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Saturday, October 25, 2008

cichilds-gold servrmus




Common Name:
Severum.
Other Name:
Banded Cichlid, Eye-Spot Cichlid, Hero, Hero Cichlid.
Scientific Name:
Heros severus.
Family:
Cichlidae.
Class:
South American.
Distribution:
Rio Orinoco and its Colombian and Venezuelan basins; Rio Amazonas basin; Rio Negro in Brazil and Venezuela.
Size:
Approx 8 inches.
Diet:
They are omnivores that will do well on a diet consisting of standard cichlid fare, which is supplemented by greens, especially shelled peas and Romaine lettuce.
Water Temperature:
75-82 degrees Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius); breeding pairs might need a temp in the mid-to-upper 80s Fahrenheit.
Water Chemistry:
Somewhat soft (dH 2-6). Fish with higher F-numbers can be acclimated to a wider range of water conditions.
pH:
6-6.8, although they may be acclimated to water of a higher pH and might thrive in water of a lower pH.
Lifespan:
10+ years.
Description:
These are (generally greenish or silver) ovular cichlids that are laterally compressed like the discus. They may have extensive banding in wild forms but some captive-bred specimens of artificial morphs are without said bands, as are most wild-caught adults (who are left with one stripe from the original eight or nine). A large black spot on the anal fin appears to be adjacent to this stripe. The scales on the lateral surfaces of the fish are often accented by brown-red dots. As these fish age, they become black-blotched in the region of the lateral line. Their irises also change to a red coloration. The finnage of the Severum is more similar to that of a fish from the now-defunct genus Acara than to those of the genus Symphysodon.
Behaviour:
These are generally peaceable community tank residents, but do best with medium to large non-aggressive fishes. Some Sevs break this tendency, though, and will attack pretty much any tank mate. They are prone to attacking tank mates during the spawning ritual. 

These have a largely deserved reputation for skittishness, though the acclimation period will help to alleviate that behaviour, as will good cover among the decor of the tank.
Sexing:
Sexing severums can be difficult unless you know what to look for. Males are generally larger and broader in the chest that females. The male also has more prominent facial markings than females. Unlike many cichlids the male doesn't have longer anal or dorsal fins. The safest way to get a pair is to use the method used for Oscars, add around 6 and watch for them to pair up. While we may encounter difficulties sexing them, severums never have this problem.
Breeding:
Arbitrarily selected pairs may not be compatible, so the standard "pairing off" process would be a better bet. Also, there is evidence that these fish may be more receptive to spawning when placed in a group, which consists of a single male and several females. Many commercial breeders keep monogamous pairs separated by clear dividers and allow them to spawn by releasing gametes into the water.

Severums lay up to 1000 eggs on flat surfaces in the tank and exhibit signs of delayed mouth brooding. (Not all pairs will participate in this activity.) Those that do will periodically release their fry to feed on zooplanktonic live foods.
Note Only TRUE Heros Severus are delayed mouth brooder.
Though these are generally non-aggressive fish, they may wreak havoc on a community tank when the spawning instinct kicks in. Target fish may, however, be beneficial as they might induce a stronger pair bond.
Minimum recommended tank size :
45 gallons.
Natural Conditions
Deep, still waters, often broken up by submerged trees.
Miscellaneous:
Though many sites list a slew of junior synonyms for the Severum, FishBase only lists Cichlasoma severum. Since Heros has been split into multiple species, many of those other junior synonyms have either reverted to proper names or become junior synonyms for the other three species in Heros.

Severums are one of the two species that are hybridised to form the Blood Parrot and one of the three species hybridised to form the Jellybean Cichlid. (They comprise 50% of the genetic material of the BPs and 25% of the genetic material for the JBC.)

1 comment:

Chris said...

That is a cool cichlid. Cichlids are my favorite tropical fish to raise. I especially like ones from South America.