Meta-analysis of literature data on mineral and trace element requirements of fish was performed with the major objectives of identifying appropriate response criteria and the factors affecting the minimal dietary inclusion levels. The primary data set included 25 studies on available P, 20 on Ca, 24 on Mg, 5 on K, 37 for Zn, 23 for Se, 19 for Mn, 16 for Fe and 13 for Cu. Broken line regression analysis with linear plateau model (P, Ca, Mg and K) or two-linear line model (Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn and Se) was used for determining the minimal dietary inclusion levels. Vertebral mineral concentration (P, Ca, Zn and Mn), whole-body mineral levels (Mg, K and Fe) and hepatic enzyme activity (Se) were found to be the most appropriate criteria for the respective minerals analysed. In general, weight gain as the criterion resulted in a lower estimate (by 18–42%) than those obtained using whole-body or vertebral mineral concentrations as response criteria. The analysis also showed that different fish species do not show large variations in the mineral and trace element concentrations in the whole body and tissues. Factors such as species group and digestive physiology, type of experimental diet used and dietary interactions, type of mineral source and mineral concentration of water were found to affect the minimal dietary inclusion levels of certain minerals. Besides the meta-analysis, research needs in mineral nutrition of fish with reference to growing changes in dietary strategies and rearing systems are discussed.