The sheepshead minnow is commonly kept as an aquarium fish. It is easy to breed in captivity and is used as a forage fish in mariculture. The sheepshead minnow is an omnivore, eating both animal and vegetable matter. Its diet mainly consists of detritus, microalgae, crustacean larvae and other small invertebrates. It is aggressive and will attack fish larger than itself, slashing its prey with its sharp teeth and devouring it when it is subdued. Breeding takes place in shallow water between April and September, the males competing fiercely for the females. A few eggs are spawned at a time, and these are fertilized by the males which grasp the females with their fins. The eggs clump together and sink to the seabed, connected by sticky threads. They hatch after five or six days. During the winter, this fish burrows into the soft substrate and remains dormant.