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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it cruel? I don’t know much about these cichlids other than they like rocks and caves. I bought a yellow lab because it is pretty and works well in hard water. He/she is in a 3’ tank by itself. Looks happy enough, but do they need friends?
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Are you planning on getting any other fish or just keeping this one yellow Lab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you planning on getting any other fish or just keeping this one yellow Lab?
Honestly was just going to have this because I don’t know how many water changes I would have to do on this tank to stock more, how to tell male and female. But lately started to wonder if it can live the rest of its life by itself.
 

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African cichlids are one of those "weird" species. They aren't schooling/shoaling fish (what you mean by "needs friends"). Most advice is that you need to push past a critical density for stocking them to reduce aggression (because there's so many) if you decided to do more african cichlids.

If you're just going to have one pet cichlid, then by all means go for the one yellow lab! I don't believe it will get stressed by lack of companionship, and I'm sure it will probably be better than putting it in a tank with Way Too Many Fish.
 

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It may not be a bad idea to keep a single Mbuna as a wet pet. But yellow lab is relatively mellow and I am afraid it may get timid and hide. I would keep the more aggressive species such as Kenya, Zebra or Afra that interact more with the owner. I've seen a single aggressive Mbuna followed the owner and attacked its own reflection on the glass.
 

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They made a great single fish in my experience. They are timid for Mbuna, but they are pretty bold fish overall. I'd expect them to hide for the first few weeks, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't out in the open after settling in. Yellow labs were frequently one of the ones I had to pull out for being bullied in my community, and they seemed quite comfortable and active when kept alone in 20 gallon quarantine tanks. Pretty much impossible to gauge fish "happiness" but they would move gravel, pace the glass, and beg for food when I'd walk by which is as good as I could expect.
 

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My dad's got an old yellow lab in a 45g hex. It's about 5.5-6" long and has had the tank to itself for a couple of years now. It moves gravel, follows you when it's hungry, and sometimes attacks it's own reflection in the glass. I'd say it's doing just fine.
 
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