How to Keep Minnows Alive Without an Aerator

Keep Minnows Alive Without an Aerator

Are you wondering how you can keep your minnows without an aerator? Did you notice them dying without using an aerator? Read on as I have made provisions on keeping your minnows alive without using an aerator in this article.

Keeping Minnows alive without an air pump is almost impossible. But there are alternative methods. You can use an air pump, filter, spray bar, or even add enough water that will cover the minnows in the tank. You have to keep the water cool enough by adding cubes of ice during hot days.

How Long Can Minnows Live Without an Aerator?

Minnows need an aerator, especially when kept in an environment that is not conducive. Your minnows cannot last hours without an aerator unless you utilize some other means. Here are few ways you can aerate your tank;

Add ice

The importance of an aerator is to ensure enough oxygen in the tank. Your tank might not have an aerator, but you have to look for another means of aeration. One of the few ways you can aerate your tank is to add ice to the tank.

High temperature can cause a decrease in the oxygen level of the water in the tank. It is because water tends to react and lose oxygen when hot than when cold. So you have to cool the water when you notice the reduction of oxygen in your water.

You can make use of an ice cube to reduce the temperature. To do this, you should put the ice cube in a bag and suspend the bag in the water. Keep the bag in the water till you have your desired temperature.

Use air pump

The air pump is also a good alternative for aerators in your tank. The air pump will aerate your tank, providing it with the needed oxygen. It increases the oxygen by pumping air into the tank.

The air pump will take in air and release it into the tank using air stones. As it releases the air, it gets dissolved in the water, ensuring proper aeration. If you don’t have an aerator, you should get an air pump to replace it.

Cause disturbance in water

Causing disturbance in water is one way you can aerate the water for your minnows. The disturbance causes the water to react with the surrounding making it absorb more oxygen from the environment. If you do not have an aerator, this disturbance can be your sure bet.

One of the ways to create this disturbance is by pouring water from a height. As the water touches the surface, it causes a splash and increases the chances of air absorption. You can also use your hand to cause a splash in the water, but you cannot do this for a long while.

A simpler and easier way to cause a disturbance is by using a fountain. The fountain transports the water from the bottom of the tank and drops it at the surface. The continuous action of this activity causes the water to react with the surroundings and absorb more air.

Another way of disturbing the water in the tank is to use a spray bar. The spray bar helps distribute the water throughout the tank, causing more water to get exposed to the air. The exposure causes the water to become aerated and contain more oxygen.

Water capacity

When there is enough water, there is enough aeration in the meantime. If the tank’s water is not much, there will not be enough aeration nor oxygen for the minnows to harness, especially when there is overstocking. Ensure the water in the tank is large enough to cover the fish’s whole body without any part being exposed to the air.

You also have to make frequent water changes to keep your tank aerated. The water change should be in large capacity as more water means more oxygen. Minnows will also prefer to have large water in their tank for their activities.


Filters will also do a great job in causing a disturbance in your water. It does a great job in aerating and increasing the level of oxygen in your minnow tank. They are small and easy to use for effective aeration of the tank.

The filter will distribute the water throughout the tank causing proper aeration. They are a great alternative to aerators in aerating and increasing the oxygen level of your tank

Why Do Minnows Need an Aerator?

Aerators are useful and essential to the existence of minnows as they help increase the tank’s oxygen level. Without enough oxygen in the tank, minnows will suffocate and die. The aerator is also highly essential if you do not plan to switch tank water often or leave the fish for a day or two.

An aerator can also help increase the lifespan of your minnows. It will help them reduce the amount of stress and hustles they can come across. If you want your minnow to thrive, provide an effective aerator.

Do Minnows Need an Air Pump?

Air pumps and aerators have almost the same functions. Air pumps help aerate the tank and add more oxygen to it. Without an air pump, your tank can become deficient in oxygen, causing your minnows to suffocate and die. Without an air pump, your minnows can be at the risk of death, which shows minnows need an air pump.

If you have an aerator or other means of aerating and adding oxygen to the tank’s water, you might not need to use an air pump. The usefulness of an air pump depends on the alternative you have for the task.

Can Minnows Live in Tap Water?

You can use pond water, streams, lakes, etc., to keep your minnows, but do not use tap water to keep them. Tap water contains a chemical that is harmful and can kill your minnow. You can make use of other water, but try to avoid tap water.

You can keep your minnows alive without using an aerator, by using other means. You can use an air pump, filter, fountain, spray bar, etc. You have to know the importance of oxygen to your fish, so you should keep your tank aerated.