Labidochromis caeruleus

Aquarium fish: Labidochromis caeruleus (Labidochromis caeruleus)
Size: 10 cm
Origin: Malawi
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 160 l

Labidochromis caeruleus (Labidochromis caeruleus) – Yellow (Labidochromis caeruleus) – freshwater aquarium fish from the cichlid family with a characteristic bright yellow color.


Endemic species native to Africa. It lives mainly in the deeper zones of rocky littoral in Lake Malawi. It occurs at depths below 10 m, usually 25 m, which is a record depth for species of the genus Labidochromis .

Characteristics and disposition

Yellow mouths are the most popular cichlids of tectonic lakes.

These fish reach up to 10 cm in length. They are characterized by a yellow or bright yellow color of the body and black fins. There are also two color varieties, with a white and bluish body, to which the species name caerules (blue) refers. Gender difficult to distinguish. They reach sexual maturity after about 9-10 months.

Adult males are slightly larger, and during the mating season also more colored than females, they have more intense black on their fins. Fish in the aquarium live mainly in its lowest parts. They are one of the mildest cichlids from Lake Malawi. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that, like all cichlids, they are territorial fish and will protect their area from other fish. Fish are recommended for beginner malawists.

Nutrition and feeding

In nature, the yellow mouthbrood feeds on other fish and small crustaceans. In the aquarium, they gladly accept most of the foods, but their delicacy is plant foods with the addition of spirulina, which, apart from live and frozen foods, should constitute a large part of their diet. Mouthbugs eat relatively much.


Yellow mouthpicks should be provided with an aquarium with dimensions of at least 90x45x40 cm. The reservoir should contain rock decorations with numerous hiding places in the form of caves and crevices.

Fish prefer a sandy substrate. They are best kept in a biotope aquarium with mild fish. They can also be combined with hard-bearing Rainbowfish and Carp fish. Since males chase females quite fiercely during courtship, there should be several females per male.


The hatching takes place in the female’s mouth.

Reproduction in aquarium conditions is possible. Fish of this species should be bred in a species aquarium in a harem consisting of one male and at least 3 females. You will need an aquarium with a length of preferably 120 cm, decorated with rocks, stones with numerous hiding places, crevices and caves. You will also need flat stones and a sandy surface, i.e. places where the fish can lay their eggs.

The pH of the water should be in the range of 8.2-8.5 and the temperature 27-28 ° C. Fish should be fed copiously with plant, live and frozen foods. The male selects and prepares a spawning site. At this time, it also takes on more intense colors, thus encouraging a potential partner. The male can be quite aggressive during courtship, which is why it is best to breed yellow mouthbugs in harems.

When the female succumbs, she moves to the place prepared by the male, where she lays eggs, which she then collects in her mouth. The male on the anal fin has egg-shaped dots, and the female, attracted by this, approaches to attach them to the others. During this time, the male dandelion releases it and the eggs in the female’s mouth are fertilized. The female can hold 5 to 30 eggs in her mouth, which she carries for 3-4 weeks, which is easy to see from her distended mouth. During this time, she also does not take food.

When stressed, it can spit out or eat the young, so be careful if you want to, for example, transfer the fish to a separate tank. It is also worth noting that if the female is away from the colony for too long, she may lose her position in the group. We wait as long as possible to separate the fish, unless it is harassed by the others. Some breeders after 2 weeks artificially collect the fry from the female’s mouth, which allows them to raise larger numbers of young mouthbrooders. The free-floating fry is large enough to be immediately fed with Artemia.


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