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Labidochromis caeruleus


Article by Andrea Watts

Species information

Species: Labidochromis caeruleus

Synoma: Labidichromis sp. "Yellow Bar", Labidochromis sp. "Yellow", Labidochromis tanganicae

Common name: Electric yellow, Yellow Lab, Lion's Cove Yellow, Lemon Yellow

Origin: Africa-Endemic to Lake Malawi

Localities/Morphs: Charo to Lion's Cove.

Maximum size: Up to 15cm, usually 10cm and females are slightly smaller.

Natural habitat: They are found in a sediment rich rocky biotope with dark caves and Valisneria beds at a depth of around 20m.

Natural foods/prey: Insect nymphs, ostracods, mites, and gastrapods.

Water chemistry in the wild: The pH varies between 7.8 and 8.5 and the temperature is between 23?C and 28?C.

Predators: Malawi Haplochromines

Brood size: 10-15 for small females and 20-25 for large females.

Sexual dimorphism: No, but males grow larger and have darker, fuller, dorsal and anal fins. However venting is a more accurate form of identification.

Breeding method: Maternal mouthbrooder.

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: Above 150L.

Sex ratio: One male to several females.

Tolerance of conspecifics: Intolerant although no damage is done.

Tolerance of heterospecifics: Relatively peaceful.

Water chemistry in aquaria: Hard and alkaline water at 10-20? dGH

and pH 7.2 to 8.8.

Temperature range: 24-28?C.

Foods accepted: High quality flakes and pellets, only occassional supplements of live food due to susceptibility to malawi bloat.

Special requirements: No specific requirement.


  • Electric yellows sometimes display a brown/black 'mask' on their face, however the vertical black barrings that often appears are not natural.
  • Some yellows also show a faded yellow colour, having half white and half yellow colouration. These maybe the points to consider while buying.
  • Electric yellows are usually mellow and undemanding to keep.
  • The fry tends to gain the yellow colour faster if fed on a diet of occassional brine shrimp. The brilliant colours are expressed if fed high quality food and spirulina products.
  • IMO electric yellows are best suited in a tank with dark substrate or decorations as the contrasting colours make them stand out.


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