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FAQs on Severum Cichlid Reproduction

Related Articles: Severums, Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Firemouths, Oscars, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in GeneralCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related FAQs: Severums in General, Severum Identification, Severum Behavior, Severum Compatibility, Severum Selection, Severum Systems, Severum Feeding, Severum Disease, Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,


Severums breeding without eggs?      4/7/19
Hi Wet Web Media,
<Hello Eva,>
I have a 125 gallon tank and have kept Severums for years. I have seen Severums spawn in my tank, so I know what to expect. However, I've never seen a female try to spawn and act like she's laying eggs, but actually lay
no eggs. I've scoured Google and can't find an answer.
<This is quite common with South American cichlids. For a start, sexing them is often very difficult. Famously, Angelfish sometimes get it wrong, to the extent pairs of females will lay eggs, each expecting the other to
fertilise them! Severums are not much easier to sex than Angels, so it's surprisingly easy to end up with two fish of the same sex.>
She went back and forth like she was laying eggs in row after row and the male came in behind her and acted like he was fertilizing the "eggs." But nothing was there! The female wants to stay paired, but the male no longer
has interest in her after the failed attempt at spawning and has started courting the other female in the tank. Have you seen this happen before?
<Yes, though with Angels rather than Severums. Sometimes the female is immature, sometimes the eggs were simply eaten before you saw them, sometimes the female is actually a male, and sometimes the female is simply
infertile and incapable of laying. Of course the male could be the problem here, not doing whatever he should be doing to elicit spawning behaviour from the female.>
Some info on the pair: This is the first time either have ever attempted to spawn in their lifetimes - i.e. got them when they were small - they're new at this. They're about 4.5 inches (not including tail fins). Both are red spotted Severums.
Do you think it's a size/maturity issue? Or maybe she's infertile?
<Could really be either. While 4.5 inches is a decent size, Severums are big fish, and giving her another few months to grow on could help. As ever, a good start is to 'condition' the female with plenty of live/frozen foods, and since these are omnivorous fish, some fresh greens would be helpful too. Isolating the female (using egg crate, for example, so they can still see each other) can be useful if it allows the female to put on weight without the male harassing her. Next up, optimise water chemistry. That's an important aspect for egg layers. Severums aren't too fussy, but water towards the softer end of the range is needed for breeding.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Severums breeding without eggs?      4/14/19

Hi Neale,
Thanks for answering my question - and so quickly!
<Most welcome.>
From your answer, it sounds like it could be for many reasons, so I'll continue to monitor. Who knows, maybe a few more months is all they need - or maybe she's secretly a male.
<This can/does happen with some cichlids. If kept with a dominant male, the weaker males fail (or at least delay) exhibiting secondary sexual characteristics such as the brighter colours or pointed fins we usually see on male cichlids. In certain cases this is a deliberate ploy, allowing the weaker males to stay within the dominant male's territory, thereby facilitating 'sneaker' male behaviour where the subdominant male tries to mate with a resident female.>
She's definitely an odd fish - I got her and she was completely gold without spots. Now she has almost as many spots as the red-spotted male!
<Most curious.>
It would be great to see them successfully spawn - so thanks for all the advice. Ironically, she's the one harassing the male. All things considered, I'm not too concerned as long everyone's getting along.
<Agreed. Really, the best way to sex cichlids is to observe their spawning tubes. Males generally have longer, narrower, more pointed tubes that are easily visible, sometimes all the time, but certainly for many days before spawning. Females have shorter, blunter spawning tubes that are barely visible except within a few hours of spawning.>
Thanks again,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Severums, repro.     9/8/10
how do you tell the difference between a female and a male Severum?
<It's extremely difficult, at least with the Heros hybrids most commonly traded (things are a bit easier with pure-bred Heros appendiculatus and other pure-bred Heros species). There are some general rules of thumb, but they are not reliable, so take them with a pinch of salt. Firstly, male Severums tend to be bigger than female Severums of the same age. Secondly, males tend to have more blue squiggles on their faces. Thirdly, as with many other cichlids, males tend to have longer dorsal and anal fin extensions. Finally, males tend to have red eyes while females have eyes that are more orangey. I wouldn't trust any one of these characteristics, but if one fish shows three or four of the "male" traits, then I'd be fairly confident that that fish was a male. Still, the only 100% reliable way to sex Severums is when they're close to spawning, at which point their genital papillae are clearly different, males have long and pointed papillae, while females have short and blunt papillae.>
I have about 5 Severums and they're about 3 to 5 inches long and I am planning to keep 2 and sell the rest.
<You could wait until a pair forms, but pairs are very territorial and aggressive, and generally not suitable for community settings.>
Can you tell me how to tell the difference between a male and a female Severum?
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Severum info.. Sexing  11/2/2009
Hi there,
I am Pavan from India. I would like to know hw to distinguish between male and female Severum. Appreciate your help. Pls do answer.
<Hello Pavan. Sexing Severum cichlids is not easy, and the only sure-fire way is to watch them spawning! Females have short, blunt ovipositors compared to the long, pointed ovipositors seen on the males. But that said, there are some clues. Males tend to be bigger than females of the same age (though obviously there's variation depending on various genetic and environmental factors). As with many other cichlids, males tend to have longer dorsal and anal fins. If you look at these fins, they end in longer points that stretch further back towards the tail than on females. Again, this isn't 100% reliable, not least of all because when kept with nippy or aggressive fish these fins can be damaged. On wild-type fish, and especially wild-caught fish, males tend to have more colouration on the face, particularly the famous "worm" markings on the snout and around the eyes. They often have redder eyes than the female as well. But the stock sold commercially has been bred for colour, and both males and females can be strongly coloured; or conversely, both can lack colour on the faces altogether. Finally, there is more than one Heros species in the trade, and sexing each species will be subtly different. Do see here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Severum info.. 11/03/09
Thank you for the info you provided. Thanks a lot
<Happy to have helped. Cheers, Neale.>

Severums Pairing Off   7/23/09
How do you know when your Severums are mating? I just added what I believe is a male green Severum to a tank with a suspected female. She swims in front of him shaking like a dog that has been soaked with water. Is that the mating ritual or has my fish gone crazy....? Laura
< There will always be a confrontation when you put two cichlids together.
The female knows that a male is now in her territory. She wants to get his attention so she starts to shake and dash all around him to find out what his intentions are. He could be a possible mate or an enemy for life. Time will tell.-Chuck>

Re: Severums Pairing Off II  07/23/09
She seems to like him, but he chases her around the tank. We are having fun watching the fish show. If they become enemies, should we move him to another tank? I really don't think we will have to do that. love is in the
air, or the water whichever way you look at it.....Laura
<If she is well conditioned and ready to spawn then you will see lip locking, tail wagging and lots of activity. When they are ready to spawn they will start to clean an area and may start to dig a pit in the sand. If things are not working out then he will chase her and start to beat her up.
At that time she needs to be removed so she can recover. Welcome to the world of cichlids.-Chuck>

Re: Severums Paring Off III  07/23/09
At any rate it is entertaining. I believe they will mate. They are lip locking and swooning all over the tank. She digs a hole, and he checks it out. Something else I have seen, is she swims upside down and sideways. Do I need to get her a flat rock and remove all the fake foliage from the tank. I would love to encourage them. I also have five large silver dollars in the tank with them. They don't seem to bother them, but one of the silver dollars has taken a liking to him also. Can a silver Dollar breed with a cichlid? Oh what weird looking babies that would be...Laura
<They are pretty good at picking a spot to spawn that will suit them just fine. The silver dollars make good "dither" fish. These are fish that help distract the parents from each other and may actually strengthen the pair bond. The silver dollar will not cross with the Severum.-Chuck>

Re: Severums eating eggs (was: re: fish)   7/30/09
my Severum finally laid eggs, but the male keeps eating them. How do you keep that from happening.
<You can't. While wild cichlids will "recycle" their eggs this way if they decide conditions in their environment are so bad there's no hope of rearing a brood, almost always when domesticated fish eat their eggs immediately after spawning it's a behavioural abnormality.>
She is working so hard to lay them, and he comes right behind her and eats all of them as fast as she can lay them...
<This is very common, especially with fish that have been bred in captivity for decades. The problem is that there are no selection pressures on farmed fish to be good parents, since on farms, the breeders take the eggs away as soon as they're laid. So the genes responsible for good parenting are lost.
In the wild it's very different, and only those parents who can successfully rear a brood will send their genes into the next generation, so evolution works in favour of good parenting. Sometimes, farmed cichlids
"get it right" with practise, but to be honest, many never do, and spend their entire lives eating the eggs they lay. So it's up to you. Since Severums are of little to no value in terms of selling them on, you may
decide to just let your fish get on with it, and hope perhaps they get it right. Otherwise, if you're dead set on rearing a brood -- and think about this carefully, because rehoming a few hundred Severums isn't easy -- then remove whatever they lay their eggs on to another tank, add an air-stone and a little Methylene blue to prevent fungus, and raise the fry yourself.
Rearing Severums is essentially similar to Angelfish. Cheers, Neale.>

Cross Breeding Jack Dempsey Breeds With Severum  7/3/08 Hi, I have a question about cross breeding. First off we started out with a small catfish and a Gourami, Then we added a full grown Severum and a Jack Dempsey that were bought from the same tank. Since the day we brought them home they have been paired up, anyway my Severum has laid her first batch of eggs (that I know of) and my Jack Dempsey is, I think , fertilizing them. So my question is will the eggs survive being cross bred? They seem to be protecting them very well, should I take out the eggs? If so how would I go about doing that? Thank you very much for your time. Kim < In the wild these two fish never see each other. The Severum is from South America and the Jack Dempsey is from Central America. There are many weird cichlid crosses out there but I have never heard of this one before. The eggs should hatch in three days if the are viable. In three more days the fry should be free swimming. The eggs can be removed at any time. Fill an aquarium with the same water from the main tank that the pair have spawned in. Place the eggs with object the eggs were laid on in the tank and maintain the same water temp and provide strong aeration too. Dead eggs will turn whits and begin to develop a fungus.-Chuck>

Re: Cross Breeding Jack Dempsey Breeds With Severum II 07/07/08 Thanks for getting back to me, I can use any tips I can get. Forgive me if this is a stupid question but what do you mean by "turn whits"? Do you mean turn white? < Sorry. Typo on my part. My wireless keyboard has batteries that needed changing. Dead cichlid eggs that are unfertilized start to turn white after 24 hours or so.> Some of them are white but I was told that was the fertilized ones. Is that true? < Fertilized eggs are usually a brownish color. This is probably an evolutionary adaptation so predators will not see the eggs and eat them. Sorry for the typos.-Chuck>  Thanks again Kim

Unfertilized Severum eggs 3/30/08 Hi, Hope this isn't too stupid a question, but at least it and the answer should be short. I have a single female gold Severum who just laid her first eggs. As there's no male yet (I'm looking for one), the eggs will go unfertilized. Should I just leave them in the tank, or should I remove them? Thanks, Greg <Hi Greg. I'd be surprised if she (or the other fish in the tank) don't eat them before too long. Plecs and other nocturnal fish in particular will simply view these are a midnight snack. But it's perhaps best to remove them if you're worried about water quality. Cheers, Neale.>

Mated turquoise Severum pair no longer mated? 10/14/07 Hello, <Ave,> First, let me describe our tank... 110 gallons, heavily decorated, Currently we have 6 green Severums, 1 keyhole, 2 electric yellows, 1 German ram, and a very small Pleco. <Certainly an eccentric collection of fish!> My husband and I purchased a mated pair of turquoise Severums about 3 months ago. They spent all their time together, very obviously a mated pair. <Hmm... famous last words. Cichlids are notorious for being happily married in one tank, but fierce enemies when moved to another.> We watched them search out the tank, we were excited thinking they might spawn soon but nothing happened. At the time we added the mated pair, our tank had 2 orange African cichlids and it seemed the addition of the mated pair made these orange cichlids become very aggressive toward all the fish in the tank. We were surprised to see this aggression because the mated pair are much bigger than everyone else in the tank. <Cichlids don't see things the way you do. For them, anything else in THEIR patch of the world is a potential threat, either as an egg-eater, or a rival mate, or simply as a competitor for food and space. This is why cichlids are so successful at colonising other places when accidentally introduced by man: they attack first, ask questions later. In the bloody world of Nature, this strategy works exceedingly well.> We removed the orange cichlids about a couple of weeks ago but it seems our mated Severums are no longer mated. The male chases the female away when she comes around and now we often see them far apart from each other. <Oh dear.> She actually seems sad (if that is possible). <Unlikely she's "sad", but she may be stressed if picked upon.> Do mated pairs separate? <Yes. In the wild, probably quite frequently.> Can they or will they reconnect? <Yes. Since you have six Severums in the one tank, new pairs should form naturally. Just give them time. Conditioning the females when make them more receptive to the male's advances. So optimise their diet: lots of fresh greens plus live/frozen foods such as bloodworms.> Thanks Janice <Good luck, Neale>

Severum cross with a gold  8/16/07 Hi, I'd like to know what would be the result of breeding a turquoise Severum with a gold Severum? What would be the offspring's coloration? I understand that gold's are a variant of the green Severum which is merely lacking the melanin. What would this cross breed be called? Thanks, AT <Usually when extreme varieties are crossed, you end up with something closer to the wild type. Thanks to removing the results of inbreeding, crosses between varieties are usually hardier and more fertile, and behaviour will be more consistently similar to the wild fish. On the other hand, stores tend not to want fish they can't define as a particular kind of something, though this isn't always a big deal. By analogy with angelfish (which are closely related to Severums) my guess would be the results of this cross would be a mishmash of different types depending on what versions of the colouration genes each baby Severum ended up with. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Severum cross with a gold 08/17/07 Thank You so much Neale for your timely response. I hope to be able to sell the offspring once they have them and God willing the will be sold. Sincerely, AT <You're welcome. Good luck with your breeding project. Cheers, Neale>

Severums Breeding - 01/23/2007 Hello, <Hi, Jeannine - first of, THANK YOU for fixing your capitalization and re-sending your message - I can't tell you how much we appreciate this.  You're awesome.> I have a pair of gold Severums that have bred 3 times. The first time in my community tank.  The babies were there for a few days and then were gone.  The parents were protecting the babies so I thought the other fish had ate them. <Yeah, that's very likely.  However, the parents also can end up "giving up" if the threat to their young is too great in a community tank; if they do "give up", well, sometimes even the parents will eat the young.  Also, new parent cichlids might take a few to several tries before they finally understand that baby cichlids are for raising, not eating.> So I moved them to their own tank so they would have no worries. <Great!> They had more babies and were doing nicely for a few days. Then they were gone. The parents must have eaten them. <Yeah, the stress of moving may have spurred this, or again, they're probably pretty new to the whole baby thing.> The 3rd set, I let the babies in there for a few days. Then I put them in a breeding net to separate them. <Better to either completely remove them to another tank to raise them or to allow the parents to raise them uninhibited.> I fed them some liquid small fry food. The parents did not like being separated from the babies. Two hours later they were all gone. I can see some floating dead, but I don't see all of them. I don't know if the parents somehow sucked them through the net or what.   <This can and does happen, even with very fine netting - it's just not safe for the young to keep them in a breeder net in a tank with strong adult fish.> How can I keep them alive? Do I need to move the parents back to the community tank after they have some more? <That is an option.> If so when? <As soon as you see aggression toward the young, and are quite certain they're going to be eaten....  Otherwise, let mom and dad try their hand at parenting in peace a few times - they'll get it right with time, more than likely.  Don't disturb the tank too much or provide a threat to the "kids", and probably the parents will learn how to do things the right way.  Cichlids are amazing; they're one of the few groups of fish that actually do protect and raise their young.  Occasionally, there will be a pair that just doesn't "get it", and if yours never "gets it", then separating them from their young is the thing to do.  But let 'em try taking care of their young first; it means less work for you, and possibly healthier young.  Even better, you'll get to observe some of the most interesting fish behaviors there are - parents providing for, protecting, and raising their young.> Thank You,  -Jeannine <All the best to you,  -Sabrina> Breeding Gold Severums    1/21/07 Hello, How many breeding pair of gold Severums can you have in a 55 gal tank? < I would stick to two if you plan on keeping the fry around. But just one pair will supply you and all your friends with all the gold Severums you will ever need.> I have 12 Severums in this tank and 3 sets are breeding.  Will  they breed and raise fry as families? < No. If they breed at the same time the fry will get mixed up and they will not be able to tell their fry from their neighbor's. the breeding pairs will constantly be fighting with one another. I would recommend that you just keep a pair and watch them raise their family like cichlids do.> I can move the unpaired fish if  necessary.  Thank you <You could potentially end up with 6 breeding pairs of fish. Each pair can produce a thousand eggs every two weeks depending on the size. Lots of gold Severums to get rid of.-Chuck>

Severum Breeding With Siblings   1/14/07 Hello, I wrote you in December of 05 about TOO much of a good Thing, This was in reference that I had a mated pair of gold Severums that had 2 set of   babies 2 week apart, and thus I had almost 400 babies to raise. You suggested I   contact local fish stores. After 1 year I am down to about 40 babies left.   I had a very upsetting day last May as one of my parent fish was found dead out of the tank as I woke one morning.  All this time I thought it was the Daddy fish as it was the larger and the most colorful of the pair.  Now I  am wondering if maybe I have mistaken the identity.  From August 11 of 05  (first babies) until now, there have no eggs in the tank at all.  The  parent fish has shared a tank with 10 of the younger fish for 8 months. Part of this time I had a divider in the tank as the younger fish seemed to  annoy the parent.  The past 2 months the parent fish has lived freely with  the 10 maturing fish.    2 of the younger fish began to mate and move  to a place in the tank inside a flower pot.  Suddenly eggs were in the tank  again.  What a joy!   NOW I am very confused.  The original  parent fish suddenly began parenting the eggs.  I thought may the mothering  instinct was just overcoming the fish and it was filling the parenting  role.  These eggs were not fertilized and so 2 weeks later a second batch  appeared.  Same thing happened.   At some point some of the smaller fish at the eggs about day 5.  Yesterday 3rd set of eggs.   YEAH.  I am now prepared to divide the tank to prevent the other fish from  eating the eggs.  I'm not SOOO not sure of the largest original parent  fishes role.  I put 3 fish on the side with the eggs last night.  The  largest fish will not leave the eggs.  Could I have mistaken the fish and  it was the male all the time and it is trying to fertilize the eggs?  Could  this still be the female and it is mothering the eggs?  If it is female why  no eggs for over a year?  I just don't know what to do.  My original  plan was to get a mate for the original fish when the babies were all  moved.  This is not happening right now as I am having babies.  Could  the largest fish be mating with a smaller baby fish?   Please help me  with this issue.  Thank you so much. <The older fish could be breeding with the siblings. You could have a female and is trying to breed with the siblings by laying eggs but the younger fish isn't going for it. Probably the older fish is laying the eggs hoping that one of the younger males will fertilize the eggs.-Chuck> Green Severum has laid eggs   9/21/06 Hello, <Hi there> In one of my tanks, (55 gal.) I have 2-4" Green Severums, 1-3" Bala Shark, 1-5" Silver Dollar "Ike"-my favorite fish, 1-3" Pictus Catfish, 1-4" Electric Blue Cichlid (Yes, I know he shouldn't be here but he gets along better with the fish in this tank than in my African Cichlid tank), <Ah, yes. Many tank-bred Aulonocaras are quite mild> 1-6" Common Pleco, 1-2" Moonlight Gourami, 1-1" Gold Gourami, 1-1" Opaline Gourami. (My Son wanted Gourami's, and I plan to transfer these fish to a different tank eventually.) With some mild aggression at times, the fish are getting along just fine. No Fish is over-harassing any other fish too much. The 2 Severums were purchased from different fish stores. They look alike except for coloration. 1 was sold as a "Turquoise" Severum and the other as a "Green" Severum. <Mmm, same species...> My wife insisted at first that they were different fish. I told her that they are the same species, and so are Gold Severums. Am I correct? <Yes> Anyway, our 7 year-old daughter spotted eggs laying on some of the rocks at the bottom. We immediately could see that they were fish eggs. The eggs are light brown in color. I removed the rocks with the eggs from the tank and placed them in a breeding net. From all the reading I can tell with some certainty that this wasn't the right thing to do. Will these eggs hatch? How will the fry do afterwards? Thanks for your help, Del <Mmm, might hatch... better left with the parents though... the fry, raised in either way will have to be fed once free-swimming... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/severumreprofaq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Breeding Severums   7/6/06 Hello, I have 4 Severums in 55 gallon tank 3 golds and 1 green. It would appear that the 2 larger Severums have spawned and now I have eggs. There are 3 Catfish in this tank 1 Cory, 1 spotted Raphael and 1 Striped Raphael, also in the tank is a Pleco. I figure I have to remove the cat fish and Pleco, but can I use a tank divider to separate momma Severum and eggs from the rest?? If so should I leave the male with the female and eggs or separate him to? Thanks for any info. Guy Clemency < Leave the parents with the eggs. The Pleco will be a problem but the parents should be able to keep the others away. The eggs will hatch in three days and the fry will become free swimming in three more. When they begin to swim I would recommend that you use some airline tubing and siphon out the babies and put them in a tank of their own. In another week the parents may eat the eggs themselves and get ready to spawn again. When the fry are free swimming they need to be fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake food.-Chuck>

Breeding Severums (02/25/03) I'm going to sound like a COMPLETE ignoramus here, but oh well. <Ananda here, and believe me, I have done the same thing....> I have 2 Severums in my community tank.  I am interested in breeding Severums, but have NO idea how to determine the sex of them!  I have read descriptions that say things like "the male has pointier fins", but I have been unable to see actual side-by-side pictures showing the differences, which makes the descriptions useless.   <I didn't find any side-by-side photos, either, and read that one of the few ways you can be certain of the gender of the fish is to examine their genital papillae. The text didn't specify what to look for, but I suspect the male's will be more pointed and the female's ovipositor will be rounded. (The other way to be certain which is which is to catch them spawning!) A female Severum may have a dark spot on the dorsal fin, while males may have reddish-brown spots and worm-like markings on the head. > They are about 3-1/2 to 4" long, one green & one gold.  Any help you can give would be VERY appreciated! <I've read that these fish do not pair bond particularly easily. I would suggest a large tank, excellent food, and several fish. If you have one male and a harem of females, you may get a pair to spawn. As for *finding* that male, you might need to go to a local fish store with a fair number of these fish in one tank and just stare at the fish for a while, or look for a cichlid club and ask its members for help.> Thanks, Raven <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Severum Eggs Hi this is Valerie. I have two gold Severums and yesterday morning I found eggs on the wall of my aquarium. Well I bought a screen so that none of the other could get to them. Well I'm just wondering, how long does it take for Severum eggs to hatch? <Hi Valerie, the eggs should hatch within 3-5 days.  I do not know if I would use the screen to separate the parents from the eggs, Severums are delayed mouth brooders, and make pretty good parents.  A quick search on Google.com for Heros severus breeding should lead you to a wealth of information.  There is also a good article at the link below.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/severums.htm  > Thank You, Valerie

Gold Severum reproduction <Hi, Pufferpunk here> My two Gold Severums have laid eggs twice in the last 2 weeks and continue to eat the eggs. Is this normal?   <A lot of fish will eat their own eggs> I have tried separating them and the eggs don't hatch.  Should I be doing something else?? <I have either hung a breeder net across from the filter stream & raised the babies in there, or put the eggs in another tank. If you move them, you will need to cover the intake of the filter w/a sponge or use a sponge filter.  You may need to dose the tank with 1/2 dose Methylene blue, to prevent fungusing of the eggs.> <Good luck--Pufferpunk>

Egg Eaters My breeding pair of Severums keeps eating the eggs. What can I do to prevent this? They reside in a 75 gallon tank with a 5 inch Pleco. <Any other tankmates, or is that it?> They are not very aggressive after they lay the eggs like most other Severums I've seen. Anyway, what can I do to get these eggs to hatch? <I read an account where someone had a breeding pair of angels that ate batch after batch of eggs, and instead of raising the fry himself, he put an African butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) in the tank with them to see if that would elicit defensive behavior from the angels (I believe his reasoning behind using this species was that they really pose no threat to eggs, as they only eat live fish or insects that find their way to the surface of the water).  If you try something like this, be sure to use a fish that poses no threat to the eggs, will keep its distance from the angels, and can be easily removed once the eggs hatch - and even still, there's no guarantee whatsoever that it will work, but it might be worth a try.  You can always remove the eggs once the parents are through laying and hatching/raising them yourself.  Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina>

Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 gal tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. < The eggs should hatch in three days. The whitish color is an indication that the eggs may have all died. If they hatch the fry should be free swimming in about three days. At that time they should be fed baby brine shrimp and finely crushed flake food. They should be removed from the parents into their own tank in about a week. The parents will spawn again within a couple of weeks.-Chuck> JohnB

Gold Severums have laid eggs!!! Bob's go After removing the 7 inch Bala shark and spotted African Cichlid and turning up the heat to 82-84 degrees on the 29 gal tank, the female finally deposited hundreds of eggs on the wall of the clay pot. <Neat!> Yesterday, the eggs were clear/opaque and today they are all white. <Ohhh... fungused> My assumption is that the male has fertilized almost all of the eggs. <Mmm, maybe... not... could be you have two females... or even that the male is sterile or did not participate> I am observing that the male is maintaining guard over the entrance of the clay pot and keeps the female away every time she come near the eggs. Is this normal behavior or should I separate the fish or removed all together? <Not too abnormal... but... trouble for you and them being in this small a container... need at least a forty, better a sixty gallon tank or larger... too stressful, problems if one beats the other...> Do I have to do frequent water changes? Are the eggs safe from the parents? How long until the eggs hatch into fry? <They won't... they're not viable...> Are the fry safe? Please make any recommendations, I appreciate your advice. JohnB <John... you need more information than can be gleaned from simply asking here... do read through what little we have on all cichlids posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm and consider getting a good book or two on cichlid husbandry... you can search these on Amazon, Barnes and Noble... Bob Fenner>

Spawning Severums 7/28/05 Hello, I finally have babies.  A long story and I won't bore  you with my experiences, but it has been  a very delight to come home and  watch the parenting of the parent fish.  Now, my question:  I have  read all emails that you have posted and will remove the babies in a week as you  suggested.  How often do the parents spawn? < Depends on the conditions and somewhat up to the particular pair. If the eggs are eaten right away then they will usually spawn in a couple of weeks. If they are left with the fry then usually the fry hang around for a week or so then they may be eaten and the pair will spawn again within ten days or so depending on the water temp and the condition of the pair.> It was 14 days to the  date from the first batch of eggs that were not successful to the new parents to  this second batch.  Will they spawn every 2 week all year long? < After the third spawn sometimes the female needs a break . The male may kill her if she is not ready and willing.> I am  in the process in setting up a new tank for 2 of the first babies and a tank for  the bulk of the other babies.   Thank you for this information.  I have fish stores in my  hometown but they had not had a personal experience with Severum babies.  I  have learned a lot from you and the readers and would love to share my  experiences with anyone with limited questions.  Thanks  again. Debbie < Good luck with the fry.-Chuck>

Too Much Of A Good Thing, Or Be Careful What You Wish For!  12/5/05 Hello, I wrote in July and announced the hatching of babies for my Severum couple. I have now had 2 batches and still have the nursery of fish in with the parents. I have relocated 75 babies and I am moving the others as possible. I have watched the babies for the last couple of months continuously swim behind the daddy fish. He positions himself nose down a lot of the time in the tank. He can and does swim correctly and eats very well but is noticeably vertical at times. What can this be? < The male is using his ventral fins to signal the fry.> Do you know a good way of getting homes for the approximately 150 other babies? Thanks for the help. Debbie < When the fry are about 1 1/2 inches long you can start to call pet shops and tropical fish stores in your area and see if you can sell or trade some of the fry. They may take some and you can make a couple of bucks out of the deal. Go Aquabid.com and see if you want to sell them over the internet. Their may be a local aquarium society in which you can place some of the fry up for auction at a meeting. Their is a national club called the American Cichlid Association that can be found at cichlid.org. They have a publication they put out called the Trading Post in which members can buy and sell fish. Lots of possibilities. Sometimes these big New World cichlids will produce thousands of fry and take care of a market for the entire country.-Chuck> 

Breeding Gold Severums   2/10/06 I have two golden Severum fish which for a while have been shifting sand and stones, cleaning a rock, and going through the motions of laying eggs but haven't as yet. They are kept in a 4 foot tank with 7 dwarf rainbow cichlids, a red tailed shark and one other algae eater. Any suggestions on what to do to get them breeding? < Feed them washed earthworms, brine shrimp, meal worms and king worms. Raise the water temp to 82 F and do a 50% water change once a week. If they are a pair then I would think that this would get them going in less than two weeks.-Chuck>

Crossing Green Severums  - 02/20/06 Can you tell me what fish would make good mates for a female green Severum to cross breed with? <Severums have already been crossed with a number of easy to breed central American cichlids like red devils and convicts. Try and get a male the same size or a little larger. My preference would be a nice male green Severum.-Chuck>

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