Smallest of the pond fish family. These pond minnows are colorful and very entertaining as they dart around in search for food and retreating from predators. Pond minnows are helpful for the pond, and not just live bait. There are quite a few species of pond minnows. To name a few; Fat head, Shiner, Gold shiner, and Stickleback. When reproducing some species have sticky eggs that may place on pond plants or in other fish nest. While others build their own nest. As for monitoring the nest, once again it is different with the species. Some stay to guard the nest while other lay the eggs and leave.
In appearance, the pond minnows looks like an ordinary fish, just much smaller. Some colors may be silvery gray with green on the back, a number of dark vertical bars across the sides. In spring and early summer, the breast of the male becomes reddish and there are patches of emerald green on the sides, truly a beautiful little fish. No matter what the species they all have their own unique colors and shapes, even solid colors that can be used in aquariums.
Pond minnows seem to be extraordinarily intelligent, for fish. They seem to know when an intruder “means well” and, when the intruder does not mean well. Some species have an alert system, that if an intruder should capture and break the skin, emits a smell to alarm the others in the school of the danger. As an example when feeding Koi the Pond minnows are in the area but not afraid of the larger Koi. When they see the Koi they just move out of the way, but don’t dart off as if to save their life.
Put a net in after them and they will disappear, they can travel fast when they need to get out of harms way. Pond minnows are useful in a pond, other than their entertaining qualities. They have a hunger for the larvae of mosquitoes along with other unwanted bug larvae, that always make an appearance in an outdoor pond. The pond minnows benefit from this live food and you benefit by the absence of it, otherwise a swarm of mature insects would be flying around.
Pond minnows are a natural prey of many fresh water fish, but with their keen sense and speed most survive. Remember that all pond fish are more or less meat eaters, preying on small fry and eggs of all kinds , even their own.
These little guys have three roles in the pond. One is a source of food for the larger pond fish and the second to help eliminate the bugs before they hatch. Third is for our own entertainment.Larger ponds that attack water fowl may get pond minnows from the feet of these birds. It is always a good feeling to walk around and see the life even the pond minnows.