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Yellow Lab Cichlid (Electric yellow cichlid) Care Guide

The Electric yellow cichlid is one of the popular yellow cichlid species that offers the chance to enjoy the ease of a freshwater aquarium combined with the vibrant colors of a marine aquarium. Electric yellow cichlids are also one of the most suitable fish for beginners.

Not only for these features, but also for their personalities, they are a favorite among those interested in the aquarium hobby. In this guide, you will learn all the details about the care and requirements of Electric yellow cichlids.

Electric yellow cichlid Species Summary

Scientific Name:Labidochromis caeruleus
Origin:Lake Malawi
Behavior Towards Its Own Species:Moderately aggressive
Swimming Area:Bottom and middle
Water Temperature:22 – 28 °C (71.6 – 82.4 °F)
Water Hardness: 12 – 20 GH
pH Level:7.5 – 8.5
Minimum Tank Size:140 Liters (about 37 gallons)
Adult Size: 13 cm (about 5.1 inches)
Reproduction:They lay eggs
Lifespan:6 – 10 years
Care Level:Easy to Moderate

Electric yellow cichlid Features

The Electric yellow cichlid gets its name from the naturally occurring yellow-colored parts seen in Lake Malawi. If you’re looking for a fish with vibrant, lively colors to add to your mixed cichlid aquarium, the Electric yellow cichlid is the one you need.

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Among African cichlid species, theElectric yellow cichlid can be considered a small fish, reaching up to 13 cm in its adult form. With its vibrant yellow color and black fins, it’s one of the few freshwater fish that can compete with marine fish in terms of aesthetics.

The Electric yellow cichlid belongs to the Mbuna species. “Mbuna” translates to “rock fish” or “those who live on rocks.” While many African cichlid species live in soft, sandy shores, the yellow cichlid resides in rocky areas.

Electric yellow cichlid Care

Taking care of the Electric yellow cichlid is easier than many other tropical cichlid species. Although they are considered of easy-to-moderate difficulty, in reality, no extra effort is required for their care.

Being among the extremely resilient aquarium fish, the Electric yellow cichlid will be with you for many years when taken care of with clean water, the right feed, and the correct water temperature.

Aquarium And Water Parameters

Given that this cichlid species is smaller compared to others, a simple aquarium of 140 liters (about 37 gallons) and above would suffice. Decorating the aquarium with plenty of rocks and caves made from them will keep them happy.

To mimic their natural habitat of Lake Malawi as closely as possible, a fine-grained sand can be used as the substrate. Optionally, a few species of live plants can be added.

Suitable live plant varieties for the Electric yellow cichlid:

  • Grass species
  • Anubias species
  • Krinum species
  • Cryptocoryne species
  • Java species

It’s essential to use plants with thick and robust leaves. If you use unsuitable species, the Electric yellow cichlid will happily devour all the plants.

Water parameters should be hard, and the water should be kept clean. Electric yellow cichlids, especially in large numbers, are among the fish that can quickly pollute the water.

Feeding And Foods While the Electric yellow cichlid might eat anything you provide, they are essentially herbivores. Using commercial, high-quality yellow cichlid feeds is an easy and effective feeding method. Additionally, providing 2 or 3 types of feed alternately is the most suitable method.

However, feeding them vegetables like spinach and live feeds 1-2 times a week results in healthier fish with more vibrant colors. By combining vegetables with garlic, from which you’ve extracted the juice, and letting it sit for a while, you can also enhance their resistance against parasitic diseases.

Which Fish Can Electric yellow cichlids Coexist With?

The Electric yellow cichlid is as showy as its name. They are peaceful and docile towards different cichlid species, but they also have a side that’s always ready to be aggressive.

They can become aggressive towards their species or other species with similar shapes and colors, especially during breeding times and for mates.

When looking for tank mates for them, you should ensure that the water parameters are also similar.

The most suitable 8 fish for the Electric yellow cichlid aquarium are:

  • Keyhole Cichlid
  • Zebra Cichlid
  • Dragonblood Peacock Cichlid
  • Blue Acara Cichlid
  • Clown Loach
  • Giant Danios
  • Pleco
  • Upside-down Catfish

Sexual Dimorphism And Reproduction

When determining the gender of the Electric yellow cichlid, the first aspects to look at are the fish’s size and fins. Males are generally larger and have more vibrant colors compared to females. The fins of females have a more oval shape, while males’ fins tend to be pointier. This structure is more pronounced in males than females.

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For a definitive gender distinction in Electric yellow cichlid, you can use the following guide:

  • Size: While male Electric yellow cichlid can reach a length of 13 cm, female fish usually reach around 9 cm, with exceptions. There’s not much difference in their height.
  • Color: At first glance, you might not notice it and assume they have the exact same color. However, upon close observation, the male Electric yellow cichlid has a more vibrant and deeper yellow color than the female. The males exhibit a more gold-like appearance. Additionally, the blackness on the belly is darker in males than in females.
  • Fin Shape: As with many other male yellow cichlids, the males’ anal and dorsal fins are more pointed.
  • Fin Color: The anal and pelvic fins, which are pale yellow in females, are black in males. In males, the color of the pelvic and anal fins is pitch black, while in females, it’s pale yellow. Likewise, a male’s anal fins have faint egg spots, which are entirely absent in females.
  • Egg Spots: While males have light-colored egg spots, females do not usually possess these. However, on rare occasions, they might be seen in females too.
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The Electric yellow cichlid should reach a size of 6 cm to breed. With the right feeding, it takes about 7-8 months for them to grow from juvenile sizes to this 6 cm size.

The female fish lays her eggs on a flat surface. Once she places the eggs in her mouth, the male will fertilize them, initiating the breeding process.

Subsequently, the fry will spend about 3 weeks inside the female’s mouth. When they are ready to come out, the female will release them and start protecting them.

During this process, you should avoid any behavior that might stress the female. A stressed female might eat her own fry. If possible, it’s best to move the fry to a separate aquarium for their care.


Malawi bloat, which affects many African cichlid species, is a concern. However, the Electric yellow cichlid is more resistant to this disease compared to others.

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Regardless of how resilient they may seem, it’s absolutely wrong to take a careless approach. Necessary measures must always be taken to prevent fish diseases. Water changes should be performed regularly to prevent the degradation of aquarium water quality.


When Does the Electric yellow cichlid Fish Breed?

Electric yellow cichlid need to reach a size of at least 6 cm to breed. With regular care, this period takes about 8 months. When the fish is 8 months old, it will be ready to mate and reproduce.

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