• Minnows are not always small fish. Some species, such as the carp, can grow up to 50 pounds or more. Minnows belong to the cyprinidae family of fish which are defined by the one to three rows of pharyngeal teeth that they possess. There are 2,100 species of minnows currently documented in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America, meaning as a whole, minnows have a wide variety of food sources.


    Some species of minnows can live in both freshwater and saltwater, giving them a larger selection when it comes to potential food sources.


    Minnows that live in freshwater have several different food sources available to them, including insects, clams, smaller crustaceans and smaller fish such as young bluegill, rainbow trout and catfish.


    Saltwater minnows such as the sheepshead variety feed off decomposing animals, mosquitoes, smaller fish and various plant life, such as seaweed and algae.


    Some species of minnow will purposely eat the eggs or fry of other species to eliminate potential competition for available food sources.


    Minnows that are kept in captivity can be fed store-bought fish foods such as fish flakes. Some species may even benefit from freeze-dried worms, insects or smaller fish.


    Fish and Boat Commission of Pennsylvania: Minnows

    Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Sheepshead Minnows

    Encyclopedia Brittanica: Cyprinidae (Fish Family)


    Arizona Game and Fish Department: Sport Fish Species

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