Silver Dollar Fish Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

Silver Dollar Fish in an aquarium

The Silver Dollar Fish is a popular choice for freshwater aquariums, and it’s easy to see why. 

They are a peaceful species that don’t take up a ton of space and are quite active. You should preferably have some experience keeping fish before getting any Silver Dollars.

Silver Dollar Fish Appearance

Silver Dollar fish have totally flat bodies with a mostly silver coloration, which is how they get their name.

The Spotted Silver Dollar has a silver coloration with medium-sized black dots along its sides. These fish typically grow to be around 6.5 inches long.

There is also the Red Hook Silver Dollar, which is mostly silver with some red and black coloration on its anal fin. These fish can grow up to 9 inches in captivity, or 22 inches in their natural habitat.


This fish is known for being a very active and fast swimmer. It is best to keep them in schools of five or more to keep them healthy and happy. If you keep one of these fish alone, it will most likely spend the majority of its time hiding away.

The pelagic nature of these fish means that they tend to spend most of their time near the top of the tank. They can even jump out if they get scared by something. While these fish are very docile most of the time, they can get pretty competitive during mealtime. It is not uncommon for these fish to chase each other around when the food is dropped into the water.

Natural Habitat

Silver Dollars are naturally found in tropical climates. They tend to spend most of their time in rivers that contain lots of weeds.

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Silver Dollar Fish Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

If you are going to keep any Silver Dollar fish, you should have a tank that is at least 75 gallons. These fish need lots of room to swim around, especially when you keep several of them together in the same tank. Each additional fish that you put in will need another ten gallons, so keep that in mind before buying a certain tank.

Moderate water flow is appropriate for this fish’s tank, so you don’t need to crank up the filter to the highest setting. You will want to put in a good amount of rocks, weeds and driftwood. This will create an environment that your fish will be sure to feel at home in.

Make sure that you choose plants that are known for their oxygenation abilities, as these fish need high levels of oxygen in their habitat. You don’t want to put the plants too close together though, as this can make swimming feely difficult. java fern is a good choice for these fish. It is best to use a gravel substrate that is not brightly colored.

2. Water Conditions

You need to keep the water in your Silver Dollar’s tank at 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It should have a pH that ranges from 5.5 to 7.5 and a water hardness of 4 to 18 dGH. You’ll want to replace a quarter to half of the water in the fish tank each week. Failing to do this can have a severely negative impact on the overall health of your fish.

3. Silver Dollar Fish Tank Mates

You will be able to put large fish in with your Silver Dollars, but they have to be docile and not aggressive at all. Doradids are a good choice, though there are many others.

South American Cichlids are also great tank mates for these fish, as they have an equally peaceful overall demeanor. Keeping smaller fish is a huge risk, as they might get eaten up by your Silver Dollars.

Some people keep snails with these fish, but there is a risk of them getting eaten as well.

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4. Silver Dollar Fish Food

These Cichlids should be given a diet that consists entirely of vegetation. Cucumbers, chickweed, spring greens and cress are all good choices for Silver Dollar food. You can also give them carrots, spinach and certain fruits.

Brine shrimp and Bloodworms make for excellent treats, but you shouldn’t give them to these fish on a regular basis. You also never want to get your Silver Dollars more food than they can eat within three minutes per feeding.

Common Health Problems

These fish are not particularly prone to disease, so this is not something that you’ll have to worry about very much. Bacterial infections are always possible, but you can reduce the risk of this by keeping their tank and the contents within as clean as possible.

Silver Dollar Fish Breeding

If you want to breed Silver Dollars, you will have to separate them from the other fish in a tank of their own. Make sure that the temperature of the water in the breeding tank is at 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH of 6 to 7 and a water hardness of 4 to 8.

Female Silver Dollar fish can lay thousands of eggs in one birthing. All of these eggs sink right to the bottom of the tank. Since these fish don’t typically eat their offspring, you won’t need to remove the parents right away.


  • The Silver Dollar fish has a flat body and almost entirely silver coloration.
  • The Spotted Silver Dollar has black spots, whereas the Red Hook Silver Dollar is mostly silver with red and black on its anal fin.
  • You will need a minimum 75-gallon tank to keep one of these fish. Add another 10 gallons for every additional fish you plan to put in.
  • The water in this fish’s tank should be kept between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • These fish need lots of plants in their tank that will raise the oxygen level.
  • Vegetation will make up a vast majority of this fish’s diet, but you can also give it some fruits, bloodworms and brine shrimp occasionally.
  • These fish aren’t very prone to disease, but bacterial infections can become a concern if the water in the tank isn’t changed regularly.
  • A Silver Dollar’s breeding tank needs to be closely monitored and kept at a temperature of 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
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