Heros severus

Heros severus
Mouth Brooding True Severum
The severum, Heros severus (previously known as Cichlasoma severum), is a freshwater tropical cichlid native to the Amazon region in South America. It is rarely found in the aquarium trade, The Fish commonly found in the Aquarium trade is not the Heros severus, but the more common Heros efasciatus, Hybrids between the two are possible but unlikely because of different breeding behaviors, with Heros Severus being a Mouth Brooding Cichlid.
The differences between the two mentioned Heros species are very noticeable; the Efaciatus being a much larger fish with a much larger girth and the Severus being almost half that length and much more lightly built, there is also a distinct difference in the shape and coloration of these tw fish, the Efaciatus is available in a wide range of colours in the aquarium trade, from its green wild form to its leucistic gold variety, and a red spotted variety that has line bred from the gold. The Severus, however when found, is usually a pale cream color with very small red spots not too different from Heros sp. notatus.
The body shape of a Severus is much more streamlined with a pronounced snout, whilst Heros species in the 'Efaciatus complex' (Heros Efaciatus, Heros Notatus, Heros Sp. Rotkeil, Heros Appendiculatus to name but a few) have a much more 'rounded' shape.
As an aquarium fish, the severum is a relatively mild-tempered cichlid, although aggression is not uncommon. It grows to a length of 15–20 cm , is omnivorous, but will benefit from vegetable matter in its diet. Courgette, peas, and lettuce will be eaten with relish, as will commercially available herbivore foods, it will eat aquarium plants (with the exception of some species such as Java Fern). It can get along well with much smaller fish in a community aquarium - however it may eat fish that are small enough to fit into its mouth. When mating, severums become very aggressive and territorial. The pair will guard several hundred eggs. Unlike Angel fish, Heros severus lays their clutch of eggs on a horizontal surface, rather than vertical. This is usually on a flat piece of slate, driftwood, or a round rock. The parents will tend to the eggs very carefully, eating the dead ones, and aerating the live eggs, the Female will then hold the fry into her mouth, much like certain Geophagines and African Cichlids of lake Malawi.
In general, this is a hardy and robust fish with lots of character. However, it does require a fairly large aquarium (a 55 USG aquarium for a single fish is to be considered as the bare minimum, for the common relatives such as the Gold and Green Severum, Heros Efaciatus a 75 USG would be minimum), with the usual neotropical cichlid requirements of good biological filtration and sound husbandry. Decor is not generally important, but the fish can be shy without some hiding places to retreat to, and care should be taken to ensure any rocks included do not harden the water too much as the fish originates from soft acidic water, As with all fish in the Heros genus, the Heros Severus should be kept in a similar set up to South American Cichlids of similar size such as a Oscar or Chocolate Cichlid.
Please note as this fish is not commonly available or commercially bred, most specimens will be wild caught fish and will tend to be more difficult to acclimatise to captivity than a common tank bred Heros Efaciatus.