Care Guide for White Cloud Mountain Minnows – Underrated Beginner Fish
When beginners start their first aquarium, many of them choose popular fish like fancy guppies and neon tetras that can sometimes come with unexpected health issues. Our retail store might be able to recommend the white cloud-mountain minnow (WCMM), which is a great beginner fish. We are proud to sell the “poorman’s neon Tetra”, which is a popular species. They are easy to care for and live long enough to breed without much effort. Our CEO Cory McElroy ran the “White Cloud Race” in order to determine who could breed the largest number of minnows outdoors each year. Whether you’ve been keeping fish for one month or 50 years, find out why everyone loves this underrated fish.
What is a White Cloud Mountain Minnow?
Tanichthys albonubes is named after White Cloud Mountain, southern China, where it was first found. The minnow measures 1.5 inches (4 cm) in length and has a darker body. It has reddish fins and a horizontal white stripe. In nature, it feeds on plankton and insect larvae in slow-moving streams filled with thick aquatic plant growth. The species is endangered in the wild, so the white clouds sold in stores are all bred in captivity.
Regular or wild type white cloud-mount minnow
What types of white cloud fish are there? There are three main varieties: regular, long-finned, and gold. Your fish store may also sell the Vietnamese white cloud or Vietnamese cardinal minnow (Tanichthys micagemmae), which is a different species but looks similar to the WCMM.
How to Set up an Aquarium for White Cloud Minnows
White clouds are very resilient and can survive in temperatures ranging from 65-77degF (18-25C) and pH ranges of 6.5 to 8.5. They can be stressed by too hot water, but they will survive in a tank with no heater. In Washington state, we have even overwintered them outside in ponds covered with 2 inches (5 cm) of ice.
How many white cloud minnows should I get? As a schooling fish, they feel most comfortable if you get a group of at least six and keep them in a 10-gallon tank or larger. White clouds are quite affordable so it won’t cost much to get a large group.
Are white clouds mountain minnows aggressive in nature? Not often. If you see them “sparring”, this is normal breeding behavior. The males are trying to attract females by showing off their finnage. The best way to reduce squabbling is to increase the school size or add aquarium plants to obscure line of sight.
Gold-white cloud minnows found in a community aquarium
What kind of fish can you pair with white cloud minnows with? They are good friends with other peaceful community fish who are similar in size and live under similar conditions. You might pair them with smaller killifish, shrimp, or danios that prefer cooler water. See our top 10 list of coldwater fish for more ideas.
What do White Cloud Mountain Minnows Eat?
WCMMs are happy to eat almost any fish food that is small enough to fit in their mouths. We give them flakes, nano-pellets, Easy Fry and Small fish food. They also enjoy small frozen foods, such as daphnia, cyclops, and baby brine shrimp. If you really want to spoil them, give them live micro worms and baby brine shrimp. It is important to provide a wide variety of food so that they can get all the nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives.
Long fin white cloud mountain minnow in a planted aquarium
How to Breed White Cloud Mountain Minnows
These minnows are very easy to breed as long as you have at least one male and one female. It can be difficult to get white clouds to mate, but they are usually more colorful than their female counterparts. They will continue to spawn from spring through fall if you provide them with clean water and good food. They are not likely to predate on their children, but it is possible to increase their survival rate by giving them plenty of cover and dense vegetation, such as water sprite, water wisteria, and water sprite. Also, you can make a DIY spawning mop from yarn that they can lay their eggs on. Once the eggs are removed, place them in a separate grow-out container. After they reach adulthood, feed them tiny foods such as Sera Micron and infusoria. Then you can graduate them to baby brine shrimp. Our recommended fish retailers list will help you find the best places to buy white cloud mountain minnows.
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