Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Red Spot Gold Severum is a selectively bred color form from the wild-type Green Severum (Heros efasciatus), which are widespread throughout much of South America’s main Amazonian channel in densely rooted, slow moving river waters. A relatively hardy and popular species, hobbyists should take into account the large adult size and somewhat long lifespan [approximately 10 years] of a Gold severum before considering one for their aquarium. For its large size however, Gold severum are a relatively non-aggressive cichlid so long as a pair is not breeding, or it is not kept with small fishes that can become a meal. Sexual dimorphism between males and females is not always clear; males will sometimes exhibit larger dorsal and anal fins, have markings on the gill plates and they could develop a nuchal hump on the head. Red Spot Gold severum are typically yellowish orange in color with red dots and dashes covering its body. There is considerable variation among color intensity and patterning of individual Gold severums. Socializing severums is important to help prevent aggressive behavior as they mature if kept singly; small groups of 4 or more individuals will achieve this desired social structure. An adult Gold severum can reach a size of approximately 12″ in the wild, but between 8″ and 10″ is typically seen in the home aquarium.
Diet Requirements: Gold severums are omnivores, but a greater proportion of their diet should be vegetable based. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable and protein based flake foods and sinking pellet foods are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp that contains spirulina algae and other mixed freshwater preparations. Freeze-dried Tubifex worms are also a favorite, as are providing live blackworms occasionally as a treat. Severums will also accept a handful of fresh vegetables, including peas or blanched zucchini. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a group of juvenile/small Gold severum. The aquarium may need to be upgraded accordingly as this species grows and matures rather quickly. Severum should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium, as they have sensitivites to nitrite and ammonia. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard (Nitrates < 30 ppm). A sandy or fine substrate is preferred, and the aquarium should be aquascaped mostly with driftwood or similar natural furnishings. Severums prefer dimmer lighting and would appreciate Indian almond leaves because they release tannins as they breakdown in the water creating more of a blackwater environment. Of note, tannins stain the water yellowish. Severum can be compatible with a variety of medium-sized community-type fish, so long as tank mates thrive in similar tank conditions, water parameters, and are not too small to be eaten by a more adult severum. Do not mix Gold severum with overly aggressive or pugnacious Central or South American species. Avoid Malawian African cichlids altogether. Some Tanganyikan African cichlids may be compatible based on temperament, but will likely not thrive in the same water conditions Gold severum prefer. Recommended water conditions, 72-82° F, KH 1-8, pH 5.5-7.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2′ to 2”, Medium: 2-1/2” to 3-1/2”, Large: 4” to 6”, XLarge: 7”+
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.