Silver Dollar Fish – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

Hobbyist that have a little to a whole lot of experience behind caring for fish may find the Silver Dollar Fish a catch. These medium sized fish have a laid-back personality perfect for any community aquarium.

Being a flat silver colored fish there’s not a whole lot of questions on where they got their names from. These fish are a top feeder fish. That are social and need a school in order to happily survive.



Silver Dollar fish hole the scientific name of Metynnis Argenteus, another name given due to their physical appearance. A family member of the Characidae family. Relatives to the well know Piranha and the Pacus.

Although unlike their flesh-eating relatives these fish are passive herbivores. Which makes them a perfect match for any large fish community tank.

Silver Dollar is not a unique name as it’s given to multiple fish within the Metynnis family. Their scientific name Metynnis defines these fish perfectly. As it means “with plowshare.” If you do not know what this means it means laterally flattened body; while Argenteus means “colored with silver.”

These fish are rather sturdy fish that have the potential to live roughly 10 years with great care. They are easy to find in most pet stores or online. Many times, these fish are cheaper to buy a whole school rather than a single fish.

Behavior Patterns

These fish are rather large fish that prefer to be in a school. They need plenty of space laterally in order to swim freely without feeling overly stressed.

It is recommended that you have a school of at least 5 Silver a dollar Fish. You may see that your fish will begin getting highly skittish and reclusive if they are not in a large enough school. If this behavior is projected, you may need to look into a further purchase of Silver Dollar Fish.

These pelagic fish (swims close to the top of the fish tank) get startled easily and will jump out of the tank. So, it’s important to have some sort of top on this aquarium.


As with nearly 100% of animal’s names it was not just drawn out of a hat. The Silver Dollar Fish was just that. Given the name because it reminds others of an old silver dollar. With a round silver flattened body they seemed to look a lot alike.

The Silver Dollar Fish is a very generic term that loops back to a many different types of fish.

Between Metynnis Hypsauchen and Metynnis Argenteus. Although these are fish that look very similar to the Silver Dollar Fish there are differences that set them apart.

The main difference between the two that separates them is the fact that the Metynnis Hypsauchen has black patches that are formed right behind their eyes and along their body.

The Red Hook Silver Dollar are another species that are a choice of fish for a ranked environment. Also known as the Myleus Rubripinnis; these fish are indentured by their multiple differences. Both in color and fin shapes.

Spotted Silver Dollar Fish

The Spotted Silver Dollar Fish are known for exactly what their name entails. These fish are silver with black spots that run alongside its body. Native to the regions of Brazil and French Guyana. A healthy mature adult can grow up to six and a half inches in size.

Red Hook Silver Dollar Fish

This beautiful variation of the silver dollar fish is unlike the rest of its family. With a vibrant black outlined red anal fin and special coloring. These Red Hook Silver Dollar fish do everything but live up to its name.

These fish really flourish in the wild growing roughly 22 inches long. While in captivity a healthy mature fish may grow up to 9 inches in size.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Native to the freshwater ways of South America. These fish are used to dirty, grimy peat water. Their substrate consists of a mixture of both gravel and rocks. With large amounts of thick voluminous vegetation that provides plenty of hiding spots for all fish within the school.

The rivers where the Silver Dollar Fish choose you have their ecosystem is often filled with many forms of debris. Such as driftwood, large rocks, and forms of weeds. These waterways have a moderate current rate, with currents that are smack dab in the middle rather than heavy or no currents at all.

Tank Setup

These tropical fish prefer a tank that directly mimics their natural environment rather than be placed in something unnatural and scary to them. The most important regions are the middle to top region as this is where they spend a minority of their time.

Being an active fish, they will need plenty of room to swim around freely without any limitations in space. Being a sturdy fish, they have a tolerance to select items that other fish cannot take a single mix up. Such as the water conditions.

These fish require plenty of plants to provide three things:

  • Food
  • Hiding
  • Oxygenate the tank in order to keep the fish alive

It’s important to find a high-quality filtration system that has a moderate strength filtration. You may use powerheads in order to help with both water current and oxygenating the tank.

Although it’s important to find glass powerheads. As these active fish have been known to break multiple powerheads before. And we don’t want a shattered powerhead or an injured fish.

As mentioned before these fish have been known to jump out of the tank. Especially during their first few weeks when everything is new. So, buy a heavy lid for your tank. Silver Dollar a Fish prefer to have a dimmer light with a darker background this will make it easier for the fish to tell the difference in day and night. It is recommended but not necessary for you to use darker colored substrate, rather than light colored sand.

You will need to ensure that there’s plenty of room for the Silver Dollar Fish to swim around; along with plenty of places for them to hide. It’s best to put the hiding places at the edges or back of the tank. This way you aren’t blocking viewing areas for you and you aren’t limiting the swimming area for them.

Being herbivorous it’s very important for you to only keep plants inside your tank that are nasty and unappealing to eat. This will limit the mutilation to the plant that your Silver Dollar Fish would do. Or you may turn to an alternative and just choose to use artificial plants to keep from having to fight your fish.

Being a tropical fish it’s important to keep your tank between 75°F and 82°F. With a Ph around 5.5 and 7.5. Although they have a flexible water hardness level, they prefer it to stay between 4 and 18 dGh.

What Size of Tank Do I Need to Purchase?

You need a minimum of 15 gallons per fish. Although it’s not recommended you have a school smaller than 5 Silver Dollar Fish meaning you will need roughly 75 gallons of water for the school. Adding 10 gallons for any fish after 5.

Tank Mates

These large fish are more of a tank teddy bear. They are peaceful and not out to get anyone. They are a great option for any community tank as they are top level schooling fish. Which means you have over ⅔ of a tank to fill with fish within other water levels.

Depending on what you are wishing for visually you may be wishing for some color contrast or speed contrast. You may not want your whole tank to be highly active fish. Or you may want other colored fish rather than all silver fish. I promise whatever your goal is you can find a tank mate that fits in well with Silver Dollar Fish.

Although these fish are herbivores it’s best if you do not mix small fish inside your tank with your large fish. This can be a call for disaster, because they may end up being eaten by your larger fish.

You may want to incorporate some snails or shrimp in the mix. Although again you are risking them being eaten.

Can I Keep Multiple Silver Dollar Fish Together?

They do best when they are in a school of 5 of more fish. Without a school they may be extremely stressed and die at a young age. Or they may become very slow and skittish fish that seem nearly depressed.


When you get technical Silver Dollar Fish are actually Omnivorous (eats both plants and animals). Hints why small fish may be eaten. Although they prefer a strict herbivores diet.

In the wild, it’s easy to receive the needed vitamins by consuming nearby plants and vegetation.

You may choose to feed your fish many varieties of plants that give out most if not all the nutrients needed in a day. Again, they prefer plants to be the main source of feeding.

Although they enjoy the occasional snacks and treats that don’t fall in that category. Such as blood worms, brine shrimp, and boiled potatoes.

Herbivores are very important in this delicate ecosystem we have today. Fresh and seawater herbivores maintain community structure by keeping plants and vegetation trimmed back keeping them from taking over the water and killing off river/sea life due to suffocating.

They also prevent a large build up in algae, and steal nutrients from other waterways to keep all waterways equally as sufficient as the next. This maintains a healthy environment that can continue to produce more healthy fish for years to come.

It’s important to feed these fish on a schedule. Only allowing them to eat what is needed rather than over feeding and risking bloat. Feed your Silver Dollars 2 times a day; offering them only as much as they can consume in 3 minutes. Ensure all your fish within your school are eating. Once the three minutes is up making sure to remove the access food to keep the toxins from building up in your tank.

Care Guide

Silver Dollar a Fish are easy to maintain and keep healthy. Although, aquariums can become deadly environments due to the fact it is a closed system. Substances such as nitrates, phosphorus, and organic matter can have and spike as time goes on creating this toxic place for any fish to live.

This is why you should have a 25-50% cleaning once a week. By this I mean you will replace ¼ of the tanks water one week; and ½ the tanks water the next. This will decrease the amount of build up along with removing the toxins.

Although it is known that these fish are rather healthy fish that rarely catch illness or disease it’s not impossible. It’s important to keep every new community member in quarantine before introducing them to your tanks. This will limit the possibility of a single fish causing your whole tank to come down with a sickness.

As long as you have a clean tank, fish that have a healthy balanced diet, and an environment that is ideal for the type of fish within your aquarium. You have done everything in your power to try and keep from possible illness and disease within your tank.

It is important to remove and quarantine any fish that is acting strange or showing any sign of sickness. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The most common disease found inside any tank is Ich. This directly correlates with water conditions within the tank. Water temperature that are higher than 77°F interfere with most fish life stages and are the main cause of this outbreak. Ich is highly contagious; one fish can cause a whole tank to become sick. Although there is a treatment if found fast enough.


These tropical fish are easy to care for and maintain. As long as they are kept within a school of 5 of more fish, they are peaceful and active fish.

Being a top water fish, they are perfect for any community tank. They are skittish when in an unknown environment and can jump out of the tank.

They name Silver Dollar is generic to breed of fish rather than one general fish. They come in different shapes, colors, and sizes.

Although they do not take a lot of experience it’s best if you’ve had some due to their special diet. While they may eat anything, they prefer to eat plants and vegetables over meat of any kind.

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