Animal Stories - Silver Dollar Fish

Animal-World Information about: Silver Dollar Fish

The Silver Dollar is one of the most readily recognized fish in the hobby and a favorite of many aquarists!
Latest Animal Stories
david - 2014-12-06
Want to buy sliver dollar fish male and female.

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  • Anonymous - 2019-12-18
    I also want to by some
ML Powell - 2019-01-09
I have a 125 gallon tank with 2 Bristlenose Plecos, 4 Pictus Catfish, 6 Silver Dollars, 8 Bolivian Rams, 10 Red Eye Tetras, 12 False Julii Corydoras, and 14 Silver Hatchets. All getting along fine, no fin nipping by the tetras so far.

Ray - 2014-10-04
I have a female silver dollar purchased September 1990. It is now 24 years old. The only documentation I have is family members who have seen it over the years. My wife and I are amazed that it is still alive and wonder how much longer it will live!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-10-09
    Wow! That is awesome. They average 10 years or more, but you'll have to let us know what the 'or more' means, because you're breaking new ground:)
  • Theresa - 2015-01-15
    My mother inherited my two silver dollars which I originally purchased while living at home back in 1994 making them about 21 years old. They stayed after I moved out. They are still as energetic as ever--the only noticeable differnce is that they do have cataracts. She used to call them her 'teenagers', but I guess they have outgrown that phase.
  • jim - 2017-01-13
    My silver dollars are both 29 now.
  • Anthony - 2017-02-07
    I don't find this that far fetched... I have one that is 12 years old and seems to be healthy as ever
  • KB - 2018-06-16
    I have one that's 18 years old and still going strong. I also have a Pleco fish the same age. They are all doing well in my 55 gallon tank!
Devin - 2017-01-28
I got 8 male SD when they were about half an inch, still fry. I ordered 7 from a local pet store. When the guy phoned me the day they arrived, i went to pick up n pay for my order i seen that the pet store owner had ordered 8 SD instead of the 7 i asked for. As a schooling fish he damn well knew i wasnt gunna leave the 8th fish alone. I paid 12.99 a piece :$

Paula Luedke Pennington - 2016-04-18
6 SD in a 45 gal tank, plus, 3 pimelodella pictus and a larger pleco.  The SD always go after the food I drop in for the cats!  They don't seem interested in flake foods, but I have sun-dried red shrimp I am going to try!  They don't particularly go for the floating stuff, it doesn't seem, though!

Also, someone commented about the tank being pretty dull, with just silver fish (might fault for that!!)!!  Is there any other colorful fish I can put in, that the SD won't bother??

Gilbert J - 2015-07-14
I have 7 SD's (usually 6 but the guy give me extra one :3) they are still kiddies, they love to play with my pacus! One or 2 of em can't swim (almost die) but the pacu pushes him to the air and slowly swim around the tank! How cute, but one still stay in bottom (a bit up) and swim for sometimes.

jim - 2015-03-10
I have had my silver dollar for 14 years and he was about half size when I got him, sure its another 2 years, now he suffers from swim bladder disease:{

Zebo - 2015-02-08
I have 3 Silver dollars...they are full grown as I have had them for almost 7 years. One of them is huge and the other two are only about 4 inches long. I assume they are different varieties as they have never gotten bigger. I lost one of them when he ate the plastic plants and died from it, so I recommend no fake plants. If you feed them a supplement of algae tabs and romaine you can also put live plants in the tank. They will nibble on them, but that's what they just have to buy more plants once in a while.

Charles Damanis - 2010-01-20
I have 9 Silver Dollars in a 30 gal tank. I Love them because they out live all other fish you have. I think I have had them for about 5 years or so and they are about 4.5" long right now. Over the past five years they have had their share of viruses and sicknesses due to water quality as well as introducing "dirty" fish into the tank that may have had Ick and other problems.
It seems like I always have them on a medicinal regiment of Metafix, stressZyme, stressCoat and every now and then Erithromiacin anti-biotic powder form (also used in humans).

Here are my suggestions...Erithromiacin is good when your silver dollars have cloud eye and even tail and fin rot and redness in odd areas. It does not damage your water although you cant use a filter with it (I still keep my Ammo Chips in though). The down side is all the water changes you will have to do. Its annoying if you have a big tank, but why do you have a big tank if you can't stand up keep. My thoughts are to transfer some water from the regular tank and add treated water (not straight from the tap) into a smaller tank and transfer your silver dollars into the smaller tank to treat them in a sort of quarantine (just as long as you DO NOT have a parasite, if you do leave the fish where they are because you need to kill the parasite in the normal tank). If you have Ick I suggest Aquari-sol. It is a liquid solution that is better for fish with sensitive skin and it doesn't change your water green, make sure your doses are the right measurement, you do not want to poison your fish.
IMPORTANT: I put in some aquarium salt and raise the temp to about 79-80'F when treating fish with medicine. It is always good to have some salt in your tank. Just remember the only way to get rid of salt in your water is to do water changes so do not over salt your tank. Place some (depending the size of your tank) in after every 3-5 water changes.

DO NOT BUY PLANTS. The silver dollars will eat all of them no matter how much you feed them. Even plants suggested by this web page will not work with your silver dollars. Obviously if you have baby silver dollars they can not eat your plants as quick but they still will.
IMPORTANT: The lack of plants will mean that there is less Oxygen in the tank. I put in a long Air Stone and the silver dollars love to swim through it. Its fun watching them get used to it at first they are cautious then the pack leader will test his or her might and try to get through them. Eventually they all go through the bubbles. Im sure they like the way it tickles.

Romain lettuces is a must. Highly nutritious for you and your fish. It also makes your mind up when you're thinking about testing a new plant in the tank. Just put a piece of lettuce in the tank and a few hours later you will know not to get plants.
They love Shrimp pellets. They nearly choke on them because they shove the whole thing in their mouth and suck on them like cigars. You will NOT need to dump a considerable amount in order to get one into each ones mouth. I have 9 and usually dump 15. It's bad but I do not do it regularly. You can also just throw a few in while the lettuce is in as a treat only to those who grab them first. I use flakes but don't like to do so. Too many flakes gets you PLANARIA (flat worms). I have Planaria and it is impossible to get rid of them.
Important: They will eat/pick at small fish like tetras (when the silver dollars are larger). Only because they think that they are fish flakes. I also had a three inch butterfly fish that floats on the top of the tank. It also sleeps on the top and at night the silver dollars would swim up and bite it thinking it is food. It then died and they are all over it... All I found was a fin floating.

Useful information:
Too many decorations will not be good for your fish. They may like places to hide but if you place driftwood in your tank they are likely to run into it and hurt themselves. Sometimes this will lead you to believe that your fish are sick but it may just be that they ran into something. I have not tried this but have been thinking about it...I believe if you paint or tape an aquarium scene (the paper on the outside that has pictures of plants and whatnot) they will be less likely to crash into the glass. The glass fools them sometimes. They are not as smart as us and something to tell them stop may be useful.

Tank Size:
Bigger is better, they love to swim or just hang out but when they get bigger they start to get black stripes on their side. That means they're stressed and a bigger tank is needed. At this point you will have to battle sicknesses regularly because they are more susceptible to sickness when stressed out. I have 9 in a 30 gal but they deserve to be put in a 55 gal now. I also do not have any other fish in my tank.

I hope the information I have left is useful. This information has been learned the hard way through my experience with the fish. They are a joy to have and if they get any bigger I'm going to have to stop myself from getting my fishing pole.

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  • Sheryl - 2010-04-20
    I have been blessed with a coworker wanting to give us his 55 gal established with silver dollars and tetras. We have not had any experience with silver dollars so this experience you had through trial and error I find most informative. Thank you so much!
  • Tom - 2014-02-08
    Your silver dollars get sick because you overcrowd them. 9 silver dollars in a 55 is over doing it, 30 is worse. I have noticed if they actually have room, and you do your regular water changes, they rarely if ever get sick.
adam - 2013-08-30
I have 12 silver dollars in my tank and only 1 is female she had ova a couple hundred eggs today, very happy!