johanni has long been known in the Melanochromis genus, but is
currently classified as a Pseudotropheus. This is a common cichlid
in many Local Fish Stores, but is not a particularly good beginner
cichlid due to its aggressive nature. If kept in tanks too small,
or with inappropriate tank mates, it can dominate other fish,
and has been known to harass them, often leading to deaths.
Should one decided to keep the johanni, it is recommended to keep
at least four to six females for every male. Your tank should
be no smaller than a four foot long, 75 gallon aquarium. The number
of required females depends on what else you keep with johanni
and their recommended tank size. If kept in a 6ft tank, with many
other robust mbuna, you could get away with the minimum recommended
numbers, but in smaller tanks you would want six females, or maybe
even more, depending on how aggressive the individual male is.
Appropriate tank mates include; Metriaclima zebra types (callainos,
estherae, chilumba..etc), Metriaclima lombardoi, Tropheops types,
Ps. crabro (bumblebee cichlid), and Labeotropheus species.
Females and juveniles are yellow, while males will be dark blue,
with light blue horizontal barring.
johanni grows to about 4" maximum in the wild, while 5"
is more common in captivity and even larger specimens are known.
The johanni is not a particularly demanding species outside of
its aggression. If kept with the proper number of females, with
plenty of cover provided for fish to hide, they can easily be
maintained and bred. A pH of above 7.0 and temperatures of 76F-80F,
along with good filtration, regular water changes and quality
foods should see success in keeping these fish for many years.
In the wild these fish are known as having an omnivorous diet,
picking through the aufwuchs (algae bio-cover), consuming both
algae matter, as well as insect larvae, copepods and plankton
when available. In the aquarium they will readily eat any high
quality flake food, or pellets. One should be cautious to not
feed mammalian proteins, such as beef heart or liver. Live or
frozen foods rich in protein should be fed sparingly. Mysis shrimp
can be fed in moderate quantities, and would be preferable to
brine shrimp (frozen or fresh).
this is a species that appears to have been hybridized a great
deal in the hobby, resulting in many fishes with both horizontal
and vertical barring markings. If you plan on breeding and raising
Pseudotropheus johanni, please be very careful in choosing your
breeding stock, so that quality, pure specimens will continue
to be available for the aquarium hobby. In addition, be cautions
in keeping them with species that they are more likely to hybridize
with, such as Ps. interruptus, cyaneorhabdos, Ps. deep, or Ps.