Blue Johanni are African Cichlids originating in Lake
Malawi. They are classified as Pseudotropheus Johannii, formerly Melanochromis Johannii. They are very
similar to but a distinct species from Pseudotropheus
cyaneorhabdos (formerly Melanochromis maingano). The Johanni males have light
blue on a black background, while the females are orange. For Mainganos,
both males and females are black/blue and they have more of a striped
appearance. The Mainganos tend to be a bit smaller than johannis too.
Johannis should not be kept with Mainganos, as they produce hybrids. The striping
effect for Johannis is not that similar to the Blue
Ahli and it is an mbuna, which is a smaller, more aggressive
cichlid. The juveniles are a bright yellow/orange regardless of their sex.
They will eat flake foods,
algae based flake foods and cichlid pellets. Do not feed live worms or
live brine shrimp, as these can bloat and kill the fish.
Although one of the less aggressive mbunas, Blue Johanni
are very territorial, aggressive fish, even more
so than Haplochromis Cichlids like the Blue
Ahli. They need large swimming spaces, so a 75 gallon tank is
recommended. Although some recommend using underground filters, external filters
and bio-wheels simultaneously to maintain
quality, my experience is that underground filters are not suitable for mbunas.
They build nests by picking up rocks in their mouth and moving them, so underground
filters are quickly exposed in an mbuna tank. Rocks and other hiding areas should be provided and there
should be little or no gravel. They
enjoy plants, but will destroy them. A grouping including more than 10
mbunas is recommended, as it tends to reduce aggressive tendencies in a larger
It is preferable to have several females for each male. The male will
attract the female for breeding. Up to 50 eggs are fertilized externally before
the female picks them up to brood in her mouth for a period of approximately two
weeks. This protection makes it easy to breed them in a community
tank. Move the female to a separate tank just before she releases the