Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keeping Minnows As Pets

A few months ago, we caught 4 minnows out of a pond and brought them home. We couldn't really fin anything on Google about how to care for them, so I just had to figure out what they would eat. Now I decided to make a post about how to care for them so all 5 of you out there who read my blog will know how to care for minnows. Because I'm sure that all of you have minnows. I'm not talking about Rosy-Reds, either. I mean the real thing that lives in ponds and gets used for fish bait.

First, you need to know that no matter how big your minnows are, or how small your crayfish is, DO NOT, under any circumstances, keep them together. The crayfish just might decide to kill and eat the largest minnow, and when you move the crayfish to a different tank, he might go and die on you.

Have you ever noticed that when you take a couple of dozen minnows in a bucket to use for fish bait, they all die after a few hours? That's because they don't have enough oxygen, so you need to have an air pump in a tank for minnows.

You don't have to have a big tank, but they will be a lot happier and healthier in one. At first, we have 4 minnows, 1 crayfish, 2 tadpoles, and an unknown number of water snails in a plastic box about the size of a shoebox. Then we moved them to a 1 gallon tank with a lid when they tried to jump out of the box. Now I upgraded to a 10 gallon tank, which, if you buy one without all of the fancy gadgets such as heaters, filters, etc., only costs about $10. We have 3 minnows, 1 guppy, 1 algae-eating fish, and 2 snails (which, for some wonderful reason, don't seem to be reproducing) in it.

At first, I had to try different foods to see what they would eat. I found out that they eat floating foods, but the only food we had at the time was betta food, so I would either crush it or soak it in water for a while before I gave it to them so that they could eat it. Now, I use tropical fish flakes and freeze-dried tubifex worms mixed together. What I do is get a small container, such as a spice container, that's been thoroughly cleaned, and then I coarsely crush the flakes into the container until it's about two thirds full. Then I take some tubifex worms cubes and crumble them into the flakes until the container is almost full. Now shake it up to mix the food. (I crush the food because even though the minnows could probably handle the big flakes, the guppy couldn't.)

We don't heat the water, and they are fine. They also don't seem to be having any babies, which is good for me, because we'd have to find something to do with them.

That's how I take care of our minnows.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have added you to my favorites. I have enjoyed your blog so far. See you at piano lessons.

Jerri

Threeundertwo said...

Isn't it amazing to bring something home and keep it? We found a bunch of tadpoles a year ago and there is still one big old frog who is happy and looks like he'll live forever.

This is great advice on keeping minnows.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Just bought some at the local bait shop for my sisters son's fish tank...had no idea what to feed them.

MOHUNTER said...

Hi there, I live in Missouri and I trap minnows in spring fed creeks in winter. That's the only place to get them when it turns cold out. I keep them in the garage in a large cooler until we have a warm day then I can fish. My experience has been that the cooler the water and the spot where they are kept, the better they survive. I use an aquarium aerator to oxygenate the water and let it run constantly. If the water gets funky I will take out a gallon and add a fresh gallon slowly so as to keep from shocking the fish. As far as food, I think floating fish flakes works well. You just need to be careful not to over feed them. When they are kept cold, they go almost dormant and don't eat very much anyway, and any extra food just turns into crud that funks up the water. Keeping the minnows cold is important because they came out of cold water in the creek, and when it's time to fish with them, they will be going back into cold water. If you warm them up, then toss them back into cold water when you go fishing they will go into shock and die faster. Also, they don't need to eat very often. Only every 3 or 4 days. Hope this info helps any other winter time fishermen out there. One last thing, find a clean rock or a couple of rocks and put in the cooler or tank with them. Minnows naturally want to hide behind or near some type of cover from predators. The rocks help relieve stress on them and they will be much calmer and happier, thus making them easier to keep alive.

Don said...

Thank you for the info. I do a lot of ice fishing during the winter (in Canada). Try to keep my left over minnows but did not know what to feed them, until now. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

hey maddie loved your story about the mineos. i think it is great that you would something nice like that.keep on being a great person. a fan manheim jack

Anonymous said...

I have i think 17 Minnows from last yr in a 20g tank now w/ one 3+ inch Rusty crayfish and a red native one 1/4 his size. The Minnows (brown w/ dark brown stripe) eat anything small and meaty i put in, but i mainly crush pellet food for them. I may have lost one or two to the crayfish but they are good at survival lol! I had more issues w/ crayfish killing each other! The rusty is now KING! My Minnows even breed in my tank! Only one baby made it now very small and looks like them but hangs at the surface and eat's tiny pieces of crushed pellet. I think the crayfish must have ate all the rest of the eggs this one was just lucky!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I have 4 minnows in my fishtank (use to be 5 but one died) along with 3 goldfish and an algie eater. I just noticed that one of them has these white spots on its fins that wheren't there before. I think it might be infected. Should I get rid of it?

Becca Anderson said...

I just bought 12 minnows at Wet Pets to add to my outdoor turtle pond. It has goldfish in it that bred last summer. Three of the goldfish are good-sized, but far too small to eat a minnow. I hope. I just wanted more fish in the pond. I leave the goldfish in the pond all winter, and shut the hibernating turtles up in a safety box (also outside) until they wake up in spring. Then I tidy up their pond and everybody enjoys each other all summer. Thanks for your tips on what to feed them. I was looking for that specific bit of info. -- Becca

Anonymous said...

Hello

I own a small farm and have an in-ground swimming pool (16'x32'). For many reasons, I decided to turn the pool into a fish pond. I have started out by purchasing about 100 "feeder" gold fish at the pet store and dumped them into the pool to start to take care of the mosquito larvae and algae (the pool is now very green and scummy).

There are also several small streams adjacent to my property where I can trap small stream minnows and crawfish (crayfish?, crawdads?) that I occasionally use for fishing bait.

Question: who are the predators here, besides me? Will the minnows eat the the "feeder" fry or vice-versa? Will the crawdads eat everybody? Will they all breed and create a mutant creature that will arise out of the slime one night and devour me in my sleep? Or will everyone live in peace and harmony for ever after?

I did read that the crawfish will eat the minnows but, remember, this is a lot of water with up to 8 feet in the deep end which gives a lot of room to swim about and stay out of trouble (??).

Any advice will be appreciated.
Thanks - Kacie.

Anonymous said...

So you can mix Minnows with guppies. I wanted to know because I'm going to try to persuade my mum to let me get fish! Thanks :)!!!

Janie said...

i caught some minnows at my farm and they have lived a long time. i have not met many people who keep themas pets they just hook e'm alive and fish with them.

Anonymous said...

Well, I homeschool and my five kids caught 4 minnows and brought them home today, I googled minnows and found you so I guess that makes me one of the five people out there that needed your post! Thanks a lot for writing. R

Oliver said...

Hi, i just bought some minnow as pets and they turned pink on the way home. Is that bad? Anyway, hope your aquarium is going well and hope all your pets had lots of babies and you figured out what to do with them. Thanks for the nice blog!

Anonymous said...

i have a minnow i just caught , maybe four inches in length , i would really like to know what type it is , i looked up the different types but so many look fairly close to him , it is brown with an oddly shaped nose and a black stripe from its tail to nose on each side , if you think you now it would be helpful

Anonymous said...

Hi! your blog is really awesome! I just started reading it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a glofish and a minnow can co-habitate?

brian kline said...

THANKS FOR THE INFO ON MINNOWS, I DIDNT KNOW YOU NEEDED AN AIR PUMP/BUBBLE STONE IN TANK FOR THEM. I GOT SOME FOR MY TURTLES FOR FOOD BUT FELT BAD FOR 2 OF THEM SO I TOOK THEM OUT AND PUT THEM IN A LITTLE 1 GALLON TANK TO KEEP MY BETA COMPANY (NEXT DOOR)... if you ever get a chance check out my muppet/puppet page at youtube.com/hobihippo

Anonymous said...

Hey! Goldfish and minnows cohabiate together very nicely! They are not aggressive toward each other and both are happy in room temperature water. They also both like to eat your standard fish flakes and the occasionaly piece of dry oatmeal. They are very easy keepers as long as you have aeration.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I found this blog....Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

I have 2 minnows one small and one bigger thna hte small one. there is also a crayfish and a snail or to not sure but i dotn have oxygen for them will they die they seem fine atleast
-Dill-

Ria Rocco said...

Wow Thanks for the info. My son caught a minnow and we put him in our 10 gallon tank with the goldfish. They have the airrador and are doing well. I had no idea what to feed him but you have helped us a lot. THey seem happy together and the minnow is very active. Great blog!!