocks. This environment provides shelter and abundant food sources, influencing their behavior and needs in captivity. Yellow labidochromis’ natural habitat is characterized by clear, alkaline water with a high mineral content, essential to replicate in aquarium settings for their well-being.

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Aquarium Setup

Setting up an appropriate aquarium for Cichlid Yellow is crucial for their health and well-being. Here’s a detailed guide to help you create the perfect environment for these vibrant fish.

Tank Size

  • Minimum Size: A 30-gallon tank is the absolute minimum for housing Electric Yellow Lab Cichlids, but a larger tank (55 gallons or more) is recommended, especially if you plan to keep a group.
  • Space Considerations: These fish are active swimmers and need ample space to move and establish territories.

Water Conditions

  • Temperature: Maintain a water temperature between 75-82°F (24-28°C).
  • pH Levels: The pH level should be kept between 7.8 and 8.6 to replicate their natural alkaline habitat in Lake Malawi.
  • Water Hardness: Aim for moderate to high water hardness.

Filtration and Water Quality

  • Filtration System: A high-quality filtration system is essential to keep the water clean and oxygen-rich.
  • Regular Water Changes: Perform regular water changes (about 20-30% weekly) to maintain water quality.
  • Water Testing: Regular testing of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels is important to prevent toxic buildups.

Tank Layout

  • Rocky Decor: Mimic their natural habitat by arranging rocks, caves, and tunnels. This provides hiding spaces and helps reduce territorial aggression.
  • Substrate: Sand or fine gravel works best, as it resembles the lakebed of their natural habitat.
  • Plants: While not essential, hardy plants can be added. However, these cichlids may dig and uproot plants.


  • Moderate Lighting: Standard aquarium lighting is sufficient. These fish do not require special lighting conditions.
  • Day/Night Cycle: Maintain a regular day/night cycle, mimicking natural light patterns.

Feeding Zone

  • Defined Feeding Area: Establish a specific area of the tank for feeding to help manage aggression during feeding times.
  • Varied Diet: Provide a balanced diet consisting of cichlid pellets, vegetable matter, and occasional protein-rich treats.

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Breeding

Breeding Lemon Yellow Labs can be a fascinating and rewarding aspect of keeping these vibrant fish. To successfully breed them, it’s vital to provide the right environment and understand their unique spawning process.

Breeding Environment

  • Tank Requirements: A separate breeding tank is recommended, especially if you have other species in the main tank. A 30-gallon tank or larger is ideal.
  • Water Conditions: Maintain water temperature between 77-82°F (25-28°C) and pH levels around 7.8-8.5. These conditions mimic their natural breeding environment in Lake Malawi.
  • Decor: Include plenty of rocks and caves to provide hiding spots and potential spawning sites. This also helps the female hide from the male if needed.
  • Peaceful Environment: Keep the tank environment calm and stress-free. Excessive noise or frequent disturbances can disrupt the breeding process.

Spawning Process

  • Selection of Mates: Typically, the male Yellow Lab mbuna displays vibrant colors and performs a mating dance to attract a female.
  • Spawning Site: The male will clean a flat rock or a smooth area of the substrate to prepare it for spawning.
  • Egg Laying: The female lays eggs on the chosen site, and then quickly picks them up in her mouth.
  • Fertilization: The male displays egg spots on his anal fin, which the female mistakes for her eggs. As she tries to pick them up, the male releases sperm, fertilizing the eggs in the female’s mouth.


  • Egg Incubation: After fertilization, the female carries the eggs in her mouth for about 21-28 days. During this time, she may eat very little or not at all.
  • Protection of Fry: The female continues to protect the fry in her mouth for a week or more after they hatch. She will release them to feed but takes them back into her mouth if there’s any sign of danger.
  • Independent Fry: Once the fry are released for good, they are usually able to fend for themselves. However, they should be kept in a separate tank until they are large enough to not be eaten by other fish.

Lemon Yellow Cichlid Diet & Feeding

In the wild, Yellow Prince are omnivores, feeding on a variety of insects, larvae, and plant matter. In the aquarium, African Cichlid Electric Yellow thrive on a balanced diet consisting of high-quality cichlid pellets or flakes, supplemented with fresh or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms. Overfeeding should be avoided to prevent health issues and maintain water quality.

Yellow Mbuna Cichlid Compatibility

Lemon Yellow Cichlid are generally peaceful but can be territorial, especially during breeding. They do well in a community tank with other Malawi cichlids of similar size and temperament. Ideal tankmates include Johanni, Auratus, Blue Dolphin, Kenyi, Red Zebra, Clown Loach, Pleco, Cobalt Blue, Jewel Cichlid, and Rusty Cichlid. It is advisable to avoid keeping them with aggressive species or much larger fish. Having a group with more females than males can reduce aggression and stress among yellow cichlid fish.

Yellow Lab Common Diseases

Cichlid Electric Yellow are generally hardy, but they can be prone to common freshwater fish diseases, especially if water conditions are poor. Malawi Bloat, a type of gastrointestinal disease, is a significant concern and often attributed to dietary issues. They can also suffer from Ich (White Spot Disease), a parasitic infection, and various fungal and bacterial infections. Regular tank maintenance and careful observation for signs of illness are crucial for prevention and early treatment.


The Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid is an excellent choice for those looking to add some color and vibrancy to their aquarium. Their hardy nature, stunning appearance, and relatively peaceful behavior make them well-suited for a variety of tank setups. With proper care, a well-structured environment, and a balanced diet, Labidochromis cichlid can be a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium, bringing a slice of Lake Malawi’s beauty into your home.