Another member of the Melanochromis genus although in this case the "Melas" (black) is not applicable. However, the species name is far more descriptive (cyaneo=blue & rhabdos=bar). The fish is a typical mbuna growing to 10 cm. Water parameters are the same as with all mbuna. This species is an omnivore and will readily accept any dry food offered. It is a member of the M. Johanni complex and is closely related to the typical johanni. It stays small, like the johanni. A major difference is the lack of sexual dimorphism. Aggression is about the same level as the typical johanni as well. I imagine you could probably keep a group of one male and three females in a small 30 gallon tank as long as it is heavily furnished. They are getting along well in my tank so far. Hopefully they won't get much more aggressive as they get bigger. Some of them have already started to dig pits. More information to be added in the near future.
Information from other sources:
"Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos (formerly known as Melanochromis "maingano" or misspelled as "manigano"). This species is endemic to a small region on the northeast shore of Likoma Island from Mbako Point to Membe Point (Maingano is a village on this stretch of shoreline), feeding on benthic invertebrates and zooplankton (Ribbink et al., 1983: 207)."
"According to Bowers & Stauffer (1997: 53-54), M. cyaneorhabdos ...[M]ay be distinguished from other members of this genus, except M. johannii Eccles, 1973, by the dark navy-blue ground color with a pale blue stripe running from the dorsal region of the caudal fin to the interorbital bar and a pale blue stripe running from the ventral region of the caudal fin to the pectoral region. Breeding M. cyaneorhabdos males tend to have an overall bluish hue, whereas M. johannii males tend to be almost black rather than blue. Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos tends to have more gill rakers on the first epibranchial (9-11) than does M. johannii (8-9; Eccles, 1973)."
Text and Photos by Owen Hoffman.