Rosy Red Minnows Care and Breeding Guide

The Rosy Red minnows are freshwater aquarium fish that is known by several other names. The fish is also sometimes referred to as rosy red, fathead minnow, rosies, tuffy, blackhead minnow, feeder fish, ruby red feeder, or bait fish. The fish is fairly distributed across a vast range of North America. The fish is known to be hardy as it can survive in waters with low oxygen. The fish is known to inhabit ponds, small lakes, wetlands, streams and in some cases even larger lakes. Mostly the fish is usually sold in fish stores as a feeder fish but should you find healthy ones, they can make a very nice addition to your freshwater tank.

The fish are generally peaceful and will readily adapt to a community tank with other fish. The fish are omnivore that is they only feed on tiny plants and plant related matter/products. They are sometimes referred to as tuffies for their resilience and easy adaptability to changes in the environment and living conditions.

Appearance of Rosy Red Minnows

rosie reds minnows fish

The fish has got almost three color variations which may be golden, pink, or pale orange. The body of the fish is slender with a dorsally flattened head featuring round lateral eyes. The fins of the fish appear translucent and the mouth appears terminal like. The snout of the fish is blunt and the males of the fish will grow between 2-4 inches long and will way between 3 to 5 grams each. The females of the fish generally have smaller bodies compared to the males.


Rosy Red Minnows are a kind of fish that mostly inhabit lakes, ponds, and rivers. They basically live in freshwaters but can live in extreme water conditions that other kinds of fish will find difficult to live in. the fish have been found to be able to survive in waters with low levels oxygen, variable pH, high amounts of silt. The fish survive in waters with varying temperature sometimes easily adapting to waters that are freezing and at times even in waters above 100°F.

For the fish to do better in captivity you will need to provide them with favorable conditions within the recommended temperature range of 50 and 70°F (10 – 21°C). Keeping them in these temperature ranges will really help to keep them breeding continuously. The fish has been found to easily survive even in densely populated environments making it one of the most highly adaptable and resilient fish!

Tank requirements to keep Rosy Red Minnows

The fish is hardy and will not be so demanding for you to successfully keep it in your home tank. This is not to say that there are basic parameters that you have to adhere to for their welfare. In order to keep you informed of the basic care guidelines for rearing the fish in the tank, keep reading below to find out more:

  • For a suitable tank capacity ideal for the fish should be at least 10 gallons.
  • Provide plenty of rocky hiding places for the fish in the tank.
  • Even though the fish is a hardy fish, just ensure that your water quality is great with recommended water changes.
  • As for water chemistry, ensure that the pH range is between 7 and 8.
  • The temperature in the tank needs to be kept to 50 – 78°F. Remember that the fish is highly adaptable and will still survive in temperature ranges outside of this that is recommended.
  • You can keep the fish in groups of 4 – 6 in a single tank as they are usually peaceful to fish of their species.

You can as well keep the fish with other peaceful fish in the same tank. You can keep them with other fish such as; hill stream loaches, white cloud minnows, dojo loaches, and red shiners. Avoid keeping it with goldfish.


Feeding the fish is easy and will not be a challenge to you as they are opportunistic omnivores who will basically eat anything offered to them. In the wild the fish is known to eat things such as algae, small insects and planktons. In captivity, you can provide them with fish pellet and aquarium flakes. You can as well provide them blood worms, Tubifex and shrimp. It is recommended that you feed them at least twice a day.

Differentiating the sexes

The males of the fish will grow to between 2 – 3 inches long while the female will grow to between 1 – 2 inches in length. The male of the fish has got a dark head and also appears somewhat darker in coloration. You will also see the male featuring white to gold bars just behind the head and also beneath the dorsal fin.

The females of the fish appear brighter than the males are generally smaller in size compared to the males. A keen look at the head of the female fish and you will notice the head is also smaller in size compared to that of the male.

Breeding the Rosy Red Minnows

Breeding the Rosy Red Minnows in the home aquarium is not complicated as the female is known to spawn greatly in one season. The fish is known to mature fully when they attain at least six months but will still not be ready to breed until they are at least 1 or 2 years old. In the wild the fish is known to spawn between the months of May and September. The ideal temperature for the fish to breed in usually ranges between 50 – 78° F. The females will lay as much as 400 eggs in a single spawn usually on a log or even a flat surface. It is the males that guard the laid eggs and once they get fertilized, it takes like 4 to 5 days for them to hatch into fry. The fry will become active after about 2 to 3 days when they can be fed hatched brine shrimp or infusoria. It is best to remove the adult fish from the breeding tank to avoid the stark possibility of them eating the fry or eggs.

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