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FAQs on Severum Cichlids

Related Articles: Severums, Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Firemouths, Oscars, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in GeneralCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related FAQs: Severum Identification, Severum Behavior, Severum Compatibility, Severum Selection, Severum Systems, Severum Feeding, Severum Disease, Severum Reproduction, Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

Gold Severum, a xanthic variety (same species) of the "Green Severum".

Tank set up ? Learning to use WWM     7/17/11
Hello --
I have a 4ft Tank mature tank and would like to put the Severum Branded Chiclid
<... Banded... Heros severus?>
in. my question is---
What type of tank set up do they like--and should I buy pair at the same time
Thank You

Sick Gold Severum   3/19/06 I treated this Severum 5 weeks ago with furan 2 because he was hiding and not eating much and had red streaks on his tail fin, after 8 days he quit eating and I changed medication to Minocycline for 9 days. Some where in this time frame he developed a bump mid body a little on the left side the size of a quarter he had some trouble with balance but is still eating some every day. Yesterday his left fin was torn, he was holding it to his body most to the time. I put a little aquarium salt in and increased aeration. He still has  the red streaks on the tail fin, and his breathing is labored. There is only a clown loach and a little 2 inch Pleco in the tank. Possibly the loach was a little rough with his pectoral fin. The bump is the concern? < Your fish is being attack both externally and internally by bacteria. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. You probably have high nitrates too and that contributed to the problem. Cleaning the tank will help. Treat with Metronidazole for the internal infection and Kanamycin for the external infections. This will affect the biological filtration so watch for ammonia spike after treatment.-Chuck> Severum With Lump  3/20/06 My Severum has a quarter size bump on his left side, he developed it some time in the last  5 weeks. He was being treated for red streaks in his tail fin with Maracyn 2 for 7 days , he stopped eating so I switched him to furan 2 for 10 days. He has a little bit of buoyancy problems as the bump is out about a half inch. he is still eating , but his gills seem labored so I added a little salt and have been doing a lot of water changes. Should I medicate him again, and if so with what? < Sounds like an internal bacterial infection. Keep up with the water changes and treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck Crossing Green Severums  - 02/20/06 Can you tell me what fish would make good mates for a female green Severum to cross breed with? <Severums have already been crossed with a number of easy to breed central American cichlids like red devils and convicts. Try and get a male the same size or a little larger. My preference would be a nice male green Severum.-Chuck>

Gold Severum Not Eating    2/17/06 Hello, I have a large Golden Severum in a 55 gallon tank with a Smaller Green Severum and a few other fish, 5 other fish to be exact. My Golden has stopped eating and his fins are a bit clamped, but shows no other sign of stress. All the other fish are fine and seem to be getting along well. The only thing I did notice is that the Green Severums markings have become much more pronounced. This has been going on for about a week now, and I am becoming a bit worried about his health. Once again he does not look to be "sick" just not eating. One more thing, I have tested the water, and done a partial water change, but there doesn't seem to be any water quality problems. Thank you Guy Clemency < I think your gold Severum has been sick for a week and the smaller Severum is becoming more dominant as the larger one has become sicker. Not eating and clamped fins are not good. I would recommend isolating the fish in a hospital tank and treating with a combination of Metronidazole for internal infections, and Nitrofuranace for external infections. Follow the instructions on the packages.-Chuck>

Breeding Gold Severums   2/10/06 I have two golden Severum fish which for a while have been shifting sand and stones, cleaning a rock, and going through the motions of laying eggs but haven't as yet. They are kept in a 4 foot tank with 7 dwarf rainbow cichlids, a red tailed shark and one other algae eater. Any suggestions on what to do to get them breeding? < Feed them washed earthworms, brine shrimp, meal worms and king worms. Raise the water temp to 82 F and do a 50% water change once a week. If they are a pair then I would think that this would get them going in less than two weeks.-Chuck>

Looking For Severums   2/1/06 I was told by a fellow I had e-mailed to e-mail you regarding my quest. That is I have been looking for some Severums to fill my 80 gallon tank and to hopefully get some to pair off. Now to my dilemma. I am having some difficulty finding them or any for that matter. I live in central Oregon and the local pet stores don't know what I am asking for and the ones that do. Don't know where to get them, so I thought it would be best to look on line. I still can't find any. I find plenty of pictures and old, old letters of people from the United Kingdom selling them. Is there any place I can find them sold in the USA? Can I still find the small ones for fairly cheap? By cheap I mean $3-7 dollars a piece. If you can find the time to write me back and let me know I would be very grateful. Thank You, Eric Stafford in Oregon. < In Portland Oregon there is a place called the Cichlid Exchange run by a good friend named Steve Lundblad. Severums are not rare and I am sure he can help you out. Do a google search for the Cichlid exchange and contact him for these and other fish that would work well together.-Chuck>

Gold Severum With Mouth Problem.  - 1/30/2006 I have two gold 8" Severum fish in a 75 gallon aquarium. I have had them for a little over two years. One of them has developed a growth of some sort in its mouth. It protrudes from its top lip and looks like its gums or teeth or something. The growth is fleshy looking. I first noticed it about a week ago. I have seen this fish trying to spit it out by blowing air out its mouth. So far it has been able to eat around the growth, but today when I fed it, it could not get the food in its mouth. Now I am worried that it will starve to death. I don't know the sex of either one of them but they get along fine. I bought them both together from the same pet shop. Can you please tell me what this is and what I can do about it. I really love these fish. Thank you, Shirley Brand <Sometimes these big fish try to eat things that are not edible. Plastic plants, rocks pieces of wood etc.. I think it may have something stuck in its mouth that is causing an infection. Get a baking plan large enough to hold your fish. Get a large towel and fold it up so that it will lay  in the pan. Bail out some aquarium water and get the towel in the pan very wet. Catch the Severum with the problem and lay him on the towel. Wrap the fish up in the towel with just his head exposed. Now get a flashlight and look down the mouth to see it there are any obstructions. Use long tweezers to remove anything you see.  Put him back in the tank. If you didn't see anything then we can assume that he injured his mouth in a fight or trying to eat something. The injury might be infected so treat the fish with Nitrofuranace. Follow the instructions and watch for ammonia spikes in the tank because this medication will affect the bacteria needed for biological filtration.-Chuck>

Cichlids With new Owner And New Problems I just had another rescue project dumped on my hands: an old 55 gallon with over 16 cichlids in it. Two 6 inch green Severums, three 3 inch green Severums, about eight flag cichlids, some unIDed cichlids that remind me of earth eaters but aren't, and 3 un IDed Geophagus. But two of the smaller Sevs are sick. One is injured, both noggin and mouth (mouth doesn't seem to close right and is white) and the other has pop eye and mouth fungus. Currently in a hospital tank being treated with Furanace (following instructions on bottle), but your site says to use Epsom salt for the pop eye (I was looking at the parasite page). Is this the same stuff as under my parents counter in the bathroom? Magnesium sulphate plus seven waters? is this alright to use? I just want to make sure before I go putting these wonderful and gentle fish in danger. <Your South American Cichlid Tank probably was in desperate need of attention before you got it. A 55 gallon is too small for all of these fish. I suspect that the water quality was pretty poor and this definitely contributed to the problems you are now facing. Make sure you have a good filter that pumps at least 200 gph. Check the nitrates. Anything above 20 ppm will mean trouble soon. Nitrofuranace is good for external bacterial infections. Epsom salts help change the osmotic balance in the water and deter bacterial growth. I would also use Metronidazole for anaerobic bacteria that are causing the Popeye.-Chuck>

New Tank New Owner New Problem II Thanks chuck I will get something with Metronidazole in it either tonight or tomorrow, as soon as I can. Yes the tank was in horrid need of help when I got it, that's why I said it was a rescue project. He had a penguin 170 on her with even more fish than its got now (I just couldn't take all of them) It now has a magnum 350 (currently with micron cartridge) that has no BioWheels. But I also put a fully cultured penguin 330 that was running on my 80 just to keep the bacteria culture going. The nitrates dropped from some 25 ppm down to 12 over night. The fish are swimming around and look absolutely great (except for a cloudy eye here and there and plenty of fin rot. The tank was also completely coated in algae and after I moved it I spent hours cleaning it. I'm currently treating the main tank with rid ich for the cloudy eyes on one of the 6 inch green Severums. I have access to four or five 55 gallon tanks with biology teachers I trust at my high school and I can thin out the heard quite a bit after break ends and I get them in health. There was actually black mold on the light fixtures. Thanks for getting back to me, its always greatly appreciated. Mind if I include some pics? < Go ahead.> The tank in my house after being cleaned. The light bulbs are horribly dim, I'm getting new ones today. Its funny, he never had a good place for the flags to hide (there are 7 of them I believe, hard to count) so when I put that flower pot in there from one of my other tanks, they all crammed in there. The largest of the Severums. You can see the fin rot and cloudy eyes, not as bad as the pic makes the eyes look though. This was from yesterday, looks much much better today, and he's getting more friendly like the other Sevs are. The two sick Sevs in quarantine. I know I know, there's algae on the glass, but this is a really old tank and the scratches make it nearly impossible to get it off. The water quality is perfect, I promise. The water is yellow colored from the meds. The one in the front is the one with the bad lips. Can you see it? any suggestions? I don't think they are infected, perhaps injured? malformed? < Sorry, didn't get the photos. Sometimes injuries get infected and fungus. When this happens the tissue usually doesn't grow back.-Chuck>

New Tank New Owner New Problem III  & Sending Photos TO The Crew Thanks for getting back so soon. I had copy pasted the photos into the email, and I guess this didn't work. Is there a proper way to send them to you? < Try sending them as an attachment. Check the WWM homepage for tips on sending photos.> If I sent them even one as an attachment the file would be over 900 kb. Is this ok? < Not shrink it down. Check the website for size.> I figure I might as well learn how to send you pics so I can do it better next time. You guys always provide me with the best help. < We have nothing to sell but the truth.> <<Whoa! Scarce can I name salvation but fearful thunder echoes in mine ears... I don't use words/concepts I don't understand... RMF>> If this is the case with the Sev's mouth, should there be any measures taken? < Watch it closely to see if it starts to grow back. Redness means an infection. White stingy matter means its growing back.> It seems to have a little bit of a hard time eating, though it is eating plenty, picking at the decoration too. < This is a good sign.-Chuck>


Severum Cured From Popeye  - 1/6/06 Hey Chuck, remember that 3 inch green Severum with the eye problems in the tank full of cichlids that I rescued? Well its eye is almost completely clear and normal, except for one thing. Around the outer edge of the eyeball, there are swollen skin and white colored growths that make it almost as though the eye is riding on a pillow. Its impossible to get a good picture of this, and I don't know how to explain it any other way. I treated with Metronidazole and Rid Ich for almost a week now. The situation is much much better now than ever. But I am absolutely stumped as to what this is. Perhaps you know? <When a fish has Popeye, some of the connective tissue around the eye is stretched out. When the Popeye is cured and the pressure is released the eye falls back into place but the surrounding tissue may stay loose for awhile. Give it some time and I think it will go away on its own.-Chuck>

Too Much Of A Good Thing, Or Be Careful What You Wish For!  12/5/05 Hello, I wrote in July and announced the hatching of babies for my Severum couple. I have now had 2 batches and still have the nursery of fish in with the parents. I have relocated 75 babies and I am moving the others as possible. I have watched the babies for the last couple of months continuously swim behind the daddy fish. He positions himself nose down a lot of the time in the tank. He can and does swim correctly and eats very well but is noticeably vertical at times. What can this be? < The male is using his ventral fins to signal the fry.> Do you know a good way of getting homes for the approximately 150 other babies? Thanks for the help. Debbie < When the fry are about 1 1/2 inches long you can start to call pet shops and tropical fish stores in your area and see if you can sell or trade some of the fry. They may take some and you can make a couple of bucks out of the deal. Go Aquabid.com and see if you want to sell them over the internet. Their may be a local aquarium society in which you can place some of the fry up for auction at a meeting. Their is a national club called the American Cichlid Association that can be found at cichlid.org. They have a publication they put out called the Trading Post in which members can buy and sell fish. Lots of possibilities. Sometimes these big New World cichlids will produce thousands of fry and take care of a market for the entire country.-Chuck> 

Severums of a Different Color  9/17/05 Hi - quick question ~ is it normal for Green Severums to change colors.  Mine (Sam) has been changing from his normal color to yellow and then  back to his green! He has gotten a little aggressive too! He is alone in his  tank - we lost our Gold Severum (Charlie) during hurricane Ivan - it was a  very sad day. He is eating but just acting weird. Thanks for any ideas! <As cichlids grow and mature they change from their juvenile stripped pattern to adult coloration. As adults they are more inclined to stake out a territory and display to others that they are not wanted. This display would include color changes, flared fins and gill covers.-Chuck.> Severum with Eating Disorder  8/30/05 Hi guys, I'd really appreciate some opinions here. I have a 6" male green Severum (appendiculatus) that has a slightly inflamed/swollen anus. I've had him almost 2 years in a 75 with 3 other similar sized cichlids (gold sev, blood parrot, Paratilapia small spot). My water parameters are stable, ph out of the tap at 7.4 and no trace of amm/nitrite (the tank is well filtered with 2 Fluval 404's and a couple FBFs, plus a powerhead w/ filter). The Severum is acting healthy in every way, except he seems to periodically go through bouts of what I would liken to trying to clear his throat which can last a couple of minutes. I thought he might have had a blockage and actually netted him a few months back with tweezers ready, but upon shining a light down his throat I couldn't see anything odd. So basically he is just as hungry and active, but has a puffy anus and this periodic coughing thing. His feces appear not to have changed, but they will sometimes take longer for him to pass like he might be constipated. All the other fish are fine. I feed twice per day. The green Severum gets a 1cm cube of dried Tubifex worms in the morning, and 1-2 Hikari gold pellets at night. I also feed thawed uncooked shrimp once per week, and some worms from my worm farm once per week. I feed parboiled lettuce 1-2 month. Please let me know what you think the problem might be, whether it could be diet related (should I pre-soak the pellets?) or if there's a bacterial problem. I haven't seen any small red worms around the anus, so I don't think it's Camallanus. I have tried feeding Spirulina based pellets to try and get him more greens, but he didn't like them. He also isn't really interested in the vegetables I've tried (spinach, peas, zucchini). Lettuce is the only thing he'll go for, and even then not very enthusiastically. < When your fish was young it required more protein. Now that it is older it doesn't need as much protein and actually requires more fiber (vegetable matter) in its diet. The prolapsed anus can be taken care of with smaller feedings and switching the diet to something with more vegetable matter. The throat thing is the pharyngeal jaws chewing hard foods such as shrimp exoskeleton and hard pellets. Smaller pellets or prehydrating them may help, it is worth a try.-Chuck> Anyway, I really appreciate your help. This fish is virtually perfect, and I'd hate to lose him. Please let me know if you need more info. Thank you for your time, Corey Cormier Gold Severums Losing Their Luster  8/30/05 Hi there team, Just a little query. I have two golden Severums (juveniles at about 2 inches) currently living quite happily in a community tank. However they are losing there colour and one has a very definite vertical banding forming along it's flank, such as is typical in many cichlids. The other fish lacks this banding, but is a little greyer than normal. Amongst their tank mates are a pair of juvenile Firemouths (of a similar size and age). Is it bound the realms of possibility that the presence of the Firemouths is effecting the colouration of the golden Severums? Or is there another reason? I checked back at the shop I purchased them from and the others from the same batch are maintaining their colour. BTW my water is PH 7, Ammo 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 10ppm and has been stable for a long time.(50 gallon tank with filtration system capable of handling almost double this) The only of event of consequence was an outbreak of whitespot about a month ago when new stock became ill (the fish at the shop also became ill at the same time and they white spot had been brought in from the shop. This has been treated and no whitespot has been evident for 3 weeks. Thanks for your thoughts, John Read < Check the diet and lighting. Good food like Spectrum will bring their colors to their fullest. Cheap poor quality food gives you cheap looking fish. Lighting makes a big difference. Go back to the shop and see what lights they are using. Typical shop lights from the hardware store don't do anything for a fishes color. Try ZooMed FloraSun bulbs. Genetics play a part in it too. To look their best they need to be the dominant fish in the tank. -Chuck>

Spawning Severums 7/28/05 Hello, I finally have babies.  A long story and I won't bore  you with my experiences, but it has been  a very delight to come home and  watch the parenting of the parent fish.  Now, my question:  I have  read all emails that you have posted and will remove the babies in a week as you  suggested.  How often do the parents spawn? < Depends on the conditions and somewhat up to the particular pair. If the eggs are eaten right away then they will usually spawn in a couple of weeks. If they are left with the fry then usually the fry hang around for a week or so then they may be eaten and the pair will spawn again within ten days or so depending on the water temp and the condition of the pair.> It was 14 days to the  date from the first batch of eggs that were not successful to the new parents to  this second batch.  Will they spawn every 2 week all year long? < After the third spawn sometimes the female needs a break . The male may kill her if she is not ready and willing.> I am  in the process in setting up a new tank for 2 of the first babies and a tank for  the bulk of the other babies.   Thank you for this information.  I have fish stores in my  hometown but they had not had a personal experience with Severum babies.  I  have learned a lot from you and the readers and would love to share my  experiences with anyone with limited questions.  Thanks  again. Debbie < Good luck with the fry.-Chuck> Sick Severum My female, 3 year old Severum has lost a lot of her color and has red streaks in the bottom fins, lethargic and reduced appetite for about 4 days now.  Tried the water change, she's also lost her male companion in the past month.  Which direction should I go with this? <Check the ammonia and nitrites. both should be zero. Check the nitrates. It should be below 25 ppm. If needed do another water change to get the nitrates down. Vacum the gravel too. The mum that has accumulated contributes to the excessive nitrates. Clean the filter. Now that the tank is clean if she still has a problem then the red streaks are usually caused by a bacterial infection and can be treated with Nitrofuranace. Follow the directions on the package.-Chuck> Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 ga tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. < The eggs should hatch in three days. The whitish color is an indication that the eggs may have all died. If they hatch the fry should be free swimming in about three days. At that time they should be fed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. They should be removed from the parents into their own tank in about a week. The parents will spawn again within a couple of weeks.-Chuck> JohnB

Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! Bob's go After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 ga tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. <Neat!> Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. <Ohhh... fungused> My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. <Mmm, maybe... not... could be you have two females... or even that the male is sterile or did not participate> I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? <Not too abnormal... but... trouble for you and them being in this small a container... need at least a forty, better a sixty gallon tank or larger... too stressful, problems if one beats the other...> Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? <They won't... they're not viable...> Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. JohnB <John... you need more information than can be gleaned from simply asking here... do read through what little we have on all cichlids posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm and consider getting a good book or two on cichlid husbandry... you can search these on Amazon, Barnes and Noble... Bob Fenner>

Worried about gold Severum     I have a large gold Severum in a 45 gallon tank and the last couple of days it is sitting on the bottom of the tank. It comes up to eat and then goes back to the same spot on the bottom of the tank. Sometimes through the day it will cruise around the tank for a short period of time but then goes back to the same spot and just sits there. It does not look discolored or swelled any place. It just acts like it is having a hard time staying up. What do you think might be the cause of this and what should I try in order to help it. The day before all this started I had a Bala shark in with it and the Bala took a fit or something and banged against the top and sides of the tank a couple of times then died. I wonder if the Bala may have hit the gold Severum and hurt it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. < Sounds like an internal infection that has affected the swim bladder. Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Try treating with Metronidazole. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees. Try some live chopped earthworms too just to get him moving.-Chuck> Rhonda

Re: worried about gold Severum Hello again, I hate to bother you again, but my local pet shop is of no help with this problem.  How long should I treat my tank for the internal infection. I did the water change and went and got the Metronidazole I treated the tank and 24 hrs I treated the tank again. It has now been another 24 hrs and there is very little change in my gold Severum she is only slightly better.  I was also wondering how to tell the difference between a male and female gold Severum.  Thank you so much for any help you can give me. < These internal infections are somewhat tricky and a full recovery is not always achieved. If the bacteria have been cured then the damage they have done may take some time to recover and heal. Continue to provide clean warm water and quality food and some time to see if it was caught in time. Males are typically larger with more pointed fins.-Chuck> Rhonda

Sick Fish ( HELP) Hello,  Where to start?   I have two 55gallon aquariums stacked on one another, with a bio filter and pump system underneath , its a freshwater setup that's been in place for the past 5 years . I've had aquariums for about 15 years are so.  My problem is I purchased new fish and made the mistake of not quarantining them first, Stupid I Know!   I had to go out of town on business and left someone to take care of my fish while I was gone, when I returned 4 days later not only do I have ick on my 8" Severums which I have raised from nickel size, but also have a ex-large Solid Black angel that appears to have cotton fungus.   All the sick looking fish seemed to be in the lower tank, which I realize the temp to be a little cooler, a degree or two but still at 76-78.  Note I had just did a water change prior to addition of new fish.  Water checks out fine!   I purchased Wardley's WaterCare Ick Away ,   added to both tanks top and bottom as recommended , water turned blue for a short period of time then cleared up I'm guessing maybe cause of the Bio system?   The second day a repeated the dosage according to instructions.  On the third day I noticed a real serious problem on all fish in the lower tank . (Fin rot ). Side fins , and tails.   I  have now did a 25% water change and added  MelaFix to try and help the fins. I've since lost a half dozen smaller fish in the top tank, probably from meds I NO.  I'm really trying to save my fish can you help?  The Severums are still eating well but lying a lot on the bottom of the tank, still showing signs of ick, but not as bad as it seems to be cycling out . Is it possible that the ingredients in Wardley Ick Away caused damage to the fins of the fish?          Do you think an overdose would have caused this ? What do you recommend ?       The Ex-large Angel doesn't eat, closed fins ,   The Severums both Green and Gold , still have signs of ick, plus now have serious damage to there fins but or still eating well.     Thanks for your time, hope to here from you SOON. < A couple of things are going on. First of all you need to do a 30% water change on the systems by vacuuming the gravel in each tank. This will remove the crud in the gravel and help reduce the nitrates. Clean the filter. This will also help reduce the nitrates. Remove any carbon and treat the system with Kordon's rid-ich to get rid of the ich and Nitrofuranace to get rid of the bacterial infections. Raise the water temp to 80 degrees F to help get rid of the ich. Do not feed the fish for a few days. I suspect that when you went away your well meaning friend overfed your fish tipping the aquariums sensitive balance over the edge. The ammonia levels went through the roof and your fish got stressed and sick. Treating a dirty tank is an up hill battle. Organics in the water absorbs much of the medication so a clean tank is much more effective. When you treated the tank for ich the medication may have killed or at least affected the good bacteria in your filter system so watch and test for ammonia and nitrite spikes while treating this time. I would do daily water changes until the fish show signs of getting better.-Chuck>                                   Robert

Hole in Severum hello please bear with me as I ask this question as I am new to this ok I have a 55 gallon tank with a Severum in it that looks like an Oscar I have a smaller version of him as well and two cat fish ones a shark like and the other looks black velvet and one jaguar cichlid now they have been awesome since January recently like oh maybe month or 6 weeks ago I added the jaguar now my problem my bigger Severum has these little holes that look like pinholes behind his right eye and on the left eye tonight I noticed a larger hole behind it the one behind the left eye is probably 7 mm in diameter and the ones behind the right eye are problem 1-2 mm and there's like 5-6 of them in a row like someone poked him with  a safety pin now he's my baby and I'm new to the whole fish tank thing (I'm 34) love the aquarium its my little place to watch another world and so far so good till this can you please advise me on what this may be the only thing new to my tank in the past 6-8 months are 2 things one the new jaguar who is maybe 3 inches and my BioWheel has kind of stopped spinning but I mess with it so it runs probably 12 of the 24 hours a day still filters water it just the wheel that doesn't turn I feed the fish the normal medium sized pellet food and also treat them to frozen brine shrimp 3-6 times a week and also add feeder fish regularly and they eat em up so please help and I hope I gave enough info look forward to your response soon before anything goes awry thanks Dan <Do a 30% water change and clean the filter. Take it all apart and rinse everything off very thoroughly and reassemble it. It should be working fine with the wheel continuously turning. Vacuum the gravel when you do your water change to remove all the stuff that has accumulated there. The hole-in-the head disease your fish has does not have a specific cure. There are many medications that say they cure it but none so far have been found to be guaranteed. This condition is associated with poor water quality or a vitamin deficiency. Regular weekly maintenance and a varied diet should help. Try some washed earthworms instead of the feeder goldfish.-Chuck> Dan Gies

Holes in Severum head I have a Green Severum and it has very small holes around its eyes and face that just showed up what are they and what should I do? < Do a 30% water change , service the filter and vacuum the gravel. Change the diet and include some live food like washed earthworms. Make sure your fish food has not gone stale and lost some of its vitamins.-Chuck>

Green Severum in the Land of the Long White Cloud Hi Bob Can you please email me back a reply as no one in New Zealand can help me and I'm worried. Recently I purchased a green Severum about 5cm in length. Let him settle in and them purchased another 4 yellows which were 4cm in length - waited for them to pair off and then sold the non paired ones back to the fish shop. I have attached a picture of the yellow one below - sorry about the picture quality its a large beveled tank so its was hard to get a good shot - also its sunset so the sunset was bouncing onto the back of the aquarium - my waters not actually that colour :) My problem is that the little yellow Severum is now hanging around the back of the filter and will only move down the tank or explore very partially when the lights are off. I realize that it will take her along time to get used to this environment especially as they all had a disruptive time before the pairing - but she hangs with her head down never up like normal Severums - also the other fish which is only slightly larges flares at her - swims up changes colour drastically - stripes appear he shimmies in front of her then pecks at her face and chest.  She does not seem to swim away instead she just floats up and goes limp till he's finished and then goes on with hanging behind the filter. Also with them both been juvies she had like grey speckles over her body like she rolled on a pencil lead - this seems to have spread quite considerably and now the grey is almost covering her body. Her eyes are bright - finnage is growing back after the disruption and she's eating well feeding bloodworm, krill, whole shrimp, brine shrimp and peas. ( don't forget the algae tabs that they steal from the red spotted pale. ) Ammonia is 0ppm Nitrate 0ppm Nitrite 0ppm ph 6.8 KH 9dkh Temp 78-79 44 gallons. Filter that cycles the tank 4.5 times and hour. Is this fish sick? or is it just a juvie and is still growing and discovering its colours? the others in the tank had varying degrees of the grey colouration also - but they seem to have grown out of it - where as she's growing into it - Pet shop has not treated them for anything and the Pet shop guy says its just the way that they look. Fish is active at night she's looking at me now and eating the peas but if I turn the light on back behind the filter. Is the male fish going to be ok with her am I right this is a breeding pair right? So many questions Please help as I said no one in NZ knows!!! < These color forms are not normally found in nature. Depending on the original source I have seen all kinds of genetic variations form all orange to lemon yellow with all kinds of dots and markings. It does not appear that your fish is sick. Just a little reluctant to join the others for now. They will probably change as he grows older.-Chuck> Thanks Stephanie

Gold Severums & German Red Peacock I am so glad I finally found a web-site that really has answers and detailed stuff about breeding, good job. I have a pair of 3 yr old Gold Severums (6-8 inches long) that are developing black lines across their bodies and black marks like fin rot on their dorsal and abdominal fins and tail. I have them in a 29 gal. tank sharing with a 7 inch Bala Shark and a Malaysian snail (3in diameter) which do not appear to be ill and an onion plant and seem to all get along well. There is no under water gravel filter, I use a bio-wheel penguin 170 filter with carbon and the tank temperature is set at 75F. I don't allow the Nitrite levels to get passed 0.25ppm or the ammonia to reach 0.5-1.0 because I have a frequent water change out (and I scrub the walls and gravel) regiment of 1/3 tank every week or two depending on the test levels. There are two clay pots in the tank that have been there for months that are now developing a light fuzzy surface. Is this fungus? < Could be but more likely a film of organics precipitating on the flower pots.> Could you help me diagnose what is happening to these fish and recommend a treatment. < Check the nitrate levels before you do a water change. You have large fish in a relatively small aquarium and I assume that the nitrate levels may be exceeding 25 ppm. This would lead to some bacteria to start attacking the fishes fins. Vacuum the gravel on the next water change. You may need to change more water or more often to keep the nitrates down. Treat the fish with Nitrofuranace for the fin/tail rot. Watch for ammonia spikes because some medications affect the good bacteria that break down the fishes waste.> I have several other tanks. In a 15 gal tank I have 4 German Red Peacock, 3 females and 1 male and average 2-4 inches in length. The tank is setup with an under gravel filter that has been disconnected so I can breed them, I run a whisper 20-40 filter with carbon and have the inlet wrapped with a fine mesh screen to prevent fry from being sucked in. I have two lava rocks with plenty of nooks for them to use. I have regular water change outs and never let the nitrite and ammonia levels rise above what's expected for the fish's environment. After reading some of your articles I have since raised the tank temperature to 80F. Since I have never bred German Red Peacocks before I have several questions. Since these peacocks are mouthbrooders and it appears that one female has eggs in its mouth (first time spawn 1 week ago), does it mean that the eggs are already fertilized? < Yes the eggs are almost fertilized the minute that they are laid.> How long will she have the eggs in her mouth? < At 80 degrees F the eggs will take three days to hatch and another three days for the fry to absorb their egg sacs.> Will she be picked on by other tank mates? < The male will usually leave a holding female alone but the other females may harass her in an attempt to get her to spit out the fry.> Will I need to separate her into another tank? < There are two ways to go. After a week you could strip the fry from the female and return her to the main tank while rearing the fry in a separate tank, or you could put her in a separate tank and she will release the fry into the tank when she is ready.> Will she eat during this period? < She may try and eat after a few days, even while holding fry.> How long until the fry hatch? < About three days.> Should I remove the fry into their own tank? < If you don't then they will be eaten.-Chuck> Any suggestions and or recommendations is greatly appreciated. JohnB

Gold Severum Hi, I have a Gold Severum that is a part of a community tank from work. He's gotten along well w/ the others ( large angel, a Gourami a large Pleco and some neon's) but as he has grown he's gotten to be quite a pig. He's not quite a full-on bully, but he does chase the angel and the Gourami away from the food at the feeding time to have more for himself. Recently, I had to prepare the office for a hurricane and I ended up just catching the fish and brining them home to my tank which only had a catfish. The Severum would take the pleco's algae tablet away from him and try to eat it himself. No matter what strategy I tried, I could not get the Pleco to stick w/ it. The weather has cleared up and the fish made it bag to work, but I kept the Severum here in my tank since he was keeping nearly everyone from eating. Now, he's all bummed out and stays near the bottom nearly motionless. I don't think I am going to put him back w/ the others because there are just too many instances when pigs all the food and the tank is some distance from my office. I would like to get a female Severum and see if I can breed them and to see if this will perk him up. Any other ideas of how to perk him up. He's definitely NOT sick! < Sometimes South American fish act very lethargic when things have been moved around and they are not quite sure what to do. So they just sit for awhile. Uarus and discus are like this too. Try and get his attention with some washed earthworms. You could always try putting a mirror next to him and see if his reflection perks him up. A mate might be just the trick to get him up and going but pairing adult fish can be somewhat tricky. If the female is not ready to mate the male may kill her. If you really want to try the place the pair side by side in two different aquariums where they can see each other. If the female begins to fatten up and you see some displaying between the two then you can try to put the male in the females tank. Stay with them for some time because things could turn tragic very suddenly. IF they are compatible then you should see a spawning within a week.-Chuck> Thanks! D

Gold Severum question Hey there;     I've got a 55 gallon established tank, with lots of different tetras, two rainbowfish, a Gourami and a platy. Recently, we added five fish, one being a gold Severum -- I didn't realize it was a cichlid. A few days later, we lost an otherwise healthy platy. The next day, one of our blue skirt tetras was missing half his tail. While I haven't seen the Severum going at the other fish, is he probably the culprit? He doesn't seem overly aggressive, but I don't want to lose any more fish. My local fish store know about as much as I do (not a ton!), and they aren't a whole lot of help. Thanks. Thanks, Casey ***Hey Casey, How large is this Severum? I have to say that in my experience with this fish, they are far from aggressive in most situations. Males will chase other males, but often leave other fish alone. However, there are exceptions and this doesn't mean he's not the cause of your particular problem. The best advice I can give you right now is just keep an eye on him, since you didn't tell me what the other five fish were! :) Could it be one of them? Severums are pretty sedate as far as cichlids go, and they're not fast swimmers so chasing another fish down isn't their specialty. You should keep in mind though, that they do get large, big enough to eat a neon. I would consider a 90 gallon tank the minimum size for this fish long term. Cheers Jim*** Beginner Severum Owner Wet Web Media Staff, I am thinking of owning two Severums, but I do not want them to mate. Will they become aggressive if I have two males or females? < Two females would be best.> If they do, will the eggs just die if I leave them alone? < Two females may produce infertile eggs and these will die or get eaten in a couple of days.> Also, I want to know how big a tank I need for them. PETCO said that when they were adults, I only needed a 50 gallon tank or so to fit both of them. Do you think that this is enough? < A 50 gallon is probably all right. They will get up to 10 inches or so but it will take awhile.> I don't have a lot of money for an extremely large tank, but I do want them to have a tank that is a little larger than what they need to swim around in. I'm sorry that I asked you all these questions, but I can't seem to find a lot of information of them on the internet. I hope that you can help me! < No problem , write us any time.-Chuck> Thanks, Stephanie Gold Severum- Clear Bubble near Anus I would very much appreciate your feed back on the problem I'm having with one of my Gold Severums.  Severum is about 7-8 years old, avg size, think its a male but not sure and I just noticed the last couple of days that there is some kind of clear/cloudy bubble growth, size of a dime in diameter near his anus or it might be coming from his anus.  It is bloody looking inside looking like a embryo kinda I guess. I'm really not sure if its some kind of cyst, tumor, etc..... < Your fish have developed an internal bacterial infection. An ulcer may have developed in the fishes intestine an allowed the bacteria normally found in the gut to escape outside the gut and start to feed on the fish itself. As the bacteria grow and multiply they begin to produce gas and cause the intestines of the fish to expand beyond the fishes body cavity.> Usually I've tried calling a few places here in town (KS) and nobody really knows. < This condition is fairly rare so it is not unusual that the stores have not encountered this before, but it does happen occasionally in older fish.> This is really upsetting to me since I've had my fish  quite some time. (2-Gold Severums, 2-Convicts).  I have transferred him to another tank for which the other Severum was bothering, chasing, swimming next to him, not really attacking in a way but I thought it would help him with his problem, not being bothered... PLEASE HELP ME!!!! I APPRECIATE YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE AND RECOMMENDATIONS. < Isolating the fish is a good idea. Treat for fungal infections. The extended intestine is damaged and begin to look fuzzy . This is a fungal infection and needs to be treated or it will never heal. Treat the internal problem with a medicated food with Metronidazole. Follow the directions as recommended. If the fish is not eating the you could try a Furanace type of antibiotic. Change the water often. If the antibiotics work then the bacteria will die off and the intestine may go back inside if it has not been damaged by the fungus. Saving this fish is a long shot, but I can tell by your writing that you have developed a attachment to your fish and really want to save it. Good luck -Chuck> TODD (KS)

Gold Severum Health My golden Severum is about 3 years old and has been very healthy and active. The last few day he has been on the bottom of the tank and will not eat. <Have you changed anything recently on the tank, or even in his diet? Some fish become a bit "moody" when there are changes in their environment.> He looks fine but very weak. <If there is no physical damage, noticeable skin discoloration or bacteria infection, then I wouldn't be getting extremely worried yet.  Check you parameters of your tank, also check the temperature.  Our Severum would become less active during the cooler months, when the rest of the tank seemed to not even notice.  I would think about setting up a quarantine tank in case it does get worse you can separate it and medicate accordingly.  Rather than medicating your larger display tank. This is a good practice to hold to, not to mention the smaller the tank the less medication needed.> There are also 2 blood parrots in the tank that are fine. Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Don <Monitor him carefully in the next 2 days, if there it does get worse I would definitely separate him and think about adding a broad based medicine like Maracide (Mardel Inc.)  Good luck and hope the fish gets better. -Magnus>

Gold Severum reproduction <Hi, Pufferpunk here> My two Gold Severums have laid eggs twice in the last 2 weeks and continue to eat the eggs. Is this normal?   <A lot of fish will eat their own eggs> I have tried separating them and the eggs don't hatch.  Should I be doing something else?? <I have either hung a breeder net across from the filter stream & raised the babies in there, or put the eggs in another tank. If you move them, you will need to cover the intake of the filter w/a sponge or use a sponge filter.  You may need to dose the tank with 1/2 dose Methylene blue, to prevent fungussing of the eggs.> <Good luck--Pufferpunk>

Egg Eaters My breeding pair of Severums keeps eating the eggs. What can I do to prevent this? They reside in a 75 gallon tank with a 5 inch Pleco. <Any other tankmates, or is that it?> They are not very aggressive after they lay the eggs like most other Severums I've seen. Anyway, what can I do to get these eggs to hatch? <I read an account where someone had a breeding pair of angels that ate batch after batch of eggs, and instead of raising the fry himself, he put an African butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) in the tank with them to see if that would elicit defensive behavior from the angels (I believe his reasoning behind using this species was that they really pose no threat to eggs, as they only eat live fish or insects that find their way to the surface of the water).  If you try something like this, be sure to use a fish that poses no threat to the eggs, will keep its distance from the angels, and can be easily removed once the eggs hatch - and even still, there's no guarantee whatsoever that it will work, but it might be worth a try.  You can always remove the eggs once the parents are through laying and hatching/raising them yourself.  Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina>

Patchy Severum I have a green Severum that has loss of color on his underside and fins in a patchy pattern.  I thought that it might be leeches so I treated them for that but the patches are still there and their not fuzzy or like cotton. <Though it is possible that these patches were caused by leeches, leeches are pretty uncommon in aquaria.  Marks that they would leave would be reddish and inflamed, and pretty uniform in size.  What did you try treating with?> The patches seem to be in different places at different times.  I would appreciate some advice if you have some.   <The first thing to do is test your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH; loss of color is often a sign of stress, which usually comes back to water quality issues.  There are also quite a number of illnesses that cause a loss of coloration or a patchy appearance, including some protozoan parasites and many bacterial infections; more information is needed to help with a diagnosis.  Are the fish's fins clamped?  Breathing hard?  Any other visible signs of illness?  Are the patchy spots sort of "flaky" or "peeling" in appearance?  Are the marks uniform in size/shape?  How long has the fish been sick?  What other fish are in the tank with it?  How big is the tank?  And again, test your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, let us know those values.  I know it's an awful lot of questions, but it'll help us figure out what is wrong with your fish and help you decide on a treatment.> I have been working on water changes for the past 2 weeks. <Good to hear - water changes never hurt, and almost always help.  Hope we can help you get this figured out.  -Sabrina> Thanks DEE

Severums with HLLE? I have a gold and green Severum and I notice they are slowly developing more holes (pit-like) around their head regions. <Sounds like hole-in-the-head/HLLE (Head and Lateral Line Erosion).> I treated them with fungus and parasite tablets as well as Maracyn-two but no improvement.   <This condition is usually brought on by either poor water quality or improper nutrition; can you tell us more about your tank?  What are your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels?  What other fish are in there?  How large is the tank?  How often/how much do you change water?  Do you vacuum the gravel?  What do you feed?  Lots of questions, I know, but it'll help us help you if we know more about your system.> However, the other fish in the tank appear fine.  Is there something I can do to treat the Severums? <Not treat, really, but improving the water quality will hopefully halt the pitting.  Maintain excellent water quality and feed with a good, varied diet, and you might possibly see some improvement.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Severum Eggs Hi this is Valerie. I have two gold Severums and yesterday morning I found eggs on the wall of my aquarium. Well I bought a screen so that none of the other could get to them. Well I'm just wondering, how long does it take for Severum eggs to hatch? <Hi Valerie, the eggs should hatch within 3-5 days.  I do not know if I would use the screen to separate the parents from the eggs, Severums are delayed mouth brooders, and make pretty good parents.  A quick search on Google.com for Heros severus breeding should lead you to a wealth of information.  There is also a good article at the link below.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/severums.htm  > Thank You, Valerie

Hello I have a bully, (Neotropical Cichlid) I have recently bought two golden Severums one of which bullies the other. However no damage is caused to the bullied fish, but it is in fear. I have isolated the bully fish I was wondering if you knew of a way of getting the  bully out of it. Also there has been damage to a few of my other fish which seems to happen during the night. I have two catfish which come out at night, Doradids, I was wondering whether these or the golden Severums were to blame for it. Thanks a lot <If there was no damage before, and you recently added the Severums, I would guess it was the Severums, or the tank is getting too crowded and some one is getting upset.  What size tank are we dealing with, and what are the other inhabitants?  Bullying in a new tank is not uncommon among cichlids, they need to establish territory and dominance. -Gage>

Ich? I had a problem with my heater in my small 29 gal tank. The water dropped from 82-84o to 70o. It has a Severum and some angel fish. <Both will need a larger tank.  Severums may also get too aggressive for the angels.> I noticed my Severum scratching on things and making sores on himself.  I did a 50% water change and he seemed better the very next day and the angels were more lively.  A few days later I noticed some small white spots on the fins of my angels.  The Severum shows no signs and his wounds are healing.  I have been treating for two day for ich.  I understand from what I have read that it could take up to two weeks or more of treating.  I am still not positive that ich is what I am dealing with.  ADVICE PLEASE!!! Carrie <Sure sounds like Ich.  Ich can be brought on by sudden temperature swings.  I would continue to medicate, following the instructions on the bottle, and check out the link below for more information on Ich.  Best of luck, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fw3setsdisfaqs.htm

Breeding Severums (02/25/03) I'm going to sound like a COMPLETE ignoramus here, but oh well. <Ananda here, and believe me, I have done the same thing....> I have 2 Severums in my community tank.  I am interested in breeding Severums, but have NO idea how to determine the sex of them!  I have read descriptions that say things like "the male has pointier fins", but I have been unable to see actual side-by-side pictures showing the differences, which makes the descriptions useless.   <I didn't find any side-by-side photos, either, and read that one of the few ways you can be certain of the gender of the fish is to examine their genital papillae. The text didn't specify what to look for, but I suspect the male's will be more pointed and the female's ovipositor will be rounded. (The other way to be certain which is which is to catch them spawning!) A female Severum may have a dark spot on the dorsal fin, while males may have reddish-brown spots and worm-like markings on the head. > They are about 3-1/2 to 4" long, one green & one gold.  Any help you can give would be VERY appreciated! <I've read that these fish do not pair bond particularly easily. I would suggest a large tank, excellent food, and several fish. If you have one male and a harem of females, you may get a pair to spawn. As for *finding* that male, you might need to go to a local fish store with a fair number of these fish in one tank and just stare at the fish for a while, or look for a cichlid club and ask its members for help.> Thanks, Raven <You're welcome. --Ananda>

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