Differences between male & female electric yellow cichlids

Written by bonnie conrad
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Differences between male & female electric yellow cichlids
Cichlids breed readily in the home aquarium. (Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Cichlids are among the most engaging and interactive of all aquarium fish, and the electric yellow cichlid is one of the most stunning examples of the type. Many species of cichlids, including the electric yellow, will spawn readily given the right environment. But before you try breeding, you should select a number of appropriate pairs.


The male electric yellow cichlid is typically a bit larger than the female, so size is one way to tell the sexes apart when buying stock for your tank. When you are looking at adult fish, the size difference between the male and female should be quite apparent. The dominant male in the group also has a prominent black stripe, but relying solely on that stripe can be problematic, since subordinate males and females often have similar colouration.


The most accurate way to sex the electric yellow cichlid is to vent it. Venting requires you to catch the cichlids in a net and carefully remove them from the water. After you have the fish out of the water, carefully turn it over and shine a bright flashlight on its underside. A male electric yellow cichlid has two small holes on the underside, while the female has one small hole and one larger one.

Several Pair

Even if you are sure you have a male and female electric yellow cichlid, put two or three pairs in your tank if you have space available. Many hobbyists find that setting up a cichlid tank is very rewarding, since these fish are very engaging and actually seem to recognise their owners. Setting up several spawning areas within the tank, one for each pair of electric yellow cichlids, can increase the odds that you will soon see lots of babies swimming around in the water.

Rocks and Caves

Like many other species of cichlids, the electric yellow variety needs an appropriate environment in which to spawn and raise their young. Cichlids are devoted parents, and they look for a safe environment within the confines of the tank before they will begin to breed. Setting up a series of rocks and using them to form caves is one of the best ways to recreate the environment these fish would find appealing in the wild.

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