yellowlab3 150x150 Breeding Electric Yellow Cichlids aka Labidochromis CaeruleusHabitat: Rocky shore of African lakes
Diet: Omnivore (Mbuna need lots of veggies in their diet to avoid Malawi Bloat)
Sexing: Males have very dark black pectoral and anal fins. Females have much lighter colored lower fins.
Maximum Size: Males 5 inches, Females 4 inches
Temperature: 78-82 Degrees
PH: 7.8-8.6
Water Hardness: Hard

This is the first fish I ever bred. It started all the magic for me. The best thing an aquarist can experience is looking in to their fish tank and to see babies.

The Yellow Labs are mouth-brooders. Which means, eggs are laid and fertilized and then carried in their mouths until they hatch and are free swimming. You can actually manually remove the fry from the fish’s mouth. This is known as “milking”. Common wisdom says sometime between two to three weeks the fry will be old enough to be free swimming when removed from the mouth. The other alternative is to let the holding mother release them into the tank. Known in the breeder trade as “spit”. A person might say, “I just let her spit in the tank.”

The routine in my experience with these wonderful fish is that they will breed every five or six weeks. After two and a half weeks of holding, I will catch the holding females and milk the fry from their mouths. Immediately they’re returned to the tank as if nothing happened which I find to be important. If the mother is removed to a remote aquarium, when she is returned a week or so later, she is treated as a new inhabitant and she can be harassed quite heavily.

The fry however, are moved to a remote aquarium so that they may grow up and frolic in my java moss paradise with no predators in sight. Feedings happen when it’s convenient. Optimally 3 times a day, if someone is home during the day. Otherwise, they get fed morning and after work. I feed them a variety of foods, flake, algae wafers, shrimp pellets etc. I find that the strict low protein diet required by most Mbuna does not come into play when the fish are less than 1.5 inches as they’re growing so quick. After about 12 weeks, these fry are ready to find new homes.

My breeding setup for these Yellow labs consists of: One 40 gallon breeder aquarium. One 20 gallon aquarium for babies, and one 15 gallon aquarium for babies.

When selecting our group of breeders. You’re looking for quality stock. With this fish in particular, you can find some very washed out specimens. As well as some that do not have jet black finnage on top which is being down bred by fish farms. If you start with an exquisite pair, your fry will be all the better.

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