How To Keep Minnows Alive At Home (Full Guide)

Are you worried something might happen to your minnows when you keep them at home? Are your minnows dying earlier than necessary? Do you wish to keep minnows alive till they reach their full lifespan? The answers to your questions and the solutions to keeping your minnows alive at home are right here in this complete guide.

To keep minnows alive all you need to do is to keep them in the right container, ensure good water quality, and feed them appropriately. Regular water changes and general routine maintenance are also crucial.

If you are not keeping minnows alone, ensure that you only keep them with suitable mates. Keeping them with bigger and aggressive fish might be disastrous.

How Do You Keep Minnows Alive Longer?

Keeping your minnows alive is one thing. But keeping them alive for longer periods is the real deal. Keeping minnows alive much longer requires few cautious steps.

Below are some crucial things you must do to keep your minnows alive as long as you need them;

1. Know The Right Time To Buy Your Fish

The timing of buying minnows is crucial, especially if you keep them in a pond. If you intend to make a trip with the fish, it is best to buy it at least a day before the trip. This prior purchase will give them enough time to acclimatize.

Also, it would be best if you bought your fish from trusted and reliable pet stores. The health condition of minnows at the time of purchase is vital if they stay alive.

2. Use The Right Container

The container you keep the fish is crucial to their survival. It is best to use big containers that allow enough oxygen. Although some aquarists and pet stores use plastic bags, it is a bad idea, even in the short term.

Even though they pump oxygen into the plastic bag, it won’t take them for long. Besides, that plastic bags are flimsy; the sealed mouth prevents the inflow of oxygen. Once they exhaust the oxygen trapped in the bag, you can say a life goodbye to your minnows.

3. Use Clean Water At The Right Temperature

Clean water and adequate temperature are two crucial factors in keeping fish alive. The need for clean water and the moderate temperature starts at the point of purchase.

Start by keeping them in the water from the initial aquarium and proceed with a partial water change. This sequence will make it easier for your fish to acclimatize to their new environment.

4. Ensure Standard Water Quality

Water quality is essential for the survival of minnows at home. Ensure you carry out regular water changes and routine quality checks. Get rid of all waste and litters in the tank

5. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Like most other living things, minnows cannot survive without a proper oxygen supply. So, it is vital to ensure that your minnows have access to an abundant oxygen supply.

6. Keep Them In The Right Numbers

Most aquarists often overlook this part, which might be the beginning of so many problems. Remember the capacity of your container and do not exceed it. Depending on the minnows’ size, you can store up to 5 minnows per gallon in a temporary container.

7. Ensure Proper Feeding

It might be instinctive to feed fish immediately; it might not be the best thing to do. Give them time to settle and ensure that other parameters are correct before offering them anything to eat. Digestion under unsuitable conditions can hurt their chances of survival.

8. Ensure Proper Handling

Handling is another vital step if you want your fish to survive without getting hurt. Rough handling and significant distortion will undoubtedly mitigate the fish’s survival chance.

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How Long Will Minnows Stay Alive In A Bucket?

It is common to keep minnows in a bucket after purchase. But it is a bad idea to keep them in there for too long. Minnows will stay up to 72 hours in a bucket without getting hurt.

You might find it difficult to keep them for that long if the conditions in the tank are not ideal. You must be sure that the tank’s conditions meet a certain standard before keeping them for 72 hours.

Only feed the fish in small amounts daily. Minimal feeding will ensure easy digestion, and it will mitigate contamination in the fish tank. Also, ensure that an adequate amount of oxygen gets into the bucket. You can incorporate an aerator to ensure the proper oxygen supply.

Keep the temperature of the bucket at an optimal level and avoid fluctuations. Similarly, it is not too early to check out the pH and ensure it is best for the minnows.

Keep minnows in the bucket in the right numbers. Avoid overcrowding the bucket with too many minnows. If you keep them for more than 24 hours in the bucket, then it is crucial to carry out partial water changes.

Why Do My Minnows Keep Dying?

Minnows are like every other living thing, sensitive to their environment and react accordingly. Your minnows can keep dying due to several reasons. Minnows can die due to poor water quality, sickness, poor tank quality, and poor feeding.

If your minnows keep dying, start by checking out the water quality. Ensure that all the water and tank parameters are optimum and suitable for your fish. Also, ensure that you only feed them with the appropriate amount of food at the right time.

Sickness can also be responsible for minnow’s death. In this case, find out the type of sickness and quarantine affected fish. Ensure proper treatment and prevent its spread to other members.

Overcrowding and poor feeding is another major factor that can cause minnows’ death. Keep the fish in the right numbers and feed them with an appropriate diet at the right time. Avoid food that can choke the fish or litter their tank.

What Do Minnows Need To Survive?

Minnows are hardy fish that do not demand too much for their survival. All minnows need to survive are fish basics. These include good water and tank conditions, proper diet, adequate oxygen, and suitable pond or tank mates.

Other facilities can also make life comfortable for the fish and help them live longer. Avoid the accumulation of dirt and organic waste in your fish tank. Carry out regular water changes and get rid of any dirt in the tank.

Keep the water parameters (pH, temperature, salinity, water movement) at an optimal level. It is best to avoid fluctuations because fish will react negatively to any drastic change.

Suitable tank mates will also make life easier for the fish. They will thrive happily without the fear of being prayed.

Will Tap Water Kill minnows?

Water is one of the vital parameters for the survival of minnows. Sadly, tap water is not ideal for minnow tanks because it can kill them.

The chemicals in tap water, especially chlorine, are too strong for the fish and might kill them. So, it is best not to use tap water in your minnow’s tank.

Distilled water or water from rivers, creeks, and lakes is more appropriate. Also, ensure that the water is cool enough to ensure your fish’s survival.

What Human Food Can Minnows Eat?

Some of the human food minnows can eat mostly vegetables. They include cucumbers, bread, oatmeal bread, lettuce, peas, carrots, and cucumbers.

Do you want to feed your fish the same food you eat? Before doing that, it is best to understand that minnows cannot eat all types of human food. They are only cool with a few of them.

These human foods provide nutritional benefits to minnows. They are rich in vitamins, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Minnows do not eat much, so you might not be able to feed them with many human foods.

Can Minnows Live in a Fishbowl?

Keeping your minnows in a fishbowl is also a good option for them to live. They are hardy and will do fine in cold water, so you do not have to make use of a heater necessarily. However, using a heater to keep the water warm can be an added advantage when keeping them in a fishbowl.

You have to make sure you do not overcrowd the fishbowl when keeping them. Ensure the fishbowl is large enough to accommodate the number of fishes you want to put in the fishbowl. Decorating the fishbowl can also be a good approach to making it look graceful.

You can add live plants to the fishbowl for a better look. You can also put substrates, rocks, or even small aquatic tankmates in the bowl. When keeping your minnows in a fishbowl, you only have to make sure the environment is conducive and suitable for their existence.


Minnows are relatively hardy fish and are easy to care for, making them suitable for home keeping. When keeping them at home, you have to ensure you provide the necessary conditions and requirements. If you can provide them with what they need, they will do just fine.