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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend has a 55 gallon tank with a gold severum, an eclipse catfish, a clowm pleco and a farlowella. She really wants another cichlid, ca or sa, but i'm not sure what she could fit, if anything. Could anyone give me some ideas on what might work?
 

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How old and how large is the Severum? Sevs can get pretty big and for that reason a lot of people think a 55 is the bare minimum to keep one longterm (and usually alone). To be honest I don't know what an exlipse catfish is, but I think the clown pleco and farlowella are good tankmates that shouldn't cramp the severums style!

As for cichlids I think the most obvious choice would be another sev of the opposite sex! Other than that it is pretty hard to say for certain as from everything I have read and heard Sevs can be pretty hard on tankmates... In my personal experience, my severums were all pretty mellow and accepted disimilar fish (even other cichlids) more readily than they did other Severums.

I can't really make any suggestions without knowing the size & age of your sev (it will make a difference IMO).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the severum is about 6 inches, and around 8 months, give or take a few. Can't remember exactly when we got it.
 

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At that size & age it may feel the tank is it's own... If that's the case it would make introducing other cichlids a bit of a problem. If you want to try it you may have to tear down the current aquascaping and re-design in a whole new way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well right now it has a 7 inch oscar for a tankmate that I just convinced her to get rid of. We're taking him to a pet store with a huge oscar tank. The severum is not the dominant of the two, so if another cichlid would fit i'm sure we would try it. Might look into the festivum I saw some yesterday at an lfs.
 

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My sev, female gold, is about 2 yrs old and about the size as a coffee saucer (her body, no fins). She shares a 55g, densly fake-planted, with 2 established pairs of bolivian rams, a 4" geo steindachneri and a few scissor tail rasbora. She is happy w/plenty of swimming room and doesn't bother the other tank mates unless they're picking on her. The other cichlids established their territories and she just takes the tank as her own.
 

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^ I like that mix cody... Most adult sevs that I have seen in person top out at about 9" TL (they are deep bodied and thick at that size), but I have heard of Sevs getting to be as big as 12" - so I can totally see why some people feel that a 55g is the minimum...

Having said that I prefer having tankmates with my fish as the situations permit. My severums were very accomodating to tankmates - but they did eat some tetras... But sinisterkisses (another member here) had a Severum that would not tolerate any tankmates.

At the end of the day a big part of the success or failure will depend on the individual fish in question.

well right now it has a 7 inch oscar for a tankmate that I just convinced her to get rid of. We're taking him to a pet store with a huge oscar tank. The severum is not the dominant of the two, so if another cichlid would fit i'm sure we would try it. Might look into the festivum I saw some yesterday at an lfs.
That's a good decision... Although I believe that Oscars make excellent tankmates for Severums a 55g tank is not an appropriate size for such a combination... Aggression may not be a problem, but the limited space and heavy bio-load (let's face it O's are pigs) could easily lead to less than ideal water conditions and/or a maintenance regimen that saps the fun out of the hobby and makes it feel a lot like work.

If your Sev will accept them Bolivian Rams would be an excellent choice to try adding to the tank... If it were my tank I would try the Bolivians, or maybe a Keyhole or Festivum, a Steinie as cody has done, or maybe an L. thayeri or two... (but not all of the above ;) ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah i've been on her about the oscar for awhile. But today we brought it to the lfs and she picked out a geophagus surinemesis. Beautiful fish. i will have to get some pics when it gets a little more situated. Thanks for all the input guys.
 

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I also had a pair of S. jurupari in the tank a while back. They went unmolested by my sev and were thriving until I left for a month and left my tank in the hands of a roommate who, despite my crystal clear directions, did not change the water and only topped it off once. Needless to say, the fish were in bad shape when I returned and I lost the 2 jurupari. I have no idea how his fish survive in the tanks he keeps...but I digress...

My plan down the road is to get a large tank, in the 150g+ range and add my 10 f2 Steinie fry that are growing out in a smaller tank. I also have a male green sev on the way...we'll see if that is a success or not.
 

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you could do another severum in there. i have a pair in my 55g with 3 small dats. my sevs are 6.5" and 5.5" and have plenty of room to swim. i do plan on moving them to my 75g though when its set up
 

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I keep hearing stories about intolerant Severum, but I've never met one. Until recently, I had 2 pairs of Severum. One pair in a 40 (3 foot) with some grow out Geophagus, and another pair in a 60G Hex with some Yellow Labs and a couple of spare fish... and neither pair ever damaged a single fin. Heck... both pairs spawned.

Recently... I got another 125 up and running and set up a SA community... Now, all 4 Heros are in one tank (one pair at either end), and the Geos and some danios school around the middle...

I would NOT be afraid to add a fish or two to that 55!
 

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Feverdream said:
I keep hearing stories about intolerant Severum, but I've never met one. Until recently, I had 2 pairs of Severum. One pair in a 40 (3 foot) with some grow out Geophagus, and another pair in a 60G Hex with some Yellow Labs and a couple of spare fish... and neither pair ever damaged a single fin. Heck... both pairs spawned.
I guess it depends. We have two of what turned out to be male turquoise severums in our 75 gallon. Seemed like we had two that liked each other a lot at first. Both are about 8 months old now, and maybe 6" each. One (the boldest colored) tends to be a bully about 90% of the time. Just chases the other around until he gets tired of it... even though the passive one is a little bit bigger. Only once have I seen any contact, and ironically the "not dominant" one showed showed the more dominant one down! I did see a little damage to the not dominant one's pectoral fins once... though this most likely was just from zipping through some tight plants.

I noticed that after a good cleaning and slight redecoration of the tank, the two would get along fine for a while. So I occasionally switch stuff up just to keep them on their toes. After the most recent switch-up, in which I "compressed" the current 48" decoration "footprint" to about 40", I guess there's an illusion of the tank being 8" longer. Took some plants from the middle and stuck them on the end, and now the two are getting along just fine. Bizarre. The dominant one just follows the less dominant one around. Kinda funny, actually. :lol:

I guess if you don't have a "pair", two severums in a 55-75 gallon tank boils down to tank setup and a little luck.

-Ryan
 

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I think the thing that I find the strangest about my Heros is the fact that they just don't hunt.

I purchased some Zebra Danios to cycle a tank... figured that if they made it through that, I could toss them in with the Sevs and see what happened. .99 each... hey, it wasn't much of a risk for a glorified minnow.

Well... one of the five decided that it would check out the inside of the powerhead... but the other 4 cycled my tank and proclaimed it free of noxious chemicals... so into the Sev tank they went.

...and there they remain. 1-1.5 inch snacks... swimming around with 3 year old, 8 inch (more or less, I've never actually measured them) Heros... which completely ignore them.

Heck... I'm gonna ditch the stupid Danios and try some Tetras next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
the geo is working out great. No agression issues at all, she just needs to get the whole bottom of her tank covered in sand. Right now it is only halfway. But her severum is the biggest wuss i've ever seen. It used to get beat up by a 1 inch bp when it was 3 inches, and i've also never actually witnessed a mean severum, either, feverdream. It just seems to me like when people say oscars are real agressive. But after keeping jags and similar ca's, I guess most other cichlids wouldn't seem too badass :wink:
 

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Feverdream said:
I think the thing that I find the strangest about my Heros is the fact that they just don't hunt.

Heck... I'm gonna ditch the stupid Danios and try some Tetras next.
Severums are mostly herbivores. I guess they'll simply destroy any live plants, and shrimp are in danger if living with the sevs, but other fish are mostly out. If your gut is adapted to getting the most out of plants, it can't be much fun to try and run a bony fish through it. :)

We have red-eye tetras in with our two severums. No cares whatsoever... when we put in a pair of tiny brisltenose plecos, the sevs first thought they might have been giant food pellets, but after a close inspection, they swam back to the glass towards me, and gave me the "WTF" look, "That's not food!" :)

Cheers!
-Ryan
 
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