Seven dollars donated to aquarium

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Bristol Aquarium has announced the generous donation of seven dollars for its Amazonian display. Fortunately for the popular west country attraction the donation is not in the form of currency, but instead takes the shape of seven adult Silver dollars (Metynnis sp.).

The fish were offered to the aquarium by a Somerset fishkeeper after they outgrew their tank.

Bristol Aquarium curator Dan de Castro said: "The lady who gave them to us decided to re-home them as she wanted them to have more space to roam around in, and mix with other fish from the same part of the world. She also wanted them to go somewhere where she felt sure they would be well looked after and where she could come and visit them from time to time".

After a precautionary stay in the aquarium's quarantine facilities the 20cm/8" long fish are now settling in well to life in their new, more spacious home.

"We're very lucky to have such a large Amazonian display which is capable of housing them. The fact that we have seven fish should mean that we have a mix of sexes and we're hoping that, once they have become acclimatised to their new surroundings, they may start to breed", Mr de Castro added.

The shiny shoal are now sharing their Amazonian pool with a variety of other rescued and donated fish species including giant Pacu, catfish and arowana.

'Silver dollar' is the common name given to several species of medium sized characin found in the Amazon region of South America whose flattened, round bodies and metallic silver colouration especially when young is reminiscent of their coin namesake. They are related to piranha, but although they also possess powerful dentition it is largely used for eating plants and fruit which form the majority of their diet in the wild.

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