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Minnow

Minnow

General Characteristics of Minnow
Minnow is a common term used to refer to small freshwater and saltwater fish. Minnows generally refer to bait fish or fishing bait. It refers to small freshwater fish, which belongs to the Carp family. The minnow's family is the largest of all fish families. These fishes are generally very small. They are of silver color and can grow up to a size of 14 inches in length. They are found mostly in the unpolluted streams in the North of America. There are some (48-50) species of minnows in the New York alone. Some of the well- known fish among the minnows are the Goldfish and Carp. Most of the minnows are herbivorous and eat only plant material but some are found to be carnivorous. Minnows play a very important role in the food chain as they are food to many of the bigger fish. Thus, they provide the essential link between plant life and animal sea life. They convert some algae into proteins, which are used later by the larger game fish.

Minnow Habitat and Behavior
It has been found that minnows prefer clear streams but some of them survive even in brackish water. They can also be found in the bogs, swamps, rivers, streams ponds and lakes. As they are huge in varieties their habitats vary from each other. Some of these species are found in large groups, while some are solitary. They can be found in both cooler temperatures and warm water environments. These minnow fishes are available in abundant quantity and the reason is its strong adaptive skills. Minnows occupy a large variety of habitats. As they are small, a large number of minnows can squeeze themselves even into smaller areas.

Minnow Breeding / Reproduction
These species require very less time to reach breeding age. The river chub, fallfish and creek chub are some of the large varieties of the minnows. The smaller varieties of minnows can survive up to 3 years, whereas the larger varieties live up to 6-7 years. A lot more minnow's facts are interesting to know. The spawning season of these minnow fishes is between spring and midsummer. Minnow lay eggs at the bottom of the pond, on some aquatic plants or algae. When they are ready to mate, the males of these minnows usually put on very interesting and bright colors. These bright red and orange colors attract the females. The males develop tubercles at these times, which are placed on the head of the male. Thus, the tubercles help the male to hold the female while mating takes place. The male minnow builds a nest and protects the egg too. Minnows generally make three different types of nests. Their nests can be found easily in both shallow and undisturbed waters.

White Cloud Mountain minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)
: It is a freshwater and cold water fish, which are often kept in aquaria. It belongs to the family of Cyprinidae. The white cloud mountain minnow has become extinct in its native habitat. But then it was found "Hainan Island". They can be bred in farms and nowadays are easily available through the aquarium trade.