Silver Dollar Fish

Silver Dollar Fish Care, Tank Mates, Size, & More

The silver dollar fish is a popular and distinctive freshwater species that has long been a popular addition to aquariums.

They have a unique and appealing appearance, but that isn’t the only reason they’re a fantastic fish to own.

Silver dollar fish maintenance is a really straightforward procedure that won’t take up a lot of your time or cause you any problems. If you keep up your half of the agreement, these fish are generally low-maintenance and will live for a long time.

They’re ideal for community tanks as well. The possibilities for silver dollar fish tank mates are endless!

We’ll go over all you need to know about silver dollar fish and how to care for them in this tutorial. You can then go out and buy one for yourself!

Summary of Species

The silver dollar fish (scientific name: metynnis argenteus) can be found in rivers with a lot of long vegetation all over South America. Their slim and tall shape allows them to easily navigate this environment and swim between stems.

They eat largely plants and are infamous for devouring every plant that crosses their way. The “plant piranha!” is one of their nicknames. This is important to know because it will affect how you decorate and fill your tank with plants.

Other than plants, silver dollar fish are acclimated to a variety of hiding areas in their native habitat. The water they reside in is littered with rocks and driftwood.

These fish are top dwellers, meaning they spend the majority of their time in the upper half of your freshwater aquarium. Knowing this will come in handy later on when you’re mapping out potential tank mates.

Silver Dollar Fish Lifespan

The average lifespan of a silver dollar fish is ten years. However, if they have decent genetics and receive appropriate care, they can easily outlive this by a year.

These fish are extremely hardy due to their native habitat. However, if you don’t maintain the proper tank and water conditions, you can substantially reduce their lives. You can expect them to have long and happy lives as long as you take those things seriously!


The silver dollar fish resembles a silver dollar in appearance (shocking). Their bodies are tall and flat, giving them a round appearance when viewed from the side.

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The majority of their body is shiny, but as you got closer to their fins, it gets more translucent. This emphasizes their silver dollar resemblance even further.

Their dorsal fins resemble a slanted equilateral triangle beginning at the greatest point on their bodies. The dorsal fin’s front ridge is usually more opaque than the remainder of it.

Their caudal fins are absolutely symmetrical and forked just slightly. These fish have a silver caudal peduncle that continues into the caudal fin.

The bodies of silver dollar fish are slightly bumpy. From their head to the middle, it’s a reasonably tidy triangle on top and bottom. Then, where their dorsal fin begins, it slants down before striking a small bump. It flattens out on the bottom before making a sudden turn up to the caudal fin.

Silver dollar fish belong to the same family as piranhas (Characidae). When you compare their skulls, you can see how similar they are.

Types of Silver Dollar Fish

There are a few different types of silver dollar fish that you’ll come across frequently. Silver is by far the most common color, but it isn’t the only one.

Red Hook Silver Dollar Fish

The red hook silver dollar fish has a distinctive red anal fin that resembles a ship’s rudder. The rest of their bodies resemble a traditional silver dollar, however, the coloration can be a little uneven at times.

Silver Dollar Fish with Spots

Many aquarists appear to appreciate the spotted silver dollar fish. They have a deeper primary color (more of a grey than anything else) and a sequence of dark brown patches on their body.

Silver Dollar Tiger Fish

Our personal favorite is the tiger silver dollar fish. It’s a bright blue silver with a sequence of dark vertical stripes. It’s a lot of pleasure to watch this fish swim!


The average length of a silver dollar fish is roughly 6 inches. It’s not uncommon for them to reach 8 inches, but that’s not to be expected.

Because these aren’t small fish, you’ll need to organize your tank accordingly. They’re not only long but also tall! The width of silver dollar fish is the only space-saving feature.

Silver Dollar Fish Care

Caring for silver dollar fish isn’t difficult. These are tough, long-lasting fish that may survive in a variety of environments.

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Silver Dollar Fish care

This allows you to relax and enjoy the benefits of not having to worry about tank conditions being correct. Having said that, there are still a few things you should be aware of.

Tank Dimensions

Your silver dollar fish should be fine in a 75-gallon aquarium. This is based on a minimum of 5 fish in your tank. Because these are schooling fish that thrive in groups rather than alone, we don’t advocate reducing the number of fish for the sake of saving space.

Because mature silver dollar fish are energetic and like to swim, you’ll want to keep them in a lengthy tank. This will allow them to cover some ground without feeling crowded.

Note: If you plan on keeping more than 5 silver dollar fish in a tank, add 10-15 gallons per additional fish.

Parameters for water

When it comes to silver dollar fish maintenance, it’s critical to keep the appropriate water parameters. Despite their toughness, they can get themselves into difficulty if the limits change too much.

  • 75°F to 82°F water temperature
  • pH range: 5-7
  • The hardness of water: 4-18 dGH — most experienced aquarists favor a range of 8 to 15 dGH.

What To Put In Their Tank?

For enrichment and comfort, silver dollar fish require a well-designed habitat. If these fish spend time in an environment that they don’t comprehend or that lacks what they require, they are prone to high levels of stress.

To begin, you’ll want to include a variety of plants that they don’t like. This will make them feel at ease without requiring you to introduce fresh plants every few days. If the plants in their tank appeal to them, they will devour them in a couple of days!

Java moss and hornwort are two excellent choices. These will provide a familiar and comfortable environment for them, but will not pique their interest.

A good supply of driftwood and rocks will also come in handy. Even though the silver dollar fish spend the majority of their time in the upper half of the tank, hiding spots will be appreciated.

A gravel substrate is ideal since it closely resembles riverbeds in their natural environment. It is better to use dark gravel.

Note: Using a powerhead or two to get the best water flow is a good idea. This will help your silver dollar fish thrive by enriching the water with sufficient oxygen.

Diseases that are Commonly Found

When it comes to creating a silver dollar fish care plan, there are no species-specific diseases to be concerned about. As an owner, you may relax a little more knowing that these fish are extremely sturdy and hardy.

This does not rule out the possibility of them being ill. If you don’t take care of your silver dollar fish, they can contract many of the same diseases as other freshwater fish (like ich).

The most effective strategy to avoid this is to pay close attention to water quality, diet, and stress management. These all play an important role in your fish’s health, and keeping them in balance will greatly lessen the chances of their becoming ill.

Food & Diet

At first, the diet of silver dollar fish can be perplexing. Despite the fact that these fish are technically omnivores, they spend most of their time-consuming plant life.

When it comes to their preferred source of plant-based foods, you have a lot of options. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Algae wafers
  • Plant-based flakes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Other leafy greens
  • Seaweed

Bloodworms and brine shrimp are also good treats for them, although these should only be given to them on rare occasions.

Silver dollar fish have a set feeding regimen that is quite convenient. These fish can survive on two feedings a day, which is far more convenient than the three to four feeding sessions required by some other species.

Temperament & Behaviour

Silver dollar fish are quite enjoyable to keep. They’re friendly, but not aggressive, and they’re rather active.

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You’ll almost never see them act aggressively toward each other or the other fish in your aquarium. This makes them an excellent community fish for which you do not need to be concerned.

You’ll always see them swimming with their mates because they’re schooling fish. It’s unusual to see one out on their own, as this would make them quite bashful and scared.

The majority of their time will be spent in the top portion of your aquarium. This can result in some fantastic combinations with other species that prefer to spend time in the center or bottom of tanks.

Note: Because the silver dollar fish is a top-dweller, you’ll want to make sure your tank hood is robust. It’s been known for them to leap!

Silver Dollar Fish Compatibility and Tank Mates

Because of their delicate nature, many creatures make excellent silver dollar fish tank mates. Most of the time, these fish just want to go about their business and find some plants to eat!

Because silver dollars spend the majority of their time in the upper half of the tank, peaceful bottom-feeder fish are usually quite compatible with them. This means that not only will both species avoid fighting, but they will also avoid being near one another in the first place!

Bristlenose and clown plecos are two of our favorites in this category. Silver dollar fish tank mates include Kuhli loaches and cory catfish.

There are a variety of cichlids that make excellent aquarium companions. Oscar fish, red empress, and blue dolphin are all excellent cichlid combinations.

When it comes to picking a tank mate for silver dollar fish, you have a lot of possibilities due to their size and longevity. It doesn’t imply it isn’t compatible just because it isn’t on our list! They should be able to work together if they have equal water needs and aren’t too hostile.

Smaller fish may not be suitable as tank mates for silver dollar fish. Because silver dollars are so enormous, they could be mistaken for food! Betta fish and neon tetras are therefore out of the question.


Once you’ve found a compatible mating couple, silver dollar fish breeding is rather simple.

You’ll need a breeder tank with a capacity of 40 to 50 gallons. To encourage the process, the water temperature and pH levels should be on the higher end of their typical range.

Floating plants should also be included in the breeder tank. This will imitate their native surroundings, leading the fish to believe they are in a suitable spawning location.

The eggs laid by the female will fall to the substrate, and the parents will be less interested in them after that. This may sound counterintuitive given that they are fish who want to stay near the water’s surface, but it’s worked for them so far!

The eggs will hatch after a few days, and you’ll need to give them meals like plankton and little flakes to help them grow.

Tying It All Together

One of our all-time favorite freshwater species is the silver dollar fish. They’re one-of-a-kind, interesting to look at, serene, and low-maintenance!

Caring for them is a pleasurable experience that anyone may undertake once they are aware of the procedures (which this guide has taken care of). You’ll probably have these fish for a long time if you provide them with a healthy tank to live in due to their long lifespan.

Please contact us if you have any more questions about silver dollar fish care that we did not address in this tutorial. We want to make sure that these tools are as helpful as possible!

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