Severums I      

The Poor Man's Discus -- Cichlasoma severum        

 

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LA
"collorée et trés robuste ... poisson calme."  About eight inch severums.

LA Pix
Mature adult severums sport the most colors -- particularly on their faces
 

LA Pix.  
Even at two inches these little rascals sport some very attractive colors when fed well.


Description.  As their French web site said, “colorful and very robust, a calm fish.”  We also have to add that they grow into pets that rush to the front when you approach their tank.  Recognition?  Hunger?  Positive reinforcement?  Could be all three.  Anyway, severums come right out and wag their tails when they see you coming.  New severums hang back a bit at first.  Observe in the last pics and the next pics  how they keep a “heads up” attitude most of the time.

LA Pic
Male severums display more color than the females.  Their eyes get redder with age.

LA Pic
Totally unconditioned male severum.  More bars on this strain.  Looking up and beat up.

LA Pic
Female severums usually look better than this gal.  She's 4-inches and really beat up.

LA Pic
However, she looks pretty good to this over-amorous male convict.

Richard Paone, Carlisle, PA, August 29, 2007
There are two pictures of fish in severums I that are actually convicts.

A:  Do you mean this one?

LA Pic
Female severums usually look better than this gal.  She's 4-inches and really beat up.

I still think she's a severum.  Possibly not?   LA

Richard Paone, Carlisle, PA, August 29, 2007
No, that's definitely a male convict. Male sevs have dots and worm like markings around the jaw.

A:  I wish I still had her/him so I could see her in real life again.  You could be right, so I'll add your comments to my Severum page.  LA

Richard Paone, Carlisle, PA, August 29, 2007I forgot we were talking about female severums.  Here is a picture of a lovely young lady.

RP

A:  Okay.  I'll add your pic also.  LA

 

Colors.  As a male matures (or he enters into a breeding phase), his bars will darken, his fins will color up, and the traces of blue worms on his face will grow and intensify.  His colors will vary from time to time.  Diet greatly affects his colors as well as the presence of a nubile female.  Females become colorful but never as colorful as the males.  Males also grow longer fins and larger bodies -- just like most South American cichlids.

LA Pic
Notice how they usually look up -- like festivums.

LA Pic
Same severums as above after a 90% water change so their water's clear.

Diet.  Omnivores as the French say.  They (the severums, not the French) greedily eat flakes and pellets.  Severums will fight over green peas.  They love frozen foods.  And theyll wiggle their butts off for live foods.  One report said adding crickets to their menu triggered spawnings.  We never tried it, but keep in mind that you can get crickets in a can these days.  Green foods (with spirulina) help intensify their colors (blacks, blues, greens).  Brine shrimp, plankton, and krill bring out their reds.  Severums are not picky eaters.

LA Pic
At under three inches, this little severum has as much color as the earlier four inchers.

LA Pix
Even the little 1.25" severums look up most of the time.

LA Pic
1.5-inch golds starting to color

LA Pic
Ditto in the greens.

Young Severums.  At one-inch long, little severums look like discus -- normal discus, not those hormonized glowing discus.  But at one-fifth the price, you can easily tell which ones most people buy.  

LA Pic
This severum ignores the baby kribensis (one of fifty) right above his forehead.

Plant Eaters.  In additon to flakes and pellets, severums love live plants.  At the very least, these scaly salad shooters will shred your shrubbery.  Some they eat.  All others they rip to pieces.  So decorate with plastic plants and give them an occasional bunch of affordable anacharis.

LA Pic
Gold severums belong to the same species.  Crossing the colors yields all greens.

LA Pic
Lots of color variation within the golds also.

Water.  Unlike discus, severums do great in any type of water as long as you keep it moderately clean.  pH and hardness affect them very little.   However, these big eaters need frequent water changes.  Keeping driftwood in their tank releases tannic and humic acids into the water (as well as brown coloration) and probably makes them feel more at home.  (Note the color of the water in the juvie pix shown above this guy).

LA Pic
Not all severum males achieve bright colors as Casanova here illustrates.

LA Pic
This guy needs a female severum to turn on his colors.

LA Pix
These two severums were put together two hours ago in a 55.  Love at first bite.

 

LA Pix
Our two new (much younger) severum stars.


While our severum stars lock lips, the blue gourami dither fish looks on.

Breeding.  Lip-locking and tail-slapping (typical cichlid pairing egg behaviors) precede their actual spawning.  Severums like round or flat rocks to spawn on as opposed to digging pits in the gravel.  Give them some hefty rocks or some chunks of wood to spawn on.

LA Pic
Once they get started, severums concentrate on what they like.  First date for both.

LA Pic
Before they spawned, both severums went thru a great case of ich.

LA Pix
These two 8" severums were brought in as a spawning pair.  Can't decide sexes yet.

LA Pic
6" gold severum that came in with them.  They beat up this guy pretty good.

LA Pic
Same gold severum -- different view.

LA Pic
If you look close, you can see their little teeth.

LA Pic
Severums lay a neat patch of eggs.  Bigger the parents, the bigger the clutch of eggs.

  
Severum Eggs. 
For maximum fry production, yank out your severum eggs.  Or, if you have enough room, you can’t beat the entertainment value of watching the parents care for their hyperactive herd of fry -- especially as they grow larger.

LA Pic
An airstone makes a fairly efficient parent.  The white eggs are dead eggs.

LA Pic
At 3/4 inches, baby severums are ready to leave home.  Most are looking up.

LA Pic
Medium green severums -- about three inches.

LA Pic
More medium severums.  You can now find different kinds of severums on the market.

LA Pix
Even in the golds, mature males sport the most colors.

LA Pic
Male green severum and female gold severum just introduced.  She beat him up later.

Fry Food.  Start your severum fry on newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms.  They convert to commercial foods much more easily than angels.  LA
 

Kathryn Mazza, February 15, 2012
Hello! I am a frequent visitor of your website and would like to share some pics of a beautiful severum I have. Not sure of the sex, maybe you can tell, but it is about 4-5 inches and I believe was called a blood red severum or something. Thought you might like it for your severum page.

KM

KM

KM

A:  Very nice severum pics.  I'm adding the three to my severum page.  Thanks.  LA

Severums II
Severums III

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