Max Size: 9cm

Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis)

Red shiners are attractive cold-water fish that will appeal to those wanting something entirely different from goldfish. You could mix these with other fish such as Danios and white cloud mountain minnows of a similar size and temperament and enjoy the same fast-flowing conditions as well as peaceful bottom-dwelling fish such as loaches and also Gobies. However, it would be best if you did not mix them with goldfish as they will be out-competed for food, and these fish have been known to nip fins.

Red Shiners are an active, peaceful shoaling species that you should keep in groups of six or more individuals. The aquarium should be well established, well filtered and spacious and make sure you provide the fish with plenty of hiding places such as rocks, bogwood, or robust planting. Decent current from additional powerheads is also required.

The Red Shiner has a deep, comprehensive, and laterally compressed body. Their bodies are silvery-green to white. When breeding, males have iridescent pinkish-blue sides, a red crown, and red tips on all their fins except for the dorsal fin. Their head is distinct and compressed with tiny eyes and a terminal to slightly sub-terminal mouth. Males also have a sharply pointed nose that protrudes their mouth. The anal fin has 8 to 10 rays, their dorsal fin has eight rays, and their pelvic fins have eight rays; the caudal peduncle is broad, and the caudal fin is concave.


Red Shiner
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCyprinella lutrensis
Other NamesRed-horse Minnow, Rainbow Dace
OriginsMexico, USA
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespanup to 3 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
50 - 72℉
10 - 22.2℃


In the home aquarium, the Red Shiner will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is pretty straightforward to differentiate female from male Red Shiners. Females are larger, fuller-bodied and duller than males. In contrast, males are smaller and brighter and, when in breeding condition, will display a much more intensely coloured appearance, with apparent white tubercles all over their heads.

Other Minnows of interest

Eurasian Minnow(Phoxinus phoxinus)
Rainbow Shiner(Notropis chrosomus)
Vietnamese Cardinal Minnow(Tanichthys micagemmae)
White Cloud Mountain Minnow(Tanichthys Albonubes)
Date Added: 16/04/2021 14:09:11 - Updated: 19/01/2022 14:00:20