Scientific Name: Heros Severus, Heros Appendiculatus, Cichlasoma Severum
Distribution:South America (Amazon Basin)
Common Names: Severum, Banded Cichlid, Eye-spot Cichlid
General Information :
The Golden Severum is very popular as its one of the most peaceful, larger cichlids in the hobby and generally don't bother their tank mates. Gold Severums are native to lakes and tributaries of the Amazon Basin in South America. Though not the true mouthbrooding "Severum" species (Heros Severus), Gold Severums are very attractive and grow larger than their mouthbrooding relatives; not to mention their remarkable breeding colors of intensely bright orange-red on their bellies, anal fins, and pelvic fins in addition to their bright red eyes and beautiful green bodies with faint vertical bands. Males have extended anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins as well as worm-like markings on their faces and operculum. There are two distinct color morphs of the species that have identical needs and feeding habits, Green and Gold.
Like the Discus, Golden Severum is a high-bodied and laterally compressed fish. The background color is green with the belly being tinted a more yellowish gold. There are eight black vertical bands along the sides in juveniles and younger specimens which become less distinct in the adult. These bands gave rise to their common name 'Banded Cichlid'. They have an interesting 'stance' giving them the seeming appearance of always looking up. Several colors have been produced by tank breeding such as brown, green, gold, and turquoise.
The Golden Severum is a captive bred color morph of the Severum or Banded Cichlid. They have the deep oval shaped body but it is pale yellow in color. Their anal, pelvic and pectoral fins are all yellow, while the tail and dorsal fin tend to be a white with yellow specks. Their eyes are yellow as well.
Care Level: easy
Size: 8-10 inches
pH range: 6.0-7.0
Temperature range: 23-27 degrees Celsius (74-80 degrees Fahrenheit)
This fish are fairly peaceful for cichlids. They should, however, be kept with similar-sized fish, as they may pick on smaller, slower moving fish. Ideal tankmates would be similar-sized South American cichlids, plecos and possibly large tetras. Etc. The tankmates should nevertheless be big enough not to be regarded as treats. Giant danios, plecos, synodontis, other cichlids, loaches and Mastacembelus often make fine
This fish are not fussy eaters and will consume almost everything provided. As these are omnivores, they will eat plant matter and meaty foods. Please do make sure the rest of the fish can get their fair share of foods as these severums do tend to outstrip their competition for food.
Tank Size :
Due to their fast growth rate which eventually slows down the moment they reach six inches, it is recommended that a 40g be provided as a start for one severum. A 55g will accommodate a pair of severums. It will be fine.
Plant Eaters. This fish love live plants. At the very least, these scaly salad shooters will shred your shrubbery. Some they eat. All others they rip to pieces in your aquariums place.
Hardness: 4 - 6° dH
Ph: 6.0 - 6.5
Temp: 74 - 84° F (24 - 29° C)
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom: These fish will swim in the middle to bottom areas of the aquarium
Differences: The female has a dark spot on the dorsal and lacks patterning on her head. The male has more pointed anal and dorsal fins. Mature males that are well fed can develop a nuchal hump.
Breeding/Reproduction: Although these cichlids are shy in nature, when it comes to breeding they are pretty aggressive and because of this nature, it is best to set up a separate tank especially for your breeding Golden Severum cichlids. The initial breeding process will take some time though as these cichlids are known for being picky when it comes to choosing their breeding partners. Golden Severum cichlid broods can be as large as containing 1000 eggs at each spawn.
The Golden Severum are open breeders and both parents will care for the young. They do not pair up as readily as some, so buy 6 to 8 young (just like the Discus) and let them choose their partners. The sexes can be identified when young, with the absence of marks on the gills and a smaller body size in the females.
The water must be softer, warmer and acidic for the eggs to develop properly. A total hardness of 50 ppm and pH in the 6's, along with upper temperatures in the 80's are the conditions that are best for them to breed. Some have said adding crickets helps them to be conditioned to spawn. The male will darken and intensify his colors when breeding. They will lock lips and tail slap before their spawn.
Prepare your breeding tank with a bare bottom and an air stone works great. Also a heater and lots of water changes are needed for success.They like flat or round rocks and chunks of wood to spawn. The female will lay up to 1,000 oval eggs on roots or stones, depending on her age and size. The male will fertilize them and they will both defend them.
Once the eggs hatch and they are still in the pre-swimming larval stage, the parents will take them into their mouths. Once they are free swimming the parents will allow them to hunt for foods like freshly hatched brine shrimp, ground flake or pellet food, micro worms, and daphnia. The parents will care for them for up to 6 weeks. Removing the egg clutch after the pair have spawned will result in a larger brood if you are breeding them.
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