freshwater community4


Electric Blue Johanni

electric blue johanni

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Scientific Name:   Melanochromis johanni      
Min. Tank Size:   40 gallons      
Personality:   Aggressive      
Temperature:   75-84°F      
pH:   7.5-8.8/10-25°dGH      
Size:   5"      
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 Johanni

Often confused with the Electric Blue Maingano, the Electric Blue Johanni can be distinguished by the black coloration exhibted by males of the species. This coloration may vary from blue to purple to black and most specimens have several lines of blue running horizontally along the body. Both females and juveniles of this species are typically yellow in coloration and the males grow larger than the females. Electric Blue Johannis are endemic to Lake Malawi where they are typically found in shallow, rocky areas along the coast.

Tank Set-up

Tanks for Electric Blue Johanni should be decorated with plenty of rocks to form caves and the substrate should be sandy. These fish are best kept in Lake Malawi biotype setups with other Mbuna Cichlids and can even be kept with peaceful Lake Malawi Cichlids. Because these fish are sensitive to changes in water chemistry, adequate filtration, along with well-oxygenated water is essential. Avoid large water changes to prevent a drastic change in water chemistry. Regular weekly partial water changes should be part of the normal aquarium maintenance regimen.


Diets for Electric Blue Johanni should be primarily vegetable-based. Feed these fish a staple diet of plant-based pellets or Spirulina flakes along with plenty of blanched vegetables. These foods may also be supplemented occasionally with live and frozen foods.


Breeding this species is fairly easy and is most likely to be accomplished when the fish are kept at a ratio of three or more females for every male. The pH in the breeding tank should be maintained around 8.2 and the temperature is best kept between 77 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. After spawning, the female will take the eggs into her mouth to brood them. Males of the species have egg-shaped spots on their anal fins and the female, thinking the spots are eggs that she missed, will be attracted to the spots. When the female tries to gather these "eggs", the male releases his sperm to fertilize the eggs already in her mouth. After 3 weeks or so, the female will release the free swimming fry and will continue to guard them as they develop.

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