Minnow Breeding: Success!

June 15, 2008 at 1:46 pm 17 comments

June 15 2008: Okay so there’s some backstory to go through first. After a few weeks of no activity in the minnow tank we gave up on the idea and put them back in the main tank. Only to discover an incredibly useful article on how to breed small characins (a family the minnows belong to) which gave detailed instructions on what we should be doing. So we decided to try again, this time following these instructions. We blacked out the smaller tank with bin liners and placed one female in there on her own. We’ll fed her on a diet of live and frozen daphnia and bloodworm until she appeared to be carrying eggs, at which point we were planning on adding a male to the tank and seeing what happens.

Before I go any further, the article can be found here from Yahoo! answers and here from the original website.

BUT before we put the male in the tank (after the female had got incredibly fat) we found something. Baby minnows! Ultra small (too small to photograph) tiny baby minnow. No more than a couple of millimetres in length. What had happened, we decided, was that the minnows in there previously had indeed spawned but due to the baby minnows before so absolutely small, we hadn’t seen them until a couple of days ago. They would’ve been living on bacteria in the tank. Upon spying the new arrivals we hastily moved the female back into the main tank as minnows have been known to eat babies. The new babies are being fed on liquid baby food (insuphoria) for the time being and will move onto daphnia next week. As soon as they are large enough to be seen on a photograph, I’ll be putting some up.

For now, here’s some photos of what the breeding tank now looks like:

We also got more minnows (yes more!) for the main tank. We bought 14 more from an aquarium shop as it was decided the previous shoal of 8 minnows wasn’t enough for them. They like larger shoals. We now have 22 (not counting the new babies.)


Entry filed under: minnows. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Minnow Breeding: Creating the Environment.

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shattelle  |  March 28, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I have caught pond minnows. I put them in a large fish tank. I noticed some of the minnows was fat, looking pregnant. So I went and bought a net, to keep the babies safe when born, because of other fish in tank.
    Soon my 9 year old son noticed one mother minnow giving birth to her new minnow babies!
    The net cage I bought worked perfect- but now I looked up minnows and learned some helpfull information, ” I removed the mother minnows, because I learned they may eat their new born.”

    My question is now-
    I have the new baby minnows in the net cage to keep safe, but as I was looking up minnows, I found they seem to lay eggs????? But I & my son seen our minnows have her babbies…. so Does minnows have eggs come out at birth or baby minnows??? I looked at minnow pictures and my minnows look just like the photos, but I’m wondering if mine are minnows now- due to research to them giving birth.

    So does minnows give birth to baby minnows or eggs?

    and what do you feed the new born minnows???

    I feed the other minnows fish flakes….

    Thank you for your help.
    This is something fun for my son and I. We are huge animal lovers..

  • 2. Cas  |  April 19, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Hi Shattelle.
    I think what you have are Guppies. You can find them in in the wild in ponds and streams and they give birth to live babies. Its pretty neat watching them squirt little babies out. They babies eat water insects like small daphnia,small mosquito larvae and you can also crush up the fish flakes into tiny crumbs.
    I hope this helps!


  • 3. Cheng  |  May 16, 2009 at 3:21 am

    well those are probably some type of guppies (actually im for sure it is because those are found in ponds also) =)

  • 4. The rocc  |  May 25, 2009 at 6:35 am

    i have a minnow that i got from the pet store that was pregnant… (it is a minnow) i was wondering how long it takes them to lay there eggs and if i need a male in there.. i dont know what kind of minnow it is.. and i put her in a small breeding net for the mean time then once shes done then im putting her and when the babies in the rank are bigger then they are going into a 5 gallon tank so i was wondering how long i have to wait and if i need a male for fertilization

    • 5. Kaleidoscope  |  June 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

      Hi, I’m sorry for the delay in replying. I’m in the middle of moving house and things are a little frantic!

      You need a male to fertalise the female’s eggs. She lays them on plants and the male comes and fertilises them. Minnows like dark tanks for breeding and the babies especially will need to be kept in the dark at the beginning as they’re sensitive to light. You can either stick black paper to the outside of the tank or keep a blanket over it. You can buy liquid food for baby fish which I would recommend.

      Good luck.

  • 6. vikki  |  July 8, 2009 at 1:40 am

    how do i tel male from female

  • 7. vikki  |  July 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

    i have five white cloud mountian minnows and i wanna breed them but i dont really wanna go but a sponge filter and heater so what can i do so i dont have to do all those things. and another question how do i tell what is male and what is female?

  • 8. the jay  |  August 18, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    how do you tell if a minnow is male or female?

  • 9. wisconsin union theater schedule  |  October 25, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This a really good post by the author hope to read more really soon.

  • 10. isabella  |  May 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

    o.k. i did some research and found out how to tell there sex o.k. so you look on the bottom of there belly and if that fin is straight and poited like a dagger then it is male if it is round and faned out like one of those chinise fans it is female hpoe i helped .

    • 11. maria  |  June 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      hi i went fishing a day a go i want to this park and i found lil fish every one say that they r minnow i want to know if could would i could breed the minnow i got for the pond

  • 12. shannen  |  October 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    well… my new hobbie if buying fish and catching minnows at my creek but the fish you have are not the kind of minnows im looking for, mine are smaller and plain grey, i have 3 sacks of eggs so far and it looks like their stomachs arnt getting any smaller, none of my fish have smaller stomachs except the betta and the eggs for betta are different, so if you can give me any advice plz tell!!!

  • 13. shannen  |  October 14, 2011 at 3:48 am

    now i have 4 sacks of eggs!!!

  • 14. MIKI  |  November 5, 2011 at 6:55 am

    How fat do they need to be to give birth?

  • 15. Bev  |  January 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Hi do minno’s eat there young a number of website’s i have looked at says they dont, I think the female is pregnant, not very fat at the moment but does have some black appearing underneath that would be the stomach. They are also not very big eaters is that normal only really only want to eat every couple of days

  • 16. Nicole  |  May 3, 2012 at 2:25 am

    Minnows guppies and goldfish ( at least comets) all give birth to live young. 😉

  • 17. Janey Anderson  |  May 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    O.K Im only 10 but I caught 4 big minnows a little bit smaller than my finger.1 or 2 of the are getting big stomaches since their translucent I can see silver in their stomaches.What do I do?


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