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FAQs on Silver Dollars Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Serrasalmine Fishes, Piranhas, Characoids/Tetras & Relatives

FAQs on: Silver Dollars (Metynnis, Mylossoma, Myleus...spp.) 1, Silver Dollars 2,
FAQs on: Silver Dollar Identification, Silver Dollar Behaviour, Silver Dollar Compatibility, Silver Dollar Stocking/Selection, Silver Dollar Systems, Silver Dollar Health, Silver Dollar Reproduction, Related FAQs:  Serrasalmine Fishes, PiranhasPacus,


Silver dollar fish, fdg.      10/13/15
Hi, I currently have 2 silver dollar fish (which we inherited from the previous owners that had them for about 20yrs) in my tank. We read that they eat lettuce and plants etc.
<Best to avoid terrestrial greens. These have little food value and often bring in unwanted chemical fertilizers that may sponsor pest algae>
We tried them on some lettuce and they freaked out when it was in the tank. Today, we bought some elodea and again, they will not go near it. Why are they so scared of green plants??
<Just unfamiliarity. In time they will recognize it as food and happily munch away. Bob Fenner>

Silver dollars not eating   5/13/09
<Service to you!>
I have a problem with silver dollars not eating. In three weeks they have only eaten once, as far as I can tell.
I have a 90 gallon tank with an 8 inch Oscar, 6 inch cichlid of some kind,
<Oh! These might well be psychologically malaffecting your Dollars>
who are both doing well, and 3 silver dollars. Yes, I know I should probably have at least 6 silver dollars, but I do not.
<Three are fine here>
There is an established pecking order, with Oscar on top and dollars on the bottom.
The dollars do get pushed around but are not really attacked or bitten, just chased a bit.
I have not turned a light on over the tank at all since they have been here. I do water changes weekly, and I change the filter components as specified. The filter is overhanging, said to be good up to 110 gallons.
<You really could use more... Much more here>
I raised the temperature a couple degrees recently, only because one web page mentioned it may help (although I didn't really believe it would) - the temp is usually at 75 but now up to 79, using one heater.
<I'd use two here... and hide from the cichlids>
I have had the dollars for 3 weeks and they have only eaten once. They have ample opportunity to eat, as I distract the other fish while attempting to feed the dollars (Oscar loves to hang out with me). I have tried floating flakes and pellets, like they were fed in the pet store, as well as sinking cubes of thawed omnivore food ( a mix of brine shrimp, plankton, veggies), beef hearts, krill, and even hand picked and chopped earthworms. They simply ignore the food as it floats in front of their face and sits on the bottom near them. I plan on getting a floating live plant, in the hopes they will munch on that. My guess is the Oscar will tear it apart but who knows. I cannot feed them at the surface as they seem to be more scared of me than the other fish. They are usually swimming about when I get home from school, but hide in the corner when I am in the room. They looked healthy when I bought them, seemed to adjust well, ate for the first time a few days after I put them in the tank, but have not eaten since. They still look relatively healthy, but show signs of deterioration. One seems more pink-ish now than silver, and kind of seems to have his head caving in.
<A very bad sign... of starvation>
I would love to keep them, but they seem to hate their life. Any ideas on how I can entice them to eat?
Meghan Moran
Masters Graduate Student
Crop Science, University of Guelph
<More a matter of incompatibility than feeding here. These S. American Characoids need to be placed elsewhere... Apart from the "terrifying" cichlids... Another co-factor might be water quality... They do prefer even warmer water... and soft, acidic conditions as well... But do move them to another system in any case, and soon. Bob Fenner>
Re: silver dollars not eating 5/13/09

Thanks. I got that done...borrowed a tank, set it up, had the water checked, got the go ahead to transfer the dollars.
<Ah, good>
Sad state of affairs indeed. I hope they recover, then I suppose I'll have to find someone to take them. Thanks for your time
Meghan Moran
<Thank you for this follow-up, and caring, being human to make this prompt change. BobF>
Re: silver dollars not eating 5/15/09

Thanks. Your response made me feel a bit better. I feel guilty and I feel terrible for the fish. The first day in quarantine and they didn't eat. Any special way to entice them or particularly tasty treat that would be irresistible?
<Yes... palatable plant material... something like
Egeria/Elodea/"Anacharis" and warm water (low 80's F)>
Now I also noticed the Oscar has Ich, must have just set in/become visible.
My problem is the quarantine tank is in use! Would being in a Rubbermaid bin or other such plastic container stress the Oscar out if he can't see out of it?
<... See WWM re... I'd just raise the temp. where the fish is>
I don't know what to do, I don't have a third tank. How long does it take to treat the Ich?
<... See...>
I'm sure that length of time can vary.. I just feel awful about this whole thing, I want them to be healthy.
Meghan Moran
<I want you to use WWM. B>
Re: silver dollars not eating 5/15/09

You're right, usually I check all the articles first. Thanks for your time :)
Meghan Moran
<Ah, good. BobF> 

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