Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Electric Blue Johanni Cichlid is endemic to shallow rocky areas of Lake Malawi, rarely observed in open water. Given this specific habitat niche, Electric blue johanni require a network of rock caves and hiding places in the aquarium. One of the more aggressive African cichlids, Electric blue johanni may be referred to as a ‘mbuna’, which is a general term to characterize various Malawian cichlid species that share a similar body shape and belligerent temperament. Males are unmistakable for their blue coloration, faint horizontal stripes and dark black fins, while females are a solid yellow-orange color. Electric blue johanni are relatively easy to care for but their territorial nature requires them to be kept in an overcrowded tank with other like-temperamented heterospecific fish to spread out or reduce aggression, especially if you are trying to keep multiple Electric blue johanni males. It is not recommended to keep Electric blue johanni with other Melanochromis species, such as Auratus (M. auratus), because they will readily hybridize. An adult Electric blue johanni can reach a size of approximately 4″ to 5″, with males averaging slightly larger.
Diet Requirements: Electric blue johanni are primarily herbivorous and such foods should make up a large portion of their diet. Various high quality vegetable and spirulina based flake foods and sinking pellet foods are ideal. Frozen spirulina brine shrimp can be fed in moderation. Blanched vegetables are excellent options. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Electric blue johanni should not be fed a diet high in protein, and avoid beef heart altogether, as this disturbs their digestive system.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single or pair of Electric blue johanni. Several males will require more space and crowding of other Malawi cichlids. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard for African cichlid aquariums (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should be aquascaped generously with stacked rocks to create many hiding spaces and caves. Electric blue johanni are indifferent to open swimming space because this is an area in which they rarely explore in the wild. A sandy or fine substrate is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Malawi. Electric blue johanni will do well with other pugnacious Malawian cichlids; use caution or observe the addition of more “peaceful” species, such as peacocks. Recommended water conditions, 74-80° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/4” to 1-1/2”; Medium: 1-3/4” to 2-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.