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Jun 13, 2004
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Common Name/s: Severum; banded cichlid

Scientific Name: Heros severus

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: Amazon, Northern South America

Maximum Size: 8"

Care: Severums like their temperature to be around 73-77°F, their pH to be 6.0-6.5, and their dH to be 4-5. They need a tank with at least 30 gallons. They will eat smaller fish and will possibly attack peaceful fish. Be sure not to put them with aggresive fish. They need a softer substrate with natural decor(plants and rocks), but also need enough room to swim freely.

Feeding: Severums are heavily omnivorus. They are also can be picky. It is best to feed them freeze-dried or live foods daily along with some vegitation and their staple or cichlid food. Some good foods for them are krill, plankton, bloodworms, tubifex worms, and crickets. They also like the frozen herbivore cubes that you can usually find at your lfs. I prefer to feed them pellets instead of flakes because of how they come at it(they hunt it).

Sexing: Differentiating between the male and female is very difficult. Usually the male is has much more color and longer fins, but until breeding occurs there is no guarentee on what their sex is.

Breeding: Severums do not pair off as easily as most fish do. The female can lay as many as 1,000 eggs. The eggs are usually placed on slate or other forms of rocks, but if desperate they will be layed on the aquarium glass. Eggs layed on the aquarium glass usually do not survive. It is best to offer a short, flat, large rock to the breeding pair to lay their eggs on. Both the male and female guard their eggs very closely and will even attack you if you try to stick your hand near them. It is best to let the fry grow up with their parents.

Notes: A gold varient of Heros severus is available in the hobby.

Added: I have changed my feeding paragraph after my fish ate the aquarium plants :rolleyes:!


Feb 21, 2004
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Long island, New York
Severums are not at all picky, most will accept cichlid sticks just as much as frozen food. They are also Very omnivorous, meaning that they would appreciate some vegetable matter in their diet, they will eat most aquarium plants, but my gold severum will eat pieces of lettuce, straight out of the refrigerator and just thrown into the tank :)
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