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Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar

(Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 12"
• Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, KH 4-8, pH 5.0-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Amazon River Basin, Venezuela, Peru & Brazil   • Family: Characidae
• Species: Tetras   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar) is a South American species closely related to both Piranha and Pacu, and are native to same South American rivers, streams and tributaries. There a number of subspecies of Metynnis who vary in coloration and pattern based on their origins, some common species of Silver Dollar include: Silver dollar (Metynnis argenteus), Striped silver dollar (Metynnis fasciatus), Spotted Silver Dollar (Metynnis lippincottianus), Red-spot Silver Dollar (Metynnis luna), Speckled silver dollar (Metynnis maculatus), Wide Bar Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. wide bar) and Thin Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar (Myleus schomburgkii var. thin bar).

Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar are available within the aquarium hobby with moderate regularity. They are often sold at a size of around 2 inches in length and will generally grow upwards of 12 inches in larger aquariums, with females sometimes being slightly smaller and males sometimes slightly larger.

They are very popular due to their bright silver coloration, black bar pattern, unique rounded body shape and their active schooling swim style. All species of Silver Dollars prefer to swim in medium to large schools and are generally found in the middle to upper regions of the water column within the aquarium. Ideally they should be kept with a minimum of six individuals, which will allow them to school and provide them a sense of security.

In their native habitat Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars congregate in large schools of fish, where they swim throughout the heavily vegetated shorelines of the numerous streams and river tributaries of the Amazon basin and northern portions of South America in search of aquatic plant life and algae on which to feed. The slender disc like body of the Silver Dollar allows them to move easily throughout both the dense vegetation of the river shoreline and the stronger water currents found in deeper rivers and tributaries.

While in nature their brilliant silver coloration and schooling are used as defense mechanism that helps them to avoid being eaten by predators, hobbyists covet Silver Dollars for the brilliant coloration and active swimming style, which looks amazing in aquarium environments ranging from Amazon biotope aquariums to tropical community aquariums.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar in the home aquarium.

Like other South American fish species whom originate from river habitats, the Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar prefers warm, soft acidic to neutral water conditions, plenty of moderate or laminar water flow and low to moderate levels of nitrate. As an active swimming and schooling species, they will do best in aquariums that provide plenty of horizontal swimming space.

They will also greatly appreciate aquarium decor that mimics their native environment, thus a tank with plenty of plants, either live or fake, combined with driftwood or wood root and open swimming areas will go a long way toward giving them a comfortable and secure feeling aquarium environment.

It should be noted that they will consume many types of live plants, especially stem plants. Silver Dollar species in general are often referred to as underwater goats due to their propensity to devour plant matter; however, they most often will not consume Anubias species, Java Fern and floating plants like Hyacinth, Water Sprite and Water Lettuce. Feeding them supplemental feedings of romaine or green leaf lettuce will both provide them valuable nutrition and help to reduce their grazing on decorative aquatic plants growing within the aquarium.

However, at the end of the day hobbyists looking to keep live plants with any species of Silver Dollar fish will need to do some research on which plant species can be kept safely with this species and go through some trial and error before finding a situation that works.

Their larger size and need to be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals means that they need to be housed in a relatively large aquarium of at least 125 gallons or more. Their larger size also allows them to be housed with a wide variety of tank mates including many larger peaceful community species, semi-aggressive community species and even many species of Cichlids and Rays as well.

At an adult size of around 12 inches, the Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar will consume very small fish species like small Tetra or Barbs; however, they are not aggressive towards tank mates larger than these very small Tetra species or similar sized fish. They also work well as dither fish in community Cichlid aquariums containing peaceful to semi-aggressive Cichlid species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar and provide a healthy diet.

The Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar is an omnivore, but the majority of its diet in nature consists of a variety of plant material and fruits dropped from trees. While their diet in nature is more heavily based on plants and fruits, they will consume a variety of meaty items including small fish, snails, insects and small crustaceans should the opportunity arise. Hobbyists should make sure that the majority of their diet is plant based in order to provide them with correct vitamins and minerals that they require for good health.

It is best to feed a variety of flake, small pellet, freeze-dried or frozen food designed for freshwater herbivores, a couple times a day. Be careful when keeping any species of Silver Dollars with live plants or very small fish like Neon Tetra, as they will consume certain plants and fish small enough to fit in their mouths.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollar in the aquarium environment.

Hobbyists interested in breeding Wide Bar Schomburgkii generally begin with a small group of juvenile fish, roughly 6 to 8 individuals. As the fish mature a male will generally establish himself as the dominant fish within the group and exhibit mating behavior towards a chosen female. This established pair can then be separated from the group and kept in a separate aquarium that is maintained with ideal breeding conditions, which include: warm 80 to 82° temperature, soft slightly acidic water (KH 4-8), dim or diffused lighting, vegetation (real or fake) and lastly a smooth rock, slate or submerged wood on which to lay eggs.

Females will lay upwards of 1500 to 2000 eggs somewhere on the bottom of the tank or on piece of hard scape. They fry will hatch within three days and after approximately a week they will be free swimming and able to eat fine foods such as commercially prepared fry food, finely-crushed flake food or freshly-hatched brine shrimp.

Wide Bar Schomburgkii Silver Dollars are good about not eating their own eggs or fry, but can be removed once the eggs hatch as well, which should generally make it easier to raise the fry without having to also contend with larger adult fish.

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