Common Name: Black Barred Silver Dollar
Scientific Name: Myloplus schomburgkii
Other Names: Schomburgk's Silver Dollar, Black-Banded Pacu
Description: The Black Barred Silver Dollar is a large, round, and laterally compressed fish with a distinctive black bar running across its silver body. It has a large, blunt head and a small mouth, and its fins are red in color. It can reach up to 14 inches in length and weighs up to 2.2 lbs.
Habitat and Distribution:
- Country of Origin: South America (Amazon River Basin)
- The Black Barred Silver Dollar inhabits slow-moving rivers, floodplains, and flooded forests. It can also be found in lakes and reservoirs. It is adapted to living in oxygen-poor waters, as it can gulp air from the surface using a modified swim bladder.
Size and Lifespan:
- In the wild, Black Barred Silver Dollars can grow up to 14 inches in length, while in captivity, they usually reach about 10-12 inches. They can live up to 10 years or more if kept in optimal conditions.
Diet and Behavior:
- Black Barred Silver Dollars are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods, including small crustaceans, insects, and plant matter. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of flakes, pellets, vegetables, and fruits. They are generally peaceful and active fish and should be kept in groups of at least 5 individuals.
Breeding and Reproduction:
- Black Barred Silver Dollars are not commonly bred in captivity, but when they do spawn, they are egg layers and will scatter their eggs among vegetation.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
- The Black Barred Silver Dollar requires a large aquarium of at least 75 gallons or more, with a soft, sandy substrate and plenty of hiding places, such as plants, rocks, and driftwood. The aquarium should have a tight-fitting lid, as these fish can jump when frightened. The water temperature should be between 74-82°F, with a pH of 6.0-7.5, and hardness of 2-15 dGH.
Ideal Tank Mates:
- Black Barred Silver Dollars are peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive species such as tetras, corydoras, and angelfish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or territorial fish.
- Black Barred Silver Dollars are relatively easy to care for, but due to their large size and active nature, they require a spacious aquarium.
- The Black Barred Silver Dollar is a popular species in the aquarium trade due to its distinctive appearance and peaceful temperament.
- They are often mislabeled as Pacu, which is a closely related species with a more elongated body and different coloration.
- In their natural habitat, Black Barred Silver Dollars are an important food fish for local communities. However, they are not currently listed as endangered.
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