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11 Great Tank Mates for Severum Cichlids (With Pictures)

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By Lindsey Stanton

Severum cichlid

One of the joys of having an aquarium is creating a community of fish. Temperaments and ideal conditions vary, which can sometimes make it more difficult. It’s not a matter of tossing different species together and hoping for the best. The Severum Cichlid makes for an interesting addition to an aquarium. This fish is close to its wild roots despite its absence in its native habitat.

If you don’t want your Severum Cichlid to be lonely, here are a few suggestions for suitable tank mates.

The 11 Tank Mates for Severum Cichlids

1. Bushynose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.)

Bushynose Plecostomus
Image Credit: Deborah Aronds, Shutterstock
Size: 4–6 inches (10–15 cm)
Diet: Herbivore
Minimum tank size: 30 gallons
Care level: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful (it’s best to keep only one per tank)

The Bushynose Pleco is an excellent addition to any tank that will keep the algae under control. It does well with the Severum Cichlid because each lives in its own space, without any conflict. It doesn’t compete for resources, which helps everyone get along. It is efficient at what it does, so it’s best to limit this fish to one per tank.

2. Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temminkii)

Kissing gourami
Image Credit: Vladimir Wrangel, Shutterstock
Size: Up to 12 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The name of the Kissing Gourami probably puts a specific image in your mind. The “kissing” is more of an aggressive behavior, however. It is more docile when small. It is related to Bettas and can breathe atmospheric oxygen at the surface of a tank, thanks to its labyrinth organ.

3. Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

angelfish in aquarium
Image Credit: Piqsels
Size: 8–10 inches
Diet: Carnivore
Minimum tank size: 30 gallons
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful

Angelfish are the darlings of the aquarium world. Its appearance suits its name. It is tough yet still has a delicate side. It hales from South America and shares many of the water conditions as the Severum Cichlid. It is a schooling fish, which can give it protection against larger fish.

4. Flag Cichlid (Mesonauta festivus)

Flag cichlid
Image Credit: Cheng Wei, Shutterstock
Size: 7–9 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Care level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Flag Cichlid is an excellent beginner fish. It is low maintenance and accepts various foodstuffs. It is hardy and can handle less-than-ideal conditions, except for higher nitrate levels. These fish do best if you keep them in pairs or schools. It gets along with most other fish, although it may eat ones that are considerably smaller than them.

Related Read: 20 Types of Cichlids for Your Aquarium

5. Red Tail Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)

Red tailed black shark
Image Credit: Diego grandi, Shutterstock
Size: 4–6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 30 gallons
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Red Tail Shark isn’t a shark, but its body shape resembles this predator. This fish usually keeps to itself, as long as you provide it with a cave for a hiding place. It’ll defend this spot tenaciously and leave other fish alone unless they invade its habitat. It’s an attractive species, even if its tall is more orange than red.

6. Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata)

Convict Cichlid
Image Credit: Richelle Cloutier,Shutterstock
Size: 4–6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Convict Cichlid is appropriately named, with a bit of an edge to its personality. It’ll make an appropriate tank mate for the Severum Cichlid due to its temperament and size. It can be especially aggressive during breeding. That makes a larger tank a must-have if you want to have multiple species in an aquarium.

7. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras sp.)

Corydoras Catfish
Image Credit: Rethinktwice, Pixabay
Size: 2–4 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
Care level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful

The Corydoras Catfish is an excellent addition to any tank to keep algae under control. This fish has a voracious appetite, taking the occasional meat foods. It is a schooling species that seems to enjoy the company of its tank mates and interacts with them frequently. Like the Severum Cichlid, it lives in the waterways of South America.

8. Silver Dollars (Metynnis argenteus)

silver dollar fish
Image Credit: boban_nz, Shutterstock
Size: Up to 8 inches
Diet: Herbivore
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Care level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful

The Silver Dollar is appropriately named when looking at its body shape and coloration. It looks just like its name says! It’s a peaceful tank mate but does get relatively large. However, it’s in line with the size of the Severum Cichlid. It thrives in the same water conditions, especially if there are many plants for cover.

9. Pearl Cichlid (Geophagus brasiliensis)

Pearl Cichlid
Image Credit: nortfish,Shutterstock
Size: Up to 11 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
Care level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Pearl Cichlid is a pretty fish, making it a delightful addition to your tank. It can reach a hefty size in the right conditions. If you want to breed it, this species will make it easy, with predictable aggression during spawning. That makes them excellent choices for the enthusiast owner new to raising Cichlids.

10. Tiger Barb (Puntigrus tetrazona)

Tiger barb
Image Credit: Grigoriev Mikhail, Shutterstock
Size: 2–3 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 15 gallons
Care level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Tiger Barb is an attractive albeit fastidious fish when it comes to tank conditions. It’s a fast-moving species that darts around the aquarium. It’s a schooling animal that does best with a few friends. It’s relatively long-lived and can live as long or even longer than the Severum Cichlid.

11. Blue Acara (Aequidens pulcher)

Blue Acara
Image Credit: Salparadis,Shutterstock
Size: Up to 8 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum tank size: 30 gallons
Care level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-aggressive

The Blue Acara is an excellent beginner fish. It isn’t picky when it comes to food. It doesn’t need much space to thrive. The key to keeping it healthy is stable water conditions. It is monogamous, which sets it apart from many other species. It is easy to breed and the fry are simple to raise. That makes this fish a good choice for children.

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What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Severum Cichlid?

Size and temperament are the primary considerations when choosing tank mates for the Severum Cichlid. It is a large fish, capable of getting up to 8 inches. Therefore, it’s essential to keep fish around the same size as this one. Fish that prefer similar water conditions, such as warm, soft water will do well with these Cichlids. Still, we recommend monitoring the behavior of all fish in your tank.

Where Do Severum Cichlids Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?

Adequate space is the key to keeping Severum Cichlids content and taming any aggressive. It will use any depth. It likes hanging around the surface, making floating plants desirable. It will also explore the bottom of the tank and uproot vegetation. Adding cover at all levels is essential for security and mental stimulation.

Severum Cichlid
Image Credit: Bk87,Shutterstock

Water Parameters

The Severum Cichlid once inhabited waterways in Venezuela, Columbia, and the Amazon River basin in South America. The species is thought to no longer exist in the wild.

It prefers warmer waters in the 74℉–84℉ range. It also likes things acidic, between 6.0 and 6.5 pH. It makes sense because vegetation would likely increase the acidity.

Keeping the general hardness between 30-60 ppm provides an adequate buffer to keep the pH in its preferred range. Severum Cichlids will do well in slightly brackish water.


Fish tend to grow with the size of the tank, especially if there are adequate resources for them to thrive. Severum Cichlids are larger fish, getting up to 8 inches in the right conditions. They also grow rapidly, which is something to keep in mind when choosing tank mates. These Cichlids will eat anything that is mouth-sized.

Aggressive Behaviors

The Severum Cichlid is a relatively peaceful fish, compared to other related species. Like many Cichlids, it is somewhat aggressive during spawning and quite protective over its young. Otherwise, it stands out for its docile nature, which is typical of South American species. This Cichlid is sexually dimorphic, which makes it easy to tell males and females apart, so you can readily get a handle on the aggression factors.

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The 4 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Severum Cichlid in Your Aquarium

The benefits of raising a Severum Cichlid are evident. Like others of its kind, it is an excellent bridge for the experienced enthusiast. That fact alone makes this fish worth a look. Fortunately, it is readily available at an affordable price.

1. The Severum Cichlid Is Relatively Hardy

The Severum Cichlid lives in challenging conditions in the wild. Those traits still exist in domesticated fish. It is tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions that could tax other species. Many Cichlids need larger spaces than this one. That makes it an excellent choice if you have a limited budget or space.

2. The Severum Cichlid Is Less Aggressive Than Many Other Cichlids

The Severum Cichlid is like many South American species with its docile temperament. That’s a boon for the hobbyist who wants more than one kind of fish in their tank! This fish makes it easy within the parameters of spawning and raising young.

3. The Severum Cichlid Is an Excellent Choice for the Experienced Hobbyist

There’s no doubt that the Severum Cichlid is more of a challenge than raising Goldfish. Its conditions are more well-defined, which takes added care to monitor and correct them as necessary. That’s part of their allure.

4. The Severum Cichlid Is Moderately Easy to Breed

Breeding fish is a rewarding experience and an excellent teaching moment for children. Courtship and mating include many rituals and behaviors that bring nature and science up close and personal. The Severum Cichlid makes it easy to watch things unfold in your aquarium.

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The Severum Cichlid is a fascinating fish on so many levels. It’s relatively easy to raise and breed. The fish is also readily available and affordable. It’s docile and can do well in a mixed-species aquarium. The fact that this species only exists in the aquarium trade is another reason to keep this fish going strong into the future. The satisfaction of raising Severum Cichlid is rewarding.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: boban_nz, Shutterstock

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