Lake Malawi Species • Yellow labs with black splotches

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Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby jstrat302 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:05 pm

I have a breeding tank of yellow labs...one male and 5 females. I had 2 females develop these dark splotches around their faces and sides. I know the male will sometimes get dark around his nose area when he gets excited or is ready to breed (from what I’ve read), but he’s starting to get it on his side as well. I moved the 2 females to a 10 gallon to quarantine for the time being, but the other females are starting to get real docile and stay in the corner or hide very still. I’ve noticed also that the remaining females look as if they are putting their mouths near the gills of their tank mates and then the one on the receiving end start to shake rapidly (almost in breeding behavior). They are also starting to jerk their heads as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks!
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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby Mudkicker1 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:37 am

I'm thinking it's stress related. Test your water and do a 50% water change. Get back to us with the test results
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
PH
GH
KH

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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:00 am

Agree it could be stress, and good to test your parameters.

However, the markings you describe and show in the pic can be natural for the individual fish you have. The beard and stress bars may not occur only when stressed or spawning or fighting or eating. The least domininant male may show darker markings, and a female being chased may show darker colors. Some yellow labs with clean bodies as juveniles develop this as they mature. Genetics plays a part, but pure labs can have this.

Chances are your fish are not sick. If the markings bother you, next time you buy yellow labs, try to see the adult male that fathered them.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby jstrat302 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:59 pm

I did a water test a few days before posting and there was only high nitrates, which I of course performed a water change to remedy. The pictures don’t really do it justice, as I’m aware of the way labs “can” look, them not looking perfectly bright yellow and all, however I’m more concerned about their behavior, or lack there of in some cases. For instance, I found one of the two fish I quarantined floating in the back corner at the top of the water, bent over on its side, and also the head jerks or spasms. They are also displaying a weird behavior similar to breeding, only with both fish being females. One fish will place its mouth on the other fish’s gill area, and the other fish starts shaking on its side (not upright), while the other fish pushes it around...
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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby jstrat302 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:12 pm

Here is one of the fish still in the main yellow lab tank, doing the same thing as one of the fish I quarantined...
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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:27 pm

The behavior that looks like spawning is common across all Malawi and the same behavior can be spawning or aggression. The two females are competing for dominance, totally normal. Circles, shaking and lip locking all fall into this category.

The fish that is lurking under the surface is the victim of aggression and is trying to hide in plain sight. Even if there are lots of caves and rocks and hiding places, they are getting chased out of the good spots. The fishkeeper often cannot witness the chasing even if the tank is watched for hours and hours.

The head spasms for those that are not interacting with another fish and just lurking under the surface, IDK.
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Re: Yellow labs with black splotches

Postby jstrat302 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:56 pm

Here’s a better picture...
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