Fun Severum Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Severum facts are enjoyed by kids.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

All the species of the family Heros are referred to as severum fish. There are five severum species found in the wild among which the most famous severum, the Heros severus, is also known as the banded cichlid because of the presence of vertical bands on its body.

Along with its South American wild varieties like Heros efasciatus and Heros severus, different versions of captive-bred severum have also been produced that show a large variation in color. Gold severum are the most popular severum cichlid found in an aquarium.

Also, green severum and red severum are also moderately popular. This fish shows a wonderful coloration of iridescent scales.

A serevum is a small fish but it can sometimes turn out to be semi-aggressive. To keep them calm, they need to be kept in large tanks.

Male and females of this species mostly appear the same and are difficult to differ. A way to make this distinction is by looking at the lesser markings around the gill area.

If you are interested to know more about this community fish, read through these amazing facts about severums. For similar content, check out blue tang and koi facts too.

Severum Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a severum?

A severum, often referred to as a severum cichlid, is a type of freshwater fish of genus Heros. They are mostly found as pets in aquariums, but they originated in South American waters. It is not a saltwater fish.

What class of animal does a severum belong to?

A severum is a type of ray-finned bony fish that belongs to the class Actinopterygii or the class of all ray-finned fish.

How many severums are there in the world?

Severum cichlids occur in the wild, and some species such as the green, gold, and red severum are bred in captivity and sold commercially. As a result, it has become difficult to track their total population.

Where does a severum live?

Severum cichlids are freshwater fish that are native to the river basins of the north of South America ranging from Brazil to Peru. Wild severum are found mainly inhabiting the Amazon, Essequibo, and Orinocco rivers of South America.

For example, Heros severus , or the banded cichlid, originate from the upper part of the Orinoco and Rio Negro river basin, while the Heros efasciatus is native to the Amazonian river basin.

Heros liberifer, Heros notatus, and Heros spurius are found respectively in the upper and middle part of the Ornicco basin, the Rio Negro and Essequibo rivers, and the Guapre drainage on the Amazon River. Cichlids are found in the wild as well as in captivity.

What is a severum’s habitat?

A severum cichlid is a freshwater tropical fish found in the wild as well as in captivity. The natural habitat of cichlids includes slow river water, freshwater lakes, ponds, as well as flooded fields that contain underground vegetation.

As pets, they require a slightly bigger tank than other similar-sized tank fish. The minimum tank size for keeping a single severum cichlid is 45 gal (205 l).

They prefer a large aquarium with a dim-lit environment. A cichlid is a fish of soft substrate water and prefers sandy substrate in its tank.

Who do severums live with?

Severums can live alone or with a breeding partner in a larger tank. To keep a school of three to four fish, a tank of 125 gal (568 l) is required.

Other fish that can share a tank with this species include other South American cichlids, omnivorous catfish, plecos, and even tetras. The only thing that needs to be checked is that they are kept with fish that require similar water conditions. Severums can be considered a community fish.

How long does a severum live?

Severum cichlids generally live no more than five years. When kept in a healthy environment, they can live up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

When two severums are found kissing each other, it means they are ready to mate. The color of their scales intensifies in males during the process of mating. They also slap their tails against each other.Femalescan lay thousands of eggs which are fertilized by a male. Captive breeds such as the gold severum are open breeders.

What is their conservation status?

Severum cichlids are Not Listed under the IUCN Red List. However, they are one of the fastest-growing cichlids and their demand is increasing all over the world as aquarium fish.  

Severum Fun Facts

What does a severum look like?

The body of a severum looks laterally compressed with flowy anal and dorsal fins that have pointed ends. They have a mid-range body size. The original severum cichlid has an iridescent green body and the underpart is gold or yellow-colored.

In juvenile fish, eight pronounced black bands run vertically downwards. These bands gradually fade as a severum grows older.

For this reason, a cichlid is called a banded cichlid. This fish is said to have a seeming appearance as it appears as if they are always looking up. Many colored counterparts have been produced by breeding severum like the red severum, green severum, and gold severum.

Severum fish are kid friendly.

How long does it take for a gold severum to grow to adult size?

Gold severums are one of the captive breeds of the original severum. Like all severums, a gold severum cichlid takes around one and a half to two years to grow into its adult size. The longest a gold severum can grow is 7.8 in (20 cm). They grow 1 inch (2.54 cm) per month.

How do they communicate?

Fish communicate by vision, scent, electrical impulse, and sound. Communication helps them to navigate within the water as well as during reproduction. Severum are semi-aggressive in nature and do not communicate well with other aggressive fish.

How big is a severum?

All species of severum are more or less similar. The length of red and gold severums is 7.8 in (20 cm) but a green severum measures around 8 in (20.3 cm) in length.

How fast can a severum swim?

The severum species is a big fan of free-swimming. They require large tanks that provide them with enough space for free swimming. However, their speed is not deduced.

How much does a severum weigh?

A severum weighs around 3.5 oz (0.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female fish do not have any particular names. Both of them are called severums.

What would you call a baby severum?

A baby severum is called a 'fry', just like other fish species.

What do they eat?

Severums are omnivorous in nature. Their diet ranges from vegetables like green peas and zucchini to live small animals such as marine crustaceans and different types of worms.

Are they eaten by humans?

This fish is not popularly eaten and no instances of eating them have been recorded. Instead, a severum adds beauty as a community fish to your aquarium.

How long does it take severum eggs to hatch?

Severum eggs hatch within a span of three to five days depending on the tank conditions. Young fish should be removed immediately while parents tend their offspring.

Did you know...

Severum fish have a pharyngeal set of teeth present in their throat along with their normal set of teeth.

How many severum can live together?

A severum is a semi-aggressive fish, so larger tanks are required to hold them all together. In a 45 gal (205 l) tank, only a single cichlid can be present.

To add more fish, the tank size needs to be increased e.g. if you have three severums, you will need a 125 gal (568 l) tank. A breeding severum cichlid pair can be kept together in a tank size of 75 gal (341 l).

They are not really social fish, and therefore can survive alone. Since severums can sometimes be aggressive, it is best to keep them away from children.

How many species of severum are there?

There are currently five known species of the severum family. They are Heros severus, Heros efasciatus, Heros liberifer, Heros notatus, and Heros spurius.

The Heros severus is the most common severum. Some types of severum are also bred and produced in captivity. They are available in different color breeds and some of the most common severum species are the gold severum, the green severum, and the red severum.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including paddlefish, or Siamese fighting fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Severum coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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