Sea Life

Severum Cichlid Care, Size, Tank Mates, Food & Varieties

Severum Cichlid Care, Size, Tank Mates, Food & Varieties

Severum Cichlids, scientifically known as Heros efasciatus, are tropical freshwater fish indigenous to the Amazon Basin in South America. Known for their vibrant colors, which range from yellows and golds to deep reds, and their interactive personalities, these fish have been a mainstay in home aquariums for many years. 

However, to make sure that they remain a long-term partner, you need to take proper care of their needs and requirements. Also, it matters what tank mates you are accompanying them with and, above all, the food intake you are providing. This article right here is going to present you with Severum Cichlid care, size, tank mates, food, varieties, and everything else you should know about this incredible species.   

Severum Cichlid History

Originally hailing from the vast Amazon River basin, Severum Cichlids have a rich history and a unique evolutionary story. They belong to the Cichlidae family, which is one of the largest vertebrate families, comprising more than 1,600 species. 

Cichlids, in general, are notable for their diversity and adaptability, with the Severum Cichlid being no exception. Their vibrant colors and hardy nature make them a cherished inhabitant of home aquariums worldwide.

Average Size

Severum Cichlids are relatively large as far as aquarium fish go, with adults typically reaching a length of 6 to 8 inches in captivity. However, some Severum Cichlids have been known to grow even larger, up to a size of 10 inches or more, particularly in the wild or under optimal conditions.

Aquarium Setup

The first step towards proper care for Severum Cichlids is setting up a suitable environment for them. To adequately accommodate a single Severum Cichlid, it is advisable to have a tank of at least 55 gallons in size. For every additional fish, an extra 20 gallons is recommended. This allows them ample space to swim and exhibit their natural behaviors.

Create a natural-feeling habitat with plenty of hiding spots using decorations such as rocks and driftwood. Plants can also be used.

Diet and Feeding

Severum Cichlids are omnivores with a preference for a plant-based diet. A balanced diet for Severums should include high-quality cichlid pellets or flakes, supplemented with a variety of vegetables, like peas, spinach, and zucchini, as well as occasional servings of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Adult Severums should be fed once or twice a day, providing only the amount they can consume within a few minutes to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.

Ensuring your Severum Cichlid receives a diverse and well-balanced diet is crucial to promote its overall health and well-being. By meeting its dietary needs, you will see your Severum thrive, displaying its best colors and living a long and healthy life.

Tank Mates

Although relatively peaceful, Severum Cichlids are best kept with other similarly-sized, non-aggressive fish. Ideal tank mates include: 

  • Other types of large cichlids 
  • Larger tetras 
  • Catfish 
  • Plecos
  • Silver Dollar 
  • Angelfish

Varieties of Severum Cichlid

Severum Cichlids come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. These variations primarily result from selective breeding within the aquarium industry. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

1: Green Severum

The Green Severum, also known as the Banded Cichlid, is the most common variety. As the name suggests, they possess an earthy green color that gives them a unique and striking appearance. This variety tends to have a pattern of darker vertical bands and a red or orange pattern on their faces.

2: Gold Severum

Gold Severums, often called Golden Severums, are a popular variant. They possess a bright, golden-yellow color, which provides a stunning contrast in a planted aquarium. Their bodies are usually solid yellow, but they may display faint banding and red spotting, particularly during breeding.

3: Red Spotted Severum

The Red Spotted Severum is a selectively bred variant known for its vivid red spots against a base color that can range from gold to green. The density and distribution of the red spots can vary greatly from fish to fish, making each one unique.

4: Rotkeil Severum

The Rotkeil Severum, often referred to as the Red Shoulder Severum, stands out with its distinct red-orange shoulder patch, hence the name. The rest of their body is usually green with faint vertical banding.

5: Super Red Severum

The Super Red Severum is a relatively newer variant characterized by an intense, almost glowing red color. They are bred selectively for their color and, as a result, are less common and may be more expensive than other varieties.


From their vibrant colors to their intriguing behaviors, Severum Cichlids are an excellent choice for aquarists looking to add a touch of the Amazon to their homes. With the right environment, proper diet, and careful selection of tank mates, a Severum Cichlid can not only survive but thrive in your aquarium, offering years of beauty and enjoyment.

About the author

Ameer Hamza

Ameer Hamza is a well-versed content writer who has been a part of the writing industry for over 4 years and part of Talha Saif Enterprises as an Author for over a year. Through his love of writing, he has developed his own writing style. He enjoys writing articles and blog posts that provide readers with detailed and accurate information. The knowledge he gained from his education helped him tackle many different subjects without any problem. As an avid reader and technology geek, Ameer is always on the lookout for the latest innovations.