Rotkeil's Red-Shouldered Severum (Heros sp. Rotkeil)

Imported European Fish

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The severum is a popular South American cichlid in the aquarium hobby, and there are quite a few color forms, including a gold variety, as well as red and green. All of those are color forms of Heros efasciatus, and here we have another fish! The jury is still out on whether it is a color form of the efasciatus species, or if it is a completely distinct species. Coming from Northern Peru, this rarer type of severum is stunning. Green bodied with dense black bands, alongside red finnage and blue faces, these fish would already be stunning, but their namesake “rotkeil” or “red wedge” shows up on their shoulder as they mature. You would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful or solid red even in manmade fish, but these fish come straight out of the river with this gorgeous color. This red can also extend up into the nuchal hump of the males, which develop as the fish matures, and this can really accentuate the blue mask that is on the face.

These fish are collected from Northern Peru, and are typically found in acidic water that has undetectable hardness levels. Ours are tank bred in Europe, but being a relatively newer fish, they are not generationally adapted to tap water, so you will want to keep them in closer conditions to wild than many of our other fish. That being said, if you have to drastically alter your water chemistry to achieve something, it might be better to just have a strict schedule of water changes which keeps your water consistent, and your fish will adapt to your conditions. This may not be conducive to spawning, but many fish will still thrive in parameters which are different from their natural ones. The most important factor would be to make sure your water is clean, and your filter is working efficiently. Decorations are also appreciated by these fish, in order to give them a place to escape to if necessary, but keep in mind that these fish are fairly big bodied and tend to destroy plants and finer decorations. Another important thing to keep in mind is that these fish, while averaging 3 inches with us, will most likely triple in size within a year, so you will not want to keep them in a tank that is too small. In addition to this, they have hearty appetites, and prefer to eat most things that they can get their mouths on, although they definitely enjoy high protein foods like bloodworms.

Due to the size of this fish, you will want to keep them with similar sized fish, as small things might find themselves a meal. These fish are fairly peaceful outside of spawning time, and so you will want to keep them with other tankmates which are also peaceful. When speaking about a community tank of that size, you will want to have an aquarium that is 150 gallons or so, and thus it might be a better idea to keep a single specimen, and possibly with some largish dither fish in a smaller tank, as a single one can be reasonably kept in a 40 gallon breeder or larger. These fish ship individually bagged.

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Imported European Fish

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