One of the best things about keeping a freshwater aquarium is seeing a brilliant flash of color as your pet glides across the tank. As their name suggests, electric yellow cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus) are bright yellow in color.
These fish are available in most pet stores, but many beginner aquarists worry that cichlids are challenging to keep. Do you have the skills and setup that you need to keep electric yellow cichlids happy and healthy? What about tankmates? Below, you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.
Are Electric Yellow Cichlids Good For Beginners?
Compared to some other cichlid varieties, electric yellows are relatively easy to keep. They are more peaceful than other African cichlids, but a good choice of tankmates is still important.
While electric yellow cichlids do have specific dietary and habitat requirements, these can be easily met in the home aquarium. We’ll consider this in more detail below.
They are a staple at most pet shops and are generally inexpensive, generally priced at $5.00 to $10.00 USD. Originally from Lake Tanganyika in east Africa, these cichlids have been bred in captivity for years. This has helped them adapt to aquarium life.
Cichlids are also full of personality. They are observant and may react to movement outside the aquarium. They love to rearrange their tanks; don’t be surprised to hear the plink, plink, plink of aquarium stones as your fish excavates a nest.
For these reasons, the electric yellow cichlid is a good choice for beginners, especially for those who wish to keep the more challenging cichlid species someday.
Are Electric Yellow Cichlids Hardy?
Generally speaking, electric yellow cichlids are quite hardy, living up to eight years in captivity. They are less sensitive to pH than some other species. That said, they still have specific requirements that must be met in order for them to thrive.
First, introduce your new pet into an established aquarium – one that has cycled for at least two weeks. Use adequate filtration, and test the pH regularly. Cichlids need an alkaline environment of 7.8 to 8.9, and temperatures ranging from 73.5 to 79 degrees F. In order to feel safe, they need lots of places to hide.
How Many Electric Yellow Cichlids Should Be Kept Together?
Cichlids are community-oriented fish, and it is recommended that they be kept in groups of six or more. Of course, tank size should be taken into consideration to avoid overcrowding.
They reach maturity around age 3, and if kept with others of the same species, they are more likely to display vivid colors. The dominant male will be especially colorful.
Keeping cichlids in groups will also allow you to witness interesting behaviors, including nesting and the raising of young. Watch for your cichlids clearing their territory by picking up small rocks and spitting them out!
If maintaining a small group, aim to have one male and several females. Male-only groups are not advised, as the fish will fight for dominance. Once they reach maturity, males are much larger and brighter in color than females. They can also be distinguished by the color of their ventral/pelvic and anal fins – the fins along the bottom of the fish’s body. The male’s fins are black with a white “egg spot” – literally a colorful spot that resembles a round fish egg. Female fins are pale yellow.
What Fish Can I Put With Electric Yellow Cichlids?
Electric yellow cichlids are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants. They will attempt to eat smaller fish. You can keep your electric yellow with similarly-sized cichlids or bottom feeders such as catfish and algae eaters.
Keeping your cichlid well-fed will help reduce predatory incidents. Feed your cichlid tropical aquarium or cichlid-specific fish flakes or pellets. You can also feed them freeze-dried or frozen krill, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and tubiflex worms as a treat and healthful dietary supplement. Give them plant matter as well – algae wafers, sliced zucchini, or fresh spinach.
How Big Do Electric Yellow Cichlids Get?
Electric yellow cichlids can reach 6 inches in length. Generally, however, males are four to five inches long and females are two to three inches long.
How Big Of A Tank Do You Need For Electric Yellow Cichlid?
As a general rule, you can keep one inch of fish per gallon of water. Assuming that each fish will reach 5 inches, you need at least a 5-gallon tank to keep one cichlid. Some experts recommend at least 10 gallons per fish.
Are Electric Yellow Cichlids Easy to Breed?
Electric yellow cichlids are one of the easiest fish to breed in the home aquarium. If you plan on breeding your cichlids, you will need to take special measures to ensure the health of the young. The main thing you will need to do is switch to a sponge filter so that the fry (baby fish) do not get vacuumed up by the filter.
The cichlids themselves will do the rest. After laying her eggs, the female will collect them in her mouth. Don’t worry, she is not eating them (usually, at least – inexperienced moms may swallow the fry). Cichlids are mouth brooders, and they will actually protect the fry in their mouths for several weeks. Remove the female to a separate tank so that she is not harassed by the males.
You will also need to provide the young with the right food. Options include Hikari First Bites granules, or live foods such as baby brine shrimp or infusoria. When the babies are big enough, they can be reintroduced to the main tank or given to other aquarists.
Electric yellow cichlids are good beginner fish, especially if you’ve kept easy-care community fish in the past and are looking for something that is a bit more challenging. With their bright colors, hardy nature, and inquisitive personality, electric yellow cichlids bring a lot to the home aquarium.
You can help your fish thrive by maintaining a tank with plenty of hiding places and an alkaline pH. If possible, keep these cichlids in groups with one male and several females. Make sure the number of fish you keep is compatible with your tank size.