View Full Version : My Lab is NOT a Lab???

04-10-2007, 12:42 PM
This fish which I thought was an electric yellow lab up until yesterday, appears to have taken on some strange stripes?

He has always been smaller than my labs, and now, as you can see, he has stripes similar to a P Kennyi.

What is this fish?

If you look close you can see a black line going through his body, sort of like a spine.
Here's a picture from this morning.

04-10-2007, 01:00 PM
electric yellow. Mine looked like yours, and they get those bars

Read the first few sentences of the second paragraph on wikipedia

04-10-2007, 01:02 PM
wait, another name for electric yellows are labs... so yours is a lab

04-10-2007, 01:09 PM
Our electric yellows did the same thing.....the one we think is a male got the vertical striping and darker coloring, the one we think is female stayed yellow with just the black fin accents. It is possible though I believe for labs to cross breed so it is always possible that they could be cross breeds, who knows.

04-10-2007, 02:49 PM
Thanks folks!

It happened over night. I know when my other fish developed stripes it was when they were getting angry at something and becoming aggressive, but this fish is a little runt. he never grew and he never bothers any other fish.
OK...I guess he is a Lab. :-)

Lady Hobbs
04-10-2007, 03:48 PM
He's wanting to act like the big boys and coming into his prime.

04-10-2007, 05:10 PM
Hobbs, your probably right.
Poor little guy has to fight for his food every day!

04-10-2007, 10:39 PM
In a lab those bars are a sign of stress

04-10-2007, 11:50 PM
Thanks Coler...
As I previously posted, he never grew like the rest and remained the "runt".
He is fighting for his food and most likely being picked on.

Either he shapes up or....:help:

04-11-2007, 12:09 AM
wc :)

I had a similar problem with one. The probable cause in my instance is that they prefer to be kept in groups of themselves, so to speak, and I have just the one. It took him a while to adjust.

My guy made it - he was also quite runty. Used to spend all his time tucked in a corner. I re-arranged my rocks, which calmed the others down a lot, and now he scraps for his food with the best of 'em and roams the tank in the evening. Very much part of the gang.

Try and shake up the mix a bit and he may make it. I take it you can't take him out for a while ?

If you have one or two particularly aggro which are persecuting him isolate them. Even if you can't put 'em in a different tank, get some fish bags from the LFS and put 'em in there for a half hour to an hour. I swear you'll see a different fish when you put them back in. Really takes some of the pep out of 'em and gives the runts a chance to catch up. Just be careful not to leave them in too long; ammonia builds up savagely in there.

Oh - I just remembered another thing I did for my lab. He was hiding out in a particular corner, as I said. So I put some spirulina tablets down there, pressed to the side of the tank at night. I'm pretty sure he was nibbling on them and that helped perk him up, in that he was at least getting some food. Now if you have any e.g syno catfish that won't do much for ya lol

Best of luck with him :)

04-11-2007, 01:56 AM
Thanks Coler!
I have 3 other labs in there, but my real problem is that I also have an Auratus and an Ahli. They are huge and mean.

I did try mixing some Cichlid flakes with the other food and he was able to grab a lot of flakes as they were settling down to the bottom.
He was really happy!

The only other tank I have is a tropical community tank.
He would do OK in there for a while but the water chemistry is too different.
I won;t take a chance.
If I keep adding flakes in the tank I think he will make it. I have him since September, but this all just started as the others are really getting mature now.

Thanks for all the tips!

04-11-2007, 01:59 AM
my auratus is weird. He will get along with virtually any fish except ottos. He got along with a krib, lamp brichardi, and others

04-11-2007, 07:28 AM
seems to me that ur labs are little stressed,i have seen my labs doing this.so don't worry they'll be fine ,try to find out the reason fort the stress.

Lady Hobbs
04-11-2007, 09:03 AM
Sounds like someone wants to get another fish tank to me. :)

04-11-2007, 09:21 AM
As Coler mentioned earlier, could be stress related. One of my yellow labs had the same thing, thanks to my 2 Austrus' picking on him. Not even 2 weeks later, he developed an ulcer and died. Just keep an eye on him.

04-11-2007, 11:17 AM
I am not saying the coloration is not stress related, but with our 2 electric yellow labs, the coloration I saw in your pic showed up on the "male" as he got older and never lightened back up, if he was stressed you sure couldn't tell it as he hung with the big dogs so to speak and never backed down or hid. The "female" who stayed all pretty yellow was the one who hid all of the time and was timid......she never developed the vertical striping and blackish coloring. I do not know if those coloration differences had anything to do with male/female that was just the way I looked at it and attributed calling one a He and the other a She....we never have had lab babies though so I was probably wrong on that.

One of my favorite pics of the little "female"

Not the greatest shot but you can see some of the darker coloring

04-11-2007, 11:49 AM
Ahlis are not mbunas, they are open water guys that get more aggressive as they get bigger, which is why I don't think they should be mixed. The open water guys are the reason why the mbunas stick so close to the rockwork in the wild.

I would ditch the flakes and get pellets. It fills them up much better. And if you get pellets that are just a little too big to be swallowed, they usually grab one and swim around with it while it softens, which gives others a chance to eat. NLS is the best brand out there hands down. They guarantee that you will see an improvement in color. They will look their best if given nothing but NLS.

What size tank? How many fish total?

04-11-2007, 12:05 PM
Kimmie has a good point - the dark blotchy markings can be seen in healthy fish which just colour up that way arising from line breeding.

The one in Q though (cman's) looks to me more like stress bars; very definite pattern, doesn't seem to be blackening of the face. Here's a link to an excellent article on lab colouration and care


What's you male/female mix within the labs ?

I can't speak from experience of keepings ahli's but I have seen reptileguy's advice consistently given before as regards compatability with mbuna. Might want to reconsider the ahli, unless your tank is verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long.

04-11-2007, 01:45 PM
hey kimmie your shy little lab might be a male - just noticing the vertical black eye markings 'through' his eye. The subdominants don't develop the black trim on the anal and ventral fin.

04-11-2007, 04:42 PM
To answer some questions.
It's a 75 gallon tank with 12 fish.
The Ahli isn't doing much like the Auratus is. the Auratus is terrorizing everybody.
As far as food, I mix the flakes with pellets. I see that the smaller guys are afraid to go up to the top because they get nipped at, so they eat as the flakes fall, at least for now.

The male female ratio doesn't exist :-)
I originally thought I had 1 male and 2 females, but as they matured, they are all males, but one never grew.

The one I have with the stripes stays in the same cave as the Ahli and large P Kennyi, so if he is stressed, he sure doesn't show it that way.

04-12-2007, 12:53 AM
Then the auratus probably needs to go, it's not fair to the others, it is supposed to be their home too. I would still get rid of the ahli too though.

Just ditch the flakes, they are more mess than they are worth and the pellets will fill them up much better. Definitely go with New Life Spectrum, even if you can't find them in your LFS it is worth getting it online. It will make a big difference in color, growth, health, etc.