The electric yellow cichlid, Labidochromis caeruleus, is a freshwater perciform fish, a cichlid. It is also known as lemon yellow lab, the blue streak hap, the electric yellow African, and is called the yellow prince in the Philippines. It is endemic to the northern coastal region of Lake Malawi, especially the Lion’s Cove and Nkhata Bay areas, in East Africa. It has become a popular commercial fish for aquarium enthusiasts.
Their bodies are strikingly bright yellow, with males having dark black streaks on their dorsal, pelvic, and ventral fins. While specimens kept by aquarists are generally bright yellow with black markings, specimens from different areas of Lake Malawi exhibit different coloring. In fact, their quality is determined mostly on appearance, with brighter yellow, less white, and minimal appearance of the bars along their broad side making a better cichlid. Males and females are sexually monomorphic with most males exhibiting black ventral fins and broader black dorsal stripe, though the best way to sex them would require examining their vents, while behavior can provide reliable hints (females tend to be smaller and less aggressive). In their natural habitat, electric yellow grow to about 9 cm in length, and have been known to reach 15 cm in captivity.
This species is a mouth brooder, meaning the larvae are carried, hatch, and develop in the mother’s mouth (buccal cavity), for about three weeks. These fish are ovophiles and the male will excavate a pit in the sand within his territory, in which the female lays the eggs; the female then takes these eggs into her mouth for fertilization.
Electric yellows come from a tropical climate and prefer freshwater with a pH between 7.8 and 8.9 and an ideal temperature range of 23–26 °C (73–78 °F). Spawning may be triggered by a drop in temperature which, in their natural habitat of Lake Malawi, usually indicates an influx of rain.
care in aquariums Edit
Electric yellows are peaceful compared to most other African cichlids. Despite this, like all cichlids from Lake Malawi, they are best kept in specialist cichlid aquariums. As with most cichlids, electric yellows should not be kept with freshwater community aquarium species such as Zebra Danios or Neon Tetras, they may nip the finnage of other species, and are not recommended for freshwater community aquariums because of the differences in the natural habitats between cichlids and other fish species. In an aquarium setting, their natural habitat of rocks and caves should be emulated. Their diet should consist mostly of prepared cichlid pellets or flakes, supplemented with foods like krill, brine shrimp, Spirulina flake, and veggies. A healthy diet and carotene rich foods like krill and spirulina will help your fish, in good lighting, to appear neon-like (hence the name “electric yellow”).