Silver Dollar Fish Stats InfographicThe Silver dollar fish is one of the popular freshwater fish; it has a unique appearance akin to a silver dollar coin.

However, its appearance is not its only selling point. Another selling point is the fact that Silver dollar fish is low-maintenance and has a long lifespan.

The Silver dollar fish is a peaceful schooling fish that even a beginner can handle.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the Silver dollar fish: care, diet, breeding, and even common diseases.

Silver Dollar Fish Stats

Origin Amazon river basin, South America
Lifespan 10 years
Average Size 6 inches
Diet Herbivores
Temperament Peaceful
Temperature 75 – 82℉
Ph 6.0 – 7.0
dGH 6 or 100 ppm
dKH 3 or 53 ppm
Tank Size 100 gallons
Lighting Dim light

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Characiformes
Family Characidae
Subfamily Serrasalminae
Genius Metynnis, Myleus, Mylopus,Mylossoma

Overview of the Silver Dollar Fish

The silver dollar fish is freshwater fish that can be found commonly in the rivers of South America. It is peaceful and easy to breed and care for. The most striking thing about the Silver dollar fish is its appearance.

Silver dollar fish are primarily herbivores and practically eat whatever plant you feed them with; this is the main reason why it is not advised to add live plants to their tank. They are hardy and reasonably durable; they can leave for a long, long time with proper care.

We have covered all you need to know about the Silver dollar fish in this article; go ahead and find out for yourself.

– What Does the Silver Dollar Fish Look Like?

Silver dollar fish close upThe Silver dollar fish got its name from its appearance. They have a shiny silvery body that looks just like an old silver dollar; isn’t that cool? The Silver dollar fish body is round and flattened.

Under a light bulb, you can see a slight blue or green tint on their body. You will also observe that the Silver dollar fish has little tinted dots on its sides in a healthy habitat.

– Types of Silver Dollar Fish

There are four types of Silver dollar fish that are very common. However, the standard silver-colored Silver dollar fish is by far the most common of them all. The others are:

  1. Red Hook Silver Dollar Fish – This fish is so named because of its pronounced reddish anal fin. The anal fin looks very much like the rudder of a ship. Asides from their anal fin, the rest of the red hook silver dollar fish looks just like that of the classic Silver dollar.
  2. Spotted Silver Dollar Fish – The spotted silver dollar fish is one variation of the classic silver dollar that most aquarists love. It has a dark or grey base color that is peppered with several dark brown spots.
  3. Tiger Silver Dollar Fish – For us, the Tiger silver dollar fish is our all-time favorite. It has an attractive blue silver primary color, with large vertical stripes on it. Watching this fish swim is something we can do all day.

– How Can I Tell the Male and Female Silver Dollar Fish Apart?

It is almost impossible to tell the male and female Silver dollar fish apart when they are young.

However, there are few distinctions, for example:

  • The anal fin of the male Silver dollar fish is slightly longer than the females and has a reddish tint.
  • The male Silver dollar fish may sometimes sport a black or dark outline along its tail fin.

Since differentiating between the sexes in Silver dollar fish is quite tough, you can simply buy an even number of the fish and keep them in your tank. As they grow into adulthood, they will naturally form pairs of males and females for breeding; problem solved.

– How Big Do Silver Dollar Fish Get?

The average size of a mature Silver dollar fish is 6 inches. However, they may not grow to be as big as that. The Silver dollar fish size is influenced by a lot of factors, one of which is feeding. If as fry, Silver dollars are not fed properly, it becomes difficult for them to ever reach their full size.

– Behavior and Traits

Silver dollar fish have a peaceful temperament but can get a little aggressive during feeding time. Silver dollars are pelagic. Thus, they spend a lot of time swimming close to the surface of the water. They can get quite reclusive and skittish when kept in a tank alone, and it is advised that you keep them in groups.

A group of at least 5 Silver dollar fish is what we recommend. Now because they can get quite skittish and can easily jump out of their tank, you will need a big tank. The tank should be deep enough to handle all their jumping.

– Life Expectancy of Silver Dollar Fish

The average Silver dollar fish lifespan is ten years. They can however live past this 10 year mark if they have great genetics and are properly cared for. Silver dollar fish that are poorly looked after often will not make it to the 10-year mark because they will be susceptible to stress and common freshwater diseases.

Silver Dollar Fish Care

Silver dollar fish in aquariumTo properly care for your Silver Dollar fish, you must pay attention to where they live i.e., your tank set up, tank conditions, and their tank mates. As much as possible, try to replicate the natural habitat of the fish. Doing so will help you reduce the stress that would ordinarily arise from the change of habitat for the Silver dollar.

The next phase in the care is being intentional about what the Silver Dollar fish’s diet as well as its breeding. With successful care, you can reduce the risk of stress, disease and death in your Silver dollar fish. Let’s get started on the guides to care for your Silver dollar.

– Setting Up the Silver Dollar Fish Tank

When setting up a tank for the Silver dollar fish, you must try to make it one that mimics the fish natural habitat. After all, the fish thrives in its natural habitat.

To that effect, you must ask yourselves important questions like:

  • What size of tank do I need?
  • What water conditions do I need to maintain in the fish tank?
  • What fishes can I keep my Silver dollar fish with?
  • What tank mates should I avoid?

You don’t have to guess the answers to these questions raised. We have answered all of them and provided a guide to help you successfully set up a happy tank for your Silver dollar fish.

1. What Tank Size Should I Keep My Silver Dollar Fish In?

Silver dollar fish grow big and require lots of space to swim in. Thus, we recommend that you get a tank of at least 100 gallons (6Ft) for this, especially active fish species. Now that you have a big tank, there are other additions that you must equip your tank with.

2. What Is the Best Water Condition for a Silver Dollar Fish?

The best water condition for Silver dollar fish is one that tries as much as possible to recreate its natural habitat. Silver dollar fish in the wild live in water bodies with extremely soft water and low pH. However, because they are hardy fishes, you can keep them in slightly varying conditions.

  • Recommended Temperature – Your tank should have a temperature of 75 to 82℉. Within this temperature range, you can stimulate breeding for the Silver dollars. A heater will help you maintain the Silver dollar fish temperature within this range.
  • Water pH – Silver dollars thrive best in acidic waters. However, they will still do well in slightly basic waters. Thus, you can keep the pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Water Hardness – Fill their tank with soft water. Bear in mind that the general water hardness and carbonate hardness must be balanced. The carbonate hardness helps to stabilize your pH and prevent it from sudden drops. We recommend carbonate hardness of 3 dKH and a general hardness of 6 dGH at the minimum.
  • Mineral Requirements – Even in soft water, you need a healthy amount of magnesium and calcium to help with osmoregulation.
  • Filtration – Silver dollar fish is very active and large to boot. Thus, it will expel a lot of waste. To keep the water pristine, you will need a filter to remove the ammonia from the tank as it is highly toxic to your fish. Your filter should have enough capacity to process all of the resultant waste and be able to pump in enough water. We recommend a filter with a GPH rating at least four times the size of your tank.
  • Lighting – Your Silver fish tank should feature dim lights because this fish loves dim light. The shadows created by the light helps create a space where the Silver dollars feel safe and can retreat to.

3. What Fish Species Can Live With the Silver Dollar Fish?

After setting up the tank for the Silver dollar fish, it is important to begin pairing the fish using knowledge of the Silver dollar fish compatibility. Knowledge of the tank mates that are suitable for your Silver dollar fish is important as pairing them with a predator fish can cause them to retreat or worse still, get stressed.

To help, we have tackled the issue of tank mates that are compatible with the Silver dollar fish as well as those to avoid.

Silver Dollar Fish Tank Mates

The best tank mates for Silver dollar fish are those that are large enough that they can’t pass for dinner and unaggressive. Aggressive tank mates can cause your Silver dollar a great deal of stress.

For starters, pair your Silver dollars with these fish species:

Silver Dollar Fish Tank Mates to Avoid

It is best to avoid cichlids because though they have a sweet temperament, they can become terrors while breeding. As a rule, you should also avoid fish species that are tiny enough to fit into your Silver dollar fish’s mouth.

We have provided a list of fishes that you should avoid putting in your tank.

Silver Dollar Fish Breeding

Silver dollar fish tank matesGetting your Silver dollar fish to breed once they have reached sexual maturity is not difficult. The first step is ensuring that they form pairs and that the tank is favorable to handle their breeding. A suitable breeding tank should contain clean water, pH around 6 to 7 and a temperature within the range of 75-82℉.

In the next section, we shall tackle ways to best condition your Silver dollar fish.

– How to Condition Silver Dollar Fish for Spawning

It is important that your tank has favorable water conditions to help the Silver dollar fish spawn. Another thing to tackle is their diet. Silver dollars should be fed with a more meaty diet for at least a week to get them ready for spawning. Male Silver dollars that are ripe for spawning are identified by the red and black stripes on their anal fin.

Once you see the telltale signs of readiness to spawn in your Silver dollar, it is time to move the pairs to the breeding tank. The tank should be dark and have tall artificial plants. The base of these plants serve as the breeding spot for the fish and soft landing place for their eggs there.

– Mating Process for Silver Dollar Fish

The male initiates the mating process by chasing the female until she relents and allows him to come closer. It is not shocking to see him swimming close to her and wrapping his anal fin around her. He will release his sperm around the same time the female Silver dollar releases her eggs.

The female Silver dollar fish can lay as many as 2,000 eggs in one breeding. These eggs hatch after a period of 3-4 days into the fray.

– Raising the Silver Dollar Fish Fry

Once the eggs are hatched, it is time to channel your efforts to raise the fry. The adults are not carnivorous. Thus, you have no fear of them eating their young. There is, however, the issue of competing for food. Since the fry are too young to stand a chance, we advise that you remove the adults as soon as the eggs hatch.

You can feed the fry small portions of the same diet the adult Silverfish eat. However, we advise that you ground the food into fine sizes. In about 9 days, the fry will be free swimming, and in another eight months, they should reach adult size.

– How Fast Do Silver Dollar Fish Grow?

With a proper diet, the Silver dollar fish grow very quickly. They reach their full size at 8 months; at this age, they are mature and ready for breeding. Attention must be fed to what the young fry are fed in the first few days after they are hatched.

Poor diet so soon after hatching can permanently stunt them and prevent them from reaching their full potential at maturity.

Silver Dollar Fish Feeding

What better way is there to care for your fish than feeding them the proper diet?

Of course, to do that you would have to know exactly what it is Silver dollars fish it and how often you should feed them. Knowledge of the latter is crucial as overfeeding your fish is almost as worse as not feeding it at all.

Overfed Silver dollar fishes become bloated, and suffer from significant amounts of stress. Stress in turn predisposes your fish to certain diseases and consequently shortens its life expectancy. Luckily, we have explained in detail what the Silver dollar fish diet should look like and how often it should be fed.

– Silver Dollar Fish Diet

Silver dollar fish are predominantly herbivores, in fact, they will eat any plant you put in their tank. Thus, it is advised that you lay off decorating their tanks with live plants; use artificial plants instead. They can survive on a strict herbivorous diet because their protein requirement is almost negligible.

A staple diet for the Silver dollar food must include different types of vegetables and algaes in pellets or flake form.

Some of the recommended greens have been listed below:

  • Spirulian 20
  • Omega one Veggie Kelp flakes
  • Fluval vegetarian flakes
  • Cooked veggies like carrots, squash, and green peas
  • Algae wafers
  • Cucumbers
  • Seaweed and other leafy vegetables.

Since the Silver dollar fish can also eat meat, you can augment their green diet with a little bit of animal protein. Things like brine shrimp and bloodworms are fine to throw in once in a while.

– How Often Should Silver Dollar Fish be Fed?

Silver dollar fish are very active species. Thus, it is not uncommon to find them always eating in the wild. As a result of their active nature, we advise that you feed the Silver dollar fish 2-3 times a day. Remember, in everything, you must strive to replicate the natural habitat of the Silver dollar fish.

However, if you feel feeding them that often is too much of a bother, you can add an automatic feeder to the tank. The automatic feeder takes care of feeding the Silver dollar fish when you are unavailable.

Silver Dollar Fish Disease

There are no specific diseases peculiar to silver dollar fishes, so you can rest easy. They are hardy and very durable. However, they are still susceptible to the usual diseases that plague freshwater fishes. We have listed a few of these diseases, their symptoms, and how to treat them below.

The most effective way to prevent your Silver dollar fish from getting any of these diseases is by providing quality water, diet, and tank mates for them. Preventing stress in this fish species goes a long way to reduce the chances of them falling ill.

– Ich

Ich is one of the parasitic diseases that Yoyo loach is predisposed to. It often manifests with white patches on the skin and is highly contagious. Other symptoms are gasping for air, loss of appetite, lethargy, and a strange swimming pattern.


We would advise that you see a veterinarian for help treating Ich.

In the absence of a vet, it helps to quarantine the affected fish and administer the appropriate medications.

We advise that you treat the entire tank to prevent reoccurrence. Potassium permanganate, acriflavine, malachite green, and salt baths are potent treatments for ich.

Yet another way of tackling it is by increasing the temperature of the tank water to 77° F. The elevated temperature helps in killing the parasite that is responsible for this infection.

– Cotton Ball Disease

The cotton ball disease is caused by bacteria found in unclean water. Common symptoms of this disease include white mucus coating around the gills, gasping for breath, strange swim patterns, etc.


Quarantine the affected fish and administer over-the-counter medications.

– Preventing Stress in Silver Dollar Fish

As we mentioned earlier, stress plays a major role in your Silver dollar fish getting sick. Thus, it is important that you try as much as possible to eliminate factors that will induce stress in your fish.

Stress can be induced by:

  • Poor diet
  • Overfeeding
  • Poor water quality
  • Insufficient oxygen level
  • High ammonium concentration caused by poor filtration
  • Small tank size
  • Aggressive tank mates, etc.

Eliminating these factors will help you eliminate stress and raise a healthy silver dollar fish community. Remember, if the silver dollar fish is not well cared for, it will not reach its full size, be prone to diseases and will die before the estimated 10 years.


  • Silver dollar fishThe Silver dollar fish is a freshwater fish that can be found commonly in the rivers of South America
  • It has a flattened, silvery appearance akin to that of a silver dollar coin
  • It can get as big as 6 inches and live for as much as 10 years

The silver dollar fish is one of our favorite freshwater fish; they are peaceful, fun to watch, and low-maintenance. Caring for them is a breeze once you know what to do, and this guide will help educate you on that. Thanks to their long life expectancy, you can expect to have your Silver dollar fish for quite a long time.

5/5 - (15 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here