Severum Cichlid Species And care Guide 101: Look, Diet |Updated| 2024

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: March 2, 2023

Let’s discuss all Severum Cichlid fish. The Severum is a beautiful, peaceful fish that is a perfect addition to any community aquarium. These are freshwater fish that are members of the cichlid family. While not as showy as some other cichlids, the Severum makes up for its personality and charm.

They are famous among aquarists and hobbyists for their minimal looks and playful nature. They are feisty but are still famous for their unique appearance.

Severums are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind to keep your fish healthy and happy. This guide will cover everything you need about Severum care, from tank setup to diet and common health problems.

We will also discuss the different color morphs available, types of Severum Cichlids, how to breed Severums, their appearance, physical characteristics, habitat, dietary needs, etc. So if you want to learn more about them, keep on reading.

Species Summary

Scientific name:Heros Severus
Common name:Hero cichlid, Severum Cichlid
Origin:South America
Care Level:Moderate
Colors:Gold, yellow, orange, and striped
Lifespan:5 to 10 years
Water temperature: 75° to 84°F
Size:Up to 8 inches
Compatibility:Any small fish
Minimum tank size:Up to 45 gallons
Tank Setup:Freshwater, plants, sand, substrate
Cost:Between 8$ to 12$ per fish

We are sure you are very excited to read all the details about Severum Cichlids and are now aware of how quickly these fish are gaining popularity. They are famous worldwide and are liked even after their aggressive nature. But before you get your Severum Cichlid, you should know to choose a healthy fish.

A healthy Severum Cichlid has bright colors without spots or marks on its body. Their scales should be shiny and smooth to the touch. Their fins should be intact and not frayed. It would be best to look for any signs of parasites, such as white spots, which can be a sign of Ich.

Ensure you buy your fish from a reputed supplier or pet store. This ensures you get a healthy fish that will stay with you longer.

Severum Cichlid Different Species

Five species of Severum Cichlids are found in the wild, and other color morphs are bred in captivity. The five species are:

  • Heros Severus, aka The Banded cichlid
  • Heros efasciatus
  • Heros notatus, aka The Spotted cichlid
  • Heros liberifer
  • Heros Spurius

When people say Severum Cichlid, they usually mean the Heros Severus, the most common type of Severum Cichlid known as the banded cichlid.

Severum Cichlid Appearance

The physical characteristics and appearance depend on the species of the Severum. The five species of Severum differ from each other. Here is an overview of each Severum Cichlid:

  • Heros Severus, aka The Banded cichlid: These fish have 6-8 vertical bars on their bodies and a long caudal peduncle. The background color of their body is yellow/olive green, and the flanks are yellowish-orange. It has pointed dorsal fins and tails. There are black spots on their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.
Heros Severus, aka The Banded cichlid
  • Heros Efasciatus: These fish have tight bodies similar to the Heros Severus. They have black stripes, blue fins and tails, and red/orange accents.
Heros Efasciatus
  • Heros notatus, aka The Spotted cichlid: These fish lack vertical bars and have round spots on their bodies instead. These spots are all over their body, fins, and tail. They come in different colors, like purple, orange, yellow, and green.
Heros notatus, aka The Spotted cichlid:
  • Heros Liberifer: These fish has a white base and glistens red/orange. The fish displays horizontal black stripes down their body.
Heros Liberifer
  • Heros Spurius: These fish have a pale body with spots and stripes all over their body, fins, and tails. These fish can grow up to 7 inches long.
Heros Spurius

If your fish is stressed, they can appear dull, and their color may change. This indicates they may have health issues, emotional distress, or unfavorable tank conditions.

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Severum Cichlid Size And Lifespan

Full-grown Severum Cichlids reach an average length of 8 inches, though some species can grow larger. They have 5 to 10 years in captivity, but their lifespan may be shorter due to predation and other factors in the wilds. Life in captivity also depends on how well you care for your fish.

If you do not take good care of them and provide them with the ideal conditions they need, you will have to face some bad situations.

Severum Cichlid Behavior and Temperament

Severum Cichlid is known to be aggressive. They are not the best choice for a community tank. They should only be kept with other fish the same size or larger. Smaller fish will likely become food for your Severum Cichlid.

If you decide to keep them with other fish, you provide plenty of hiding places for the other fish. Hiding places will help reduce aggression and give the other fish a place to escape if they are harassed. Their behavior towards humans differs. Some cichlids can be hand-fed, while others will only eat food dropped in the tank.

Severum Cichlid Breeding and Reproduction

Severum Cichlids are not difficult to breed in the home aquarium. They are mouthbrooders, meaning the female will incubate the eggs in her mouth. The female will lay around 200 eggs on a flat surface. Once the eggs have been applied, the male will fertilize them.

You should keep six to 8 young fish and let them make pairs naturally. The pairs start to form within 6 months. The female will then pick up the eggs in her mouth and incubate them for about 21 days. The fry will be released from the mother’s mouth after about 4 weeks.

They can fend for themselves at this point, and you can start feeding them baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food.

To increase the chances of successfully breeding Severum Cichlids, you should provide them with a large tank with plenty of hiding places. You should also keep the water quality high and the temperature between 75° to 84°F.

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Origin And Distribution Around The World

The Severum Cichlid is a freshwater fish that originates from South America. They are native to the upper Orinoco and upper Rio Negro basins in South America. These fish are found in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia wild.

Habitation In The Wild

Severum Cichlids inhabit slow-moving rivers, floodplains, and lakes in their natural habitat. They are found in waters with a low pH and high dissolved mineral content. The water in their natural habitat is usually stained brown due to leaves and other organic matter that decompose in the water. They like to be in highly vegetated areas that have underwater plants.

Severum Cichlid Care Guide

Cichlid fish was first introduced to the aquarium trade in the early 1900s and were named Heros Severus. In 1909, they were moved to a new genus and renamed Cichlasoma Severum.

However, in 1991, they were again classified under the genus Heros. So they’ve had a few different names over the years, but they’re most commonly known as Severum Cichlids.

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Severum Cichlid Diet In The Wild

The diet of several cichlids in the wild consists of insects, crustaceans, and small fish. They are known to be opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever they can find. They also eat fruits that fall on the water and like to consume them. Finding food in the wild is not a problem as they are good at hunting and scavenging.

Severum Cichlid Diet And Nutrition In captivity

When kept in captivity, they should be given a diet consisting of live and frozen foods. You can also give them pellets and flakes. They need a balanced diet and snacks from time to time. Live bloodworms are an ideal meal for them. At the same time, fish food flakes make up their main diet.

Severum Cichlid Feeding Frequency

The frequency of feeding your Severum Cichlid depends on its age and size. You must feed them 2-3 times daily if they are young. You should give them as much food as they can in 3 minutes. Live food should be fed two to three times per week.

Feeding Methods

Many methods can be used to feed your fish. All these different methods are described in detail below:

  • Method 1: The first method uses a fishnet to catch the fish food and place it in the aquarium.
  • Method 2: Another method is to use a long-necked bottle to place the fish food in the aquarium.
  • Method 3: You can also use a turkey baster to place the fish food in the aquarium.
  • Method 4: The fourth method uses a pipette to place the fish food in the aquarium.

You can use whichever method works best for you. You should see the best way for you and your fish technique, the most comfortable technique for your fish.

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Severum Cichlid Water Requirements

They need fresh water in their home aquarium. You can use tap water but you must let it sit for a few days. This will help neutralize the chemicals in the water. But you should add water neutralizers to tap water if you are short on time. The other essential water requirements for Severum Cichlids are:

  • pH level: The pH level of the water should be 6.0 to 6.5. Slightly acidic water will help with your fish’s needs and life processes.
  • Water hardness: The hardness of the water should be 4-6 dGH.
  • Water temperature: The water temperature should be 75° to 84°F. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but fluctuations will cause your fish to get sick and distressed. You should check the temperature every day to ensure that the temperature remains constant.

Severum Cichlid Tank Requirements

The size of the tank should be 45 gallons. This is ideal for one fish. If you have more than one fish, you must increase the tank size accordingly. You should add 50 gallons for every new fish you add to your tank. So for a pair of Severums, you should at least have a 100-gallon tank.

Lighting Requirements

They do not need special lighting in their tank. You can use any lighting that you like. But you should ensure the light is not too bright as this will disturb your fish. You can use lights with a timer, so the light is not on for more than 12 hours daily.

Filtration Requirements

They need filtration in their tank to remove all the toxins and waste from the water. You can use any filtration system you like, but you should ensure that the filtration system is powerful to filter all the water in your tank.

Ammonium And Nitrate Levels

You should regularly check the ammonium and nitrate levels in your aquarium water. Ammonium and nitrate levels should be kept at 0 ppm. If the levels of ammonium and nitrate rise, your fish will get sick and die.

Cleaning The Tank

You should clean the tank at least once a week. You can use a siphon to remove all the dirt and debris from the bottom of the tank. You should also vacuum the gravel to remove all the waste from the rock. After cleaning the tank, rinse all the objects with hot water.

You should also clean the tank. This is a time-consuming process. To clean the tank, you need to remove the water and all animals from the tank. The walls of the tank should be scrubbed with a soft cloth. The gravel should be rinsed in hot water.

All the objects in the tank should be rinsed in hot water. After you have finished cleaning the tank, you should fill it up with fresh water.

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Cleaning The Filter

You should clean the filter regularly. The frequency of cleaning the filter depends on the type of filter you are using. If you are using a mechanical filter, you should clean it every week. If you use a biological filter, you should clean it every month.

Cleaning The gravel

You should vacuum the gravel regularly to remove all the waste from the gravel. You can do this when you are cleaning the tank. You should also add only clean and washed gravel in the tank and ensure no debris or soap detergent is left.

Cleaning The Decorations

You should clean the decorations regularly. You can do this when you are cleaning the tank. Rinse all the objects in hot water before returning them to the tank.

Water Changes

You should change the water in the tank regularly. The frequency of changing the water depends on the size of the tank and the number of fish in your tank. If you have a small tank, you should change the water weekly. If you have a large tank, you should change the water every two weeks.

Adding Fish To A New Tank

The nitrogen cycle is the process that breaks down ammonia into less toxic nitrites and then nitrates. The bacteria that live in aquariums help in this process. This process is known as the nitrogen cycle. Fish, decomposing matter, and waste produce ammonia.

The ammonia is then converted into nitrites by the bacteria. The nitrites are then converted into nitrates by the bacteria. The nitrates are then removed from the water by plants.

Fishless cycles are used to cycle the tank without using fish. In this method, ammonia is added to the tank to simulate the waste produced by fish. The ammonia is then converted into nitrites and then nitrates by the bacteria. The nitrates are then removed from the water by plants.

Adding Fish

After the tank has been cycled, you can add fish. You should add only a few fish at a time so that the bacteria can adjust to the waste produced by the fish.

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Transportation And Handling Severum Cichlid

When you are transporting your fish, you should use an aerated bag. The bag should be big enough for the fish to move around freely. You should add some of the aquarium water to the bag. The water should be enough to cover the fish. You should then close the bag and transport it to your destination.

When you are handling your fish, you should be very careful. Fish are very delicate creatures, and they can easily be injured. When handling your fish, you should support their body with one hand and use the other hand to move them around gently.

Right Things To Add To Your Tank

Adding the right things to your tank is very important for the health of your fish. You must add many things to make your aquarium a good home for your beloved pet.

Here are a few things that are necessary to add to your Severum Cichlid tank:

  • Substrate and Gravel

The substrate is the material you use to fill the bottom of your tank. The most common type of substrate is gravel. Gravel comes in a variety of colors and sizes. You can choose the stone that works the best for Severum Cichlid.

Sand works just fine for them. Sand is good because it is fine and soft and will not harm its delicate fins.

  • Plants and Decorations

Plants and decorations are a great way to add color and interest to your tank. Severum Cichlid loves to hide, so you should add plenty of plants and decorations for them to hide in. You can also add rocks and driftwood to your tank. Driftwood is a great way to add hiding places, and looks great.

  • Filter

Filtration is an integral part of every aquarium. There are a few different types of filters that you can choose from. The most common type of filter is the power filter. Power filters are easy to use and effective at keeping your tank clean.

Another type of filter that you can choose from is the canister filter. Canister filters are more expensive, but they effectively keep your tank clean.

  • Light

Lighting is an integral part of every aquarium. The type of lighting you choose will depend on the plants you have in your tank. If you have live plants, you will need a full-spectrum light. This light will provide the plants with the light they need to grow.

You can choose any light you want if you do not have live plants. The most important thing is to ensure the light is not too bright. Too much light can stress your fish and make them more susceptible to disease.

  • Heater

A heater is an essential part of every aquarium. Fish are cold-blooded creatures, and they need a warm environment to live. The temperature of your tank should be between 75° to 84°F. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of your tank.

  • Protein Skimmer and Gravel Vacuum

A protein skimmer and a gravel vacuum are not necessary, but they are both helpful in keeping your tank clean. A protein skimmer will remove organic waste from your water before it can break down and pollute it.

A gravel vacuum will remove uneaten food and other debris from your gravel.

  • Test Kits

You should have a few test kits on your tank’s water. Test kits will allow you to watch your water’s ammonia, nitrite, and pH levels. You can buy test kits at your local pet store or online.

  • Water Conditioner

A water conditioner is an essential part of every aquarium. A water conditioner will remove chlorine and other chemicals from your tap water that can harm your fish. You can buy water conditioners at your local pet store or online.

Severum Cichlid Tank Mates

Severum Cichlids are not suitable tankmates for aggressive fish or territorial fish. You should keep them with similar-sized passive fish.

Some good tank mates for Severum Cichlid include:

Sexing the Severum Cichlids

It can be challenging to have sex with Severum Cichlids. The males tend to be larger than the females, having longer fins. The easiest way to have sex with Severum cichlids is by looking at their genital papilla. The male’s papilla will be longer and thinner than the female’s.

Symptoms of Poor Water Quality

A few different symptoms can indicate poor water quality in your tank. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should test your water and make the necessary changes.

  • Fish gasping for air at the surface of the water
  • Fish listless and not swimming around
  • White spots on the fish
  • Fish scratching themselves against objects in the tank

Steps to Improve Water Quality

There are a few different things that you can do to improve the water quality in your tank.

  • Regular water changes: You should do a weekly 20-30% water change. This will help remove toxins from the water and replenish any minerals that have been depleted.
  • Filter: A good filter will help remove toxins and debris from the water.
  • Aeration: Aerating the water will help to keep it well-oxygenated.
  • Plants: Plants are natural filters that can help improve water quality in your tank.

Severum Cichlid Diseases

There are a few different diseases that Severum Cichlids can get.

Some of the most common include:

  • Ich: This parasitic infection causes white spots on the fish. It is usually caused by poor water quality.
  • Hole in the Head: This is a disease that affects the head and face of the fish. A lack of Nutrition usually causes it.
  • Columnaris: This is a bacterial infection that affects the skin and fins of the fish. It is usually caused by poor water quality.
  • Hexamita infections: Parasitic infections affect the fish’s digestive system. They are usually caused when the oxygen level is low and the nitrate level is high.

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

  • One of the most common mistakes that people make when keeping Severum Cichlids is not providing them with enough space. These fish need plenty of room to swim and need hiding places. A good rule of thumb is to provide them with at least a 45-gallon tank.
  • Another mistake people make is not keeping the water quality high enough. Severum Cichlids are very sensitive to water quality changes and need clean, well-oxygenated water to stay healthy.
  • Another mistake people make is not providing the fish with enough hiding places. These fish like to have plenty of hiding places; they become stressed if they don’t have enough. This can lead to health problems.
  • Not quarantining new fish before adding them to the tank is another mistake people make. This can introduce diseases into the tank, and it can also cause aggression problems.

Advantages Of Having Severum Cichlid In Your Tank

There are a few different advantages to having Severum Cichlids in your tank. They are beautiful fish, and they can add color to your tank. They are also relatively easy to care for if you provide the proper environment. They can get along with other fish if they are not too small. They have a good lifespan. They are medium-sized fish, not too big and not too small. They are fun to watch.

Disadvantages Of Having Severum Cichlid In Your Tank

There are a few different disadvantages to having Severum Cichlids in your tank. They can be aggressive, especially when they are spawning. They also need a lot of space and are sensitive to water quality changes. They can have many diseases and become easily stressed.

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Wrapping It Up

Severum Cichlids are a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts. They are beautiful fish that are relatively easy to care for. However, they are aggressive and should only be kept with other fish that are the same size or larger.

If you provide them with a large tank, plenty of hiding places, and clean water, they will be a happy and healthy addition to your aquarium.

We hope that you have found this care guide helpful. We tried to make it comprehensive and cover all the crucial topics you should know about. This guide was a way to facilitate and ease up your work. We expect that we were able to provide you with as much information as possible in one article.

We also suggest that you do your complete research before getting these fish in your tank and be very sure that you will be able to meet all the requirements and will be able to take care of them properly. Thank you so much for reading!

Disclaimer does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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