Heros severus, , 19
Origin: Northern South-America, in densely planted lakes, ponds, and rivers.
Synonyms: Acara spuria, Astronotus severus, Heros coryphaeus, Heros efasciatus, Heros modestus, Cichlasoma severum, Heros spurius.
First import: Germany, 1909, by Carl Siggelkow.
Description: see pictures.
Care: This once extremely popular fish has recently regained some interest. Heros severus is not an easy fish to keep, with requirements similar to discus fish, clean, fresh, slightly acidic water which shouldn't be too hard is required. Juveniles school together, and older fish form pairs, and become a bit territorial. It's best to keep a single pair in an aqaurium, which should be densely planted, large, and well filtered.
Temperature: 23-25 degrees.
Feeding: Only live and frozen food is accepted.
Size:Up to 20 cm
Breeding: Difficult. The hardest thing is to get a suitable pair, since not every pair will mate. Raise the temperature to 26-28 degrees, and provide soft, slightly acidic water. Breeding is initiated by thoroughly cleaning a stone by both parents. Fully grown females can lay over a thousand eggs, which will be guarded and cared for by both parents for a long time. The fry can be fed artemia nauplii after they've reached the free swimming fase.
Sexual dimorphism: Difficult, males have slighly longer fins, and females always show a dark spot in the dorsal fin.
Prices: Juveniles around 5-7€
Picture references:Both pictures E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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