Human Uses

1. Biotoxicity Testing:
Fathead minnows are used in biotoxicity tests. Ten newborns are placed into containers with the client's water. After a week, any survivors are killed and weighed. The number of survivors and their weight is directly proportional to the toxicity of the water.

2. Bait:
Fathead minnows and sometimes rosy red minnows are sold as bait to hook onto lines to catch larger fish. Many anglers only learn about small fish as bait.

3. "Feeder fish":
Rosy red minnows are quickly competing with goldfish as the "feeder fish." Since they breed so well, rosy reds are sold in large quantities for $1 a dozen to be fed to other animals. Piranha, oscars, other large piscivorus and omnivorous fish, aquatic turtles, water snakes, semi-aquatic lizards, and other animals all may eat these fish. Since they stay smaller than goldfish, they are better suited to feeding smaller animals. Unfortunately, due to their poor care, "feeder fish" are usually infested with parasites, bacteria, and diseases.

 4. Aquarium fish:
A few aquarists keep rosy red and/or fathead minnows in aquariums to admire them for themselves.

5. Pond fish:
Fathead minnows are being more frequently added to ponds. They are added as dither fish to make larger fish (koi and goldfish) less cautious and more active. They are added to provide a constant food supply for larger fish (orfe, game fish), turtles, and predators (the raccoon will take a tasty rosy red any day). They are added to make the pond seem more alive. They are added to provide movement during the winter when larger fish are resting (rosy reds like to cruise under the ice). They are added when the pond is simply too small (tub gardens, etc.) for larger goldfish or koi.

Along with these uses are 11 reasons fathead minnows are GREAT!

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