Clown Lab

Clown Lab

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Scientific Name: Labidochromis chisumulae

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: Chizumulu Island, Lake Malawi, Africa


Quick Facts

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Water Conditions: 78-82°F, pH 7.8-8.6
  • Maximum Size: 3" - 4"
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons



The Chizumulu Clown, also commonly called the Clown Lab, is a wonderful beginner species of cichlid that is frequently overlooked due to its more popular relative; the Electric Yellow Cichlid or Electric Yellow Lab. Their care, temperaments and behavior are extremely similar, however their colors are quite different. The Chizumulu Clown male has a white or light blue base and bold, darker blue or black thick banding along his body. Females are generally a pearly white color and may have some faint banding. 

The aquarium should have a sandy substrate and many rocks arranged in such a way that they have plenty of caves to hide in. It can live peacefully with many other community cichlids as well as with its own species, but males will become territorial during spawning. There should be multiple females per male to disperse their sometimes over enthusiastic amorous pursuits. They are mouthbrooders and females will release the fry in about 3 weeks. In the wild, they eat mollusks, snails, insects and other invertebrates so in captivity they should be fed a diet that is equally meaty and protein rich.