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. If you come to our retail store, we might steer you towards one of our favorite beginner fish – the white cloud mountain minnow (WCMM). 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. Cory McElroy, our CEO, used to organize the “White Cloud Race” to find out who could produce the most minnows from outdoor ponds every year. This fish is loved by everyone, regardless of whether you keep fish for one month or fifty years.
What is a White Cloud Mountain Minnow and what does it do?
Tanichthys albonubes gets its common name from White Cloud Mountain in southern China where it was first discovered. The minnow is 1.5 inches (4 cm in) long and has a darkened body with a horizontal stripe of white and reddish-colored fins. In nature, the minnow eats plankton as well as insect larvae in slow-moving streams containing thick aquatic plant growth. It is considered endangered in the wild. Therefore, the white clouds that are sold in stores are all captive-bred.
Regular or wild type white cloud-mount minnow
What kinds of white cloud fish do you have? Regular type, long fin, and gold are the most popular types. The Vietnamese white cloud (or Vietnamese cardinal minnow) may be available at your fish shop. Although it is a different species, it looks very similar to the WCMM.
How to Set up an Aquarium for White Cloud Minnows
White clouds are extremely hardy and can live in a wide range of pH from 6.5-8.5 and temperatures from 65-77degF (18-25degC). 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 big should my white cloud minnows be? Schooling fish feel more comfortable with a group of six or more and a tank holding at least 10 gallons. White clouds are very affordable, so you won’t have to buy a lot.
Are white clouds mountain minnows aggressive in nature? Not often. If you see them “sparring” with each other, this is normal breeding behavior where the males show off their finnage and hope to attract the females. The best way to reduce squabbling is to increase the school size or add aquarium plants to obscure line of sight.
Goldwhite cloud minnows in community tank
What fish are you able to pair with white clouds minnows? These peaceful community fish live in the same conditions and have similar sizes. They can be paired with other species that like cooler waters such as shrimp, killifish and danios. For more ideas, see our top 10 list for coldwater fish.
What do White Cloud Mountain Minnows Eat?
WCMMs love to eat small amounts of fish food. We feed them flakes, nano pellets, and Easy Fry and Small Fish Food. They love small frozen foods like daphnia and cyclops as well as baby brine shrimp. If you really want to spoil them, give them live micro worms and baby brine shrimp. The main thing is to offer a variety of foods so they get all the essential nutrients needed to live long and healthy lives.
Long fin White Cloud Mountain Minnow in a Planted Aquarium
How to Breed White Cloud Mountain Minnows
This minnow breeds easily as long you have at least one male, and one female. Sexing white clouds can be a bit tricky, but generally, males are more colorful and females are slightly bigger. You just need to provide good food and clean water so they can continue to spawn throughout the spring and fall breeding seasons. 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. You can also make a DIY spawning mop out of yarn for them to lay their eggs on and then remove the eggs to put in a separate grow-out tank. 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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