for Your New Silver Dollar
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Two types of silver dollars -- Metynnis in front of shy red hook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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