Welcome back, and again, sorry to keep you guys hanging! Well, last time we went through a lot of the textbook type stuff and made sure you didn’t come home with a Pacu or Piranha when you just wanted some Silver Dollars! This time, the fun stuff…my experiences with these fish, and recommendations for keeping them.
You’re going to get at least a group of five Silver Dollars, preferably seven or more. They are a schooling fish, and a nervous fish as well, so they will do much better if kept in the recommended size groups. With this in mind you are going to need at least a thirty gallon long tank for your Silver Dollars, and preferably something a little longer than that since these guys like to swim.
I say they are a nervous fish, but at the same time they are an extremely hardy fish. Like I said, I’ve had my guys for almost three years without one casualty. They will panic when you go to work inside the tank, dashing corner to corner, up to the water surface and into the sad/gravel. Don’t worry they’ll calm down, just try to be a little more careful so as not to unnecessarily stress them. A couple of mine will even come to water’s surface and splash me with their tails when I’m trying to work in the tank. Annoying, but painless and slightly humorous as well!
You might panic when you first bring home your Silver Dollars, or if you move them from tank to tank (which I’ve done about three times with this same reaction each time!). My Silver Dollars upon settling into their new home will sink to the bottom of the tank and keel over on their sides, looking as though they are moments from death. The first time this happened I found myself doing water changes until they righted themselves. It’s behavior that I’m used to now! Again, no need to unnecessarily stress the fish, so don’t move them around for fun or show, but nothing to panic about. Keep some Stress Coat on hand to dose the tank with afterwards, I find this does actually help.
My Silver Dollars will eat flakes, but be sure to buy some spirulina flakes so they get their veggies. They are primarily a herbivorous fish, but will eat just about anything in captivity. Bloodworms are chewed up, and krill is even funny to feed them—they’ll catch onto a bit and start chewing with a bit hanging out of their mouths. As they chew they dart back and forth avoiding the others who want to come steal their Krill away. They chew and chew until the piece of krill disappears. They are more than willing to bite off more than they can handle in this way!