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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a rush to get out of my house at the moment so i'm just putting up a quick post and hoping to get some replies when i get back home. this is the first post and i'm hoping to get some great advice!

I have a 5 inch Yellow Lab. From what I've read, if the bottom fins are also black, its a male! So I assume i have a 5 inch male. It is in a 75 Gal. tank with 2 melanochromis johanni which are about 1.5 inches long, a red zebra which is 1.5 inches, an acei which is about 2 inches, 2 blue dolphins which are about 4 inches long and 4 algae eaters, they all get along fine and my water temp is good so are my water conditions.

I've been thinking about breeding my yellow lab but there's a few things i'm not sure about.

1. If i were to get a couple of female yellow labs, would they have to be the same size as my 5 inch male?

2. It would be okay to let them breed in my 75 gal tank then move the female to a holding tank while shes holding her eggs right?

3. If i was to move the female to a holding tank after her eggs were fertilized, would it be okay to just get 1 female because i wouldn't want to have 2 females holding fertilized eggs!! Plus if I moved the female to a holding tank it wouldn't have to deal with the aggression of the male anyways and that is the main point of getting more then 1 female per male right?

Any help would be great!! thanks!!
 

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Welcome to the forums!

Please don't take this personally, but some of the advice that you have been given is a bit off.
There are many pieces of old local fishstore wisdom that have been disproven more recently - especially with regard to malawi cichlids. That's part of the reason these forums are so great - we can try and sort out the "old wives tales" of the cichlid world from things that really work and strategies that will work for many people.

From what I've read, if the bottom fins are also black, its a male!
Not true. Males and females both can have black on the bottom fins. Often, when kept in a group, the males have more distinct black markings, but even this doesn't hold true 100%

1. If i were to get a couple of female yellow labs, would they have to be the same size as my 5 inch male?
They do not have to be the same size. Your male (which it may not be!) will likely not pay too much attention to them if they are under 1.5". Once they hit breeding age, though, a larger male will definitely pay attention to smaller females.

2. It would be okay to let them breed in my 75 gal tank then move the female to a holding tank while shes holding her eggs right?
This works, but usually leaving her in the main tank works just as well or better. However, be aware that yellow labs and red zebras often crossbreed. Therefore if your red zebra is male, there's a good chance the fry from your YL females may be part Red Zebra.

Plus if I moved the female to a holding tank it wouldn't have to deal with the aggression of the male anyways and that is the main point of getting more then 1 female per male right?
The problem with a lone pair of mbuna is that the male will often harass the lone female - both while holding eggs and even when she is not interested in breeding. Overstressed females may either get sick or may not produce any eggs. Your females would likely be much healthier overall if you got a few of them. Yellow labs are usually a bit less aggressive than the average, so you wouldn't necessarily need 4 females, but just one might be stressed out by the male YL (and potentially the male red zebra as well).

Hope that helps!
Good luck with your new tank.
 

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Couple of things:
1.Mbuna are harem breeders, males like to have multiple females around (who doesn't right?), actually, it's done to spread aggression among multiple females so no one female is constantly being harrassed, usually in the neighborhood of 1m:4f, more if they're overly aggressive, like your Johannii which would do best at 1m:6-7f.
2.Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (Maingano) are sometimes mistaken for Melanochromis johannii. Were there any yellow Johannii in the tank where you bought them?
1. If i were to get a couple of female yellow labs, would they have to be the same size as my 5 inch male?
As far as female labs go, they're capable of breeding around the 1.5" mark, more often at 2". You would be better off getting another 4-5 labs in hopes of getting more females. As they grow, you can always trade in extra males.
2. It would be okay to let them breed in my 75 gal tank then move the female to a holding tank while shes holding her eggs right?
Maternity tanks are often used for holding females, I like to wait at least a week before moving holding females, in my mind, I'm letting them get used to holding before stressing them with a move.
3. If i was to move the female to a holding tank after her eggs were fertilized, would it be okay to just get 1 female because i wouldn't want to have 2 females holding fertilized eggs!! Plus if I moved the female to a holding tank it wouldn't have to deal with the aggression of the male anyways and that is the main point of getting more then 1 female per male right?
With multiple females in the 75, you wouldn't have to worry about aggression issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
whoaa, that's a lot of info!

I guess I'll have to look more into the gender of the yellow lab now haha

2.Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (Maingano) are sometimes mistaken for Melanochromis johannii. Were there any yellow Johannii in the tank where you bought them?
No there weren't any yellow johannii, but I assume it that they are melanochromis johanni because the label on the tank said johanni

I'll probably head to the LFS within the week to see if they have anything nice :D
Thanks a lot!! first post with great results!! :) :thumb:
 

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RyC said:
whoaa, that's a lot of info!

I guess I'll have to look more into the gender of the yellow lab now haha

2.Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (Maingano) are sometimes mistaken for Melanochromis johannii. Were there any yellow Johannii in the tank where you bought them?
No there weren't any yellow johannii, but I assume it that they are melanochromis johanni because the label on the tank said johanni
Never assume. I suppose I should have asked how big yours were when you bought them.
Johannii are born yellow with males turning the dark blue/black color as they mature. I've never kept them so I'm unsure as to what size this happens, however, considering yours are 1.5", I'd hazard a guess that you probably have Maingano (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos) which are sometimes sold as Electric Blue Johannii. Check the tank label again next time you're at the store.
 

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this moderator seems to be given you great advice so ill be short in regards to sexing the adult yellow lab you have at the moment i would vent him/her quite easy to tell the differnce with adults type venting cichlids into youtube and you will find hundreds of vids telling you how to this sum people find it tricky but like everything practice makes perfect you should be able to tell quite easy with a adult :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd hazard a guess that you probably have Maingano (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos) which are sometimes sold as Electric Blue Johannii. Check the tank label again next time you're at the store.
Yup, ran by the store and you were correct! they were electric blue johanni.
Would there be any problems in the tank with them? :?
 

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No issues in that size tank with maingano and yellow labs (and the other oddballs you've got in there), but you'll want 1m:6+f (7-8 preferable) with the maingano.
 
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