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Silver Dollar Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Actinopterygii
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Characiformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Characidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Metynnis
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species
Silver Dollar
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Metynnis Argenteus
Origin:
The area where the animal first came from
South America
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
5cm - 14cm (2in - 5.5in)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
Fresh
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
5 - 7
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
2 - 10 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Silver, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Bloodworm
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Tropical well-vegetated rivers
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
2,000
Main Prey:Bloodworm, Insects, Plants
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Large fish, Birds, Reptiles
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Disk-like body and short fins

Silver Dollar Location

Map of Silver Dollar Locations
Map of South America

Silver Dollar

The silver dollar is a medium-sized species of freshwater fish, natively found in the slow-moving rivers of South America. The silver dollar is a very distinctive and easily-recognised species of tropical fish due to it's rounded disk-like body which is a glimmering silver in colour.

The silver dollar is one of the most popular fish today for tropical fish enthusiasts and is therefore found in artificial aquariums all around the world. The silver dollar originated from the Tapajas River basin, a 12,000 miles long river that runs through Brazil feeding into the great Amazon River.

The silver dollar is known to be a relatively peaceful species of tropical fish, but they are also known to have an aggressively dominant nature particularly towards smaller fish. These rounded fish are thought to be closely related to the infamous piranha, also found in the rivers of South America, and also not as ferocious, the silver dollar definitely shares some of the piranha's bullying instinct.

Silver dollar are generally quite sociable find, spending their lives amongst the weeds in the well-vegetated parts of the river where there is a good supply of food and protection from passing predators. Silver dollar gather together in groups known as shoals. which are able to work together to catch larger prey or to try and intimate hungry predators.

Although omnivorous animals, the silver dollar has a mainly vegetarian diet primarily eating grasses and other aquatic plants in the surrounding water. In the wild, silver dollar also supplement their diet with small invertebrates including insects, worms and spiders.

Despite their naturally aggressive nature, the small size of the silver dollar coupled with it's glimmering scales means that these fish are preyed upon by numerous species within their natural environment. Birds, large fish and reptiles are the most common predators of the silver dollar in South America.

The silver dollar is a peaceful schooling species that spends most of its time in the mid- to upper-level of the water and has a maximum lifespan that can be more than 10 years. The female adult silver dollar will spawn around 2,000 eggs. They tend to breed most commonly in soft, warm water in low light.

Silver dollar are one of the most popular tropical fish to be kept in the globally found fish tanks, however, it is advisable not to keep silver dollar with smaller fish. They are said to live quite happily though in tanks that contain larger fish species such as oscars and catfish.

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First Published: 2nd August 2010, Last Updated: 16th December 2016 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]

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