Malawi Cichlids
 
  Electric Yellow

 
Master giraffe our spare male




Some of the Questions we have been asked

>
> I recently purchased 3 yellow labs. and 3 kenyi fry.  I can distinguish
> the dominant males from the rest, but how can I recognize the females?

With the Kenyi (we call the Lombardoi here) it is easy the female will
stay blue and the males will be yellow but a less dominant male could move
between blue and yellow till nearly growen. In this case you should be able
to pick him at different times as his colour keeps changing.

The Yellow labs (we call them electric yellows here.) are more difficult
generally the dominant male has alot darker black on dorsal, pelvic, anal
fins.
The female can have black on these fins also , so do not say all black
fined fish are males as some of our best breeders have been thought to be
male until we found them with mouth fulls.
Saying this the female black is generally more grey black. But it also
depends on where in the lake they came from.
If they have no colour on the pelvic and anal fins then it should be a
girl.
It is best to keep them in a group environment anyway so if you can buy
some more they are happier this way. they do fight a bit amongst the boys
but we have not seen one killed by its own kind they do not fight to the
death like some of the malawi e.g. Melanachromis auratus (yellow stripe.)
males.
>
> Another thing I was wondering about was what are the ideal tank
> conditions for these fish (I used to keep south american cichlids but
> they're too big!) i.e.. lots of rocks, types of plants etc.
 Lots of rocks and caves the more hiding places the more often you will
see the fish as they know if danger comes they are not far from a cave to
hide in. We also have a few logs in our tanks.
Over filter and over fed as they are less likely to attack each other if
not fighting for food.
And they will breed more often if they do not loose to much weight while
holding babies.
PH 7-9, moderate to hard water.

Also always have there tank over populated as they then can not claim
territory as easily as there are to many fish to compete with.
If this is your start with africans then use a smaller tank and as you get
more fish get bigger tanks.
E.g. if your fish are small start out with a 2 ft by 12 inch tank if they are
close to adult a 2 ft by 18 inch but there would still be room for another
2-4 fish.
You will always know when the fish are happy there is less fighting (expect
fighting if they are trying to breed.) and you see them most of the time.

These fish become very tame some will even let you touch them in the tank.
they will often follow you wanting food.
If you spend time near there tank they are much more pet like if you don't
spend time with them they will be quiet shy.