Some other common names that Melanochromis johannii is known by are Johanni Cichlid, Blue Johanni, Bluegray Mbuna, and Blue Mbuna.
The Electric Blue Johanni Melanochromis johannii previously Pseudotropheus johannii is a real beauty that offers pizzazz to the African cichlid aquarium. The coloring of both the male and female is very appealing, and they almost look like two separate species. The male has a brilliant blue body with darker blue striping, but the dark colors "bleed" onto the lighter blue creating a checkerboard effect. The female and juveniles are a bright yellow-orange.
This fish belongs to a group called Mbuna cichlids. This group has 13 genera of very active and aggressive personalities of Mbuna cichlids. The name Mbuna comes from the Tonga people of Malawi and means "rockfish" or "rock-dwelling". This name aptly describes the rocky environment these fish live in as opposed to being open water swimmers like the Utaka cichlids and other "haps".
Confusion can arise because of the term "Electric Blue" used in its common name. There is another very popular African cichlid that has been known by this name for a number of years. It is the Electric Blue Hap Sciaenochromis fryeri which is a much different type of cichlid. It is a Hap and so one of the more peaceful open water swimmers.