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Super Red Severums | You Can Afford This One |

If you need to add a stunning look to your aquarium, Super red severums are the most suitable option. Even if you are a beginner, do not take this as a headache. You also can rear this amazing fish. The only thing you have to do is read this carefully till the end. So, your time is starting. 

Super Red Severums

One Look Care Guide

Scientific nameHeros severus
Common nameSuper red severum
Care levelEasy 
Native toRivers in South America – Orinoco river basin
Drainage in Colombia
Venezuela Amazon river basin
The upper Negro river basin
Type Freshwater fish 
Color Red 
Tank sizeMinimum 50 gallons tank 
Preferred temperature74 to 84 Fahrenheit
23.3 to 28.9 Celsius 
Other water parameters pH level- 6 to 6.5
Water hardness – 4 to 6 dGH 
Growth rateNo exact growth rate 
Temperament Semi aggressive 
Recommended tank matesOther cichlids- flag cichlids 
Aequidens species – blue acara 
Eartheaters – pearl cichlids 
Large angelfish
Catfish species – Loricariid and Callichyid 
Cyprinid species – barbs and sharks 
Large characins – silver dollars 
Similar sized gouramis 
Preferred foodLive bloodworms 
Marine crustaceans 
Green peas 
Feeding frequency2 to 3 times 
BreedingPossible in captivity 

What Are Super Red Severums?

They are stunning fish that belongs to the South American severum cichlid family. This fish species is recognized as Heros severusWhen it turns to the history of the Heros severus, Hackel described them in 1840, and this fish species is known by several different names, Convict fish, Sedate cichlid, Striped cichlid, Deacon, and Hero. However, this super red severum cannot be found in the wild.

Where do we find out the wild severums? If you put 100% attention to reading this, you have remembered that I mentioned above “South America.” Yes, you can find wild severums in rivers in South America. Some of them can be found named the Orinoco river basin and drainage in Colombia and Venezuela. The Amazon river basin and the upper Negro river basin are also popular wild habitats. Have you seen a golden severum? 

Actually, they are similar to the golden severum. But it has more red coloration. Plus, the Super red severum can be defined as a high-bodied laterally compressed fish with pointed dorsal and anal fins. Also, their red color eyes are a unique feature that enhances their attraction. Anyhow, they are an attractive and stunning cichlid that should be in your aquarium. 

How Big Do Super Red Severums Get?

They are medium-sized fish in the cichlid family. So, a well-grown adult can reach up to around 7 ¾ inches or 20 cm in length. However, growth and health highly depend on your care level. Therefore, It is your responsibility to provide nutrient-rich foods and an ideal living environment for your fish.

Is Super Red Severums Aggressive?

Actually, it is good to recognize them as semi-aggressive fish. However, South American cichlids, including Super red severum, are less aggressive than their African cichlid cousins. Simply, they live peacefully until you provide adequate space for them. So, providing enough space is very crucial when dealing with Super red severums unless you have to face big trouble because they are territorial. 

On the other hand, they show more aggression towards other severum verities. But if you need to rear them together, you have to go for a huge tank of over 100 gallons. Comparatively, they tolerate other fish species than the same verity. But keep in mind that having more space can alleviate the general aggression level of your Super red severum. In addition to that, Super red severum becomes more aggressive during mating. 

Super Red Severum’s Behaviour

They are occasionally territorial. It means they need their own space. So, you can reduce the aggression level by providing adequate space for your fish. Naturally, the Super red severum is more aggressive before and during spawning. Generally, severums love to swim upper area of the tank. But it does not mean that they do not explore other tank areas. Similarly, your fish tank should have plenty of hiding spots. Because when they feel threatened, these spaces are very useful for your fish. Like other severums, Super red severum is also active in the daytime. 

How Long Do Super Red Severums Live?

They can live around 10 years. But you should keep your fish in good health. So, you have to provide high-quality foods while setting up ideal living conditions. If you look after your fish well, it directly impacts on increasing their lifespan; it will avoid premature deaths. 

Super Red Severums care

Now you know that the proper care is a ladder to help your fish to live long with good health conditions. Consequently, it will create an amazing aquarium while avoiding many headaches for you. Therefore, when it turns to Super red severum care, the tank set plays a major role because simply a tank can be defined as the environment or home of your fish. However, the measure of your success is how well you imitate the environment of their natural habitats when setting up the tank. So, keep it in mind. 

tank size

The minimum tank size requirement is 50 gallons of tank per fish. But they are pretty much territorial. So, It is a good idea to provide more space for your fish. Especially, it is a must if you wish to keep tankmates with Super red severum. However, going for more than 100 gallons is recommended if you wish to rear the same species. The minimum tank size for a breeding Super red severum pair is 100 gallons. But if you go for more than that size, it is super cool!

How Many Should Super Red Severums Be Kept Together?

It is best to keep them single or paired. But if you want to keep two or more Super red severums, the most important requirement that you should consider first is the space in your tank. If your tank is smaller than 100 gallons, do not try to keep even a few fish in your tank unless you have to face a huge battle that arises due to territorial issues. So, always try to keep your fish comfortable. 

Tank Setup

Hiding spots

Here always try to mimic their natural habitat of them. So, driftwood, caves, and live plants play a major role in your success achievement.  Here you can use sunken driftwoods and rocks to create caves. These create hiding spaces for your fish while enhancing the beauty of the tank. 

Aquatic plants 

Another important thing is a live plant. But here, you have to select hardy plants and ensure that the selected live plants are not uprooted easily. Because they tend to dig or bite off small live plants. Also, floating plants also work well with Super red severum. Try these live plants to deco your fish tank.

  • Anacharis 
  • Cabomba 
  • Hornwort 
  • Anubias 
  • Cryptocoryne 

There is an added advantage of live plants. It will help to avoid territorial issues.  


Further, you should think about what substrate is mostly suitable for the Super red severum tank. Here you have the ability to choose one from two. It means that both fine sand and smooth gravel fit your tank well. But did you think why fine sand or smooth gravel should be chosen for the Super red severum tank? Actually, severums tend to dig the substrate when they need to rest or hide. Because of that, the tank should have a fine and soft substrate to avoid the damaging delicate fins of your fish. 

Filtration system

No matter what type of fish you have, filtration is always crucial to your tank. It will keep the water clean. Therefore, always try to set up suitable high-quality filters in the tank. 

Dried leaves

Further, it is better to add a few handfuls of dried leaves to give a natural feel to your fish. Also, do not forget to add a bag of aquarium-safe peat to the filter; it will simulate black water conditions. When it comes to considering the lighting needs, you should set up the lights in the tank at low-subdued while setting up moderate water movements. 

Water quality condition

Water quality is the heart of a healthy and beautiful aquarium. So, try to understand why you should keep the water condition at an ideal level. They are freshwater fish, so you have to go with freshwater without any arguments! So, you can use tap water, but you have to leave the water few days or neutralize the chemicals in tap water. Also, keep the water parameters at an ideal level, and these ideal levels are mentioned below for each parameter. 

Water temperature: You should keep the water temperature at 74 to 84 Fahrenheit or 23.3 to 28.9 Celsius. 

Breeding temperature: Keepingeep the water temperature between 78.8 to 86. 6 Fahrenheit or 26 to 27 Celsius in the breeding tank is better. 

pH level: It is a must to maintain the Ph level at 6 to 6.5.

Water hardness: The hardness range should be set at 4 to 6 dGH. 

But how do you keep the water quality in your tank? Basically, water changes play a major role in maintaining the tank’s water quality. So, it is great to change the water biweekly. 

Super Red Severums Breeding 

Male Or Female Identification 

Generally, it is difficult to identify the gender difference when the fish is small or juvenile. The difference appears when both fish are young. As usual, male Super red severum fish is larger than female fish. Also, the female Super red severum lacks marks on her gills. 

Identify Pregnant fish  

Female Super red severums are not pregnant. Generally, they are laying eggs. But when they mature and produce eggs, the female fish’s belly can be round than male fish and unmatured females. In addition, male fish darken and intensify their colors when spawning. 

Super Red Severums Breeding

They result from captivity-bred color forms of the wild severums. Generally, Super red severums are breeding as pairs. So, go through the below guide if you want to breed your fish

Step 1: Purchasing a juvenile pairs 

Generally, you cannot pair up this species as you wish. Because they form emotional connections, so, let them pair naturally. First, you have to purchase 6 to 8 healthy Super red severum juveniles. Here make sure that your tank has an equal number of female and male fish. Then encourage them to pair at a young age. 

Step 2: Set the suitable tank and water conditions 

When compared with their normal preference water conditions, the water should be warmer, softer, and more acidic because it will develop the eggs well. However, they tolerate a wide range of water conditions. But to reach optimum breeding conditions with ideal water parameters.

  • Water hardness should be at 50ppm
  • The ideal pH is 6 
  • Temperature is between 78.8 to 80.6 Fahrenheit or 26 to 27 Celsius. 

In addition to that, some say that adding a live feeder will help to condition the spawn. 

Step 3: After you set up the conditions at the ideal level, give them time to get involved in their reproduction process

Also, you can increase the possibility of success by setting up a heater and performing lots of water changes. Plus, do not forget to add flat or round rocks and chunks of wood to your breeding tank. 

Step 4: Breeding Super red severum

when fish is ready to spawn, male fish tends to darken and intensify their colors. Also, they lock their lips and tail slap before mating. After female fish lays around 1000 oval eggs on stones and roots, male fish fertilize the eggs. However, the number of eggs will depend on the size and age of the fish. The best thing is parent fish defend their eggs. Hence, you do not need to separate parent fish from the breeding tank. 

How Many Babies Does Super Red Severums Have?

Generally, female fish lay up to 1000 eggs, but it depends on their age and size. The hatching rate may differ from tank conditions, egg quality and fertilization rate. However, you can obtain hundreds of fry per one spawn. 

Super Red Severums Fry Care

Parent fish keep their babies in their mouths even pre-swimming larval stage until they become free swimmers completely. After they are free swimmers, the parent fish allow them to hunt for food. Their foods are usually freshly hatched brine shrimps, micro worms, ground-up flakes or pellets, and daphnia. However, parents take care of their babies for up to 6 weeks. 

Feeding behavior of Super Red Severums

They are omnivores. So, they accept both animal and plant matters because it is easy to feed your Super red severum.  

What do Super red severums eat in wild 

Severums eat plants, zooplankton, algae, insects, and detritus in the wild. 

What do Super red severums eat in captivity? 

Here it is a must to offer a balanced diet to your Super red severum because food is the main factor that contacts your Super red severum. So, you can go with flakes, pellets, freeze-dried or live foods. 

  • Live bloodworms 
  • Mealworms 
  • Earthworms
  • Marine crustaceans 

In addition to these foods, you can add some vegetables to the diet of your Super red severum. 

  • Green peas 
  • Zucchini 

However, do not provide beef heart and liver to your fish because these are difficult to digest. 

How often should you feed

It is better to feed Super red severums 2 to 3 times per day. Also, it is essential to avoid overfeeding. Here, you may doubt the amount you should provide for your fish. It is better to give foods that your fish can finish within 2 to 3 minutes. 

When should you feed (time of the day)

Here the important thing is to feed your fish at the same times of the day. So, it is better to feed them in the morning and evening because Super red severums are more active in the daytime. 

How long they can go without food

Generally, it cannot be predicted exactly. Because it will highly depend on the availability of foods in your tank, do not try to cut their feeding times due to any reason. 

What fish can live with Super Red Severums?

Super red severums are semi-aggressive because it is better to keep them with semi-aggressive same-sized or large fish species. Here I mentioned ideal tankmates for your Super red severums. 

  • Other cichlids- flag cichlids 
  • Aequidens species – blue acara 
  • Eartheaters – pearl cichlids 
  • Large angelfish
  • Catfish species – Loricariid and Callichyid 
  • Cyprinid species – barbs and sharks 
  • Loaches 
  • Large characins – silver dollars 
  • Similar sized gouramis 

Is Super Red Severums aggressive?

We cannot recognize the Super red severum as aggressive fish. They live peacefully, but sometimes they can be aggressive. The main reason is lacking adequate space. Because Super red severums are territorial, plus, they show more aggressive behaviors towards the same fish species. Also, Super red severums are aggressive during the breeding season. So, it is better to put this fish species into the category of semi-aggressive. 


Super red severums are a cool fish variety that can add stunning beauty to your aquarium. Their unique appearance and friendly behavior will give super relaxation to your mind. Hence, this is the best time to add a new pet to your pet list!

Credit to : TM Aquatics
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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.