Silver dollars are a type of tropical freshwater fish that resemble the piranha. Native to heavily vegetated waterways in South America, this species adds both life and interest to an aquarium with its metallic appearance and active nature. But do they make good tankmates and if so, for which fish?
The best tankmates for silver dollar fish are other silver dollars. They’ll thrive in a species-only tank in groups of at least 5 since they’re a schooling fish and don’t like to be alone. They’re calm demeanor also makes them ideal for a community with other fish not limited to gourami’s, tetra’s, blue rams, angelfish, clown pleco’s, cory catfish among others.
Now that you know silver dollar fish prefer the company of others of their kind yet can survive in a community tank environment with the right tankmates, let’s explore this topic further. Together we’ll learn why they do best in a species-only aquarium as well as which types of fish can be housed with them safely.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about choosing the best tankmates for your silver dollar fish, then let’s get right to it!
Which Fish Make the Best Tankmates for Silver Dollars?
The best tankmates for silver dollars are fish of like size and temperament. As well, bottom-dwellers that stay near the substrate are also ideal since silver dollars prefer to swim in the top half of the tank. The top 15 tankmates include the following:
Silver dollars are a schooling fish and as such, prefer the company of others of their kind. They don’t like being alone and can become aggressive as a result. The key to maintaining their peaceful temperament is to house them in a large, species-only tank in groups of at least 5 with more females than males.
Giant gouramis are white with a protruding forehead reminiscent of the beluga whale. Because they can grow to a whopping 18 inches, it’s unlikely for silver dollars to bother with them. This species is peaceful and won’t attack or bully other fish of similar size – they only become aggressive when overcrowded.
Black Ghost Knifefish
Black ghost knifefish got their name from their long, dark appearance that resembles a knife blade. They can grow to a massive 20 inches in length which ensures they won’t be harassed by inquisitive silver dollars. They also tend to stick close the bottom of the tank and out of the way of silver dollar fish.
Black Skirt Tetras
Black skirt tetras may be small, but they’re also fast and feisty. Though less than half the size of silver dollars, they can outswim almost any fish and won’t hesitate to fight back against a bully. Since silver dollars are much larger, black skirts typically stay away from them to avoid being picked on or eaten.
Bala sharks aren’t sharks but rather giant minnows that look like sharks and can grow up to 14 inches in length. They make good tankmates for silver dollars as they’re not overly aggressive yet big enough to hold their own. Since they’re fast swimmers, they can ‘outrun’ silver dollars and won’t be picked on.
Redtail sharks aren’t sharks but rather a carp fish that looks like a shark. Their unique red and black appearance makes a colorful addition to any community tank. Since they grow to 6 or 7 inches, they’re too big for silver dollars to eat and because silver dollars are much larger, redtails won’t bully them.
Angelfish are brightly colored cichlids with long, flowing fins that grow to around 10 inches in length. Though large, they’re typically peaceful an sociable in a community tank environment with other fish of like size and temperament, making them capable with silver dollars. Just watch out for fin-nipping!
Blue rams are beautiful and brilliant in color, ranging from bright shades of blue to red, orange, and yellow. Though smaller than silver dollars, they’re fast and agile enough to avoid being eaten. They’re also aggressive and can hold their own against a bully which is why silver dollars typically avoid them.
Red empress fish are a species of African cichlid with bright, rainbow-like colors that appeal to the eye. Compared to most African cichlids, they have a relatively peaceful temperament, much like that of silver dollars. Since they’re similar in size as well, they won’t be bullied or viewed as prey by silver dollar fish.
Blue Dolphins are a type of African cichlid fish with a protruding forehead and a bright blue appearance. Unlike most African cichlids, they’re not as aggressive and can be kept with other fish of like size and temperament including silver dollars. Just be careful during the breeding season as they can get hostile.
Clown loaches are orange and black in appearance and make a colorful addition to a community tank. Since they’re peaceful bottom-dwellers, they’re ideal for an aquarium with silver dollars because the stick close to substrate or hide among plants. They also grow to 5 inches so they’re too big to be eaten.
Kuhli loaches are ell-like fish that are long, slender and resemble a snake. As they’re peaceful bottom-dwellers, they make good tankmates for silver dollars because the two rarely encounter one another. And, since kuhli loaches reach lengths of 4 inches, they’re too big to be viewed as prey by silver dollars.
Clown plecos are non-aggressive bottom-dwellers that make great tankmates for silver dollar fish. Only one per aquarium is recommended since they can become hostile with other plecos if the tank is too small. They grow to 4 inches in long and have a unique patterned appearance that’s pleasing to the eye.
Bristlenose plecos are a smaller version of the catfish and come in a variety of shades from brown to gray to green. Peaceful bottom-dwellers, these plecos stay out of the way of top-dwelling silver dollars. They also grow to lengths of around 5 inches so they’re too big to be bullied or seen as potential prey.
Cory catfish are peaceful bottom-dwellers and come in variety of unique colors and patterns. Since they prefer to dwell along the substrate, they rarely encounter silver dollars who spend most of their time in top half of the tank. Reaching full-grown lengths of over 4 inches, they’re too big for silver dollars to eat.
What are the Best Tank Conditions for Silver Dollar Fish?
The best tank conditions for silver dollar fish include a species-only environment in groups of at least 5. To help keep silver dollars calm and peaceful, you must ensure their tank is clean with the appropriate water parameters. A tank that’s too small, overcrowded, or stocked with incompatible tankmates will increase stress and promote hostile behavior.
Silver dollars grow to lengths of 6 inches and are active by nature. Since they like to swim together in schools, they need a large tank – at least 75-gallons, depending on how many fish you keep. Bigger is always better so opt for the largest aquarium possible. And, if you intend to house other fish with your silver dollars in a community tank environment, choose a 100-gallon version or bigger!
As a type of tropical, freshwater fish, silver dollars prefer warmer water (75- to 85-degrees Fahrenheit). A heater and aquarium light are required as well as a high-quality filter. The pH level should be stable at around 7 to prevent illness. A planted tank is best since it not only helps mimic their natural habitat but also provides fish will a source of food while keeping the water clean and oxygenated.
In summation, the best tankmates for silver dollars are other silver dollars since they’re a schooling fish and don’t like to be alone. In groups of 5 or more in a species-only tank, they’ll not survive but thrive in captivity. They can also live peacefully with bottom-dwellers or other fish of like size and temperament.
I trust this article has provided you with the information you seek on how to properly stock a tank with silver dollar fish. Thanks for reading and good luck with your aquarist hobby!