Name: Metynnis hypsauchen & others
Origin: Amazon Basin
Note: There are actually several characin species sold by the common name "Silver Dollar" in the hobby. Just to name a couple others: Metynnis argenteus and Mylossoma aureum.
The Silver Dollar is a peaceful plant eating characin which should be kept in shoals. It can be found in the west region of the Amazon basin, the Rio Paraguay basin, the Orinoco and Guyana. It grows to a size of 6 inches (15 cm). The aquarium water should be 24-28C and should be kept in soft, slightly acid water.
Silver Dollars prefer subdued lighting and a dark substrate. They are shy but beautiful fish that seem most active after the tank lights are out, but when the room lights are still on. They are egg layers. To distract the fish from your aquarium plants, feed them a variety of plant-based food like spirulina pellets or flakes, romaine lettuce (first lightly steamed, then cooled) or any other creative food. Mine love shelled peas. They will also eat meat-based foods, like blood worms and mosquito larvae.
My silver dollar is my favorite of all of my fish. She has grown greatly in the last two months that I have had her. She is very peaceful, but is often chased by my rainbow shark. He is the bully of the tank, but I also have a blue gourami that takes care of the silver dollar when it is being harrassed a little too much. The silver dollar's tail fin has been nipped from being chased, but it does not hinder her swimming. She has quite a bit of character and is a good eater. She likes frozen brine shrimp the best, but tropical fish flakes work OK too.
I have had a pair of silver dollars in an aquarium (183x30x35 cm) for at least 8 years and have grown to 11 cm. They have been joined by two younger silver dollars that have doubled their initial purchase size (2 cm) in four months. They do eat aquarium plants so plastic plants are the go! The only plant that does not get eaten is java moss. They enjoy nibbling on celery tops thrown into the tank as well as cooked frozen beans and peas. A very peaceful fish suitable for a community tank.
I have an 11 year old Silver Dollar. He is about 10 cm in length. He hates changes in his environment! When I first moved him from a 75 to a 110 liter tank he beat himself into the glass until he had ripped off his lips! I had to move him back and then move ALL the tank inhabitants with him to the new tank! When I make water changes or move plants, he lays on the bottom and is very upset. He is quite hardy otherwise and has resisted diseases even when other fish have gotten things in the tank. He does not bother any other fish even though the rest are small enough for him to eat! I have very high pH where I live (8.4), and a natural unheated tank temperature of 27°C in an airconditioned house and he has done very well. I wish I had space to get a couple more! I recommend these fish to anyone - a good beginner fish!
I have a peaceful community tank with guppies, tetras, clown loaches, platys and I recently bought 5 silver dollars. They have grown very quickly and I thought that they were peaceful. However, since I got them 3 guppies have vanished without a trace and I bought a siamese fighting fish who was lovely. After returning home one night I noticed that his poor tail had been completely eaten and I saw the largest silver dollar nipping at him, unfortunately he died after two days. I am now going to take the dollars back to the shop as I think they are aggressive and are responsible for killing 4 fish in a matter of days. I would reccomend that you get plenty of information on silver dollars before putting them with other fish or you may learn the hard way like I did.