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Electric Blue Maingano

electric blue maingano

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Scientific Name:   Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos     
Min. Tank Size:   65 gallons      
Personality:   Aggressive & territorial      
Temperature:   72-78°F      
pH:   7.8-8.6/5-20°dGH     
Size 4"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a Lake Malawi biotype tank with other Mbuna Cichlids; best kept in groups with several females for every male in the tank.

Electric Blue Maingano

Also known simply as the Maingano, the Electric Blue Maingano is endemic to Lake Malawi, one of the Great Rift Lakes in Africa. These fish are usually found in rocky habitats along the northeastern shore of Likoma Island in the lake. Electric Blue Mainganos are named for their brilliant blue coloration which distinguishes them from their relatives Melanochromis johanni, or the Electric Blue Johanni. This species has a torpedo-shaped body, often dark blue in color with lighter blue stripes running horizontally along the body. Males of the species typically have darker bellies and fins while females have light bellies and shorter pelvic fins.

Tank Set-up

These fish are best kept in a Lake Malawi biotype tank with other Mbuna Cichlids. Electric Blue Mainganos can be very aggressive and territorial and thus should not be kept with shy or peaceful Cichlids. Tanks for these fish should be decorated with plenty of rockwork to create caves and crevices, though areas of open water will also be appreciated. The substrate should be sandy and adequate filtration is essential to keep the water quality in the tank high. Regular weekly partial water changes should be part of the normal aquarium maintenance regimen.


Electric Blue Maingaos are omnivores, feeding on plankton and invertebrates in the wild. In the home aquarium these fish are likely to accept a variety of foods. Feed these fish a staple diet of vegetable-based foods such as Spirulina flakes and blanched spinach, supplementing the diet occasionally with live and frozen foods.


Breeding this species is fairly easy and is best done in a large breeding tank with at least three females for every male. The breedign tank should be furnished with plenty of flat rocks and should be kept at a pH between 8.2 and 8.5 and at a temperature around 78 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish are maternal mouthbrooders so, once spawning has occurred, the female will take the eggs into her mouth. Males of the species have "egg spots" on their anal fins and when the female tries to gather the eggs the male releases his sperm, fertilizing the eggs already in the female's mouth. The female will brood the eggs for 3 to 4 weeks until they become free swimming.

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