Cychlasoma Severum (Heros efasciatus) Heckel, 1840
Family: Cichlids (Cichlidae)
Other names / Synonyms: Severum, Severum Turquoise, Severum Peruvian, False Discus.
South America: Widely distributed in the tributaries of the Amazon River, mainly in the Ucayali River in Peru and the Solimoëns River in Brazil, it was also seen in the Xingu River.
The most common habitats are in deeper, calmer waters with a large number of flooded tree roots and branches.
The body is disc-shaped, strongly compressed from the sides, not very much elongated. Small mouth, steep forehead, the same as in Discus. The dorsal and anal fins are elongated and pointed, while in the male the anal fin reaches the rounded edge of the caudal fin, while in the female the fins are shorter.
The lateral fins of both sexes are elongated.
The color of the males and females is basically the same, but the female is usually paler and lacks a pattern on the head. Common color in wild specimens is changeable, but usually brownish to greenish with some copper tones.
Eight or nine bands can be seen on the sides, these bands are more pronounced in the young; by the time they reach maturity only the last one is visible, it links together a large pale black spot on the translucent part of the dorsal fin with a spot on the anal fin. In addition, there are brownish-red dots on the sides of each strip, giving the fish a beautiful shine.
The head of the males has red, brown and blue-green strokes. The iris of the eye is red.
Caudal fin from yellow-green to gray-green, and sometimes there is a strip across the base of the fin. The ventral and dorsal fins are dark and lighter to olive-green in transparent areas.
Now you can purchase breeding forms of Severums, the most common are Severum Golden Redpoint (Heros sp. “Red Spot”), Severum Krasnoplechy (Heros sp. “Rotkeil”), Severum Emerald (Heros sp. “Blau”).
Many geographic morphs are available, including Heros efasciatus “Tapajos”, this is not a subspecies sp. “Tapajos”, just a geographical option from the River Tapajos.
A rather bright variety of this species is Heros efasciatus Rotkeil.
Severum Heros efasciatus “Rotkeil” has an orange-red forehead, this color goes down the body of the fish and on the fins in adults. Black lines are visible on the sides, especially at the bottom, depending on the condition of the fish.
The previous two colors are difficult to distinguish for beginners.
Another selection form – Heros sp. “Blau”.
Severum Heros efasciatus “Blau” impresses with its deep blue color, turning into blue-black during spawning.
Yellow or Golden non-albino form – Heros Gold efasciatus.
There are also various colors yellow-orange (yellow in young and orange in adults) – Hero efasciatus “Gold”. The pure albino form is brighter, more yellow, and always bright red eyes.
The maximum standard length is 30 cm. In an aquarium it is unlikely that it will be possible to achieve this, 20-25 cm is the more likely size.
Behavior and Compatibility
In addition to spawning time, this is a fairly livable and calm look for cichlids of similar size. This makes it a good choice for a community of large, peaceful species of fish.
Ideally, it’s best to keep it with other South American species.
They live quite calmly with Akars and even Scalarians, or in large species groups. Of course, it’s not worth risking and keeping them with small fish such as Guppies or Neons.
Severums grow quickly, especially up to about 20 cm (it takes about a year), and then more slowly.
Some individuals may exhibit an unpleasant trait of character — territoriality as they mature, if they are kept alone. In general, this behavior can almost always be prevented by keeping them in the company of relatives.
Aquariums of at least 120x45xx45 cm – from 240 liters are suitable for full maintenance.
Biotope will be very easy to organize. Use a river sand substrate, add a few stones, snags and branches.
Aquatic plants are not characteristic of natural habitats. Give the opportunity for the bark and leaves to color the water to the color of weak tea. A small net bag filled with aquarium-safe peat can be added to a filter to help simulate black water conditions.
Use pretty dim lighting.
Temperature: 22-29 ° С
Stiffness: 1-8 / 4-15 ° DH
It prefers soft water, but aquarium fish are developed rather hardy and able to withstand various aquarium conditions.
Omnivorous and unassuming. Good quality dry food, along with live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, chopped earthworms and shrimps. Some herbal ingredients should also appear in the diet.
Purified frozen peas, blanched spinach, and dried spirulina-based foods are all recommended.
The male is larger, has markings on the gill covers, it can develop an occipital hump and has elongated dorsal and anal fins.
If you want to breed Severums, it is a good idea to buy a group of young fish and raise them. From this group the pair should form naturally.
Spawning occurs on a flat stone or similar surface, which is then protected by both parents until the larvae hatch. Both parents are involved in raising offspring.
Fry are rather large and can immediately feed on artemia and powdered fodder mixtures.
Severum is a type of fish spawning on a substrate, in the form of a flat inclined surface. Both parents will protect their eggs and fry. In the aquarium, the Severums can dig a hole or clean a flat surface, such as a rock, on which they lay eggs.
Cichlids before mating arrange marriage games, opening mouths widely and synchronously and demonstrating “tail slaps”, as a rule, this precedes spawning and occurs over the place they chose.
To increase success with dilution, gradually lower the pH to about 6.2. After the eggs are laid and fertilized, the larvae should hatch for about 3 to 5 days, depending on the pH level and temperature.
Fertilized eggs light brown, and not fertilized will turn white for 1-2 days.
As for fry, you can remove the eggs from the aquarium and transfer them to the incubator or, you can leave it to allow parents to take care of the offspring. Artemia and micro-worms are good food for the fry of Severum.
Please note that Severum’s young parents often fail when growing fry. They are not able to provide protection for the fry, or even in a panic to accidentally eat them.
Do not be discouraged, as this type of behavior is normal. This all requires patience, as well as young Severumas will not be able to breed until 2 years old, and the males will not show their best colors for up to three years.
The Severum Cycloses are beautiful fish and their color varies from beautiful natural to red, yellow, green or blue, you can find Severum in aquaristics, almost any combination of the above colors.
Severum (Heros efasciatus) can live up to 10 years or more, with good maintenance.
Severum (Heros efasciatus) is one of the most popular and easily accessible cichlids in aquarism, however, not everyone understands that these fish can reach quite large sizes, and therefore are not suitable for any aquarium. Fish is usually sold in a standard gray color for a teenager.
Severum is an excellent fish for an aquarium with the South American community, as long as there are no fish small enough for them to eat. They grow quite quickly, so they should be placed in a fairly spacious aquarium from the very beginning.