Article by Andrea Watts
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.
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.