What is a minnow?

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A goldfish is normally a freshwater fish and one of the largest classes of fish in the world, with over 290 species. Most notably, this species contains the carp family, including goldfish and small fish that are commonly used as bait. They are usually small in size, although some selected species are incredibly large. Most species eat plants with an average life span of three years.

Although a goldfish is generally classified as a freshwater fish, certain species are considered a saltwater variety. This variation in habitat is what makes the minnow species one of the largest in the world. Although most consider these types of fish as bait, they are also commonly found in home aquariums or decorative ponds. Many types of carp, also from the fish family, are part of the cuisine of all Europe and Asia.

The little fish are usually small, measuring on average 15 cm in length. The rarer species, such as the Colorado Pikeminnow, can reach up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length and weigh nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms). These larger types of fish can live for up to 50 years, well beyond the three-year average for smaller fish.

The vast majority of minnows live in large schools and spawn between early spring and summer. The male goldfish usually changes color, usually red or orange, to attract a mate. Females can lay up to two million eggs, which is responsible for the huge schools of minnows found in large bodies of water. The way eggs are laid varies by species. Male fish usually build a nest of rocks for the female to lay eggs. In some cases, a goldfish will dig a hole at the bottom of the body of water for the eggs.

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In the hierarchy of different fish species, most minnows are at the bottom. They normally eat plants, most commonly algae, and then convert the plant product into protein. In turn, they become a source of food for many medium and large fish, being one of the perfect baits for sport fishing. A larger fish, however, will often eat insects and even other smaller fish.

Different species of these fish can be found all over the world, from Japanese carp ponds to a goldfish aquarium at your local pet store. Bait shops often sell gold-glittering flatheads to avid fishermen, and European and Asian restaurants often have carp on the menu. The adaptability to different habitats and the large number of eggs that the goldfish can lay at once make it, arguably, the largest and most stable type of fish in the world.

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