Red Shoulder Severum
The Red Shoulder Severum is a colorful and sought-after cichlid species that is native to South America, specifically the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. It belongs to the Heros genus within the Cichlidae family. The species name "rotkeil" refers to the German term for "red wedge," which describes the distinct red coloring on the shoulders of mature individuals.
Red Shoulder Severums are known for their striking appearance. They have an oval-shaped and laterally compressed body with a slightly arched dorsal fin and rounded anal fin. When mature, they develop vibrant red or orange-red coloration on their upper body and shoulders, contrasting with a green or turquoise color on the lower body and fins. They also feature a pattern of iridescent spots and lines on their scales.
In terms of size, Red Shoulder Severums can reach an average length of 15-20 centimeters (6-8 inches) when fully grown. However, individuals may vary, and some can grow even larger. It's important to provide them with adequate tank space and suitable tankmates, as they can become territorial, especially during breeding.
Red Shoulder Severums are generally peaceful for cichlids and can be kept in community aquariums with other non-aggressive fish species. However, it's recommended to provide sufficient hiding places and territories within the aquarium to help reduce aggression. Keeping them with fish of similar size and temperament is ideal.
In terms of diet, Red Shoulder Severums are omnivorous. They will accept a variety of foods, including high-quality pellets, flakes, frozen or live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and small crustaceans. It's important to provide a balanced diet that includes both protein-rich and plant-based foods to meet their nutritional needs.
When it comes to aquarium setup, Red Shoulder Severums prefer a spacious tank with plenty of swimming space. Providing rocks, driftwood, and plants can create hiding spots and mimic their natural habitat. They appreciate water with stable parameters, regular water changes, and appropriate filtration.
Breeding Red Shoulder Severums can be a rewarding experience. They are substrate spawners and exhibit parental care. During breeding, the coloration of the males intensifies, and they become more territorial. Providing suitable conditions, such as clean water, appropriate spawning surfaces, and ample hiding places, can encourage their breeding behavior.
In summary, the Red Shoulder Severum is a captivating and colorful cichlid species from South America. Its vibrant red shoulder coloration and peaceful nature make it a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. With proper care, a suitable environment, and a varied diet, the Red Shoulder Severum can thrive and become a stunning addition to a well-maintained aquarium.