The Red Severum is a species known only from parts of the Amazon basin near to Iquitos, northern Peru. Here, it inhabits the slow-moving parts of rivers that are thick with marginal vegetation and submerged tree roots. The aquarium should be spacious, with a soft sand substrate and plenty of hiding places/visual barriers created using driftwood, rocky caves, and robust planting such as Java Fern or Anubias sp. tied to the decor. Filtration should be efficient but water movement not too vigorous, and small frequent water changes will help keep nitrates to a minimum. Red Severums are fairly easy-going for a cichlid of this size, and as such can be kept alongside other fish of similar size and temperament. They may be maintained in pairs or good-sized groups, but should a pair choose to spawn in a community setting, they will become much more aggressive towards the other fish. However, this should not present too much of a problem in very spacious aquaria. After a time, these fish learn to ‘recognise’ their owner and often come to the glass to greet them or wait for food.
They are omnivorous and will accept most aquarium foods offered. Try to keep it varied with good quality carnivore and herbivore flakes, sinking pellets/sticks, and a mixture of frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, Mysis, krill, and chopped prawns, along with some fresh vegetable matter. They will avidly consume soft-leaved plants so there should be avoided in the aquarium.
- Species – Heros efasciatus Severus
- Common Name – Red Severum
- Origin – South America; Amazon basin near to Iquitos, northern Peru.
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6 – 7
- Temperature – Tropical 24–28°c
- Breed Type – Egg layer
- Maximum Size – approximately 20cm
- Sex – Un-sexed