White Cloud Mountain Minnow – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

As an aquarist, one of the best ways to add more colors to your tank is with tropical fishes. This is because most of them have fascinating colors. Hence, White cloud mountain minnow is a great choice for you to try out.

Aside from the beautiful colors, White cloud mountain minnows have special attributes and characteristics that mean that you are going to have a great time caring for them. Fish specialists will tell you that this is a great choice because of how easy they are to rear even from the fry stage.

Because of how beautiful most tropical fishes are, they tend to be quite difficult to maintain than species of the temperate regions. However, White cloud mountain minnows are unlike other tropical fishes in this aspect.


White Cloud Mountain Minnow Origin

White cloud mountain minnow is of the newest fish species as they were only discovered in 1932. The scientific name is Tanichthys Albonubes and it is from the family of fishes usually referred to as Cyprinidae. The fish originates from China.

It is also an adaptable fish, and a school of White cloud mountain minnow can successfully live anywhere when they are above the age of 5.  Because of how colorful they are, they tend to be in high demand. Hence, you can purchase them easily from fish stores at a modest price.

Other names they are being referred to are the cardinalfish and canton minnow.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Appearance

White cloud mountains minnows are one of the tiniest fish species that you can have in your fish tank with just a body size of 1.5 inches or thereabout. This is why a school of them would be needed to make an obvious difference in your aquarium.

They are very miniature with their body taking the shape of a dart. They are thin and have their fleck and fins pointing to their tail region.

With the name White cloud mountain minnows, one would assume that they would be predominantly white in color, but this is not the case. Their body color ranges from silver to green, pink, black, red, white, etc.

The fins take up the red and white colors while they have green and silver colors on their scales. Their lateral side is also strapped with pink and black.

When it comes to colors, White cloud mountains are groups into 3 types namely the Golden Cloud, the Meteor Minnows and Hong Kong.

The Golden cloud usually does not have red colors on their mouth. They are covered predominantly by the cream color and have white stripes on the lateral sides.

The Meteor Minnows take up the normal body colors with the only exception being the yellow and very deep hade or light colors.

Finally, the Hong Kong varieties are the only ones that do not have white colors on their fins. They mostly have a faint gold color and blue stripes on their lateral side.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Habitat

When in their natural habitat, white cloud mountain minnows live in clear water bodies that are a little bit acidic. The water flow is also low and moderate at worst.

Being an adaptable species of fish also means they can live in various temperature ranges. The most ideal for them is between the range of 65°F to 73°F. However, their special adaptability characteristics mean that they can deal with temperatures that are as low as 40°F.

Their habitats in the wild usually have underground shelters made from water plants rocks, algae, etc. These serve as a home for them, especially during procreation.

Setting Up White Cloud Mountain Minnow

While rearing white cloud mountain minnows, try to imitate their habitat in the wild as much as possible. This will make them more comfortable and in optimum condition to carry out their activities.

As much as possible, keep the temperature between 65°F to 73°F. The temperature could be slightly above or below this range, but make sure it does not exceed 80°F.

Another thing you should pay due attention to is water acidity. Keep the water slightly acidic or a little above neutral. The specific pH range for this is 6.5 to 7.2.

Keeping the water flow steady is also something that you should aim at while setting up white cloud mountain minnows tanks. A way to go about this is by making use of under gravel filters. This will help in the production of little currents that keep the water flow moderate just like when they are in their natural habitats.

Providing these fishes with underground debris to hide is also important to them. To this effect, add pebbles, rocks, and gravel to the tank. This could be a form of decoration but it also helps the fishes with adequate shelter to carry out some of their life activities.

Make sure the tank is protected and well cycled before you put them in it. This will keep them protected against ammonia and dangerous nitrogen that can kill them. Also, white cloud mountain minnows could be very inquisitive species of fish such that they want to get to know what is outside their tank. With this, they may try to jump out of it and since they are good jumpers, make sure you have the tank well covered.

Another thing you should look to add to the tank is water plants. Some of the pants they are used to in the wild include Horworts and Rotalas.

You can also choose to add some floating plants to the tank, but this should be minimal since the fishes are of small sizes and there is the possibility the plant keeping them away from view. This is not a good sight for an aquarium.

Feeding White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White cloud mountain minnows tend to be carnivores or predators. Their very small size means they can only predate on small invertebrates that live in the water. Hence most of their food when in their natural habitat includes small insects, shrimps, larvae, etc. Also, they tend to enjoy green algae a lot more than other foods.

Rearing them in tanks means that it will be quite difficult to provide them with all of these foods, the best way is to find a balance between their live foods and normal fish feeds like pellets and flakes. So when possible, you can introduce little insects to the tanks for them to feed on. For more feed diversity, feed them with micro worms and shrimps.

They do not feed on water plants, they only feed on the algae on these plants. Although there may not be much algae buildup as compared to their natural habitat.

The nutrient content of the pellet and flakes food you give to them is very important for them to remain in a healthy state. Make sure it is rich in protein and crush the pellet so that it will be able to swallow and digest easily.

Vegetables are also an important nutrient to white cloud mountain minnows. You can feed them with fruits and veggies. However, this should be in minimal quantities as they do not consume a lot of them.

White cloud mountain minnows are one fish species that enjoys eating a lot, so you have to satisfy them as much as possible. Ideally, they should be fed about 2 to 3 times a day.

There are many ways to come up with their diets. However, make sure that krill is one of the food mixtures your feed them. obviously the full size.

Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Breeding in white cloud mountain minnows is relatively easy compared to other tropical fishes. They have a breeding period that lasts 8 months (March-October).

Make sure that when they are kept in a tank, there is an equal number or both male and female species. This way they can be able to pair evenly and mate many times during the year.

The only time white cloud mountain minnows are not in a calm state is during their spawning period. This is especially peculiar to the males, they try to dominate themselves to win over the females and this makes them aggressive to one another. However, females are responsible for selecting their mating partners.

You call also choose to breed them separately. In this case, you will have to get more tanks and provide their normal water condition in terms of temperature and PH.

To identify fishes that are ready to breed from a school, look out for the colors in males, and for shapes in females. The male’s body color will be more fascinating and flashy, while the female, on the other hand, will have an increased body shape.

Also, feeding is very important during the breeding process. Provide them with live worms and shrimps more than any other diet in this period. Make sure the feeding is also done thrice daily.

The plants underneath the tank are where the female will lay the eggs. White cloud mountain minnows are poor with parental care, so remove them from the tank after the eggs have been laid. Failure to do so can lead to egg cannibalism.

The eggs will hatch in 48 hours, at this period, only feed them with infusoria feeds. As they get older and bigger you may begin to introduce worms and shrimps to their diet.

Reproduction Conditions

The best way you can achieve a successful reproduction with White cloud mountain minnows is my meeting certain conditions.

Get a new tank of about 10 liters and put both male and female in it. One male is able to handle two female fishes. The next thing is placing the aquarium in a room that is dark enough to meet reproduction requirements.

White cloud mountain minnows are one of the most prolific fish species and are capable of laying more than 100 eggs in a month. After hatching, the fishes are fast-growing. However, not all of them will attain maturity.

Advantages of Domesticating White cloud mountain minnows

One of the easiest things about domesticating white cloud mountain minnows is that it is a cold-water fish. So you would not be dealing with heaters and the added expense of not only purchasing one but having one on the side just in case they can’t deal with temperatures.

This fish does perfectly well in room temperature or even colder water. In the summer you can make use of your AC unit to keep them comfortable.

The second reason why they’re not a difficult fish to keep is their hardiness. These fishes are very hardy. In fact, you can actually cycle a tank with them and probably not lose one as long as you’re using prime and a lot of water changers. You can do a double dose of prime to help detoxifies the tank.

Next. you don’t really need to worry too much about aggression with white cloud mountain minnows. They are a very preserved school of fishes, and they don’t mess with plants. These fish are just perfect for the beginners

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Behavior and Tank Mates

White cloud mountain minnows are comfortable living by themselves in schools of ten. They are really calm and easy-going fishes, hence should not be kept with aggressive species such as cichlids.

They can easily cohabitate with some of the fishes they are used to in the wild and other small size species with gentle attributes. Examples include Paradise fish, dwarf gourami, cherry barbs, etc.


Even as a first-time fish keeper, White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a great choice to start with. They are easy to breed and maintain. They are also very gentle and patient fishes. They will feed on most food you provide them and even at that, they do not fight for foods. In cohabitation, they will readily feed on leftovers from other fishes.

They are also tolerable species, unlike other tropical fishes where you have to pay detailed attention to almost all requirements. Breeding them can also earn you a lot of money.

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