Planted silver dollar tank experiment

Penelope .R

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I inherited this tank from a family member two years ago now. It came with two five year old silver dollars who had been living in a bare tank.

I'm giving the plants a shot, I've read of planted silver dollar tanks before but have never pulled it odd successfully. Over the years though I've found that mine don't like hornwort, water sprite, or java fern.
For the last few months I have been researching and planning to give it a shot, and I thought I'd document my results.
It's been five days since I started the overhaul and it's been going pretty okay.
I put down a layer of organic potting soil under a layer of the old play sand, I also used eco complete (the substrate my local fish store recommended), and medium pieces of red lava rock (there's no potting soil under the lava rock or eco complete).
I've read about using potting soil in an aquarium for a long time, I tried it in a 20 gallon aquarium first and grew hornwort and java fern very successfully. The tank has been running for two months and looks perfect.

I moved out all the fish for a day and drained it, I gave away eight of the Rosy barbs and kept five. I planted as many varieties of plants as I could think of, I have five different crypts, java fern, water sprite, lilaeospsis, valisneria, ambulia, anubias, and I floated duckweed and water spangles.
The softer plants have taken some nibbles but it's going pretty good so far, I'm feeding a veggie based flake and supplementing whatever organic veggies I have in my fridge for the silvers to nibble on.
I bought some Driftwood to attach the anubias and java fern to.
I also bought an automatic light, and even if the plants don't survive the light by itself makes the tank look great.

It's a start, I'm fully expecting some plants to die off over the next few weeks and I'm not getting my hopes up for the tank as a whole, but that's okay. I'm thinking of this as an experiment for now, and I feel like it could definitely swing either way, but it will at least look nice for a week or two.

You can see in the pictures what has been nibbled on, this is after everything has been planted for five days.
I'm planning to plant some more at some point this month, I'll get more crypts, water sprite, and ambulia specifically, I also want to plant pearl weed and take water lettuce from one of my other tanks and move it to this one once it is growing better. I want to add some java moss to the wood hardscape too, but that will have to wait a bit since right now I'm mostly focusing on fast growing plants.
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Also, this is my 20 gal tank, it's only residents currently is a dwarf gourami and three ADF's, a nirite, and a bunch of pest snails. I'm planning to add some shrimp sometime soon. I just put in a banana plant and a few Creeping Charlie stems.
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Penelope .R

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The tank is doing good, the silver dollars haven't managed to eat everything yet, but they have made a serious dent in the valisneria. It's the only plant that is really struggling that the silvers are eating.
The Cryptocorn wendtii hasn't been touched which is encouraging.

The Hornwort has grown as Hornwort does, water sprite hasn't been touched, neither has the java fern. The duckweed and water spangles are also doing great.
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itiwhetu

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My Silver Dollars only ate water sprite, I think that is what got them into condition to spawn, here is a photo of Mum, Dad and the kids and a ball of water sprite
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Penelope .R

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My Silver Dollars only ate water sprite, I think that is what got them into condition to spawn, here is a photo of Mum, Dad and the kids and a ball of water spriteView attachment 152652 t
Wow, that's so neat.
I think it depends on what kind you have, because it seems like everyone has a silver dollar that prefers different plants. Mine don't touch water sprite, they're the kind with the spots.

I fed them spinach yesterday, which was neat, although they wouldn't eat it unless I ripped it up for them.
 

Colin_T

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I ate a raw round silver fish in 2016 when I was on the street. Some sort of marine fish but it was round and silver and crunchy.

Pet shops around here won't let me in coz they are afraid I will eat their fish :werewolf:
 
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Penelope .R

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I wanted to update on how the tank is doing.
It's looking good, not great but good. I cleaned the filter and tank today, i removed some of the struggling plants and trimmed the hornwort.
The original crypts are starting to struggle a bit, but they have grown so I left them. I added some swords, more crypts, water wisteria, and some random plants the worker recommended.
The silvers ate every piece of duckweed and water spangles, so pro tip, if you're trying to get rid of the duckweed in your tank add a silver dollar and they'll take care of it for you 🙄
But it's doing pretty good right now.
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Rocky998

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I wanted to update on how the tank is doing.
It's looking good, not great but good. I cleaned the filter and tank today, i removed some of the struggling plants and trimmed the hornwort.
The original crypts are starting to struggle a bit, but they have grown so I left them. I added some swords, more crypts, water wisteria, and some random plants the worker recommended.
The silvers ate every piece of duckweed and water spangles, so pro tip, if you're trying to get rid of the duckweed in your tank add a silver dollar and they'll take care of it for you 🙄
But it's doing pretty good right now.
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What type of crypt is that in the last photo? It looks really nice... Also, you said you dont like java ferns in your first post? Why? Or was that a typo? I lobe your aquariums! They look amazing!
 
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Penelope .R

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What type of crypt is that in the last photo? It looks really nice... Also, you said you dont like java ferns in your first post? Why? Or was that a typo? I lobe your aquariums! They look amazing!
I believe it is an undulata? But I'm not sure, I can't remember. I pretty much told the fish store employee to give me one of each when I started and forgot to write them down lol.
I like java fern, but the silver dollars don't. Right now I actually have a java fern in every tank since they're so low maintenance and I can get new plants off of them easy.
And thank you 😊 I'm just getting started with plants and aquascaping but I'm having a lot of fun.
 

FranciscoB

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I love your planted tanks, and applaud your success with planted tanks containing silver dollars. Not many people accomplish this, and some folks believe it is not possible.
I like your group of Metynnis lippincotianus. Have you had other Metynnis species in planted tanks? How did that work for you?

I currently have two planted silver dollar tanks, a 110g and a 75g, but have had several other tanks before and have pictures (The two current tanks below).
- 115g, 6footer - Three Metynnis species (1 altidorsalis, 4 lippincotianus, 3 maculatus)- This tank was setup (from scratch) in September 2021.
- 75g, 4footer - 4 Metynnis fasciatura, Colombian tetras & neons. This tank has been setup for 4 years, but is undergoing a transition after a long bout of BlackBeardAlgae, now resolved.

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Cheers!
 
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Penelope .R

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I love your planted tanks, and applaud your success with planted tanks containing silver dollars. Not many people accomplish this, and some folks believe it is not possible.
I like your group of Metynnis lippincotianus. Have you had other Metynnis species in planted tanks? How did that work for you?

I currently have two planted silver dollar tanks, a 110g and a 75g, but have had several other tanks before and have pictures (The two current tanks below).
- 115g, 6footer - Three Metynnis species (1 altidorsalis, 4 lippincotianus, 3 maculatus)- This tank was setup (from scratch) in September 2021.
- 75g, 4footer - 4 Metynnis fasciatura, Colombian tetras & neons. This tank has been setup for 4 years, but is undergoing a transition after a long bout of BlackBeardAlgae, now resolved.

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Cheers!
Wow, your tanks are gorgeous 😍

This is my first tank with silver dollars and the largest one I have.
Right now it's going pretty well, most of the crypts are doing good, the first few ate looking a little run down but hanging in there, the new ones haven't been nibbled yet.
I took out a lot of the plants that were getting eaten and replanted them I'm a separate tank to grow I'm better, I'll move them back once they are better established.
Right now all I have in the tank is java fern, Hornwort (floating and planted), floating water sprite, an Amazon sword, assorted crypts (7 total), and valisneria.
Funny thing about the valisneria, I thought the silver dollars might have eaten it past the point of survival, but I went to transfer a small bundle of it to a different tank and found that it had spread under the substrate. So I want to get a few more bits of that.
One problem I'm having is with the water sprite. I can't get it to grow in the substrate, the only way it thrives is floating.
Same goes for the hornwort, some bits are doing great and all of the needles fall off of others.
But overall it's still going good. When I started this, all I was going for was a nice tank for my living room instead of the empty box of water I had before. So all in all I can't complain, water goats will be water goats.
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