A silver dollar is a peaceful group of community fishes of the Metynnis genus that consists of three species. The spotted silver dollar fish having the scientific name Metynnis lippincottianusis one of the multiple fish species that belong to the genus Metynnis. This tropical fish species has its origin in the Amazon basin of South America and is related to the piranhas. However, their diet is strictly herbivorous and therefore, is not dangerous for humans. They generally feed on plant-based food and can eat almost all plants that come in their way. Symbolically, they are given the name plant piranha. These fish are peaceful in nature and make good community fishes for an aquarium.
A minimum 75 gal (284 L) tank size is required if you plan to keep a school of five fish. It is crucial to maintain ideal water parameters to provide a healthy environment for the species. Even though they are hardy in nature, if the parameters fluctuate much, they might face trouble. The water temperature of the silver dollars should range between 75-82 ℉( 23.88-27.77 ℃) while the water hardness ranges between 4-18 dGH. However, for spawning, they require water with hardness ranging up to 8 dGH. To know more facts about the fish, keep on reading these facts.
The spotted silver dollar is a type of freshwater fish.
The spotted silver dollar fish of Characiformes order and Serrasalmidae family belong to the class Actinopterygii, the common class for all ray-finned bony fishes.
The global population of the spotted silver dollars or plant piranha is currently unknown. It is a fairly common freshwater fish found frequently in the tropical waters of the Amazon. They are hardy fish which suggests they rarely face trouble in adapting to new and human-modified environments. The species primarily have a plant-based diet, their food includes any water plant or vegetable. As a result, they are not threatened by the unavailability of food. The large populations and absence of any substantial threats indicate that the spotted silver dollar fish are nowhere near extinction. Apart from the wild, the fish is also a very popular aquarium fish with a pronounced presence in aquarium trades. Therefore, the actual population size can never be determined since counting the number of captive breed fry is physically impossible.
The spotted silver dollars are a native species of the part of the Amazon forest belonging to northern Brazil in South America. They are also found in some rivers of French Guiana.
The spotted silver dollars are tropical fish that live in freshwater habitats in the wild. They are found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds. The fish prefers to stay in dark and peat-filled water. Water containing dense vegetation with lots of hiding spaces is ideal for the fish. They also favor rocky substrate containing rocks and pebbles. A river containing large debris like driftwood, weeds, and large rocks is suitable habitat. A spotted silver dollar fish size ranges from medium to large, so they require a large tank. They require plenty of plants and vegetation in the tank to imitate their wild habitat. Keeping the tank in a dark and dim-lit place helps the fish to spawn. They also use a lot of hiding spots in their natural habitat. Therefore, including rocks and pebbles in their tank increases their compatibility in the captive environment. They spend time on the upper part of the tank. These peaceful fishes require medium-sized peaceful fish species as their tank mates.
The spotted silver dollars are medium-sized fish with a peaceful nature. They are largely schooling fish that require large space for free swimming. They do not prefer living alone in the tank and should be kept in groups of at least five. This community fish does not breed if it is not kept in a school. To keep the fishes in their best behavior they should be kept in schools. This makes them feel protected and safe in the tank.
The average lifespan of the spotted silver dollars is 10 years of age. However, compatibility with tank mates and perfect living conditions might increase the lifespan of the fish by a year or more. Genetic development of the individuals also plays a great role in the long life of the animal.
Most of the breeding behaviors of the silver dollars are concluded by observing the breeding behavior of the captive fishes. The fish breeds in soft water. Once the adults become ready to breed, the breeding male pursues the female fish in the water. The male will continue chasing the female until the latter gives up and the male swims closer to it. Breeding takes place after the pairs bump into each other a few times. The male releases its sperm at the same time the female releases its eggs. Sometimes the male is seen to wrap its body around the female when they breed. The female silver dollars lay up to 2000 eggs in a single clutch. They lay their eggs scattered on plants so they require a well-planted aquarium. The breeding aquarium should have dim lighting as the fry are very sensitive to harsh lights. The eggs also fail to hatch if the aquarium's lighting is not proper. The fry comes out typically after 36 hours but it also depends on the water parameters and water temperature. They start free-swimming after a while, once they are capable of free swimming, they can be added to the big tank with the rest of the tank mates. Breeding them in captivity is easy and it is not required to feed them any special diet before spawning.
The spotted silver dollar fish is not enlisted in the Red List published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population status of the fish has not been calculated but there is no proof of any substantial threats that the fish species faces. A large range and abundantly available plant foods help their population to increase. The fishes are used in aquarium trades but are not killed for consumption. So even if the population from the wild decreases, it will increase the captive population. They are not endangered as of yet and the population size is expected to stay stable even in the near future.
Just like the common name suggests, a silver dollar fish resembles a silver dollar. They have a laterally flattened body which gives them a round appearance. The body looks shiny but on reaching the fin, it becomes translucent. The male has an elongated anal fin, longer than the female and the color around the anal fin darkens when they are ready to breed. The spotted silver dollars have black spots on its body.
The beady eyes of the spotted silver dollars make them look very cute, their appearance is also appealing in the pet world.
The fish communicates by chemical cues. In the breeding season, males chase the females to show their interest.
The spotted silver dollar size ranges up to 6 in (15.2 cm). They are five times bigger than the neon tetra.
The spotted silver dollars are fast swimmers but their speed is unknown.
The weight of the adult size spotted silver dollars is unknown but a 2 in (5 cm) fish weighed 0.2 lb (100 g).
The male and female spotted silver dollar fish do not have any specific names.
A baby-spotted silver dollar fish is called a fry.
The spotted silver dollar fish primarily have a herbivorous diet feeding on plants and vegetables. However, in a tank, they become omnivores and can be given brine shrimp of bloodworm too.
No, they are not poisonous yet they are rarely eaten.
Yes, they make wonderful pets and are a favorite of many fish owners.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The silver dollars are tetras and like all tetras, they prey on their eggs. Once the eggs are laid by females, the adult fishes should positively be transferred to another aquarium. If the eggs are kept together with the adults, all the eggs will be eaten before they hatch.
The spotted silver dollars get their common name from their silvery body color that shines among all fish in the water. The spotted silver dollar is a great addition to your aquarium, its silver color reflects through the water giving it a glowing appearance.
No, the spotted silver dollars are peaceful in nature. They cannot be kept with aggressive species.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these flamboyant cuttlefish facts and Northern Kingfish facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable piranha coloring pages.
*The second image was taken by Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man)