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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Rosy Red Minnows

Rosy Red Minnows


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A different type of fish

Rosy reds are mostly used for feeding large, carnivorous (meat-eating) fish. However, they can be kept in an aquarium with other cool water fish such as comet goldfish.

Feeding minnows to other fish
Feed your carnivorous fish only a few (1-2 per predator fish) rosy reds at a time. Adding large quantities of minnows at once may upset the balance of the water and cause fish to die. Offer rosy reds daily or every 2-3 days.

Separate aquarium
To carnivorous fish, rosy reds are food, so it's essential that they live separate from the main aquarium. Keeping rosy reds in their own aquarium will allow you to feed them to other fish in small quantities, rather than in large amounts all at once.

Things to remember

Monitoring water quality
Since rosy reds are usually purchased in large quantities, it's important to frequently monitor the water quality to keep them healthy.

Adding fish
When feeding carnivorous fish, don't forget to add only a small number (1-2 per predator fish) of rosy reds at a time. Adding large numbers at once could affect your aquarium's water quality.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.


Staple diet
Give your minnows a flake fish food. Feed according to the directions on the packaging.

Frequent feedings
For optimum health, your minnows should be fed as much food as they will consume in 1-3 minutes, twice a day.


Signs your rosy red minnows are healthy:

  • Eating vigorously and actively swimming together
  • Clear eyes, smooth, clean skin and fins free from any lesions or inconsistent colorations
  • Calm, steady gill movements

Things to watch for:

  • Lying on bottom of aquarium
  • Poor growth or weight loss
  • Inflamed gills, skin or fins
  • Fins clamped to sides
  • Scraping body on rocks
  • Swimming apart from the school

If you notice any of the signs described above, check your aquarium water quality and consult a PetSmart Aquatics Specialist.


Rosy red minnows require a separate tank that holds at least 10 gallons of water. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water for every one inch of full-grown fish.

Gravel, décor and plants are optional.

Make sure the aquarium housing your rosy red minnows has an external power filter to aerate and clean the water

Fish compatibility
Rosy reds can share their tank with other cool water fish.

Water changes
To keep your minnows healthy, it is recommended that 10% of your tank water be changed per week. At the very least, 25% of your tank water should be changed per month.

Water temperature
These fish require cool water temperatures ranging between 65-75° F. Use an aquarium heater to maintain water temperature.

Aquarium placement
Place your aquarium in a low-traffic area, away from direct sunlight and drafts.

Aquarium stand
An aquarium stand will safely support the weight of your filled aquarium.

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