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This profile was written by aquagirl900 an active contributor to the
With a navy background and light blue vertical striping, this fish makes
a beautiful and colorful addition to any mbuna aquarium.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 4 inches (10 cm)
||36 inches, though 48 inches is better.
||All, mostly middle.
|| Hard to very hard. 15 - 30° dGH
||73°- 82°F (23 to 28°C)
Electric Blue Maingano, Maingano, Electric Blue Johanni, Electric
Africa, Between Mbako Point and Membe Point of lake Malawi.
General Body Form:
A maingano has an elongated, torpedo shaped body. Their dorsal fin
is continuous and continues down the length of their back. Maingano
also are smaller mbuna’s reaching only about 4 inches or 10cm.
Maingano are one species of mbuna where both the male and the female
have bright, vivid color. Their coloration is dark blue and light
blue vertical striping. Each Maingano has two light blue stripes on
the body as well as 2 thin stripes on their dorsal fins. Male Maingano
have three dark blue stripes and females have four. Females also tend
to have shorter pelvic fins.
While not the easiest fish to keep provided clean water and proper ratios,
maingano should thrive in an mbuna only aquarium. They should be kept
in a large community aquarium with other Mbuna type fish such as many
Psuedotropheus species, Labidochromis caeruleus, and Iodotropheus sprengerae.
The minimum length of the tank should be three feet though four works
much better as this fish is more aggressive and territorial than many
other mbuna. The aquarium should try to mimic the environment where
they are from in nature. This should include extensive rockwork with
caves and other hiding places which will allow the fish to develop territories.
Sometimes plants can work with this species, though it is not uncommon
for them to dig them up as they enjoy digging in the substrate. As noted
from the stats above these fish prefer a hard alkaline water with a
fairly high pH. If your water is soft or a lower pH, you can use crushed
coral as a substrate or place it in your filters as a media/buffer.
Maingano are voracious eaters and will readily accept flake or pellet
food. The food should be high in plant matter with occasional treats
of live food. Because they are susceptible to a condition called Malawi
Bloat, it is best to feed them smaller, more frequent meals, rather
than occasional large ones.
Rocky regions of the lake free of sediment.
Breeding of these fish is extremely interesting. They are known as mouth
brooders. The males and females do not develop bonds and each male should
have a minimum of 7 females. This is because Maingano tend to be more
aggressive and can bully females to death if there are not enough females
to spread his attention. They are called mouth brooders because as the
female lays her eggs, she scoops them up in her mouth. She then goes
near the male’s anal fin and takes his milt into her mouth, thus fertilizing
the eggs. The female will then hold her eggs in her mouth for about
three weeks before spitting rather large, fully formed fry into the