We know that the rosy red minnow is still a very niche fish species to keep within the fish keeping hobby but its popularity is on the rise.
After we published our article going over how to care for a pregnant white cloud minnow recently, we noticed a number of people asking about caring for a pregnant rosy red minnow so we wanted to publish this article to try and help our readers.
Our hope is that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible better avoid the common mistakes that we see so many people making time and time again with their rosy red minnow breeding operation.
Not only are these mistakes easy to avoid but they can also drastically reduce egg yields and fry survival rates too.
Thankfully, in most cases, these mistakes are quick, cheap, and easy to avoid so this article should be able to help you make sure that your pregnant rosy red minnow has the best experience possible while developing and releasing her eggs.
Are Rosy Red Minnows Live Bearers Or Egg Layers?
Rosy red minnows are egg layers and depending on the tank setup, a pregnant rosy red minnow may lay a single clutch off eggs in one location in their tank or scatter her eggs over a wide area of the tank.
In most cases, the scatter approach is more common for the species but in some tanks, you may find a single, small egg clutch of rosy red minnow eggs.
Some people have claimed that their rosy red minnow has given birth to live fry but we would guess that these people have been missold a different species of fish.
Unfortunately, this is becoming more common where breeders will pretend that they are selling one species of fish to offload the mutt breeding lines for a profit.
How Can You Tell If Your Rosy Red Minnow Is Pregnant?
There are a number of different ways that you are able to tell if your rosy red minnow is actually pregnant or not.
They are all based around the following:-
- An Increase In Body Size
- A Change In Coloration
- A Change In Behavior
- Food Intake
In an optimal tank setup, you may find that your rosy red minnow may actually end up giving going through all of these within a couple of days and then releasing her eggs with minimal warning.
On the flipside of that though, some rosy red minnows will take as long as a month to release their eggs but we will go into more detail on that later in the article.
An Increase In Body Size
The most common way that people tend to notice that their rosy red minnow is pregnant is by observing an increase in body size.
This is due to the eggs in the minnow taking up more space and making her look bloated.
Pregnancy is not the only reason that a rosy red minnow may look bloated though but the other indications covered below can help you confirm the pregnancy.
In most cases, the eggs will be in the belly of the fish or slightly towards the tail where are bloating due to dropsy or swim bladder disease will usually be all over the body of the fish.
A Change In Coloration
A change in coloration is the second-most common way that people will notice that their rosy red minnow is pregnant.
Again, depending on the tank setup and stock levels, you may find that this change in coloration happens very quickly or it may take a few weeks for the full extent of the changes to show.
Although the exact reason why this happens is not known, some pregnant rosy red minnows can either get dark or paler in color as their eggs develop.
A Change In Behavior
A change in behavior is another way that you are able to tell if your rosy red minnow is pregnant or not.
This usually manifests itself in one of two ways, either the fish become more aggressive or they become more shy and withdrawn.
In most cases, the aggression stems from the fact that the fish is trying to protect her eggs and fry from potential predators in the tank with this being the most common behavior change by far.
The shyness and withdrawn behavior is usually down to the fact that the fish is trying to find a safe place to release her eggs where they will not be eaten with this usually being common in younger fish.
A change in food intake is another way that you are able to tell if your rosy red minnow is pregnant or not.
This is usually down to the fact that the fish is trying to get as much food as possible to help her eggs develop with this being more common in well-fed fish.
As a result, you may find that your minnow starts eating more than normal or she may start picking at random bits of food in the tank.
How Do You Care For A Pregnant Rosy Red Minnow?
There are a number of simple things that beginners often make mistakes with in their actual tank for a pregnant rosy red minnow.
These are usually based around the following issues:-
- Issues With Water Parameters
- Poor Diet
- A Lack Of Hiding Places
- Stress And Anxiety
- Not Using A Breeding Tank
Set The Tank Up Correctly
Before you even add your pregnant rosy red minnow to the tank, it is important that you set it up correctly, if you are keeping your rosy red minnow in a community tank then try to make these changes if possible.
This means making sure that the temperature is right, the pH is correct and that there is enough filtration in place.
If you do not do this, then you are likely to find that your fish will not be able to produce healthy eggs which will either not hatch or the fry will not survive for very long.
The temperature of the water is probably the most important factor when it comes to setting up a tank for a pregnant rosy red minnow as it needs to be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
The ammonia cycle in your tank also needs to be kept in check too as this can not only stress the mother out but also cause damage to the eggs too.
Another key factor when it comes to caring for a pregnant rosy red minnow is making sure that she has an optimal diet.
A good diet for a pregnant rosy red minnow should be high in protein as this will help her to produce healthy eggs.
It is also important to make sure that she is getting enough vitamins and minerals in her diet too as this will help to ensure that the fry are healthy when they hatch.
You can either feed your pregnant rosy red minnow live foods or frozen foods but it is important to make sure that they are of a good quality.
A good quality frozen food will usually have more vitamins and minerals in it than a live food so this is something to bear in mind.
Provide Plenty Of Hiding Places
When it comes to setting up a tank for a pregnant rosy red minnow, it is also important to make sure that there are plenty of hiding places for her to choose from.
This is because the mother will often be very shy and withdrawn when she is ready to release her eggs and she will need a safe place to do this.
If you do not provide her with enough hiding places, then she is likely to release her eggs in an open area of the tank where they are more likely to be eaten.
You can provide hiding places for your pregnant rosy red minnow by using things like caves, plants and rocks.
Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Another key factor when it comes to caring for a pregnant rosy red minnow is to try and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that she is feeling.
This can be done in a number of ways but one of the best ways is to make sure that there are not too many fish in the tank.
If the tank is overstocked, then this is likely to cause the fish a lot of stress which can then lead to problems when she goes to release her eggs.
It is also important to make sure that there are not too many brightly coloured objects in the tank as this can also cause the fish a lot of stress.
Use A Breeding Tank
If you want to increase the chances of your fry surviving, then it is a good idea to use a breeding tank.
A breeding tank is simply a smaller tank that you can use to house your pregnant rosy red minnow in until she is ready to release her eggs.
This has a number of benefits, firstly it means that you can control the water parameters more easily and secondly, it provides the mother with a safe place to release her eggs that is free from potential predators.
When it comes to using a breeding tank, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind.
Firstly, you need to make sure that the tank is big enough for the mother to move around in comfortably but not so big that she feels exposed.
Secondly, you need to make sure that the tank has a good quality filter as this will help to keep the water clean and free from ammonia.
Thirdly, you should also consider adding a heater to the tank to ensure that the temperature remains stable.
If you are a beginner then you may not have the budget, space or equipment for a dedicated breeding tank for your rosy red minnows so this step can be missed out if needed.
How Long Are Rosy Red Minnows Pregnant For?
A rosy red minnow can take anywhere from a month to a couple of days to develop and release her eggs due to different variables all coming into play that will change the pregnancy timeframe.
These factors include:-
- The age of the rosy red minnow
- Water parameters
- Tank size
- The health of the fish
Why Is My Pregnant Rosy Red Minnow Growing Big?
Some rosy red minnows can have trouble actually releasing their eggs causing them to just keep on growing larger and larger due to more and more eggs being developed in the fish.
This is usually more common the first two spawns for a fish or in older fish but fish of all ages can have issues with this.
There are two main ways to help a rosy red minnow that is unable to spawn.
Increase Water Temperature
The most common way to help a rosy red minnow spawn her eggs if she is having problems is to slightly increase the water temperature by a couple of degrees in the tank.
Anything between 80F and 83F should be enough to help encourage spawning but you have to make sure that all of the tank mates in the tank, including your plants can handle the temperature increase.
A Gentle Massage
The second method is to give the pregnant rosy red minnow a gentle massage to help the eggs out but we never recommend this method.
In most cases, it can make things worse for the fish rather than help it while also stressing the fish out too.
In some cases, the rosy red minnow may not be ready to spawn too or she may be bloated due to dropsy, constipation or swim bladder disease rather than being pregnant.
Although that may sound like a difficult mistake to make, you would be surprised by how many people make it.
If you are new to the fish keeping hobby and are unsure if your rosy red minnow is actually pregnant then look for the secondary signs of pregnancy in the species that we covered earlier in the article.