Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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yippee 04-29-2009 12:54 AM

Silver dollars
what is the smallest tank a silver dollar can be housed in?

What is recommended?

I've read anywhere from a 20 to a 55. Just curious.

yippee 04-30-2009 01:30 AM

Nobody has info on silver dollars?

Fishin Pole 04-30-2009 12:38 PM

Silver dollars can get huge............the size of a small plate........6 inches round from what i seen........You should have a small shoal of at least 5 or 6, but with the potential size of the fish and the size of the shoal, i would say nothing smaller than a 6 foot tank............IMO, this is one fish that shouldnt be sold too much in the hobby world........They get big, need to be housed with their own kind (small shoal), and need a large tank, which alot of people dont realize till they have them home in there community tank.......Plus they are notoriously plant eaters

yippee 05-01-2009 11:54 AM

I've done some research but i always prefer getting more info from more knowledgeable people. Some of the suggestions online are just way off. I don't plan on having any plants in the tank with them, not real ones at least. I understand they can get upwards of 6 inches and need a shoal to be happy. I currently have a 55 gallon, is there any way you could house 5 or 6 happily in that or is it still too small?

iamntbatman 05-01-2009 12:19 PM

As long as it's heavily filtered you should be ok. They are schooling fish, but they don't spend all day swimming back and forth like crazy (like something like a danio would) so they don't need huge amounts of swimming space. I would say a four foot tank would be a minimum (like your 55g). If you were ever to upgrade to a larger tank, shoals of silver dollars generally make pretty decent tankmates for medium to large American cichlids.

yippee 05-01-2009 12:27 PM

so there is no hope of keeping a small shoal and 2 angels in a 55?

iamntbatman 05-01-2009 12:50 PM

It could be possible, but you'd definitely want to over-filter the tank. Also, in such a tank you'd absolutely need a lot of tall, grassy fake plants made of silk. Silver dollars are like aquatic lawnmowers so you won't have any luck with live plants, but angels really like to have tall grassy plants to swim through.

If you are looking for a similar looking fish to silver dollars that stays a bit smaller and doesn't eat plants, Colombian tetras might be a good choice. They grow to about 2.5", so you should be able to keep a good sized school of them with angels in a planted tank with no problems.

If you do decide to try the silver dollars, be sure you're getting regular silver dollars and not "red hook" silver dollars as these grow much bigger (almost a foot!).

yippee 05-01-2009 01:23 PM

would two penguin 350's be enough filtration or is that still lacking some? Dually noted on the plants. I can take care of that.. in fact i already have it planned out in my head. OTher than those two things there should be enough room for all the fish to live happily?

I've always loved the silver dollars and would like to stick with them. If i can't make it happen in a 55 then i'll just hold off for a while. It's basically all or nothing at this point. I appreciate the suggestion greatly though. THanks for trying to help me find a simpler solution. I'm just set on the silver dollars, i love the way they look. Like i said if i can't make that happen right now in the 55 ill wait til later down the line wihen things line up and i can get a bigger tank.

yippee 05-12-2009 12:43 AM


The plans have changed slightly. I will be doing just a shoal of silver dollars in the 55, without the angels. Do they care whether they have plants, etc? I plan on doing a shoal of cories as well if i can do that. dual penguin 350s if that is good enough.

Byron 05-12-2009 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by yippee (Post 194678)

The plans have changed slightly. I will be doing just a shoal of silver dollars in the 55, without the angels. Do they care whether they have plants, etc? I plan on doing a shoal of cories as well if i can do that. dual penguin 350s if that is good enough.

Glad you've decided to forget the angels, these would not make good tankmates in my opinion. You should be OK with a shoal (minimum 5) of Metynnis argenteus [Silver Dollar] in a 4-foot 55g tank, although authorities like Seriously Fish agree with earlier posts in this thread that adult fish require a 6-foot tank. Corys in a shoal (6 or more) will be OK, as the SD prefer the middle to upper reaches of the aquarium. Vegetable diet is essential for the Silver Dollars, some floating live plants as a food source would be good; duckweed proliferates rapidly and is apparently a favoured food of Silver Dollars; floating fern (Ceratopteris) is also a quick grower, and being tender might be welcomed as part of the diet. You can find out more at Silver Dollar (Metynnis hypsauchen) - Seriously Fish and other sites.

The natural biotope of these fish in SA are thickly planted streams which is indicative of slower water currents; consequently, there should not be too strong a current from the filter. Not that I'm suggesting live plants (although that would be good as food) but it gives an indication that the fish do not prefer strong currents if it is not a feature of their natural environment. Good regular tank maintenance (weekly partial water change with vacuuming of the substrate) will be essential, and far more so than strong filtration. And larger fish in smaller tanks benefit more from more frequent water changes than more filtration which does nothing but move the water around. Water changes replace water with fresh, minerals, and removes nitrates.

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