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7 Of The Best Dither Fish For Severum!

Although the popularity of severum did drop for a number of years, they do seem to be becoming increasingly popular within the fish keeping hobby and it definitely seems that more and more people are starting to add severum to their tanks again.

As with all species of fish that see a surge in their popularity, the number of questions that we have noticed people asking about keeping severum in their tanks has been increasing in recent months too.

We know that severum are usually a relatively peaceful species of fish but they are generally classed as a semi-aggressive fish and we have noticed people having problems with the aggression levels of their severum in recent months.

Due to this, we wanted to publish this article going over what we would consider to be the best dither fish for severum available.

Not only can using dither fish for your severum help to reduce the aggression levels of the severum in your tank but the dither fish can also help any shy severum that you have come out of hiding too.

Dither Fish For Severum!

This is our short list for the best dither fish for severum:-

  • Tiger Barbs
  • Tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Danios
  • Mollies
  • Corydoras
  • Silver Dollars

We know that there are a number of other fish species that you are able to use with your severum but in our opinion, sticking to any of the species listed above will almost always be the best option for most people.

You also have to try and stick to a single species for your dither fish, we have seen some people add more than one species to act as a dither fish thinking their benefits will compound but this is not the case and it will often make the situation worse.

You also need to make sure that the size of your tank has the space available for the new dither fish too as overstocking your tank will only make the current problems that you have worse!

Tiger Barbs

We love tiger barbs and they are the best type of dither fish for severum and the majority of other types of cichlid too.

Tiger barbs have been tried and tested by the community over and over again and we doubt that their popularity is going to fade anytime soon.

Keeping around give tiger barbs in your tank will usually offer the most benefits but tiger barbs are usually a shy fish for the first couple of days after being added to a new tank so plan for it to take around a week for your severum to see the benefits of choosing tiger barbs as your dither fish of choice.


Tetras are easily the second best option when it comes to choosing a dither fish for your severum.

Not only are tetras cheap, easy to care for, and very easy to find but there are also a number of different types of tetras that are various colors allowing you to try and color match your tetras with your tanks design if you wish.

Here are some of the better types of tetras that you are able to use in your tanks:-

  • Neon tetras.
  • Ember Tetras.
  • Cardinal Tetras.
  • Black neon tetras.
  • Glowlight tetras.

Sticking to one type from the above list or most other types of tetra and adding between six or ten of them to your tank will usually offer the best performance as a dither fish for your severum.


Rasboras have to take the third place when it comes to choosing a dither fish for your severum and the only reason that they lose out to tetras for second place is their slightly higher price tag and slightly longer maximum length.

This can put them out of budget for a simple dither fish for many people while also causing issues with people being able to add them to their tank without causing stocking issues due to them being longer.

When it comes to their actual calming effect on your severum, they are basically neck at neck with tetras and another great option.

You will usually need 6-10 rasboras for them to school enough to offer the benefits of a dither fish but not be too large in number their they may stress your severum out.

Here are a number of different types of rasbora that you can use with your severum as dither fish:-

  • Harlequin Rasbora.
  • Rosy Rasbora.
  • Chili Rasbora.
  • Neon Green Rasbora.
  • Scissortail Rasbora.

Other types of rasbora can work well too but the rarer the rasbora that you choose, the higher the price tag and the more difficult they can be to find.


Most types of danios can work well as dither fish for your severum too and many people use danios with a number of cichlids as dither fish and don’t have problems.

Depending on your location, the prices of even the more common types of danios can be higher than that of tetras and rasboras so this pushes them down our list.

Still, if you are able to get danios cheap, you can try them in your tank to see how they perform.


Mollies are an underrated option for a dither fish and you usually only need a small number of mollies in your tank to offer the calming effect to your severum.

The wide range of different colors that are available for mollies also offers some color matching possibilities too.

The reason that we placed mollies so far down our list is that they will breed and their population in your tank can quickly sky rocket.

You can usually get around this by only adding male mollies to your tank with this being a popular option as it prevents breeding while offering the brightest colors.

If you do use this strategy then mollies can be a great dither fish option for your severum.


The smaller types of corydoras can work well as a dither fish for severum and we feel that the pygmy cory will usually be the better option in most cases.

You will have to add a number of cories to your tank for them to be able to provide the dither effect to the severum in the tank too so the larger types of corydoras will take up more room in your tank and increase the chances of you having problems with overstocking too.

In our opinion, for the vast majority of people, going with any of the species of fish covered earlier in the article will perform better as a dither fish than corydoras but they can work and people do use them as dither fish in their tank.

Silver Dollars

Although silver dollar fish are commonly used as dither fish and they can definitely work, we usually recommend them as they can sometimes make the issues that your main fish are having worse.

We only included silver dollar fish on this list due to so many people using them in their own tank with great results but a number of people do end up having problems.

If you are new to the fish keeping hobby then we would recommend that you go with another option if possible.

If you have multiple tanks that offer a way for you to move the silver dollar fish out of the tank that you keep severum in and into a different tank if they don’t work as dither fish then you can give them a try though.