So let me just start off by saying I didn't know that young ones would be this difficult to deal with.
Yesterday, I look on my LFSs site and check their specials this week. Silver Dollars for 2.99/ea. I decided that these fish would be my centerpiece fish since I decided against Angelfish recently and still don't have a school for my mid levels. I had been keeping an eye on this species for a while because I thought they were very pretty in the stores and from what I researched they were perfect for my tank. This low price sealed the deal for me.
I go to the store, hoping to get young Dollars because they get a decent size and I wanted to watch them grow from a very small state. I lucked out, the whole batch contained Dollars smaller than a quarter. I purchased 5, since they were very small and my tank could take it.
I go home, put them in my fish tank, and instantly one sinks right to the substrate and begins flopping around. In the bag they all seemed just fine. Not long afterwards, this fish died. Not bad I thought, 4 for 5. The other 4 seemed to be okay, they were schooling by a large cluster of leaves, and as I watched they curiously began exploring the tank. I did a feeding (which I saved intentionally for this time) to distract mainly my Betta from bugging them. He wasn't nipping, just literally sticking his face in theirs. So I decided to tend to my guests, confident I had a fine school of fish. Before I go any further, let me just say that the fish LOOKED relatively healthy.
I come back up several hours later and see that THREE fish were stuck to the intake grill of the filter. I immediately disconnected this extension from the main intake tube, and they were released, but certainly not fine. I don't know how long they were stuck to the intake for, but one's whole side was all mangled, the other fishes fins on one side were torn, and the other one was gasping beyond anything I've seen a fish do before. EXTREMELY flustered, I observed as they slowly faded into death, banging into stuff, lodging themselves into plastic plants, and generally just lying on the floor.
Essentially in roughly 5 hours I lost three baby dollars. I shut my tank down, went to bed, scared that I would wake up to find my last two either stuck to the intake tube, or collapsed on the floor. I woke up, and everything was fine, the two champions were hanging out by the top levels where my floating plants are. I go to work, once again confident that this mere freak accident wouldn't occur again. I come home from work half an hour ago, to find one stiff as a board lodged into some plants. The other is nervously hidden on the side of my tank in a cluster of plants, nearing death. In 24 hours 4 (soon 5) dollars died in my tank.
It certainly wasn't my water parameters since I have many other fish living happily in my tank, and from what I read, Dollars are rather hardy anyways. But just in case you want to know my parameters are:
Was there something else I should have researched on these fish before acquiring them? Aside from their particular dietary needs, which I was prepared for, I couldn't find anything else regarding difficulty to keep. Was this little incident due to their small size? I believe that if they were larger, I wouldn't have had this problem. I blame my filter intake for the death sentences handed out here. I haven't had a fish die on me in a while and it was so sad to see their little eyes looking at me. So young.