Green Severums © Ernesto Alvarez
Common Name: Green Severum
Latin Name: Heros Severus
Origin: Amazon Basin
Temperature: 72 - 80°F (22-27°C)
Ease Of Keeping: Easy
Aggressivness: Peaceful, can become aggressive during spawning, very aggressive when caring for its young
Lighting: any will do
Adult Size: 8 - 10 inches (20-25cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Feeding: Live, Frozen, Flake, Pellet, Veggies
Spawning Method: egg layer, eggs are laid on a flat surface
Comments: Severums are one of my favorite cichlids and I would recommend them to anyone. they are the next best fish to Discus, and are alot easier to keep then discus. Severums have alot of personality like Oscars and several other fish. they will eventually learn who you are and will also learn to catch your attention either by splashing water or by doing some other weird stuff. very fun to watch them do this.
Feeding these fish is not very hard, they will pretty much eat whatever you give them. theyre diet should consist of mostly plant matter but it is also good to add other types of food like live insects, flake food, pellet, frozen, freeze dried, etc.. keeping theyre diet varied will give you very healthy and colorful specimens.
Severums are not a good choice for planted aquaria. they will eat mostly any type of plant. even some plants that are supposed to be safe are sometimes eaten. an aquarium for severums should have hiding places, if you have rocks make sure theyre securely in place. substrate can vary but they tend to prefer sandy substrates. water quality should be paid attention to, they dont require pristine water like discus but a proper PH is important. they prefer a PH of 5.0 to Neutral, ive kept mine as high as 7.8 and they did fine.
Severums are not the easiest to sex. most of the time youll have to buy a group of around 6 and let them pair off on theyre own. sometimes youll get lucky and get a pair. Severums need to develop a pair bond in order to spawn, wich is not the easiest thing to do. these fish can be very picky of theyre partners and will lock lips in order to test each other. maintaining a pair bond is also not the easiest thing to do. it is very helpful to have dither fish like giant danios and other fish in theyre tank in order to keep the pair bonded. this is theoretically done because the pair will defend theyre area together, wich helps the bond at the same time. pairing severums can take a few months and even up to a few years sometimes. my severums paird off after being together for over a year. severums will usually begin spawning after about 3" - 4" in size. Getting them to spawn isnt easy either but it can be done. feed the pair live foods or keep theyre diet on the good size and y! ou can get a spawn. doing frequent water changes and adding cooler water will also aid in getting a spawn. adding cool water simulates the rain season wich usually triggers spawning in many amazonian fish including severums. once you get a spawn the parents will guard them aggressively, you may want to remove any other fish in the tank at this time. the eggs will hatch within 3 - 5 days at wich time the parents may move them into a pit in the substrate. the fry will feed off theyre yolk sacks for an additional 3 - 5 days, at wich time they will become free swimming. the parents will continue to guard the fry, once they are free swimming the parents really show theyre aggressiveness towards other fish in the tank. at this stage you can now start feeding the fry some baby brine shrimp and other live foods. you can also feed them finely crushed flake food. you do not have to remove the fry from the parents tank most of the time. most people do succesfully raise theyre fry alon! g with the parents. when trying to spawn severums you should keep in m ind that it can take many times for the fish to get it right. you may notice that they will eat the eggs during theyre first few spawn or even eat the fry. this is normal and once they figure out how to take care of them they will stop eating the eggs and fry. if you want to remove the eggs from the tank you can do this aswell. I find that by placing an air stone near the eggs will simulate the mothers waving. eggs that are not fertalized will turn white, fertilized eggs will be a brownish color.
Overall this is a very fun fish to have and I would recommend them to anyone with a large aquarium.
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