Electric Yellow Cichlids (Yellow labs)
Hey everyone, New to the site, but not to maintaining my 55 Gallon Aquarium. Ive only had a Pleco and Catdory for the last 4 years (as well as some tetras, mollies etc, but currently only have a large Pleco and small Catdory) and decided I need more fish (because everyone who sees my tank says its so empty). I purchased 3 small Yellow Labs and hope to add similiar types of Cichlids in the future. Can anyone give me some advice when keeping these Cichlids, from feeding, food type, their tendencies, Lighting, habitat etc. etc etc. All advice is welcomed. Thanks in advance!!!
Sandy bottom substrate, no need for any special lighting, they do well in almost anything.
Rocks and plenty of them in the aquarium and hardy live plants such as anubias and java fern if you want to go with plants. Fake plants are just as good and also wont be eaten.
The fish do well on high quality cichlid flakes supplemented with spirulina (if not already present in the flakes), supplement as well with fresh veggies (peas - deshelled), zucchini, carrots and lettuce (all boiled to soften them up).
Temperament wise they are amongst the easiest cichlids to care for but are not a good idea for an aquarium with anything other than other cichlids except BN plecos or synodontis catfish. Other fish they do have a bit of attitude to and can cause harm or death to anything smaller than them. Cichlids are aggressive compared to mollies etc but by cichlid standards these fish are teddybears.
In a 55g tank, I would add no more than 12-15 fish spread across a 1 male to several ratio. Having a single male and female or multiple males with single females is a bad idea with cichlids. Males once in breeding mode will actively persue a female to get her to spawn, if she is not ready to spawn the male can stress her to death. It is best ot have a single male to several females so that this aggression is spread across a group of females and not one.
Filtration look at, at least 10-15 times the tank volume an hour as they are messy fish and need higher than normal filtration.
Unfortuantely, I have small gravel as a substrate, wasn't aware they preferred sand. Also I have floating pellets. Whats strange is they seem hungry when I feed them and the dominant one will usually feed right away, but the other two are more skiddish and swim up like they are going to grab a pellet, but not always, I know they see it, but its as if they arent interested, but they seem hungry. I see alot of mimicking behaviorr between the fish in the swim/darting patterns too. Its like they play a game of copycat.
The dominant fish will always try and eat first followed by the others, as long as the others are eating then it is fine.
No worries on the gravel substrate, gives them something to do as they have to work slightly harder to rearrange the tank to their liking :-)
I only put in 5-6 pellets each feeding, enough for them to have 2 each. My fish are juveiniles, only about 2" long, they chew on the pellets while holding it in their mouth breaking it down before they can consume it. Should I wait till they get a little bigger or go ahead and introduce other types of food as well now?
Two inches is more than enough for them to be on full adult food. Flakes, lettuce, anything I mentioned in my earlier post they can be fed on now.
Would you reccomend substituting the Cichlid Flakes with the Cichlid pellets I'm currently using? And adding maybe the lettuce and Carrots occasionally as a treat?
Alternate feedings with pellets and flakes. Feeding the veggies should be done at least once a week.
Remember though feeding too much will lead to a decrease in water conditions. Only feed as much as the fish will eat in 1-2 minutes. Cichlids will always appear hungry and it should be noted again not to feed when they come to the front of the tank. Feed twice a day in the morning and evening before lights out.
If you have fry in the main tank, then you can slightly overfeed as the fry should be fed up to where practical 3-4 times a day. If they are in a separate tank then this should be their normal feeding schedule but do not feed veggies until they are at least 1"
can i just add my two cents worth please :-)
rocks need to be placed firmly on the bottom of the tank,as these fish do like
to dig and they can/will make a rockfall which in a tank made of glass
is not a good thing.
I haven't yet included any rocks, I have arificial drift wood and arifical lava rock that is opretty tall and 4-5 holes in it they like to hide in. I also stacked in a pyrmid style 5 3-inch wide terracotta plant holders as temporary caves for them to hide in, until I find the rocks i want to build a rockscape. I havent yet seen the fish "digging" but the substrate is gravel not sand and maybe two big for them to move (I would think) Whats the best way to post a pic of my tank on here? I'd like to share it with you guys.
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