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Electric Yellow Cichlid Care Guide & Interesting Facts

Do you love keeping different species of cichlids in your tank?

Then adding a bright-colored cichlid like the electric yellow cichlid will be a complete fun venture for you. They are not only easy to care for but also add a lovely charm to your tank and give it a very vibrant upgrade.

Electric yellow cichlids are too easy to care for in a 30-50 gallon tank; hence are great for beginners. These peaceful residents of Lake Malawi are best kept with peaceful fish and accept any omnivorous food easily. These grow up to 3-4 inches and live for 6-10 years.

Species Overview

Level of CareVery easy
AppearanceBright yellow-colored body with white and black stripes
TemperamentsModerately aggressive
Life Expectancy6-10 years
Size3-4 inches
Tank Size30-50 gallon
Tank EnvironmentHard alkaline water with rocks and caves
Tank MatesVery peaceful

Labidochromis caeruleus or Electric yellow cichlids or Labido cichlids are quite impressive with their pretty yellow look. With their small size and colorful appearance, they are very suitable for keeping in your home aquarium.

Labido cichlids come in an elongated body shape. This particular species of cichlids usually grow up to 3-inches in length but can grow more in a larger capacity tank subject to proper care and feeding.

These are endemic to the rocky shoreline of Lake Malawi in Africa. Also, they can be easily found in the Ruarwe and Nkhata Bays and near the eastern coast of the waterline of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania.



These cichlids are found in a dozen color morphs, this yellow only one being one of the variants. However, their colors are mainly dependent on their origin. This species’ normal coloration is white, along with very bright and vivid black stripes that run through their dorsal fins.

They come with a very bright yellow body and include black stripes on their dorsal and anal fins. However, the vividness of the black color will not appear until they grow as an adult. Also, the male Labido cichlids tend to grow a bit larger than their female counterparts.


Electric yellow cichlids usually grow up to 3-inches or 8.1 cm in the wild. However, these fish can grow up to 4-inches if you offer them a proper amount of care while housing them in a large capacity tank.

Behavior & Temperament

Electric yellow cichlids are pretty popular as community fish. This species is also quite a prominent member among the peaceful Mbunas found in Lake Malawi.

Usually, these are quite versatile by nature, and they are pretty adaptable to all sorts of cichlid tanks.

These types of cichlids usually prefer to stay as a single specimen in an aquarium. However, you can also keep them in pairs.

Unlike other cichlids, these fish are not at all territorial. But they can be pretty aggressive towards fish, which look similar to their body type or color.


Electric yellow cichlids will live for a long time in your tank subject to proper care. They will usually live up to 6-10 years in a home aquarium with an adequate amount of food and regular water change.

Tank Requirements

Electric yellow cichlids need to have a very nice tank setup for their proper growth. As these fish are originally the inhabitants of Lake Malawi streams, where the mineral content is high in water, they prefer a similar tank environment.

Besides, Lake Malawi is also very popular for its stable and clean water. Thus, it is essential to meet the necessary water parameters in your tank so that your cichlids can stay safe and healthy.

Generally, they require hard alkaline water to thrive well. Besides, you can add salt to the water to make it work as a buffering agent. Also, adding some salt will help in increasing the carbonate hardness of the tank water.

However, these fish have some salt tolerance; hence, you can keep them in slightly salty water, but make sure you are not keeping them in a fully brackish water tank.

A moderate capacity tank is enough for taking appropriate care. Ensure that the aquarium has enough space for them to swim around freely. Also, you need to check that the water movement is good enough and you are adding proper filtration to it.

These cichlids can easily tolerate any pH level above the neutral mark. But keeping the pH level high will facilitate the accumulation of ammonia. So, you need to change the water quite frequently.

Also, make sure you are adding proper hiding spaces in the tank, as these species are too shy.

Tank Setup

Electric yellow cichlids are very easy to care for if you opt for a proper tank set up for them.

So, here is a guide on how you can properly set up the aquarium for them.

For keeping these , it is better to opt for a tank with a capacity of 30-50 gallons. If you are thinking of petting two of them, then it is mandatory to have a large tank to keep them away from aggression.

For maintaining proper water parameters, it is better to keep the pH level between 7.2-8.8.

In the case of the substrate, you can opt for a sand or gravel mix. To maintain alkalinity in the water, you can add crushed corals or aragonite sands to the substrate.

It is better to offer them lighting between moderate to normal intensities for keeping the fish healthy.

The hardness range of the water must lie between 10-20 dGH.

Also, make sure the water temperature is not too cold. It is better to maintain the tank water temperature between 75-79 ℉.

Keep the water movement in the tank moderate enough. And for doing so, you can equip a filter for the aquarium.

Also, place lots of rocks and caves to provide your cichlids with enough hiding spaces.

Group of electric yellow cichlids

Tank Mates

When it comes to social behavior, electric yellow cichlids possess a peaceful character. They are not at all highly aggressive like the other cichlids found in Lake Malawi.

As these fish are conspecific, you can either keep them alone or add a pair of electric yellow cichlids in your tank. In case you are finding suitable tank mates for your Labido cichlids, make sure not to add other fish of their own type.

However, while keeping them with other peaceful fish, it is better to monitor them continuously.

If you want, you can keep these cichlids with other semi-aggressive fish, but make sure you are not housing them with other aggressive or large semi-aggressive fish. It is also better to keep them away from other predatory fish.

So, here are a few compatible tank mates that you can add along:

Food & Diet

Electric yellow cichlids usually feed on a completely carnivorous diet in the wild. But when kept in the aquarium, these fish tend to be omnivorous by nature. In captivity, they are not picky about their food and will eat anything that you offer them.

So, are you thinking, about what to feed them with? Well, you can easily provide them with any fresh, frozen, or flake food. To keep them healthy, you must also offer them both plant and animal foods in equal proportions.

These will readily accept any prepared food like high-quality flake, frozen dried foods, or pellets. Also, do not forget to offer them a protein-rich diet like brine shrimps or bloodworms. Remember, half of their diet must contain meaty foods.

Since they are bright yellow, offering them carotene-based foods will keep their color much more prominent and bright.

It is recommended to feed them small amounts of food several times rather than offering them one large meal once a day. Also, ensure that they are getting adequate amounts of vitamins from their food to maintain their proper growth.

Electric Yellow Cichlid Care

Albino electric yellow cichlid
Electric Yellow Cichlid Albino Variant

Do you know caring for electric yellow cichlids is too easy? But why? Well, that’s because they are neither too aggressive nor demanding. So, giving them proper care will not at all be a full-time job for you.

But Malawi cichlids easily have bad health under poor water conditions. So, it is vital to ensure an adequately established filtration system for them.

Also, make sure you are performing proper water changes, i.e., about 10-20% of tank water in a week based on the bio load generated.

While keeping any Malawi cichlid in your tank, you must not forget that they are much more prone to Malawi bloat. Thus, it is essential to offer a vegetable-based diet apart from only a protein-rich diet to prevent the occurrence of this disease.

Also, another common health issue is noticed in these Labido cichlids. Do you know what? Well, that’s ICH. To treat this fish disease, you need to elevate the tank temperature up to 86 ℉ for three consecutive days. Also, it is vital to offer them copper treatment for better recovery.

Breeding Guidelines

Breeding electric yellow cichlids in your tank are relatively easy. They are usually egg layers. This species of cichlids are popularly known as ovophile mouthbrooders and love to form matriarchal families.

It is better to initially obtain 5-6 young fries and raise them together properly. They will be sexually mature at 6 months when their size extends to 1½-inches. You can offer these mature fish a flat stone or slate to inspire them for spawning.

Based on the size of the female, she will release 10-30 eggs, which she will immediately hold in her mouth before they get fertilized.

The male fish tend to display their interest in spawning by flaring their anal fin. The egg spot pattern on the male fish’s fin makes the female feel it is their egg.

So, they rush to collect it in their mouth. And that is when the female cichlids stimulate the male ones to discharge their sperm. In this process, they inhale the milt cloud that fertilizes the eggs stored in their mouth.

After successful spawning, females refuse to eat any food for 4 weeks while holding the eggs in their mouths. The fries then finally hatch from their mother’s mouth after 25 days at about 27-28℃ of water temperature. The mother fish take good care of the fries for about a week.

Are you wondering what to feed these baby cichlids? Well, the newly released fries will eat any powdered dry food and brine shrimp nauplii. However, make sure to offer them plenty of hiding places so that they can grow well.

Interesting Facts

Do you know there are a few exciting facts about electric yellow cichlids that many people do not know? So, are you ready to learn those fun facts about them? Well, have a look below.

They are very hardy by nature. So, caring for them in your tank is amazingly easy.

Unlike other Malawi cichlids, they are less susceptible to Malawi bloat.

The male fish are larger than the females, making them easy to get recognized.

The male fish tend to get more colorful during their breeding time and develop a slight bluish color.

Where to Buy?

So, are you now determined to keep electric yellow cichlids in your tank? Well, you can easily buy them from any of your nearby aquarist shops.

Also, they are easy to find in any hobbyist store. As they are popularly available in online pet stores, you can even get them from there at very moderate pricing.


Electric yellow cichlids are highly suitable for tanks. They are generally very easy to care for. Especially if you are a beginner, then you will simply enjoy keeping them in your home aquarium.

But remember, keeping Labido cichlids requires regular water changes. Also, you need to ensure that you are offering them a proper tank setup.

So, once you are done with these tasks, you are ready to pet these fish! Just get some vibrant electric yellow cichlids and keep them in your tank to enjoy watching them roaming around freely.