Minnows eat aquatic insects such as dragonfly nymphs, small crustaceans, algae, decaying organisms and the eggs and larvae of other fish. Some even eat their own larvae and eggs. Many kinds of minnows are small and are often used as bait to catch larger fish.
Minnows live in lakes, ponds and streams. In some species of minnows, the male builds the nest during the spawning season. Some minnows simply release eggs in the water, where they are fertilized by the male. Because different species of minnows tend to spawn in the same place and at the same time, much hybridization occurs within the species.