The Rosy Red Minnow (Pimephales promelas) belongs to the Family Cyprinidae under Order Cypriniformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is a color variation of a fat head minnow and is used primarily as a feeder fish. This color morph was discovered in several Arkansas breeding farms in 1985. It is a great addition to a small garden pond which swims in schools and creates a nice movement in the water.
At least 10 gallons tank is recommended to keep your rosy red minnow with plenty of rocky hiding places. The Rosy Red Minnow is great feeder fish which tolerate both poor water quality and low oxygen levels in an aquarium. It can live in many types of water from mildly soft water to very hard water and a pH range of 7 to 8. These fish prefer a temperature of 50 – 78 °F. It can be kept in groups of at least 4-6 individuals of their own kind and they show peaceful behavior towards other sub-tropical species of fish. Suitable tank mate includes White cloud Minnows, hill stream loaches, dojo loaches, Red shiners etc. It should not be kept with goldfish.
Rosy red minnows are opportunistic omnivores. They eat all sorts of foods and in the wild they take algae, plankton and small insects. In captivity they take common aquarium flakes or pellets. It also eats bloodworms, Tubifex and shrimp. These minnows should be fed once or twice per day.
It is very easy to breed in home aquarium. Rosy red minnow is a fractional spawner and female spawns multiple times per breeding season. They mature at around 6 months of age and normally do not breed until they are 1 -2 years old. Spawning occurs from May to September at water temperatures ranging from 50 – 78 °F. Females lay about 400 eggs in a flat or hard surface of a log, rock or leaves per spawn. Males maintain the nest and eggs, fanning and protecting them. The males also protect gravid females. Eggs are normally deposited at night and each fertilized egg takes 4 to 5 days to hatch. After 2-3 days fry becomes free swimming and they can be fed with infusoria and newly hatched brine shrimp. After spawning, parents should be removed from the breeding tank to prevent eating the eggs or fry.
Male usually grows 2-3 inches (3 to 5 gm) while female grows 1-2 inches (2 to 3 gm) in length. The male is dark with a black head. It has white to gold bars behind the head and under the dorsal fin. They also have large gray fleshy nuptial pads on their nape and about sixteen large tubercles are present in 3 rows on their snout with all black fins. The male fish also bears a distinctive broad white area immediately behind the expanded eponymous “fat head” and a broad pale area on the mid side while female develop a fleshy ovipositor approximately a month prior to spawning.
The Rosy Red Minnow is a very inexpensive hardy fish. It is mostly sold as feeder fish and is now available in the pet trade. Look below online vendor for more about buying rosy red minnow that I would recommend from.