Rosy Red Minnows Care Guide

Rosy red minnows

Last updated on August 18th, 2022 at 07:59 am

Rosy red minnows are livebearers native to North America, particularly throughout the Great Lakes region, and are one of the best species to keep in freshwater aquariums of 10 gallons or more. Though smaller than most popular aquarium fish such as goldfish or guppies, rosy red minnows can be just as colorful and active, making them ideal for hobbyists who don’t have room in their tanks for fish that require more space to swim around and explore their surroundings.

They are a hardy, easy-to-keep breed of fish that only need to be fed once per day with either live or frozen food. They’re also fairly inexpensive, so they’re good options if you’re new to the world of aquariums or just want to try something small and affordable before investing in larger, more expensive fish tanks and equipment.

Origins and descriptions

Rosy red minnows are a type of small fish that make great feeder fish for larger species of fish, such as koi and bluegill. They have a short lifespan, typically living no more than two years in captivity. The rosy red minnow has a pink or rose-colored body with silvery sides and black-tipped fins.

This type of fish is native to North America, although it can be found in parts of Canada and the south-central United States. In nature, these fish live in rivers and lakes but they can also thrive in smaller aquariums. It’s important to remember that not all pets will survive in captivity; therefore, you should never release them into natural waterways once they outgrow their tank size.

Species profile

Rosy red minnows

They belong to the family Cyprinidae and are native to North America. The rosy red minnow is an omnivorous fish that eats aquatic plants, zooplankton, insects, and small crustaceans. This species of fish grows up to 3 inches in length and can live for up to 3 years.

Adult rosy red minnows prefer fast-moving water with rocky bottoms; however, they can be found in a variety of habitats from rivers and streams to ponds and lakes. These fish spawn in shallow areas of water during the spring and summer months.

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It’s important to keep young rosy red minnows away from predators until they grow larger, so it’s best to keep them in a separate tank or pond until you’re sure they’re safe.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the rosy red minnows is Pimephales promelas


Rosy red minnows are tropical fish and prefer warmer temperatures. For these fish, you’ll want to choose a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. This species prefers water with a pH of 6.0 – 7.2 and an average temperature between 75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit (F).

It’s important to note that Rosy red minnows aren’t particularly hardy fish, so their water must be maintained meticulously or they will die off quickly. Avoid keeping them in tanks that have been used for saltwater fish before; even if you change all of your equipment, there can still be traces of salt left behind which could harm your fish.

If your tank has been used for freshwater fish before, make sure to test it thoroughly before adding any new inhabitants. Also, remember to keep your aquarium well-filtered as these little guys tend to produce quite a bit of waste!

Rosy red minnows size

They are very small fish growing to a maximum size of 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) in length.

Tank size

Due to their small size, the minimum recommended tank size for rosy red minnows is 10 gallons (38 liters).

Tank requirements

Rosy red minnows thrive in 10-gallon or larger aquariums with plenty of open swimming space and a soft substrate such as gravel. While they’re primarily freshwater fish, they can also live in slightly brackish conditions. To recreate these brackish conditions, mix 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.

Don’t forget to provide a steady flow of water movement to keep your tank’s water healthy for your rosy red minnow. This species is intolerant of low oxygen levels and should be kept away from powerful filters. For best results, use an air stone. As long as you maintain good filtration and circulation, they are hardy enough to live in less than pristine water conditions.

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Make sure you do regular weekly water changes at least 25 percent of your tank volume if you want to ensure good health for your rosy red minnows over time. Finally, feed them small meals several times daily—it’s better for their digestion than one large meal a day!

Tank mates

Rosy red minnows can be housed with other schooling fish, but they’re most active and entertaining in a tank with plenty of swimming room. Avoid housing them with larger, aggressive species like barbs or goldfish. Some good tank mates are hillstream loaches, danios, White cloud Minnows, platies, dojo loaches, swordtails, and goldfish.


Rosy red minnows

The Rosy Red minnow is a livebearer and it can breed at temperatures as low as 65 degrees. The males will become aggressive with each other during the breeding season, which occurs in early Spring, so it’s best to keep only one male per tank. They are also extremely prolific breeders and should be kept in species-only tanks; there is no need to worry about aggression toward other fish.

The female will lay her eggs on plants or rocks within your aquarium. It is recommended that you remove any plants from your aquarium when trying to spawn these fish. Once she has laid her eggs, you should remove them immediately because they will hatch within few days.

If you want to raise some of your own rosy red minnows, they make an excellent first pet for children because they grow quickly and are very easy to care for. When keeping them, it is important to note that they have very sensitive barbels (the whisker-like things on their face) and should not be kept with fish who like to nibble.

In addition, their long fins mean they are susceptible to fin nipping by larger fish, so I would recommend against keeping them with anything bigger than themselves. They are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plant matter.

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Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Rosy red minnows are peaceful fish, but they can also become aggressive if they feel threatened or if you don’t treat them with respect.

Rosy red minnows care

Rosy red minnows

Rosy red minnows are beautiful freshwater fish that, if cared for properly, can thrive in a home aquarium. They are peaceful fish and will work well with all other community tank mates. These fish do best in a 10-gallon tank with plenty of live plants and hiding places. Although they like to bury themselves among plant leaves, they still enjoy open space to swim around as well. A normal water temperature of seventy degrees is perfect for these sensitive creatures.

They prefer temperatures in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-26 degrees C). The pH level should be between 6 and 8, with a water hardness of about 15 dH. They are tropical fish, so they will need a heater if you live in an area that gets below sixty-five degrees during the winter months. A heater should be able to keep your tank within ten degrees of your preferred temperature at all times.

What they eat

Rosy red minnows are omnivores, so they’ll eat just about anything! They should have access to a variety of feeder fish, including mosquito larvae and daphnia, along with freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex worms. They also love vegetable flakes, especially brine shrimp eggs. Feed your rosy red minnows once or twice a day. Be sure to remove any uneaten food from their tank, as it will rot and contaminate their water supply.


Rosy red minnows

The average lifespan of rosy red minnows is 2 to 4 years.

Parasites and diseases

One common problem for rosy red minnows is Ich, a type of parasite that targets fish. If you suspect your fish has Ich, take a sample to your local pet store for diagnosis. Once diagnosed, use an anti-parasitic treatment to kill off any parasites and help restore your tank’s balance. In addition to Ich and other parasites, rosy red minnows may suffer from bacterial infections if their water conditions are not optimal.

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Take steps to prevent disease by ensuring proper water temperature, filtration, and aeration. Remember that overfeeding can also lead to problems; be sure to provide only as much food as your fish can consume in about two minutes. The rest should be removed promptly after feeding time ends.

Finally, watch out for injuries caused by fin nipping or aggressive behavior between different species of fish sharing one tank; these wounds can become infected easily.


Rosy red minnows can fall prey to a number of predators including larger fish and mammals. Look for barbs and rays when introducing your Rosies into an aquarium as these are their main predators. The coloration of these fish is particularly attractive to rainbow trout, catfish, and bass, so keep that in mind when building your community aquarium.

Do they make good pets?

Yes! Rosy red minnows are great for a lot of beginners. They come in lots of fun colors and they’re not that difficult to care for either. It’s hard to go wrong with them! In fact, you could say rosy red minnows are one of the best fish for beginners!