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Electric Blue Johannii

(Melanochromis Johannii)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Expert   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 76-82° F, pH 7.5-8.5, KH 15-25
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Lake Malawi   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

Electric Blue Johannii native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

One of the brightest and most colorful Mbuna from Cape Ngombo of Lake Malawi, the Electric Blue Johannii males have a vibrant, electric-blue coloration (hence the name) with black markings and the females can be a light to bright orange. They are a popular choice within the hobby, but are very often confused with Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos, which look very similar but can be identified by the fact that their females are not orange and remain the same color form as the males of their kind. Electric Blue Johannii are an excellent species for the more advanced hobbyist; they are hardy and beautiful as well as readily available from local and online vendors alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Electric Blue Johannii in the home aquarium.

Electric Blue Johannii should be kept in an aquarium of 55 gallons or larger, should be supplied with a sand to crushed coral substrate (a lot of hobbyists use a mix of both) and with an abundance of rocks and caves to hide in and stake out as territory. Any live plants should be attached to rocks or driftwood (i.e., Anubias nana, Anubias hastifolia, Java Fern) and are greatly appreciated.

Electric Blue Johannii males can be very aggressive and will terrorize lesser males of their kind; one male and a few females per aquarium is recommended unless a much larger tank (125+ gallons) is provided with adequate territory and shelter to house additional males. Tank mates are an option but they should either be females of the same species or a different Mbuna species and should share any similar markings or coloration.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Electric Blue Johannii and provide a healthy diet.

Electric Blue Johannii are omnivorous and mainly eat Aufwuchs and small invertebrates in the wild. They should be fed a variety of meaty food items such as live, frozen, or freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and ghost shrimp (preferably "gut-loaded") as well as high quality, vitamin-enriched, Spirulina-based pellets and flakes. Feed what will be consumed in a few minutes, twice a day. It has been said that feeding for less amount of time, but at a higher daily frequency, can help with any extreme aggression issues.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Electric Blue Johannii in the aquarium environment.

Electric Blue Johannii are mouthbrooders. The female will lay her eggs in a cave or rock crevice and then gather up the eggs in her mouth. The male has egg-like spots on his anal fin and the female will be attracted to them thinking that they are more eggs to gather up in her mouth; when she tries to gather them she receives sperm from the male which fertilizes the eggs.

The female will carry the eggs (usually a clutch of 25-50) for up to around 28 days before she releases free-swimming fry. Feed the fry Artemia nauplii and crushed Spirulina flakes.

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