Animal Stories - Electric Yellow Cichlid

Animal-World Information about: Electric Yellow Cichlid

The bold striking colors of the Electric Yellow Cichlid have certainly helped it earn its name!
Latest Animal Stories
Tari - 2009-10-15
Hi, I have just started feeding my fish the Spectrum food and my electric yellow is turning black, like it has been in a fire or something! All my other fish are still looking normal. Do you think it is the food that is making it turn black or some other problem? It doesn't look sick or unhealthy, it seems perfectly fine, apart from the fact that its turn black!!!

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  • chris - 2010-03-23
    It's black because it's a male, this is normal.
  • evan - 2010-06-04
    Its not that those are called ammonia burns the fish is dying change that water now! It's not the food its the small tank your keeping him in get a bigger tank or don't even try to keep africans be smart when you buy animals that's like buying an elephant to keep in your back yard it needs space.
  • Wende - 2010-06-05
    Chris is right and Evan is wrong.... I have had my electric yellow since my albino convict and striped convict laid him almost three years ago...... whenever he goes into heat, he turns black too....... just make sure he has a mate..... after he and the female had babies, the black will go away for a while...
  • kyle - 2010-06-05
    Males tend to develop black stripes with age.
  • Marko - 2010-06-22
    Hey, I have 8 of these fantastic little guys in my biggest tank with other malawi's and 3 of mine are completely black! I have had them for about 4 years now and haven't had a problem with them eating, aggression, or breeding due to them being this colour, the best bet is to keep an eye on them at first then just leave them to it, I actually would prefer them to stay this colour now as I enjoy the colourful young they are having. Good luck.
  • Anonymous - 2010-09-01
    My yellow started getting black around the face and chin, like a sootie grubby kind of black stain. I asked the pet shop guys and they recommended some additive which I put in the tank and now he's shiny yellow again.
    Maybe ask your local shop?
  • Megan - 2010-09-12
    A lot of the spectrum food and other foods that are meant to help intensify color will sometimes have the opposite affect on certain fish. Some do get darker, I would suggest changing the food.
  • Joeski - 2010-10-01
    It's nature taking its course. I read somewhere that they turn black in the wild to be able to steal catfish eggs at night time (evolution) captivity w/ other cichlids they are maturing and they are also preparing to should see them begin to puff out their fins to attract a mate...they will chase their female, lip lock, & swim in tight circles and will shake in front of them.
  • Mikey - 2010-10-24
    If it's maturing and turning black means it's a's not said here on site, but when males grow they turn almost all black (thinsk, all tho they were black anyways and then all the side of fish turns black...its cool man enjoy it, they are a lot more beautiful that way).
  • Keith - 2010-10-25
    The whole fish is not supposed to turn black only the fins if the fish it self is turning black in body some of your charcoal from filters may be entering your tank and the fish are sucking on the stones. The male turns black on all fins more pronounced and the females only have black or top dorsal fin.
  • Joel - 2010-11-03
    I am feeding Spectrum too along with spirulina flakes and I have 5 labs and a variety of other Mbuna. Only the dominant male lab is turning black around the mouth and gills. The rest are still the normal color. I am going to talk to my local pet shop, but I tend to believe it is just a maturing male getting ready to breed.
  • james - 2010-11-17
    It's just a part of their colour cycle.
  • jason - 2011-03-03
    You are wrong keith about only males having all black fins. My female has deep black on all fins and is carrying eggs in her mouth right now.
Hannah - 2011-01-07
Fish are often like humans or dogs, doesn't matter what people say we all have different personalities. I have had two different pairs of Electric Yellow Cichlids. I have a 55 gallon tank and I had an Electric yellow with a few other cichlids and that cichlid killed every fish I had in that tank and even multiple sucker fish. My ammonia level got high in my tank without me knowing and killed him so I decided to get another one and the new one I got I put him in with the same kind of fish I had before and he hasn't killed any of them or the sucker fish, so it just depends on the fish personality, just like humans some are angry some are happy :)

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  • emma - 2011-02-21
    The same thing happened in my tank, the yellow lab killed all the other fish in our tank, even the cichlid bigger than itself.
quicky2g - 2011-01-19
I have this in a 75 gallon with other african mbuna's. It seemed difficult to find a dominant male in the pet shops around my area with a nice black striped dorsal fin but I finally found one. He is very hardy and eats just about any kind of flake or live food I give him. I was very surprised to have aggression problems with the electric yellow but I did. I had a red zebra in my 75 and added another and the electric yellow started bullying both my red zebra's for about 3-4 days. The aggression finally died down but it was very strange...every once in a while you can find a peaceful fish that gets aggressive or an aggressive fish like an auratus that's peaceful (I have a peaceful auratus!)

Nancy - 2011-01-09
Our electric yellow cichlids just had babies! It was a big surprise to us. All the babies look very diffrent from each oher. There are about 10 babies that we have seen but will they all be yellow in color as the parents or can they become diffrent colors? It looks likes some are blueish and some more yellow in color. Sorry 1st time fish owner. =/

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  • Anonymous - 2011-01-17
    I have noticed that of my electric yellows have a tiny glimmer of blue. From what I understand the male takes on a blue tint as a mating color it could be these are males or that the 2 you breed were somewhere down the line cross bred and some of that cross breeding is showing in the fry.
Dan - 2011-01-17
The black is due to bad genetics I had a batch of about 20 and several started to turn black like that, I contacted a breeder who advised to dispatch the black ones and get another male with better features.

eileen - 2011-01-15
Help... my Electric Yellow has developed black freckled spots on his belly & now moving on to his fins & up his face... he is eating & swimming well
any ideas...he is the only one in our 55gallon tank with this?

alafish - 2010-06-14
Hi, Just wanted to post my experience with yellow electric. It started with a male and female along with a small Australian blue lobster/crayfish. After about 5 days I found the female injured at the tail. My suspected was the lobster. He was moved out. She was dead in 1 day. Then I started adding fish over several days to my 55 G tank. This is the first time had a yellow electric. Eventually I added some tetras (for a total of 10 cardinals and 10 neons). it was peaceful for few weeks. Then the inevitable. The yellow started eating my fish. He is about 3 inches and very healthy but with enormous appetite. So he has to go in a separate tank with the lobster.. :(
Finally just to mention that this guy was extremely territorial.

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  • tammy - 2010-09-05
    Hi, the same thing happened with my electric yellows. I have only one left now and all I can put in with it is feeder fish (which it eats). I have a small lobster in with it as well and a big sucker fish which it leaves alone. I am no longer going to spend any more money on fish as it becomes very expensive when they keep being eaten, stick some feeders in with it, good luck.
  • Crystal - 2010-09-26
    Didn't the people who sold you the electric yellow tell you that you can't keep them in a community tank? They are the most peaceful of the cichlids but they are still aggressive. Keep them in a tank with other mildly aggressive cichlids, but NEVER put them in a community tank. You really can't just put random fish together and hope for the best. Also cichlids are supposed to be housed in an aquarium with a much higher PH than tetras can handle.
  • brad - 2010-10-09
    I agree. My fish is very territorial! I have 5 cichlids in a tank. The yellow one chases all the other fish around non stop. And if I try to add any other fish to the tank, the yellow one will attack it and kill it. Ohh and this fish also digs in the gravel.
  • Mike Doran - 2010-12-19
    I have found that the Yellow Lab when kept with other cichlids or with larger fish will be shy and peaceful. In my opinion no African Cichlid should be kept with anything other than African Cichlids. Even the Yellow Lab will be more than territorial when kept with other fish. I have a 100 gallon tank with approx. 50 Yellow Labs and a large Pleco. Other fish are Electric Blues and the bully of the tank is what we call Yellow Fin an unidentified African. The blue and gold theme is for my college colors.
  • Anonymous - 2010-12-20
    I totally agree with that statement I had 2 yellows and 2 other cichlids that were supposed to be more aggressive well let's just say I only have one yellow left bc he dominated the tank.
  • GAVIN - 2011-01-15
    Your yellow electric is a mbuna cichlid, it's best to keep him with multiple mbuna, is your ph 7. 5 - 8. 5. . . . . It should be for yellow lab.
cheri raye - 2008-10-08
Okay electric yellows are only peaceful with their own kind, and if anyone thought it would be okay to put any smaller tropicals into the tank....well you have found out it isn't a wise thing to do unless of course its for live food.
Amongst other cichlids they are territorial, but as a rule I have never had a problem as long as they are all of the cichlid family. Excluding convicts! I have 3 plecos and assorted electric blues and yellows, and silver dollars and the only time there is trouble is when they are hungry. Feeding daily will normally prevent them from being too aggressive. Since I wrote in 2004, I have had many many cichlids and many experiences, some not so wonderful, but most have been good.

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  • Gary - 2010-02-21
    I have yellow labs in my four foot tank with 10 tiger barbs, 4 firemouths, 4 danios, 3 angelfish, 3 dwaf rainbows, and 2 golden loach. All get on ok but the tank is well planted and plenty of caves. The labs breed easy and have found fry all over the tank. Of course some do get to be food for the others but some make it to a size I can pass on to my mztes if they want some.
  • james peck - 2010-11-15
    I have a 55 gallon with 2 elec. yellows and 2 pink convicts and 2 green terrors. The electric yellows are fine with other fish that can hang with there attitude and can defend themselves. All my fish are aggressive but equal so there is no problems. Actually all my pairs have had fry. Most of the time they have their fry at the same time. It's kind of cool how they divide the tank. The only pair that tends to lose their fry are the yellows since they stop watching their young after a week.
Shelley - 2010-02-08
My Electric yellows are in with gold fish, small tetras and anything else I wish to add. My fish are not aggressive! I have raised the small fry in with the other fish.

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  • Marcus Doherty - 2010-03-31
    "I only have 1 yellow lab (and she is holding at the moment) she is in with 3 gold gourami's 2 red tetra and 3 black widow tetra and a pleco...everyone gets along brilliantly...

  • DEAN - 2010-07-02
    How is she holding if she is the only one and shelley you might think yours are ok now but when they get bigger its not a matter of nice or mean its big fish eat little fish and cichlids get territorial.
  • Elo - 2010-10-12
    Your small fry's days are numbered, just wait until the labs get a bit bigger. And even though labs are rather peaceful for Mbunas, they are territorial and will hurt other fish, particularly ones that move unpredictably such as plecos or pictus cats.

    As for keeping goldfish with tropical fish, it is an okay thing to do, but goldfish tend to plow through their food and release a lot of ammonia waste into the tank, which will poison tropical fish without much trouble. It's best to keep goldfish separate from tropical fish. Goldfish also will live longer in cold water.
Lisa Bistodeau - 2010-10-11
I have 2 yellow cichlids that are not aggressive but I have a small balloon belly molly (about the size of a nickel) that follows them around and pokes them with his mouth like he is trying to bite them. I'm not worried about the cichlids but I just do not understand why the tiny fish would follow the huge fish?