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Gold Severums Care ( Must Known Facts )

Do you like to give a golden touch to your aquarium? Then, go to the nearest pet store and ask for the name “Gold severums cichlid,” sure you will wonder! This stunning fish is a member of Cichlidae and is known as Heros Severus. Also, several common names use to recognize this fish. You know one is Gold Severum, other names are Banded cichlid and Severum cichlid. Generally, Severum cichlids are similar to Discus. It means they have high-bodied with pointed dorsal and anal fins. Also, they are laterally compressed fish.

Gold Severums

What Are Gold Severums?

The Cichlid family is most familiar to fish lovers due to their availability. Even though there are many varieties in the cichlid family, Severum cichlid takes up space in many aquariums due to its stunning colors. You know, Gold is not the only color. It gives more than that. So simply, they provide not only a beautiful view they can add brilliant brightness to your aquarium. Wild or original Severum cichlids come with a greenish body with a yellowish gold belly. But when they are juvenile, they have eight dark and pronounced black vertical bands along the sides.

However, these bands gradually fade when the fish is matured. These brands may cause them to get their common name, “Banded Cichlid”. There are many severum color verities such as brown, green, turquoise, and Gold due to captive breeding. They are also a marvelous creation of captive breeding. Similarly, Gold severum cichlids have a deep oval-shaped body, but they are Gold or pale yellow. The pelvic, anal, and pectoral fins come with beautiful yellow or gold color in severum fish. But their tails and dorsal fins are different from this. They tend to be white with yellow specks. Further, you will wonder, Gold severum cichlids’ eyes are also yellow. 

Saltwater fish species like parrotfish and wrasses have a well-developed pharyngeal set of teeth at the throat along with their regular teeth. This feature can also be seen in all cichlids, including Gold severum cichlids. On the other hand, it is common to see spiny rays in the back part of the anal, pectoral, pelvic, and dorsal fins. It will be formed to support to discourage their predators. Also, these fins’ front part is soft. As well, they are perfect for precise positions. When they are swimming fast, this feature will support effortless movements in the water. 

Where can we find out severum cichlids? 

Why did I mention severum cichlids without mentioning Gold severum cichlids here? What do you think? As you know, they are captive bred color-morph of the severum cichlids. So, they are not available in the wild. But you can find out severum cichlids in South American rivers like the Orinoco river basin and drainage in Venezuela and Colombia. Further Amazon river basin and the upper Negro river basin are also the best natural habitat for wild severum cichlids. 

Generally, they are not perfectly matched for beginners. Because rearing Gold severum cichlids are not as easy as you think. But if you have proper knowledge and experience, it is pretty easy. Why do I say you should know to rear Gold severum cichlids? Here is the proof. They are large fish, and when they are growing gradually, they will have rapidly changing needs. But if you do not need many numbers of years of experience to keep Gold severum cichlids. As a fish keeper, you just need some cichlid experience. However, as a beginner, if you need to start your hobby with Gold severum cichlids, I highly advise you to be well informed and diligent in their maintenance.  

How Big Do Gold Severums Get?

There are hundreds of cichlid varieties in the wild. Among them, a lot of varieties are introduced to the aquarium industry. So, when considering other cichlids in the cichlid family, they are medium-sized cichlid. Well-grown healthy Gold severum cichlids have the ability to reach around 20 cm or 7 ¾ inches in length. The important thing is properly caring for your Gold severum cichlids. The result will be amazing. 

Is Gold Severums Aggressive?

Here I cannot categorize them as aggressive or peaceful because they will only act as devotees until you provide enough space. So, actually, they are semi-aggressive in nature. Gold severum cichlids are one of the South American cichlids. So, they are not aggressive like their African cousins. But their aggression level will depend on their personality. For instance, some severum cichlids do not like to share their space with other fish species. So, the few well-behaved severum cichlids are perfectly matched for a community tank. 

But do not keep them at the community tank very first without any idea of your fish. Because some Gold severum cichlids can be known as gentle giants, they tend to eat small fish that are fit with their mouth size. However, if you rear your cichlids with other severum cichlids, it is very important to go for a very large tank unless it may be the start of a huge battle! Keep in mind that the space you give for your fish will influence the general aggression level of your fish. Moreover, their aggression level can reach a peak during spawning. So, it is best to separate your breeding pair into a separate tank. 

Gold Severums

Gold Severums Behavior

Generally, they are semi-aggressive in nature. They are territorial, so it is necessary to provide adequate space for them. Also, Gold severum cichlids show aggressive tendencies before and during spawning. However, if you are a community tank lover, it is better to put your passion aside. Because pairing up Gold severum cichlids with other fish species is quite difficult due to their territorial behavior, you can try with non-aggressive similar size fish species. 

If you discover them carefully, you can note that they spend most of their time swimming near the top area of the tank. However, they swim in other areas of the tank too. They are active in the daytime. Because of that, it is better to feed them in the daytime. It will help them to rest at night without any disturbance. Additionally, these fish prefer to dig. So, they are digging and uprooting the live plants in the aquarium. When the oxygen level of the tank drops, Gold severum cichlids tend to gasp for air at the surface. This behavior will help you to identify the issue. Also, you should reset up the ideal oxygen level quickly, unless it can be fatal for your fish. 

How Long Does Gold Severums S Live?

Generally, they have the ability to live around 10 years. But in captivity, your Gold severum cichlids need your help to reach their maximum age. Because this is not like the natural habitats, the fish keeper has a responsibility to keep all water quality factors at an ideal level.

One Look Care Guide

Scientific nameHeros Severus
Common nameGold severum cichlids
Care levelModerate 
Native toSouth American rivers
Type Freshwater 
Color Pale yellow or Gold 
Tank size50 gallons for a fish 
Preferred temperature74 to 84 Fahrenheit or 23.3 or 28.9 Celsius
Other water parameters pH –6 -6.5
Hardness- 4-6 dGH 
Growth rateNo exact rate 
Temperament Semi aggressive 
Recommended tank matesBlue acara 
Flag cichlid
Pearl cichlid
Catfish species 
Silver dollar 
Similar sized gouramis 
Preferred foodBloodworms
Marine crustaceans 
Green peas
Feeding frequency2 to 5 times per day 
breedingPossible in captivity 

Gold Severums Care

Generally, rearing them is fairly easy when the water quality is good. Here you should maintain the water conditions at the ideal level. Because they are sensitive to changes in water parameters. 

Tank Size

Tank size totally depends on the amount of fish that you wish to keep in a tank. However, if you plan to keep a single Gold severum cichlid, it is ok to go with 50 gallons tank. But this is the minimum measure. So, I would like to recommend you keep your Gold severum cichlid in a larger than 45 gallons tank because of their size.  

Further, do you want to rear pair of Gold severum cichlids? So, you have to create a suitable tank for them to live happily and be healthy. Here you may have another question. What is the best size of tank I need? At least, you should have 100 gallons tank to rear a pair. But this will totally depend on the personality of your Gold severum cichlids. If they show more aggressive behavior or are more territorial, you should have a very large tank. If you wish to add other fish species to your Gold severum cichlid tank, it is a must to select a very large tank because they need more space to live without creating trouble. 

How many should Gold Severums be kept together?

Generally, you can keep one cichlid in the tank. If you want to rear a pair, you should have a large tank, 100 gallons or more. So, it is quite large. However, if you want to rear more than two, you have to go very large tank. Because this fish shows more aggression towards other severum cichlids, this fish species is pretty large when they grow. So, due to these reasons, I am recommended to keep one or two cichlids together. 

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your fish is not a big deal. But you should do this task perfectly and appropriately to keep your fish healthy. 

Tank Substrate

The substrate plays a sufficient role when it comes to tank setup. So, which is the most suitable substrate for your Gold severum cichlids? Most hobbyists use sand for Gold severum cichlid tanks. However, keep in mind that the sand should be fine or smooth enough for Gold severum cichlids to dig. Alternatively, some fishkeepers use some fine small gravel to enhance the attractiveness of the tank. So, then let’s turn to the decorations of the tank. 

Tank Decorations

Do not try to deco your tank heavily. Because they are pretty large fish species and they need pretty large space to swim freely. Further, you have the ability to offer decorations that allow a natural division in the territory. You can get help from rocks and driftwoods to create caves and alleyways for your fish. Not only that, driftwood will support you in keeping the pH lower. Also, driftwoods give the “tea-stained” look that is unique to the South American rivers where wild severum cichlids live. 

Aquatic Plants

You can add some live or artificial plants to your Gold severum cichlid tank. Floating plants are the best option because Gold severum cichlid tends to dig. Moreover, you can plant live plants at the bottom of the tank. But make sure they are properly attached to the tank. If you wish to select plants, try out;

  • Cryptocoryne 
  • Anubias


Other important things are lighting and the water movement of the tank. Here you cannot set up these two as you prefer. Because the Aquarium setup should be mimicking the fish’s natural environment, so, here you have to consider the Gold severum cichlid’s preference. Generally, they like to live with low to moderate lighting conditions and moderate water movements. 

Aquarium Lid

Also, Severums cichlids are famous jumpers. So, a lid will keep your fish in the tank safe. Further, do not forget to choose a good filter system for the tank. Moreover, you should check the oxygen levels to get the best colors for your Gold severum cichlid. 

Water Quality Condition

This is one of the vital parts of caring for this fish. Because water condition directly affects the life of your fish. But maintaining the water quality at an optimum level is a type of challenge. Over time, fish add waste to your water. These decomposing wastes will cause increased nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and phosphates levels in the water. Simultaneously water hardness also increases due to evaporation.

So, you need the best technique to maintain the water quality of your tank. You can combat these changing conditions by replacing water regularly. So, it is better to used to perform 10-20% water changes biweekly or weekly. However, this measure can be varied with the stocking numbers of your tank. So, always try to maintain your tank water quality parameters below levels. 

Water temperature: This should be kept between 74 to 84 Fahrenheit or 23.3 or 28.9 Celsius.  

Water hardness: It is better to keep between 4 to 15 dGH. However, try to maintain the hardness between 4 to 6 dGH.  

pH level:  This should be between 6 to 6.5. In addition to that, slightly brackish water is preferable for Gold severum cichlids. 

Gold Severums

Gold Severums Breeding 

Gold Severums Male Or Female Identification 

Generally, you cannot quickly identify the sexes when they are juveniles. Male Gold severum cichlids have more pointed dorsal and anal fins. Also, if you feed your matured male fish well, they can develop a nuchal hump. Further, male fish is pretty larger than female fish. When it turns to female Gold severum cichlids, they have a dark spot on the dorsal fin. Also, you can notice that lacking patterns on the head of female fish. 

Identify Pregnant Gold Severums 

The female Gold severum cichlids do not get pregnant. Because they are egg layers, when they mature and produce the eggs, their belly can be more rounded than male Gold severum cichlids in the breeding season. 

Gold Severums Breeding

Gold severum cichlids are captive bred of severum cichlids. So, it is possible to breed Gold severum cichlids in the tank with proper knowledge. However, you can not pair up the Gold severum cichlids. So, if you have the idea to breed your Gold severum cichlids, you have to prepare for it early. You should buy 6 to 8 young Gold severum cichlids and give them the chance to pair up. Then set up a breeding tank. 

  • When compared with their normal water conditions, the water of the breeding tank should be softer, more acidic, and warmer. These water conditions will cause the development of eggs properly and motivate spawning. 
  • Also, to achieve the optimal breeding condition, you have to maintain the water temperature between 78.8 to 80.6 Fahrenheit or 26 to 27 Celsius while keeping the water hardness at 50 ppm with a pH of 6. 
  • Generally, a bare bottom tank and air stonework well. Also, rocks and chunks of wood are best placed in the breeding tank. 
  • Performing lots of water changes leads to success in the breeding session. 

When ready to breed, male fish darken and intensify their colors. Also, actually, when they are spawning, they will lock lips and tail slap. Female Gold severum cichlids lay oval shape eggs on rocks or roots. The male fish fertilize the eggs simultaneously. Both parents fish defend their babies until they become free swimmers. 

How Many Babies Does Gold Severums Have?

Generally, female Gold severum cichlids lay around 1000 eggs at once. But this amount can be varied with the age and size of the fish. 

Gold Severums Fry Care

Even though the eggs hatch and pre-swimming larvae stage, the parent fish will take them into their mouth. That’s how they protect their babies from predators. After the fry becomes free swimmers, the parent fish hunt for their food. It may be freshly hatched brine shrimps, micro worms, ground-up flakes, pellets, and daphnia. The parents protect their babies for up to 6 weeks. 

Feeding Behavior Of Gold Severums 

Gold severum cichlids are omnivores. Therefore, you can add both plant matters and animal matters to their diet. 

What Do Gold Severum Cichlids Eat In The Wild 

In the wild severum cichlids eat several things that can be found in the river. Some of them are;

What Do Gold Severum Cichlids Eat-In Aquarium

You can feed Gold severum cichlids with many food varieties. Because they tend to eat anything that you provide them. So, the foods listed are ideal for your Gold severum cichlids to maintain their health. 

  • Bloodworms
  • Mealworms
  • Marine crustaceans 
  • Earthworms 
  • Pellets 
  • Flakes

In addition to that, you can add the below vegetables to their diet to make some difference. 

  • Blanched Zucchini 
  • Green peas
  • Cucumber 

Keep in mind to avoid the below foods while providing the above foods 

  • Beef heart 
  • Beef liver 

How Often Should You Feed

Generally, you can provide foods to your Gold severum cichlids 2 to 5 times per day in small amounts. However, do not overfeed your fish. It will, directly and indirectly, cause their health. So, be careful! 

When Should You Feed? 

You can feed them any time in the day time from morning to evening. Because Gold severum cichlids are active in the daytime and rest at night. So, do not disturb your fish when they sleep. 

How Long They Can Go Without Food

The large and healthy cichlid can go for 7 to 10 days without food. But this is not good to do. 

What Fish Can Live With Gold Severums?

You can keep Gold severum cichlids with other fish species that have the same size and similar temperament. Do not house aggressive fish with them. You can keep your Gold severum cichlids with the below-listed fish. 

  • Blue acara 
  • Flag cichlid
  • Angelfish
  • Pearl cichlid
  • Catfish
  • Shark
  • Barbs 
  • Loaches
  • Catfish species 
  • Silver dollar 
  • Similar sized gouramis 

Is Gold Severums Aggressive?

Gold severum cichlids are not aggressive; they are semi-aggressive. They are territorial. Thus, they will live calmly until you provide enough room. However, the Gold severum cichlids tend to show aggressive behavior during spawning. 

Credit to : Cichlid Bros
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.