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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I am brand-new and shiny to this forum and also to keeping cichlids.
Three weeks ago we were sent some orphaned fish from friends who are closing down their tank. Most of these went into our community tank but the two 'blue gouramis' she sent, when they arrived, turned out to be Heros Severums (whoops!) and much too big to go in with our little tetras.
We quickly set up another, smaller tank to accommodate them and let them de-stress.
The questions are;
1) They very timid and hide in a cave whenever we are in the room. How can we make them feel more secure so they come out and say hello more?
2) They have only ever been fed on normal, tropical fish, flake food and seem uninterested in floating cichlid pellets/sticks etc. They also won't eat when we're in the room so we don't know if we're feeding enough/too much etc. I filmed them to check and they seem to enjoy the sinking cat-food pellets we give our bottom-feeders. Any advice on anything else that might interest them? They ignore prawns and anything that stays on the surface.
3) When watching the feeding footage, I noticed that one or both of them make a chirping noise! Any ideas?
4) I've read up on sexing severums and understand that it's difficult but I think they may be a pair and may want to spawn (the larger one has dug out all the substrate from under the cave and seems to be chasing the smaller one towards it.) We want to move them into a larger tank, is it a good idea to do it a.s.a.p or waot until they've done their thing?

Sorry it's such a long one but we want to get it right and want them to have a happier life than the one they had before. :)
Any helpful advice gratefully received,
Tookey.
 

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The sooner they are in a larger tank the better. A 4'x18"x18" is a good size for a pair.

Severums are an omnivore with a taste for greens. Algea wafers are a good staple food, along with a quality pellet. As a treat you can try feeding romaine lettuce and/or boiled frozen peas. Some people like to take the shells of the peas, but I don't really see the point.

I don't think feeding cat pellets to your bottom dwellers is a good idea. Look in your LFS for some of the quality brands such as New Life Spectrum (NLS), Hikari or Sera. Most companies make a range of products, if you google the brand names I suggested, you should find two or three products to suite all your fishes needs.

I always like linking blairo1's thread, even though he's no longer around. You can see how bulky a single Sev can get.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... highlight=
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hahaha! Sorry, too tired this morning. I didn't mean cat-food pellets, I meant catfish pellets! :lol: My mistake.
Thanks for the food advice. Will try peas at their next feed and try and do the tank-move tomorrow - I have a 4 footer waiting in the wings.
Any idea about the chirping noises?

Tookey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Been scrolling the web and apparently the males chirrup to entice females or to warn off other males (so could still be either in my tank!) They never do it when I'm around, only when I've set up the video recorder.
Neither of them have particularly prominant squiggles but if they're chirping, at least one must be male. Do the squiggles develop more as they get older? My larger one is about 5.5 inches and the smaller 4.5.
 

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Sevs tend to be pretty shy fish at first and take a while to settle in. Give them some time and they'll soon be coming out to the front of the tank to you at feeding time. Having a handful of dither fish in with them will help a lot also. My Rottie was extremely shy when he was first put in his tank. Granted he was the only fish in there at the time. I added another smaller sev and a handful of cories and he immediately became more outgoing. Of course, it helped that the other sev was very outgoing. I think once you get yours a bigger tank and add a few dither fish they'll feel a bit more secure and settle in.

As for not wanting to eat when you're in the room, I went through that same problem with a Carpintis I had. He refused to eat when I was anywhere in sight. I used to have to sneak a peek around the doorway to see him eat. Eventually, he got used to me but it took awhile.

Not sure about the chirping noise. You said yours never feed at the surface? Mine make a noise but it's when they feed at the surface, I think they're sucking air in when they grab the food at the surface. Can you post the video? Would love to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Video!? :-? I'm slightly technophobic but will have a go...
Am now REALLY excited because I've just seen them both do the quiver thing and she keeps following him into his cave and putting on a nice colour-display, all her stripes go really dark black like a tiger and he's gone a deeper gold. AMAZING! I'm doing a little dance in the living room!
Feeding and video time I think.... Watch this space (but don't hold your breath!) :D
 

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You'll need to post a video to someplace like Youtube, then link it here.

Actually, our fish make a lot of sounds, but we rarely hear them because they're not usually very loud. Sound is very useful to aquatic animals because of the ability of water to carry sound much further than air. Back in the early 70s a couple of people actually waterproofed some microphones and turned them into aquaphones, and recorded the sounds made by various species of fish. However, interest in it never really caught on.
 
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