Labidochromis caeruleus (Electric Yellow Cichlid)

Labidochromis caeruleus

Labidochromis caeruleus, commonly known as the Electric Yellow Cichlid, lemon yellow lab cichlid, the blue streak hap, or yellow prince cichlid, is one of the most popular aquarium fish due to its striking coloration and active behavior.

Originating from Lake Malawi in Africa, this species prefers warm water between 77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit but can survive in temperatures that vary slightly outside of this range. However, if the temperature drops below 70 F, it will become stressed and may die unless it receives additional heating.

The Yellow lab cichlid is an African cichlid that is easy to identify by its bright yellow or lemon coloration. Labidochromis caeruleus can be aggressive and territorial towards tank mates, and should not be kept with other cichlids unless it has been established that there are no threats between them.

Labidochromis caeruleus belong to the Cichlidae family of fish. The only naturally occurring populations of this cichlid are found along the southern coast of Lake Malawi in Africa in areas with rocky bottoms that have scattered colonies of algae where they can feed on marine invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, and other fish larval stages.

Origin and description

The Labidochromis Caeruleus, or Electric Yellow Cichlid, is a species of cichlid native to Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe. With electric yellow coloring and vibrant black spots on their fins, it is one of the most beautiful fish in the freshwater aquarium trade. When housed with other species that appreciate similar water conditions, they are known to be territorial and aggressive towards intruders.

They prefer lots of live plants and open space for swimming. They do best when kept at around 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. As omnivores, they require a diet of mostly vegetables but also small amounts of meaty foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp every now and then. As they grow older, their aggression increases and so does their need for territory.

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara stuartgranti)

Species profile

Labidochromis caeruleus

Labidochromis caeruleus can be identified by their distinctive yellow color, wide mouth, and high forehead. They are a great fish for both beginner and experienced aquarists because they are considered to be relatively easy to care for and do not require a lot of work on the part of the owner.

Common names

Labidochromis caeruleus is also called the lemon yellow lab cichlid, electric yellow cichlid, yellow prince cichlid, Yellow Cichlid, or the blue streak hap.

Labidochromis caeruleus habitat

In the lake, Labidochromis caeruleus occurs in two distinct biotopes, including rocky areas and densely vegetated Vallisneria beds.

Labidochromis caeruleus size and weight

The electric yellow cichlid is a small fish that reaches up to 5.9 inches (15 centimeters) in length and weighs around 0.1 kg (3.5. oz) .

Labidochromis caeruleus tank size

The size of your tank will depend on how many fish you want to keep and the type of fish. For a single Electric Yellow Cichlid, a 30 gallons tank (114 liters) is the minimum recommended tank size. However, 40 or 50 gallons tank is the ideal size.

Labidochromis caeruleus tank mates

Labidochromis caeruleus does best in a tank with other Mbuna and other African cichlids. It is important to realize that keeping Labidochromis, Pseudotroopheus, and Metricalima together can lead to some hybridization.

Yellow Lab Cichlids adapt well to various species of Mbunas. In the aquarium, Iodotropheus, Gephyrochromis, Pseudotropheus acei, and other Labidochromis are excellent additions.

It is possible for Labidochromis caeruleus to live alone or in pairs. Although they do not have territorial behavior like community fish, they can be very aggressive when faced with other fish with the same physique or color.

Plecos, Tiger Oscar, Convict Cichlid, and Peacock Cichlid are examples of some compatible tank mates for Labidochromis caeruleus.

Some incompatible tank mates include Angelfish, Tiger Barbs, Blue Acaras, Tetras, Shrimps, Snails, and Crabs.

Auratus Cichlid Care (Melanochromis auratus)

Labidochromis caeruleus breeding

Labidochromis caeruleus

The male yellow lab cichlid will begin digging a pit in the sand or finding a flat surface to lure in females once they reach reproductive age by making some “dance” moves. After that, the reproductive process begins.

Labidochromis caeruleus are mouthbrooders. This implies that the female incubates her eggs in her mouth until they hatch within three weeks. Females will not eat for about 1 and 1/2 months after the fertilized eggs are placed in their mouths until they hatch. To supplement the fry’s diet until they are able to consume flake food, the hatchlings can be fed baby shrimp when they are born.

Make sure you provide enough hiding spots for the juvenile yellow lab cichlid in the tank. In this way, your aquarium’s other fish will not be able to eat them, so they can survive.

Female yellow lab cichlids are recommended to be placed in their recovery tanks during the first few weeks after they give birth to fry. Before she starts reproducing again, the female fish will be given a separate tank where she can recover and regain strength.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Labidochromis caeruleus are peaceful fish, but they can be territorial. They will mostly be aggressive towards other fishes that enter their territory and pose a threat to their eggs or fry. They need to have plenty of space and hiding places in the tank because if they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to attack.

Labidochromis caeruleus care information

Labidochromis caeruleus

The Electric Yellow Cichlid is a large, predatory fish that is hardy and easy to maintain. As with most cichlids, the Electric Yellow cichlid needs plenty of room to swim. An ideal aquarium for this fish would be at least 40 to 50 gallons in size with a sandy substrate and lots of hiding places for the cichlid to feel safe.

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Labidochromis caeruleus diet

A Labidochromis caeruleus is an omnivore fish that usually eats insect larvae, crustaceans, and plant matter. They are also known to eat other fish eggs as well as zooplankton. The electric yellow cichlid will also consume snails, tadpoles, and smaller fish. The electric yellow cichlid needs a diet of meaty foods to avoid malnutrition.

Tank requirements

The tank should be large and have a lot of rock work, as this species requires a lot of hiding places. This species prefers to stay in one area and does not typically move around much. It is important to provide plenty of plants and rocks for the fish to explore.

In order for Labidochromis caeruleus to thrive, water quality must be monitored regularly and parameters such as pH, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, temperature and oxygen levels are maintained at an optimum level. Feeding is also crucial because it determines the fish’s coloration and health.

It will take time before you see any difference in your aquarium with changes that you have made but eventually your hard work will pay off and everything will look great!


In the wild, Labidochromis caeruleus has an average lifespan of 6 to 8 years. In captivity, their life span is a little longer, up to 10 years.

Parasites and diseases

Labidochromis caeruleus is a great fish for beginners because of its hardiness. The downside to this hardy fish, however, is that it can become infected with parasites and disease. There are many common infections/ diseases that Labidochromis Caeruleus encounters, some of which are:

  1. Hexamita/Cryptocaryon – This parasite lives in the intestines of aquatic animals and causes labored breathing, lack of appetite and lethargy.
  2. Ichthyophthirius multifilis – If left untreated, Ichthyophthirius multifilis will cause mortality rates of up to 90% within three days. It spreads quickly by releasing spores into the water which attach themselves to other fish until they die from either suffocation or infection.
  3. Camallanus worms – Camallanus worms live inside the intestinal tract and cause diarrhea as well as decrease an individual’s immune system response.
Elongate Mbuna (Pseudotropheus elongatus)

Predators (What animals prey on them)

The electric yellow cichlid is preyed upon by a variety of animals. These include, but are not limited to, larger fish, birds, and other predators that rely on the water for sustenance. Some examples of such predators are piranhas, otters, and other predatory fish species.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. The Labidochromis caeruleus are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby. They are a very attractive cichlid that come in electric yellow and blue-green coloration.

These fish are not good community fish because they can be aggressive with other species, but they do make good pets for experienced aquarists who want to keep a solitary species in their tank.