Silver Dollar Fish

Silver Dollar Fish Care and Breeding Guide

The Silver Dollar fish are a perfect kind of fish that you can easily keep in a community tank with other kinds of fish. This is because the fish is known to be highly sociable and will keep other kinds of fish busy. The fish is a relative of the piranha, which is a highly aggressive fish but it is relatively calm and sociable even with other fish breeds.

The fish is known to grow fast and remarkably big and thus may require a tank that is big enough to accommodate a group. A tank that is at least 50 gallons can be a good start with these fish especially if you are planning to keep a group together in a single tank. The fish will grow tall and wide as well within a short span of time as long as sufficient food is provided to them.

Unlike the Piranha from which they are related, the silver dollar fish are avid herbivores who feed on plants. If you have plants growing in your tank, expect the fish to feed on them after you introduce them there.

Appearance of Silver Dollar Fish

The fish have a flat, thin and silvery appearance the reason for their name ‘silver dollar fish’. In fact the fish appears too silver in color that if a silver penny was placed on the surface of its body, it would not be easy for you to see the silver coin!

The body of the fish is flat and thin but it if it is put on the side it will appear broad and large. The tail fin is broad and flat making the fish a good swimmer and some hobbyists are attracted to the fish for its characteristic red tailed anal fin and silver-like appearance.

In males, the anal fins are longer is will show a reddish coloration on the leading edge. It will be easy for you to distinguish the female from the male especially if they are in the same tank. Another easy sign to distinguish the male fish from the female is that sometimes the males will show a dark outline just along the edges of the tail fin.


The silver dollar fish are a native of the tropical water of the South American region but they are especially found in the Amazon river Basin. In the tank, it may be best if you provide for them soft water that has a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.

It has been noted with dismay however that the fish will prefer to live in the middle area of the tank if there other fish living in the tank. The fish is a freshwater fish that will need conditions in the tank to be well taken care of for its better growth and health. Also ensure that the nitrates levels of the water in the aquarium don’t exceed 50ppm. Just ensure that you keep the aquarium conditions to near that of the natural habitat as possible.

Tank Requirements

The silver dollar fish are one of the most aquarium fish that are so easy to care for in the aquarium. They are generally peaceful and will readily coexist with other peaceful fish species in the same tank. Here below are, some important tank requirements that you can follow to get you started with the fish:

  • The fish can grow large and in some instances as large as six inches in length alone, they need to be kept in rather large tank. The ideal minimum tank dimensions required should be at least 30 gallons of water in capacity.
  • It is a tropical species of freshwater fish thus you ought to be conscious of the temperature conditions in the tank. The ideal temperature condition to set for the fish should be around 72°F and 77°F.
  • The pH of the water in the tank should be around 5.0 and 7.0 not exceeding the 7.0 mark.
  • Because the fish can easily leap out of the tank, ensure that you have a good aquarium lid over your tank.
  • To help them have enough places for them to hide when they feel threatened, you will put rocks and driftwood for them.
  • Because the fish are herbivores, you will want to decorate the aquarium with artificial plants so that they don’t feed on your live plants.


The silver dollar fish are primarily herbivores and will generally feed plant products. The fish will however not hesitate to feed on a variety of live food that is fed to them. They can be fed live food such as; live worms, live brine shrimp, and other meaty feeds. A general rule however is to feed the fish heavily on vegetarian diet because they are herbivores. Giving them live foods should only be encouraged because the fish just like any other animal the fish needs a balanced diet.

As for manufactured food don’t fret much with the thought that they like to feed on live plants a lot. They can be served manufactured vegetable-based fish flake foods and you can feed them Spirulina. You can as well provide green vegetable food from your kitchen to the fish in the tank and they will graciously feed on it!


The Silver Dollar Fish will readily and easily breed in an aquarium as long the conditions are appropriate for it. For them to easily breed, ensure that the tank temperature is between 81 and 90 degrees Celsius. Once spawning has taken place with the male fertilizing the eggs of the female, it only takes just four days for the eggs to hatch. In a period of just a few weeks the fry will be seen swimming around in the aquarium. Another feature of the female that will tell you that it is ready for breeding is when you see some two black spots just near the side gills. The red color on the side gills will turn black so at this time it is the perfect time to place the male with the female in the tank.

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