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. In fact, our CEO Cory McElroy used to run the “White Cloud Race” to see who could breed the most minnows in outdoor ponds each 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 how can it help you?
Tanichthys albonubes gets its common name from White Cloud Mountain in southern China where it was first discovered. 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. This species is threatened in the wild so all white clouds sold in stores have been bred in captivity.
Regular or wild type white cloud mountain minnow
What types of white cloud fish are there? There are three main varieties: regular, long-finned, and gold. 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 extremely hardy and can live in a wide range of pH from 6.5-8.5 and temperatures from 65-77degF (18-25degC). Although they can become stressed when the water is too hot, they can live happily in a fish tank without a heater. We’ve even allowed them to be overwintered outside, in Washington state.
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 very affordable, so you won’t have to buy a lot.
Are white cloud mountain minnows aggressive? Not usually. You will see them “sparring”, which is normal breeding behavior, where the males display their finnage in an attempt to attract the females. Increasing the size of the school and adding aquarium plants to block line of sight can help minimize any squabbling.
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. 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 are White Cloud Mountain Minnows able to eat?
WCMMs will eat any size fish food that fits in their mouths. 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. You can spoil them with live microworms or baby brine shrimp if you really want. 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. Although it can be difficult to seduce white clouds, they are generally more colorful than the females. 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. You can feed the baby brine shrimp to your newborn fry by feeding them small foods such as Sera Micron or infusoria. Our recommended fish retailers list will help you find the best places to buy white cloud mountain minnows.
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