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Silver Dollar

Silver Dollar Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderCharaciformes
FamilyCharacidae
GenusMetynnis
Common NameSilver Dollar
Scientific NameMetynnis Argenteus
OriginSouth America
DietOmnivore
Size (L)5cm - 14cm (2in - 5.5in)
Water TypeFresh
Optimum pH Level5 - 7
Life Span2 - 10 years
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
ColourSilver, Grey
Skin TypeScales
Favourite FoodBloodworm
HabitatTropical well-vegetated rivers
Average Litter Size2,000
Main PreyBloodworm, Insects, Plants
PredatorsLarge fish, Birds, Reptiles
Distinctive FeaturesDisk-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.