Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
fast facts

About Minnow

Aquarium Size
Difficulty Of Care
Suitable Tank Mates
Tetras, Rasboras, Mollies, Barbs, Corydoras Catfish, Plecos, Small Community Fish
Swimming Region
Fish Water Condition
Cool, Semi-Hard, Neutral pH Water
Minnow General Description

The name Minnow is sometimes used as a general term in reference to fish that are used as bait. In the aquarium industry, however, the name Minnow is given to freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. These fish are fairly small and they are generally very peaceful, non-aggressive fish that can be kept in the same tank with other community fishes as long as their tank requirements match up.

The name Minnow is given to freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae.


Minnows can be found all over the world but one of the most popular aquarium species, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, is native to the mountains of China. A number of Minnow species can be found throughout North America as well.


For the most part, wild Minnows have very drab coloration – they are generally silver or dull gray in color, sometimes with black or colors accents on the fins. Minnows sold in the aquarium hobby may be selectively bred in certain colors. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow, for example, has red coloration in the fins and sometimes on the body.

Maintenance and Care

Because Minnows are so peaceful they make great community tank inhabitants. You do need to keep in mind, however, that some Minnows come from mountain stream environments where the water is fairly cool. The ideal temperature range for most Minnows is between 64°F and 72°F with a water hardness between 10 and 15 KH and a neutral pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A tank for Minnows should be decorated with live plants, rocks, and driftwood to provide hiding places with plenty of open space for swimming.

Because Minnows are so peaceful they make great community tank inhabitants.


In the wild, Minnows generally feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, plant matter, and other detritus. In the home aquarium, these fish are likely to accept a wide variety of commercial foods including flakes and pellets as well as fresh and frozen foods.

Also read: Cost-Cutting Tips and Tricks for Aquarium Enthusiasts

Breeding Info

In many cases, Minnows are as easy to breed in the home aquarium as tetras. All Minnows are egg layers and most of them scatter their eggs over plants or substrate after fertilization. Minnows do not show any parental care behaviors following spawning.

Aquarium Varieties

White Cloud Mountain Minnow, Golden White Cloud, Long Fin White Cloud, Golden Shiner, Flagfin Shiner, Redside Shiner, Bluntnose Minnow, Common Mosquitofish

Photo credit: Besjunior/Bigstock; CreativeNaturePhotography/Bigstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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