Labidochromis Joanjohnsonae

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Joanjohnsonae cichlid - Labidochromis 

Scientific name: Labidochromis Joanjohnsonae,Melanochromis exasperatus, 

Common name: Pearl of likoma

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 8 - 10 cm (3.15 - 3.94 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 7 - 8.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 10 - 30°N (178.57 - 535.71ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 28 °C (71.6 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


This fish is an insectivore in the wild. Feed a balanced diet with some protein rich and veggie foods.


This fish is endemic to Likoma Island and is associated with rocky areas.


Males are larger and blue; females are a silvery blue with orange dots throughout. Young have the same coloration of the females.


This fish was not very hard to spawn. The problem is keeping females alive to spawn because of aggression stated above.  The fish breed like most mbuna, so nothing unusual.

Females are good holders and can be hard to strip. If small enough, you can try stripping a fish by putting them in a turkey baster. The females hold about 2 weeks and the fry are small. Rear the fry with baby brine shrimp and later flake food.

The fry are relatively fast growing and colorful, which is nice.


Under right conditions they can live up to 10 years.


Labidochromis joanjohnsonae is easy to care for as long as you can manage aggression. Males are intolerant of other males and can harass females to quite an extent. Make sure the tank is large if you want to keep a group of 5 or more. A tank of 75 gallons is adequate for this task. Also, make sure there are lots of rocks in the tank. This fish mixes well with other aggressive mbuna and larger Malawi Haps