Care Guide For White Cloud Mountain Minnows – Underrated Beginner Fish

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, and how can it help you?

Tanichthys albonubes gets its common name from White Cloud Mountain in southern China where it was first discovered. This 1.5-inch (4 cm) minnow has a darker body with a white horizontal stripe and reddish fins. 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.

Wild or regular white cloud mountain minnows

What are the different types of white cloud fish? The most common variations include regular type, gold, and long fin. 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 can live in any pH level between 6.5 and 8.5, and temperatures of 65 to 77 degrees F (18-25 Celsius). Although they can become stressed when the water is too hot, they can live happily in a fish tank without a 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. Fortunately, white clouds are pretty inexpensive, so buying a huge group of them won’t break the bank.

Are white mountain minnows aggressive or peaceful? No. You will see them “sparring”, which is normal breeding behavior, where the males display their finnage in an attempt 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.

Gold-white cloud minnows found in a community aquarium

What fish can you put with white cloud minnows? They get along with peaceful community fish that are similarly sized and live in similar conditions. Consider pairing them with other species that enjoy cooler waters, such as shrimp, danios, and smaller killifish. 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 give them flakes, nano-pellets, Easy Fry and Small fish food. They love small frozen foods like daphnia and cyclops as well as baby brine shrimp. You can spoil them with live microworms or baby brine shrimp if you really want. 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 an aquarium planted with

How to Breed White Cloud Mountain Minnows

This minnow breeds easily as long you have at least one male, and one female. Although it can be difficult to seduce white clouds, they are generally more colorful than the females. All you have to do is provide clean water and good food, and they will continually spawn all throughout the spring to fall breeding season. Although the adults don’t predate on their babies, you can increase their survival rates by providing them with plenty of cover and dense plants like water sprite or water wisteria. 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. Raise the newborn fry with tiny foods like infusoria and Sera Micron, and then graduate them to baby brine shrimp when they are big enough. To get your own school of white cloud mountain minnows, check out our list of recommended fish retailers.


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