Cichlazoma severum is a very colorful representative of the family. Just the similarity of its body shape with discus can attract the attention of the observer. For this similarity cichlasoma has been called “false discus”. And for the features of its behavior, especially during spawning, you can watch for hours. For beginners, this cichlasoma can be a great school for keeping cichlids.
Now this species is assigned to the genus Heros, but for many hobbyists the old generic name Cichlasoma is more familiar.
Habitat: Inhabits freshwater bodies of the Amazon basin.
Cichlazoma severum description
Has a flattened from the sides of the high not too elongated body, which with sufficient volume allocated to the fish housing is close in shape to the disk. For this body shape, the fish received one of the common names – false discus. Wild forms in the wild can reach sizes of more than twenty centimeters.
Behind the glass aquarium length of their body rarely exceeds fifteen centimeters. Dorsal, anal fins are long and extend to the base of the caudal fin. Color depends on the prevalence of dominant or recessive gene responsible for coloration. Can have a color with a predominance of green shades peculiar to wild forms of fish, for which is responsible for the dominant gene. Color with a predominance of yellow shades due to the presence of recessive gene. In the absence of the dominant gene in the genome, the fish becomes albino.
Rim of pupil of eye broad, red. Mouth terminal, lips thick. The body is decorated with a dashed pattern. Especially the head and gills.
The fish is territorial, facultatively monogamous.
Life expectancy is about 15 years. Sexual maturity is reached in the third year of life.
The male is larger than the female and more brightly colored. Also characterized by other differences peculiar to the whole family, namely the dorsal and anal fins of the male have large sizes and their ends are stretched into a kind of braids. During spawning in the male appears anal tubercle having the form of a cone. In the female, this tubercle is a truncated pyramid.
Cichlazoma severum content
Keep a species of cichlasoma Severum is relatively easy. It is necessary to pay due attention to the volume and height of the aquarium. And also should be considered that the purchase should be a flock of seven or ten individuals. After the formation of pairs of extra fish should be resold or given to someone you know.
Cichlazoma severum is a large and territorial fish, which means that the minimum volume per pair should be at least 130 liters. In addition to the volume for this species is important for the shape of the allotted housing. So in a high vessel, his body will take the form closer to the disk. And a low and wide dwelling on the contrary will lead to elongation of the body in length.
There are no special requirements for the soil. But it is better to use granite crumbs, small pebbles. For some ideas may be useful artificial soil. It is better to use its medium and large fraction. At the bottom must necessarily be large stones that form artificial boundaries. It is better to install them standing, imitating rocks. It is also necessary to install several stones so that their plane was inclined at an angle to the horizon. It is possible to use prepared driftwood, imitating driftwood in natural habitats.
Plants and Cichlazoma severum.
As all cichlids to plants is not indifferent, but if you pick up large plants with stiff leaves, they are likely to remain intact. In nature, cichlasoma northernum likes to hunt for small crustaceans in the thickets of plants. It can also eat the plants themselves. If you can not create a thicket of live plants, then you will have to create their imitation of plastic moulages. You can try to use valisneria spiral, fast-growing elodea Canadian, large species of cryptocoryne, peristolistnik, cattail. Thickets, whether live or artificial, will help to hide from the aggression of larger specimens of small fish when dividing the territory after the formation of pairs. Not found their place in the sun in this aquarium fish almost painlessly sit in the thickets or caves waiting until you find an opportunity to put them away in another aquarium or look for them a new owner.
Cichlazoma severum Water parameters
Ambient temperature for maintenance from 22 to 24 degrees Celsius. The hardness is 10 to 20 °dH. pH – 6,5 – 7,5. Fish like old water, but you should still change about 30% of the water volume at least once a month.
This is determined not so much by the needs of the fish as by the needs of other aquarium inhabitants, in particular plants. The total power of fluorescent daylight lamps with a total power of 0.3 to 0.5 W/l should be used.
Aeration and filtration are essential for a dwelling with these fish. This is due to the increased metabolism of this species. Therefore, equipping the dwelling for cichlasoma northernum, be sure to equip it with systems for additional artificial aeration and filtration of water. It is also necessary to regularly, at least once a week siphon the bottom, removing waste products of your pets.
Cichlazoma severum Compatibility
After puberty, when pairs are formed and the redistribution of territory begins, cichlasoma northernum can show quite strong aggression to members of their own species. Aggression also increases during spawning. It is associated with the need to protect their offspring. But again, the fish are more intolerant to representatives of their own species. With fish of other species can get along relatively easily, provided there is sufficient volume of the vessel. It is not recommended only to contain them with vuale or clumsy fish. All variettes of goldfish, small guppies, neons are not suitable for the role of neighbors for cichlasoma northernum.
It is indiscriminate in food. From live food can be given moths, trumpet fish, crustaceans of medium size, small or cut earthworms. It is necessary to feed with vegetable food – scalded with boiling water, shredded leaves of lettuce, cabbage, dandelion.
Cichlazoma severum breeding
Spawn can also spawn in a common aquarium. A separate spawning ground requires a tank of 150 liters. Spawning is stimulated in the same way as other cichlids – increasing the temperature of the environment by 2 – 4 degrees and the addition of fresh water. Caviar prefer to throw on an inclined or vertical plane. The female can throw out from 300 to 1000 eggs. Sometimes near the nest one can observe a mating dance resembling a waltz. It is performed by the couple with their mouths together.
After spawning, both spouses take care of the eggs by picking out dead eggs from the clutch and ventilating the live eggs with strokes of the pectoral fins. Incubation lasts up to seven days. Approximately as long as the larval stage. After the fry swim, they begin to actively feed. Their parents are able to feed them with a special secretion secreted by the epithelium of their skin. This can solve the problem of starter food. But it should be taken into account that the aquarium population over many generations gradually loses the parental instinct.
Cichlazoma severum feeding fry
This happens because of the nursing of the fry from generation to generation with the help of an incubator. If you notice that your couple is not inclined to sentimental attitude to their offspring, it is better to take care of the fry. Starter food for babies – nauplii artemia. Grow young slowly. Centimeter length reach only to the thirtieth day of life. About the same time they become clearly defined camouflage coloration – several transverse stripes of dark shade, which disappear as the fish mature.
Cichlasoma northernum is of interest to both experienced aquarists and beginners. In the experienced cichlidnik it can take a worthy place in his collection. For beginners, it provides an opportunity to get a simple to keep, but very original fish, both in body shape, reminiscent of discus, and in the manner of behavior.