Many people are starting to get fish as pets, and one of the most popular species fish enthusiasts suggest to look at is the Silver Dollar Fish. The name itself is pretty interesting, but individuals came to love these fishes because of their peaceful behaviors and attractive appearance.
Besides that, Silver Dollar Fishes are also easy to take care of. They don’t need too much attention as long as you fulfill their other needs, such as proper diet and tank requirements. They can live peacefully around other fishes, so they are a great addition if you have a community tank.
Let’s get to know more about this particular species by further reading this article. Who knows? This fish might be the one you are looking for!
What Is A Silver Dollar Fish?
The Silver Dollar Fish, also known as the Metynnis argenteus, is a freshwater fish native to South American waters. Their name is from the way they look and since then became popular with fish owners.
Same with the Piranha and Pacu, the Silver Dollar fish belongs to the Characidae family. Yet, they are not as aggressive and most likely will live well in a tank with various fish species.
The name “Silver Dollar” is a general name used by many species in the Metynnis genus. Metynnis means ‘with plowshare,’ referring to a flattened body, while argenteus means covered in silver.
Different Types Of Silver Dollar Fish
There are currently a dozen species of Silver Dollar known. The most recognized one is the fish with a silver color, and some of the others are:
Red Hook Silver Dollar Fish
These fishes are known for their distinct black-trimmed, red anal fin. Red Hook Silver Dollar fishes look very similar to the most common silver color, but their bodies can be patchier.
They can reach for about 22 inches upon living in the wild. In tanks, the largest they can get usually plays around 9 inches.
Spotted Silver Dollar Fish
Spotted Silver Dollar fishes are easy to recognize with the spotty patterns on their body. They are common in French Guyana and Brazil due to their tropical climate.
They can grow for 6.5 inches, which is smaller than a Red Hook. They also have a darker color than the rest.
Tiger Silver Dollar Fish
Like the spotted one, Tiger Silver dollar fishes can also be identified by the pattern on their body. They have large vertical stripes that resemble a tiger, thus representing the name given to them.
They grow about 6 inches long, but they can still live along with other larger species despite their smaller size.
These fishes are easy to find in pet shops and online stores. They thrive more in schools, so they are often sold in bulk. Silver Dollar Fishes’ original habitat is in the Tapajos River Basin in Brazil, but there are also plenty across South America.
Silver Dollar Fishes are known for their classic silver color and flat body. For some fishes, it’s possible to see faint tints of green and blue. The color depends on the type of Silver Dollar and the gender of the fish.
A Silver Dollar Fish grows around 6 inches on average. They can grow bigger in the wild – approximately 22 inches – but tank breeding reduces their average size.
These are large fishes, so if you’re planning to get one, you’ll need to consider their size.
Females show little to no color variation at all during breeding. When spawning, their belly can grow bigger until they release the eggs.
Males have a distinctive longer anal fin with a slight tint of red in the front-end. During mating season, they develop two large spots at the base of their pectoral fins. The red color on their fins also gets richer in color, and the black trim appears.
The average lifespan of a Silver Dollar Fish is around ten years. If the fish receives a regular checkup, they can last a year longer than their average lifespan.
Terrible tank conditions and a poor diet can shorten their lifespan. Despite being low-maintenance fishes, they still need proper caring to ensure they live a happy life.
In bulk purchases, 25 pieces and more can cost $9.99, and 3 to 5 pieces usually cost around $5. The more you buy, the more you can save because they thrive more in groups than individuals.
Food And Nutrition
Silver Dollars and Piranhas are relatives, but unlike them, they are more of a vegetarian. They like vegetable flakes better than meat, especially leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. They also like cooked squash and peas as long as it’s soft enough to munch underwater.
After meals, clean the tank and remove the uneaten food to avoid water complications.
On some occasions, you can give them meat as treats which they will enjoy. Some examples are worms, mosquito larvae, and small shrimps. These fishes are omnivores, so you can feed them any food, but they prefer a plant-based diet.
It’s also advisable to place vegetation around the tank because they feed on surrounding plants in nature. This will also prevent excessive algae buildup and keep the environment well-balanced.
Silver Dollar fishes need two meals a day, so make sure to provide enough for the whole school.
It’s important to note that Silver Dollar fishes are better to keep in a group of at least five individuals. Being alone can cause them to be more skittish and aloof. Like humans, they also need regular socializing.
They are known to be peaceful species, but other factors can contribute to their aggressive behavior, like mating and eating.
Silver Dollar Fishes live in schools, meaning they tend to stick together most of the time. As tropical fishes, they also thrive alongside other species.
Some of the most recommended tank mates for Silver Dollars are:
- Firemouth Cichlids
- Green Terror Cichlids
- Giant Danios
It’s more advisable to keep Silver Dollar Fishes in the same tank with larger species because smaller ones are at risk of getting eaten. You should also avoid keeping them with aggressive fishes because they’ll be left out of food.
Although Silver Dollar fishes don’t require too much, there are still some necessary measures you have to pay attention to in order to create the best habitat for your fishes.
Make sure to have a large tank
Silver Dollars like to swim a lot, and for their larger build, it’s better to have a spacious aquarium. Also, make sure that they are not that well-lit because they prefer a darker environment to hide whenever they need personal time.
Put enough vegetation
As herbivores, they like munching on some greens and plants found around their habitat. Place several plants inside the tank to ease their needs, like java fern and hornworts.
When setting up a tank, try your best to imitate their natural habitat as much as possible. Make sure to have enough space for them to swim as well as places to conceal them.
They need oxygenated water, so make sure to incorporate a proper filtration system with a moderate flow into the tank. Always observe your fish know if the environment suits them or not.
As they prefer darker surroundings, you can use dark-colored gravels for the floor layering. It would be better if you always kept the water temperature around 75 to 82°F.
The recommended gallon size for Silver Dollar Fishes is 75 gallons. This is for at least five fishes. If you want to add more, you should also add more water to the tank to accommodate the school.
What To Put In Their Tank
Silver Dollar Fishes are prone to stress, so it’s essential to ensure that they’re always fine. The best way to recognize what they need is to observe them often.
To provide comfort, add more plants and rocks on the floor for stimulation. This will make them feel happier and comfortable in their own little space. You can also place driftwoods and other things that can help make them feel at home.
Common Possible Diseases
Like others, these fishes aren’t immune to various diseases and health conditions. There are several reasons that would cause different illnesses, such as water condition, stress, diet, and so on.
Even if you are careful, you still can’t prevent them from getting sick at all times. The most common fish diseases are:
- Fin rot
This usually happens when the fish is in a fight or somehow got an injury. When left untreated, this opens the possibility of bacterial infection.
There are available medications that you can use to treat this. Make sure to change the water often if you see an early sign of fin rot to avoid further problems.
- Mouth fungus
Mouth fungus is a disease caused by bacteria that target a fish’s mouth. One sign of this is cotton-like buildup around the mouth. These can be treated with an antibiotic and other vet-prescribed medications.
If you see a fish with a possible health condition, separate it from the group while treating them. This is to avoid spreading the bacteria. Also, avoid overcrowding the tank to reduce fighting and aggressiveness.
Another good thing about Silver Dollar Fishes is they are easy to breed. They occasionally spawn eggs without help in a well-maintained tank. Their average breeding age is one year old and about 4 inches in size.
The best way to create pairs is by starting at an early age, especially when they are younger. Raise them together until they reach maturity. They will eventually begin mating when it’s breeding season.
Another technique is to separate the males from the females before breeding. Provide a high-quality diet of vegetable and meaty treats to both groups prior to the process. This is to ensure a higher success rate of spawning for about ten days.
It’s best to prepare the males and females in separate tanks before breeding to optimize the mating process. For at least seven days, feed them a high-quality plant and vegetable diet with some meaty treats.
How To Ease Spawning
First, ensure that the water is soft and warm, typically 8dgH and 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that the surroundings are set to a darker environment by placing enough items like plants, rocks, and driftwoods.
You will see a slight darkening in color in males, especially around the anal and dorsal fins, when they are ready to mate. You will also see the hints of red on their fins intensifying in color.
On most occasions, a pair will spawn around 2,000 eggs in one mating. These will fall into the tank floor, where they will hatch in the next three days. You don’t have to worry about the parents because they won’t bother the eggs, unlike the others.
After a few days, you will see them starting to swim around the tank and eat commercial foods for the fry, such as spirulina and fresh brine shrimps.
Silver Dollar fishes are relatively easy to take care of. As long as the tank is spacious enough and has a proper environment set up, you’re good to go.
It’s essential to always check the tank water because there are harmful chemicals like phosphorus, nitrate, and other decomposing substances that can build up over time. You should replace half of the water every other week.
Before putting things in the tank, make sure that it is clean for foreign objects that are major causes of bacterial infection.
Whether you’re an expert or a first-time fish owner, Silver Dollar Fish is an excellent choice to keep as a pet. These peaceful and pretty individuals are fun to watch when swimming around the tank.
Remember that they are at their best when kept in groups, so don’t be afraid to get them in bulk. They won’t take much of your time at all!