Caring for Your New Silver Dollar
The inside scoop from Aqualand on Metynnis species

 
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Silver Dollar Factoids

Origin

Amazon basin

Maximum Size

Most 4” some species twice that

Housing

Larger the better

Security

Loves planted aquaria.  Prefers to school.

Temperature

Prefers 75 to 80o

Attitude

Good eater.  Schooler.

Foods

Loves all foods.  Needs vegetable matter.

Water

Prefers pH around neutral but very adaptable


LA
Two types of silver dollars -- Metynnis in front of shy red hook.

LA
Red hooks grow much larger and more impressive than most silver dollars.

LA
Two-inch striped silver dollars.  New to us August, 2006.  They look like red hooks.

Origins:  Most silver dollars come from Far Eastern fish farms these days.  The larger ones cost more than the smaller ones (as we all know).  The larger ones are stronger and easier to keep.

LA
Only one silver dollar visiting the salad bar.

Name Origin:  Most silver dollars start out looking like an actual silver dollar.  Some sport spots.  Some carry red fins – especially the red hooks.  Baby silver dollars closely resemble baby piranhas.  And vice versa, of course.

Water Conditions:  Originally from soft, acid waters, silver dollars adjust to nearly any water conditions.  They will fit into most community tanks with no little bite-size fishes.

LA
Not all silver dollars look alike.

LA

LA

 

Appeal:  People like silver dollars for their looks and their ease of care.  They also get along fine with other fishes.  They’re easy to keep and rarely stop patrolling the waters of their aquaria.

LA
Small gold severum checking out this six-inch silver dollar.

LA
Red hook silver dollars grow as large as a saucer in a large tank.  These are the pricier dollars.

LA
Six-inch red hook silver dollar.

Size:  Most  people provide too small an aquarium to grow silver dollars to their maximum size.  Most top out at four inches.  Some will grow to eight -- red hooks and black hooks.  In large tanks, some species of silver dollars keep growing.

LA Mylossomas species of silver dollars provide more variety in appearance.

Sturdy:  Not at all wimpish, you can even mix these guys with South American cichlids.  Easy-going enough to mix with angels, gouramis, barbs, and any livebearers, they’ll also get along with oscars and dempseys of similar size.  Larger oscars would devour them, of course.  Small snakeheads scrape the heck out of big silver dollars.

LA
Different species of silver dollars prefer to associate with their own kind.

Schoolers:  If given a choice, these guys like to hang with their buds.  The more the merrier.  However, they will not pine away when kept as singles.  They will get better colors and swim more when kept in groups.

Breeding:  Silver dollars spawn like typical tetras – although few people even try.  In fact, we hear of more piranha spawnings – probably because more people keep large groups of piranhas in large tanks.  Use plastic rather than live plants.  Your dollars quickly chomp most plants -- especially the expensive ones.  Or give them econo plants -- anacharis and hornwort.

Breeding Suggestions:  Feed a variety of foods – especially frozen.  Separate the sexes of your silver dollars to condition them.  Since they’re difficult to sex, just put each potential breeder in a separate tank for a week or two.  Expect action the next morning after putting them back together.  The more breeders you use, the better your chances of success.  Remove the parents after they spawn or they will eat the eggs and fry.

LA 
Two-inch silver dollar munching a Doromin stick.

LA
Silver dollars enjoy blanched zucchini also.

Foods:   Considered herbivores, silver dollars will eagerly eat whatever you feed them.  They prefer foods with vegetation in them.  Dollars also love live foods and frozen foods.  Color foods will not affect them much.

LA
Same color and size as a U.S. silver dollar,  you see where their name comes from.

 

Plastic Plants: Add fake grassy plants such as vallisneria or sagittarius to make your silver dollars feel more at home.  Use plastic because they greedily devour most live plants except hornwort and algae.

LA
Young silver dollars at 1.5 inches look like baby piranhas.  Red-eye tetra bottom left.

Disease:  Silver dollars catch “ich” fairly easily -- especially the baby dollars.  Always add an ich cure at half strength anytime you add new silver dollars to your tank.  Salt also helps toughen them.  Many dollars get shiny little spots on them.  Do not confuse these tiny bangles with ich.

LA
Same silver dollar as above at two inches.

LA
Same silver dollar at four inches.

LA
Just one more type of silver dollar.

LA
Half-grown red hooks make the primo silver dollar.

LA
Small school of red hooks looking good.

LA
School of the young guys.

LA
Different strain of red hooks.  Lining them up is the real trick.

LA
Silver dollars get along with some African cichlids, at least the peacocks.

LA
4.5-inch black-barred silver dollar -- a bit nippy.

LA
4-inch black-barred silver dollar -- seriously chewed up a same size severum.

Filtration:  Silver dollars like clean water but fare well even in old, yellow    water full of waste products.  They’ll look much better in clean water.   Do not overfeed.  Add snails to clean up any excess food.  LA.

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