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    Minnow from lake

    My daughter brought home a baby minnow from a camping trip this weekend. I know it would not be wise to put the lake water in with my tank water, but my brother does keep a gar in his tank and it is a "lake" fish. Can a minnow (that's the most information I have regarding the fish) live with tropical fish? Also, I do have a 2gal that is not being used. Does anyone know if minnows require similar upkeep to tropicals? Thanks for the help! PS. Spot is still alive and doing great. All of my fish seem fine. (Knock on wood) Mandi

  • You can put the minnow in a separate aquarium. Goldfish are actually a form of carp I believe. There are white clouds which are a freshwater minnow like fish (like cooler water) I would not keep your fish with tropicals because of the warmer temperatures required for the tropicals. Also be aware that your minnow may grow and grow to attain an adult size that you aren't willing to deal with. Make sure if it is going to be a trout and you live in a cool climate you release it before winter. Also if the fish will not take flake food and you are not willing to feed it worms or such you may have to release it. I would not put it with your tropicals also in case it has any pathogens. You don't want to introduce diseases to your tank. Be sure to use separate nets and equipment or sterilize if you are using for both tanks.

  • Thanks for the information. I'm not sure I need to take-on a different type of fish like this. We live on a lake in Texas so it would be simple to release it. It is tiny. It is very hard to keep water cool here. I have had my 10gal tank for over a year and I just got a heater for it about 2 months ago. My daughter was just excited to get the minnow. It is eating our tropical flakes so I guess it will eat what we have. If I decide to put it in the 2 gal, then do I use the water that is in the bottle with the fish and add fresh (but treated) water or do I need to add 2gal from one of my established tanks? Also, I have begun to keep an extra filter cartridge in my filter in case I need to cycle a new tank. Do I need to add that in there too? This might be more trouble than it's worth for this, but I might try. I haven't had any reason to bug y'all lately. Maybe I'm looking for a reason...ha ha. Thanks Mandi

  • I would use the water in the bottle with the fish and add fresh treated water. You definitely have to treat it like a new tank. Adding water from your established tank won't help cycle it. The filter you are running as an extra should really be on there for about 3-4 weeks to establish enough bacteria(the longer the better). Test the water on your 2 and do the old frequent changes until the tank is cycled. My mother-in-law had a Goldfish bowl many years ago according to my husband and the fish lived a long time. However she did frequent water changes to keep the nitrates etc down( didn't really know that the water changes were keeping nitrates down). Keep your testing going! Maybe the fish won't get too affected by the heat since your lake must be pretty warm down there. Just really don't put it in with your other fish because sometimes wild fish can have anchor worms or other parasites that you really don't want your tropicals to get. If he looks like he's having problems...let it loose. Let's get Jeff's opinion on this too!

  • hi mandi....if your daughter would like to keep minnows try some rosey reds or flathead minnows...they are often sold as feeder fish but I know some people love them...what ever you have from the wild is not a good idea to bring home..welcome back...and thank god spot's alive!

  • Mandi since I have a wild rabbit in my basement I guess I am a little soft on your wild fish. I ran over a nest with a lawn mower 3 years ago and my husband adopted Clover which he raised and bottle fed. Anyways I know how Jeff feels, but I lost the battle and Clover lives downstairs. My husband is very attached to him feeding him treats every night. Your fish would probably be happier in the lake, but your decision. Eventually you will have to put it back since it may turn into a perch or trout and get too big.

  • Mandi, Once upon a time I put a little "minnow" in my tank. About a year later I had a 3lbs small mouth bass. I would say release it cause they are more beneficial in the wild and you can get allot more colorful fish at the pet store. Jeff was right about the rosy reds or Tuffys. They are nice small active fish that resemble a minnow. Also not that the dept. of fish and wildlife are going to raid your house but in most areas raising wild born local fish is illegal.

  • Well, I am trying to talk my daughter into letting the fish go into the lake but she is resisting. I really don't need another tank to take care of. The fish is almost impossible to see because it is clear and itsy-bitsy so I wouldn't know if it died in a tank. It is smaller than my mollies are when they are born AND it is clear. I'm not too concerned about wildlife restrictions on this one. I'm not keeping a horse in the backyard so I doubt that is an issue. If I do release it, it will surely be fish food because it is so tiny so I don't really think the fish is worse-off here than in the lake. I just don't know if it is worth the trouble. My 2gal is not cycled so that might kill the fish if I put it in there. Oh well. Thanks for the input! I will decide later today! Mandi

  • Joyce, A couple of years ago I talked with a guy from the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. He told me that the main reason that keeping non-hobby fish is illegal is because they sometimes cross breed...then if they happen to get reintroduced into the population that there could be some serious I see it that comes down to personal ethics. Up here in Washington state Piranhas are illegal because they can live and multiply in the waters around here. They are worried that they can eat all of the native born fish. But I can drive 100 miles to Oregon and buy them by the dozen (not that "I" have done that). Its just the government punishing the mass for the deeds of a few. And as for other countries not restricting the trade of wildlife I believe that its simple economics. The United States can afford not to allow this where fish exportation is a major business for many countries around the word that couldn't afford to restrict it. Well let me get down from my soap box.

  • I just thought it sounded a little like people were getting on Mandi's case about keeping a 'wild' fish. Many wild fish are in fact kept in aquariums. I would like to someday do a saltwater tank and it will probably have wild caught fish. Occasionally wild scalare(angelfish) and wild catfish are sold. If it doesn't readily breed in captivity you can bet it is caught somewhere. I just want people to realize what they are saying when they say don't keep wild fish. That's kind of part of aquarium fish keeping. Good point though about the cross breeding I never thought of that aspect. I knew about the illegal Piranhas In Australia there are lots of fish they can't buy. I know a board with a guy from Perth and he is always having problems since they are very restrictive.

  • Well first I would like to apologize to Mandi if she got the impression that I was getting on her case about wild native born fish. I think its perfectly OK to raise any fish you choose to as long as you do it responsibly. When I first saw Badman's web page I read the ETHICS part. Its very interesting. But yes allot of the tropical fish you see in your LPS are wild caught. Is it right? is it wrong? Depends on your view. Mandi what did you decide?

  • I'm glad it's a chatty bunch. Everyone has always been so hospitable! You can choose not to chat if that's your style, but I like it! I put the fish in my 2gal. It is so tiny that I don't think it will put off enough ammonia to contaminate the water to kill it, so I think it will be okay. It won't crossbreed because it is alone - and will continue to be alone until it is released - so that isn't an issue. I didn't feel at all like I was being chastised for keeping a "wild" caught fish. This part of it isn't a hobby, just something that my daughter got on a campout and wanted to keep. I'll be sure to let her know that we really aren't set-up for that type of fish-keeping. This will be the only one. Thanks everyone for the input! Mandi


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