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MattD 07-04-2007 04:12 PM

Silver Dollars - what a disaster.

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:

Ammonia: 0.0mg/l
Nitrite: 0.0mg/l
Nitrate 15mg/l

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.
:( :(

Lupin 07-04-2007 05:51 PM

How did you acclimatize the dollars? They are actually hardy when acclimated to tank conditions.

Falina 07-04-2007 06:02 PM

I'm really sorry to hear that - it's very sad when they die, especially so young.

If they were acclimatised, like Lupin pointed out, then I think there must have been something wrong with them before they came home. I know you say they looked healthy but I can't think of anything else. Either that or your water was very different form the lfs's. Perhaps theirs was very soft and yours very hard or something like that. Were they boughty locally?

MattD 07-04-2007 06:19 PM

Not sure if they were bred locally etc.

I slowly poured my water into the bag over a 30 minute timeframe (give or take I guess). Standard procedure for me.

No, I don't have a quarantine tank. Space in my room does not permit it, otherwise I would believe me. The thing that gets me is that these dummies must have swam right up to the filter. They seemed fine before I left the room, even nibbling on some of the crumbles and flakes I dropped in after adding them (for my other fish of course). I didn't expect them to eat right away but they did.

This is all very confusing, and currently my single solitary Dollar has changed locations to the right side of the tank. I thought he was dead since he wasn't moving, didn't even appear to be breathing really. I touched the plant a bit then he was startled and became very alert all of a sudden. Hopefully he begins to act normally, if he does I'll be glad to purchase new Dollars (this time, carefully selected by ME. If the clerk helping me doesn't like it I'll ask for someone else).

Lupin 07-04-2007 06:31 PM

I can only say the dollars you picked are nearly sensitive when young. Is there any chance you can get adult ones instead?

MattD 07-04-2007 06:38 PM

Well I thought about buying older ones, but my lfs's only other specimens are nearly full grown! I don't want fish that are nearly adults, I'd like them as young as possible but not too young that they will be too fragile.

I can only hope this large batch of dollars is kept in that store for several more weeks/months so they're slightly larger and maybe a little less fragile. :cry:

Firebellyy girrl 07-04-2007 07:40 PM

What size tank do you have? Im curious one what size tank you would need to get a school of 6 or so.

Gump 07-04-2007 08:09 PM

Even small silvers are quite hardy, you must have gotten a bad batch or didn't acclimate them enough/correctly. You should use the drip method a lot easier than adding water to a bag and very easy to do.

MattD 07-04-2007 08:29 PM

I have a 40 gallon.

I suppose next time I'll have to wait longer before introducing them directly to my tank. Perhaps introduce my water over an hour long period?

Gump, elaborate on drip method plz. Thanks!

Gump 07-04-2007 10:06 PM

Get a bucket or large tuperware depending on the size of the fish. add the fish with the water in the bag to the holding unit of your choice. get airline tubing put one end in the tank you are going to put the fish in. tie a loose knot in the other end, give a suck to get the syphon going through the hose and put the "dripping" end in the holding container.

Depending on the fish and how long it should be acclimated you can tighten or loosen the knot on how much water comes out per second/min.

Any questions let me know.

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