If you are a fish keeper with a bit of experience and are looking to expand your fish collection, Silver Dollar Fish might be the fish for you. They are peaceful medium-size fish, ideal for community aquariums. These silvery coloured fish get their name from how they look. Laterally flattened, they look exactly like an old silver dollar. If you are looking for top water schooling fish, they are one of the best choices.
Maximum size: 20cm
Origin: South America
Ideal number kept together: 3+
Hardness: 120-600 ppm
Temperature: 20–26 °C
Ease of care
Silver Dollars are pretty hardy fish. As aquariums are closed systems, harmful substances such as nitrate, phosphorous and decomposing organic matter will build up over time. This is why water should be replaced on a regular basis and at least 25-50% of the water should be replaced every other week. Even though Silver Dollars are quite resilient fish there is no guarantee that your fish will not catch a disease or an infection. Remember that every time you add something new to your tank, it is a potential source of infection. A clean water tank, a balanced diet and an environment that most resemble the natural habitats will help your fish to settle making it a healthy happy fish.
Silver Dollars are actually omnivorous fish; however, they prefer an herbivorous diet. In nature they usually feed on the surrounding vegetation including terrestrial plants. You can feed them a variety of plants such as lettuce, cress, chickweed, cucumber, peas and spring greens. You can also feed them seaweed such as spirulina along with large vegetable flakes. Spinach, carrots and fruit can also be used as an alternative food source. They will appreciate random treats such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and boiled potatoes.
These fish are great community fish that swim in the top part of the aquarium. If you want to add some contrast, you can look for other large peaceful fish such as catfish that spend most of their time near the tank bed. Plecos and Doradids could be a good fish to start with.
Breeding / Sex
Silver Dollars are relatively easy to spawn in captivity providing they have a large comfortable environment. In the wild, you will find them spawning in shallow waters and in heavily planted areas of flooded rivers. You will first need a mated pair. For the best success of finding breeding pairs always keep them in a group, raising them from juveniles to maturity. This fish usually reaches maturity around 1 year of age (about 4 inches in length). If you have a pair, you should separate them from the rest of the school. You can also precondition males and females to spawn by feeding high quality plants and vegetables. When the males are ready to spawn, their colour will darken especially around the anal, caudal and dorsal fins.