General African Cichlid Discussion • Yellow Labs

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Yellow Labs

Postby countryboy814 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:59 pm

Could someone tell me if there is a visual difference between male an female yellow labs?
I have one with a very promenent black bar through the dorsel and black bars on lower fins(anal?)
One with a faint black bar in dorsel and no black on underside.
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Postby GTZ » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:25 pm

The only reliable method would be venting.
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Postby RifterFish » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:16 pm

The males are usually bright crayon yellow with jet black streaks on the dorsal, ventral and anal fins. The females tend to be a warmer yellow and sometimes dull enough to see vertical striping on the body. They have streaks but they are fainter then the males and are more of a greyish color. Now, that does not mean that your other lab is a female because a sub dominant male can hide those black stripes pretty well. Before I learned how to decipher the difference I thought one of my male labs was a female all the way up until 3 1/2 inches because he rarely ever showed his streaks. But for me, once I got some females there is a definite difference in color. Also, when the males get about 3 1/2 they will grow a beard (a greyish hue around the mouth and face). Watch them when they are feeding and interacting with other fish. My males used to flaunt their colors at feeding time. Below is a picture of my male lemon drop and the female is below him. The female will brighten up when they are ready to mate.
http://www.rifterfish.net/files/yellowsweb.jpg
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Postby DJRansome » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:24 pm

Huh, I never noticed that on my labs. Yellow is same male versus female. And black fins are the same male versus female.
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Postby RifterFish » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:08 am

This is more true for the wild caught Labidochromis caeruleus. The more pure the lab, the more you see of the beard and barring.
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Postby ILCichlid » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:13 am

lol...none of what rifter said is true. You can find males and females with all the characteristics he specified.

Venting is the only real method with this species, everything else is just speculation.
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Postby RifterFish » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:50 am

Do your research before slamming someone's post. Look up pure Labidochromis caeruleus and what they originally looked like before hobby breeding took over. Look at the wild caught. The ones that are cookie cutter yellow and females look like males are a product of breeding the snot out of them. I do not think there are any true yellow labs out there. I have come close but these are still a couple generations away.
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Postby countryboy814 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:53 am

Now now guys...play nice. Okay lets say I have a male an female Lab. Would they automaticly mate because of no other choices? Or does the male need more variety?
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Postby countryboy814 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:17 am

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Postby RifterFish » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:03 pm

Lo, that one pic looks like the fish is floating around your house. The males aren't usually picky. Its the females that are usually disinterested. The male will go after anything he can get. But when the female is ready she will give into him. I would add a couple more females for him if you want to breed them. He may stress her out by chasing her around the tank night and day. They are large enough that you should have noticed him shaking in front of her by now. It looks like a female but it is hard to tell from the pics. To know for absolutely sure net the fish and flip it upside down. Its pretty easy to tell at that size. If both holes are the same size - male. If one is noticeable larger - female. It only takes a few seconds.
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Postby prov356 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:10 pm

RifterFish wrote:Do your research before slamming someone's post. Look up pure Labidochromis caeruleus and what they originally looked like before hobby breeding took over. Look at the wild caught. The ones that are cookie cutter yellow and females look like males are a product of breeding the snot out of them. I do not think there are any true yellow labs out there. I have come close but these are still a couple generations away.


All I have is Konings's 'Malawi Cichlids in their natural habitat'. It doesn't agree with what you've posted. What info do you have that is more credible or up to date than this book that we should be referring to? There are at least a few different 'yellow labs', or labidichromis caeruleus with some yellow in them, according to this book. There are some 14 l. caeruleus pictured in the book. The only ones with barring are the white variants. 'Yellow lab' is a very generic label. Which lab, specifically, are you referring to? The 'original' yellow lab was believed to have been collected at lion's cove, if I'm not mistaken. Pierre Brichard bred it and for a long time all we had in the hobby were it's offspring. It has some white in the ventral and anal fins. There is another lion's cove yellow lab that is white on the lower body. Depends on exactly where it was collected from. What some call 'ideal' is actually not lion's cove at all. It has solid black in the fins, and no white. It matches a variant from mbowe island, most closely. Lots of confusion out there. But, to say a 'yellow lab' should be this or that shows a lack of understanding of the wide range of variants that exist in the lake.

And, yes, let's play nice and discuss this respectfully please. :thumb:
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Postby Number6 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:40 pm

countryboy814 wrote:Now now guys...play nice. Okay lets say I have a male an female Lab. Would they automaticly mate because of no other choices? Or does the male need more variety?

It is the females that are choosy... not the males.
My WC cichlids are gonna be caught on rod n reel!
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Postby RifterFish » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:16 pm

This is a very good article to read on the origins:

http://www.midwestcichlid.com/showthread.php?19113-Interesting-read

Another one with a good picture.

http://www.petfish.net/kb/entry/386/

Pierre Brichard was the first to breed the yellow variant found (the very first Labidochromis caeruleus ever found was white with a blue beard). As you said, the 'ideal' electric yellow considered in the hobby was actually bred to look this way. It is not the electric yellow in its truest form. However the picture mentioned in the article taken by Brichard is on the internet and I am trying to find it. I came across it when I first began researching the species. It does not look like the Electric Yellow in the hobby today. The male does indeed have a beard and the females are a warmer yellow color with grey streaks on the fins. The male shows some striping as well but it is very faint on both. Like I said it goes away when they are ready to breed. All the beautiful yellows and blacks come out. But is the docile, non-aggressive state these features can be seen. But to add, I do agree that the most common found in the hobby is hard to differentiate by the looks. You can still see a few of the original lines out there if you search the images. I guess it is a matter of opinion on what the 'ideal' electric yellow should be. Just speaking from my experience and observations this is what I have found to be true. For me.
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Postby countryboy814 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:11 pm

Thanks very much guys. I was just wondering if I could tell the difference so that I could go to LFS
and just buy say 2 more females.
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Postby DJRansome » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:12 pm

Nope. Better to buy 2X the fish you need and remove extra males as they mature.
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75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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