How to Keep Minnows Alive for Long Periods at Home

How to Keep Minnows Alive for Long Periods at Home

Dave Smith

7 min read

Keeping minnows alive for extended periods at home is a valuable skill to have for anglers and fish enthusiasts alike.

Whether you fish regularly or simply enjoy observing these fascinating little fish, having a steady supply of live minnows can enhance your fishing experiences and provide a captivating addition to your home aquarium.

In this guide, we will explore practical tips and techniques to help you keep minnows alive for long durations. From setting up the proper tank environment to ensuring optimal water conditions and nutrition, this guide will provide essential knowledge to help you maintain the health and vitality of your minnows. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can enjoy the benefits of having live minnows readily available whenever you need them.

So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to successfully keeping minnows alive for extended periods at home.

How to Keep Minnows Alive for Long Periods at Home

You can keep minnows for a couple of months and they’ve all lasted so uh this is nice keeping your minnows. If like let’s say your bait shop closes down in October and you want to go fishing over the winter sometimes but don’t have access to minnows you can go to a Creek and catch the minnows or go to your local bait shop and stock up on minnows this is a must-have this is a nice.

Tips for Keeping Minnows Alive for Long Periods at Home

Keeping minnows alive at home for extended periods can be highly beneficial, ensuring a constant supply of bait throughout the year. Here are some essential tips to help you successfully keep minnows alive:

  1. Minnow Tank Setup: Prepare a suitable tank or container that provides ample space for the minnows. It should have the necessary equipment to support their oxygen needs.

  2. Aerated Water: Proper aeration is vital to maintain optimal oxygen levels in the water. Use an aerator or air stone to ensure sufficient oxygenation for the minnows to thrive.

  3. Water Temperature: Maintain the water temperature within the appropriate range for the specific minnow species you are keeping. Monitoring the temperature with a thermometer allows you to make necessary adjustments.

  4. Water Quality: Regularly check and maintain the water quality parameters such as pH levels and ammonia levels. Keep the tank clean by removing waste and debris to ensure a healthy environment for the minnows.

  5. Feeding: Provide a balanced diet to keep the minnows healthy. Use fish food specifically designed for minnows, or supplement their diet with live food such as daphnia or brine shrimp.

  6. Lighting: Establish a natural day-night cycle for the minnows by placing the tank in an area with suitable lighting. You can also use a timer to control the lighting schedule consistently.

  7. Minnow Health Check: Regularly observe the minnows for signs of illness or stress. Separating any sick or diseased individuals from the healthy ones helps prevent the spread of infection.

How to Keep Minnows Alive: Water Tank

Minnows Water Tank


Here we have a 10-gallon tank with about a hundred or so minnows and there are a few things.

How to Keep Minnows Alive: Aerator

First off is the aerator and this thing basically what it does is it pumps air into the tank so little bubbles are coming up in the back because of this aerator and without these aerators, if they’re like minnows are in a little minnow bucket they’ll probably die within 6 hours and this tank.

Minnows Water Tank Aerator
Water Tank Aerator

I’d say within 24 hours they’d start dying off because the oxygen would become depleted in the water so aerators are a must-have if you’re planning on keeping minnows.

Aerators are devices used to introduce air into water. They are used in a variety of applications, including wastewater treatment, aquaculture, and aquariums. There are many different types of aerators, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

  • One type of aerator is the diffuser, which uses a diffuser plate to introduce air into the water. Diffusers are typically used in wastewater treatment applications. They are typically mounted on a platform above the water surface and can be used to aerate large areas of water.
  • Another type of aerator is the jet aerator. Jet aerators use a jet of air to introduce air into the water. Jet aerators are typically used in aquaculture applications. They are typically mounted on a platform above the water surface and can be used to aerate large areas of water.
  • The third type of aerator is the submerged aerator. Submerged aerators introduce air into the water through a diffuser plate that is submerged in the water. Submerged aerators are typically used in aquariums. They are typically small and can be used to aerate small areas of water.


How to Keep Minnows Alive: Filters

Filters are devices that are used to remove impurities from liquids and gases. They are used in a variety of industries, including water treatment, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and petrol. There are a variety of different types of filters, each designed for a specific purpose.

The most common type of filter is the activated carbon filter, which is used to remove impurities from water.

I’d like to mention filters aren’t necessary if you’re only going to be keeping minnows for maybe a week or two, but if you don’t get a filter, you’re going to have to do frequent water changes, maybe every 1 or 2 days, so that can be quite a pain, but uh, these filters, aerators, and even tanks are sometimes not even that expensive, like they might be 50 bucks.

How to Keep Minnows Alive: Feeding

I feed these minnows with some tetramine, and I usually feed them in the morning and the evening. I give them about a couple of pinches of this stuff, and I just kind of watch to see when the food starts to hit the bottom, and then I know they’re getting filled up and they’re not so interested in the food anymore.

How to Keep Minnows Alive: Plant

I’d like to mention that some of these plants I have in here now are artificial plants, but try to put something in there like plants or rocks if the minnows can kind of hide in it because it makes them feel more protective, keeps them less scared, and increases their chances of surviving.

Tank Plants
Tank Plants

I hope you learned something here today about keeping minnows for fishing and good luck fishing


In conclusion, mastering the art of keeping minnows alive for extended periods at home opens up a world of possibilities for anglers and aquarists. By creating a suitable tank environment, maintaining the right water conditions, and ensuring proper nutrition, you can provide your minnows with a thriving habitat and prolong their lifespan. Whether you rely on live minnows for fishing or simply enjoy their presence in your aquarium, practicing these techniques will help you have a consistent supply of healthy and active minnows.

Not only does this knowledge offer convenience and cost savings by eliminating the need to rely on bait shops or catch minnows every time you go fishing, but it also allows you to observe and appreciate these tiny fish in all their natural glory. Taking the time to care for your minnows demonstrates a commitment to responsible fishkeeping and enables you to reap the benefits of a thriving aquatic environment.

Remember to continually monitor the welfare of your minnows, adjusting their tank conditions as needed, and providing regular care to ensure their well-being. Seek advice from experienced hobbyists, educate yourself about the specific needs of your minnow species, and stay vigilant in maintaining optimal water quality and nutrition.