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. We might recommend the white cloud mountain miner (WCMM) to you if you visit our retail store. 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 takes its common name from White Cloud Mountain, south China, where it first became known. This 1.5-inch (4 cm) minnow has a darker body with a white horizontal stripe and reddish fins. It eats plankton and larvae in slow-moving streams that are surrounded by 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. You may also find the Vietnamese white clouds or Vietnamese cardinalminnow (Tanichthys microgae) in your local fish store. This is a completely different species that looks almost identical 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 may get stressed if the water gets too warm but can readily live in a fish 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 mountain minnows aggressive or peaceful? No. 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 in a 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 are happy to eat almost any fish food that is small enough to fit in their mouths. We feed them flakes, nano pellets, and Easy Fry and Small Fish Food. They also love tiny frozen foods such as daphnias, 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 an aquarium planted with
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. 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. A DIY spawning mop made of yarn can be used to help them lay their eggs. The eggs can then be removed to go in separate grow-out tanks. You can feed the baby brine shrimp to your newborn fry by feeding them small foods such as Sera Micron or infusoria. To get your own school of white cloud mountain minnows, check out our list of recommended fish retailers.
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