The severum (Heros severus), also called the banded cichlid, is a tropical fish whose native range is South America, in water bodies from Guyana to Venezuela. In the wild, the severum is usually a greenish-brown color. Golden varieties, and other color morphs, exist in captivity.
Fleshy sustenance including tubifex worms, ghost shrimp, crickets, bloodworms, krill, mealworms and earthworms are common meal options for the severum. The severum also readily consumes plants -- think fresh veggies such as green peas and various other diced vegetables, like lettuce, cucumber and zucchini. Out in the wild, the severum's basic diet is, in many ways, similar to their typical captive one. The wild severum consumes a lot of tiny crustaceans, bugs and plants.
Apart from veggies that you cut up into tiny and manageable bits, the severum adores munching on aquatic vegetation, as long as their textures are on the smooth side. Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis) is a specific example. One convenient bonus is that Canadian waterweed tends to be budget-friendly. Brazilian elodea (Egeria densa) also works well for feeding a severum.
The severum also often enthusiastically accepts commercial foods, and these make strong foundations to their diets. Look at your local pet supplies store for pellets or flakes that specifically cater to cichlids' nutritional demands.
Frequency of Feeding
It is important to know not just exactly what to feed your severum but also exactly how often you should feed him. The severum generally flourishes when he gets to eat small portions several times throughout the day. This is generally preferable to feeding him a big meal once a day. Doing this helps maintain the optimal condition of the tank's water. Never give your fish more food than he can eat in a span of a few minutes. Remember, too, that the severum isn't exactly a dainty eater. It doesn't take long for him to make his tank look rather untidy, so take note. It is crucial to routinely switch out his water.
The severum is never golden in the wild. Specialized captive breeding has triggered the emergence of the gold color morph of the species. Other special color morphs for the severum include greenish-blue and green.