12-30-2006, 12:36 PM
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Ok, first, are you sure they are yellow labs, and not yellow zebras? Yellow zebras look very similar, to the labs, however they have no black on any of their fins. Female yellow labs do have black on their dorsals just like the males. Often the case of female labs is the absence of black markings on the anal and ventral fins.
Second, Labs and zebras are both Mouth brooding egg layers. This meaning, the fish will lay eggs onto a piece of rock, then will scoop them up into her mouth. the eggs will be fertilized either at the time they are released onto the rocks, or after they are in the females mouth. Using the egg spots on their anal fin the males will entice the female to approach. thinking the egg spots are additional eggs, the female will approach and attempt to take them into her mouth. The male then releases his milt thus fertilizing the eggs within the females mouth. The eggs will incubate and hatch with the mouth of the mother fish. the fry will remain in the mothers mouth until they reach free swimming state. This act, called "mouth brooding" is common among many species of african cichlid.
A bloated belly in these fish may be result of many things, intestinal blockages caused by poor water conditions, and improper diet may be a likely culprit.