The White Cloud Mountain Minnow: Insightful Fish Profile

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White Cloud Mountain Minnow, a gem of tranquility in the freshwater aquarium hobby. Renowned for their hardiness and adaptability, they are ideal for both novice and experienced aquarists alike!

White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)
White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)


White Cloud Mountain Minnows also referred to as Tanichthys albonubes, are extremely attractive and easy-to-care-for freshwater fish that have obtained the hearts of aquarium enthusiasts worldwide. Due to their vivid hues, and adaptability, they make a great addition to any community tank. 

In this complete guide, we’ll go over the various aspects of keeping and caring for White Cloud Mountain Minnows, providing invaluable insights for hobbyists.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows are distinguished in any aquarium environment by virtue of their striking features. These small-bodied fish typically grow to around 1.5 inches in length, rendering them suitable for small to medium-sized tanks. 

Their elongated bodies are decked with vibrant colors, ranging from shimmering silver to shades of orange, red, and even gold.

A distinctive black lateral line runs along their sides that makes them look more appealing. Moreover, their fins are often edged with delicate hues, further enhancing their beauty.

OriginWhite Cloud Mountain China
Common nameTanichthys albonubes
SizeTypically grows up to 1.5 inches
LifespanApproximately 3-5 years in captivity
TemperamentPeaceful and sociable, suitable for community tanks
Body ShapeElongated and slender with a streamlined profile
Tank sizeMinimum tank size of 10 gallons for a small group
Water ParametersTemperature: 64-72°F (18-22°C), pH: 6.0-8.0, Hardness: Soft to medium
DietOmnivorous; consumes flake, pellet, live, and frozen foods


Native to the mountain streams of Guangdong province in China, White Cloud Mountain Minnows derive their name from the White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Mountain) where they were initially spotted in the 1930s and did not gain significant aquarium community recognition until the 1940s when they were introduced to the United States. 

Initially, these fish were on the brink of extinction in their natural habitat due to habitat degradation and pollution. However, concerted conservation efforts and successful captive breeding programs have helped preserve and popularize them in the aquarium trade.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Colors and Markings:

White Cloud Mountain Minnows
White Cloud Mountain Minnows

One of the most fascinating aspects of White Cloud Mountain Minnows is their radiant coloration. While the wild type exhibits a silvery body with hints of red on the fins, selective breeding has produced numerous color morphs, including albino, and long-fin varieties. 

Some species exhibit a unique variation known as the golden white cloud distinguished primarily by golden coloration. These fish show iridescent colors that shimmer when illuminated by aquarium lights, creating a visually stunning spectacle.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows are peaceful and sociable by nature, making them excellent tankmates for a wide range of community fish.

They coexist harmoniously with other peaceful species such as Tetras, Rasboras, Corydoras catfish, and small freshwater shrimp. 

The compatibility of the white cloud mountain tank mates extends to peaceful bottom-dwellers like Corydoras catfish.

However, it’s essential to avoid housing them with larger or more aggressive fish that may intimidate or prey on them. Additionally, keep an eye out for fin-nipping tankmates, as White Clouds have delicate fins.

Care For White Cloud Mountain Minnows:

50 White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a 75 Gallon
50 White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a 75 Gallon – Image by TheJerseyBreeze

Providing optimal care for White Cloud Mountain Minnows is relatively straightforward, making them an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here are some key care requirements for the white cloud mountain minnow care:

Water Parameters:

 Ensure water remains consistently at a temperature ranging from 64 ‘F to 72 ‘F(18-22°C) and a pH level ranging from 6.0 to 8.0. Consistent water adjustments are essential for maintaining optimal water quality.

Tank Setup: 

Create a naturalistic environment mimicking their native habitat with plenty of plants (live or artificial), driftwood, and rocks. A well-filtered aquarium with gentle water flow is ideal, along with ample swimming space and hiding spots.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows do not have specific lighting requirements, but providing a natural day-night cycle with moderate lighting is sufficient.

Tank Size:

 While White Clouds are small fish, they thrive in schools and require adequate space to swim freely. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of these minnows.

Diet and Feeding:

White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a planted tank
White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a planted tank

Cloud Minnows are omnivores with a robust appetite. They quickly accept a varied diet consisting of prime-quality flake, pellet, and frozen foods.

Offer them a mix of protein-rich foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia, along with plants like spirulina flakes and blanched vegetables. 

Providing a diverse range of foods helps mimic their natural diet and promotes optimal health, coloration, and white cloud minnow size.

Feed cloud minnows in small amounts several times throughout the day, making sure they finish eating food within a few minutes to avoid overfeeding and water quality issues.

Gender Differences:

It’s easy to tell the difference between male and female White Cloud Mountain Minnows, particularly during the breeding season.

Male White Clouds tend to exhibit brighter colors and develop elongated fins, particularly the dorsal and anal fins, which they use to display to females during courtship. 

Females are generally plumper-bodied, especially when carrying eggs, and may display a less intense coloration compared to males.


Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnows is an entertaining and rewarding experience for aquarists. To encourage spawning, provide them with a well-planted breeding tank containing dense vegetation plants like java moss or spawning mops. 

Maintain water parameters within their preferred range and increase the temperature slightly to mimic the onset of the rainy season, which initiates spawning behavior.

During courtship, males will display vibrant colors and perform elaborate mating dances to attract females.

Once fertilized, the white cloud mountain minnow eggs are adhesive and will typically adhere to the plants or other surfaces in the tank. Remove the adult fish after spawning to prevent them from consuming the eggs. 

The white cloud mountain minnow eggs undergo hatching during a period of 48 to 72 hours and the newly hatched fry acquire the ability to swim freely after a few days.

Feed the fry infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food until they are large enough to consume baby brine shrimp or crushed flakes.

Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a community aquarium
Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnows in a community aquarium


White Cloud Mountain Minnows are undeniably charming and versatile fish that bring life and color to any aquarium.

With their peaceful nature, ease of care, and captivating beauty, they are a perfect choice for hobbyists of all levels. 

By understanding their characteristics, habitat requirements, and breeding behaviors, aquarists can provide these delightful fish with a thriving environment where they can flourish and thrive for years to come.

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Dr. Dilber Hussain

Dr. Dilber Hussain is a qualified veterinarian, who studied veterinary medicine at the Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam. After completing the degree, he worked as a veterinary surgeon in different vet hospitals and clinics in Pakistan. Dr Hussain also works for Animal Welfare and Animal Rights in Pakistan. As an expert and animal rights activist, he often has to be at courts of justice to support lawsuits regarding animal welfare. Besides this, he is a speaker on various national and international platforms that are working for aquatic species protection. Dr Hussain also gives lectures at the University of animal sciences, Lahore, and publishes articles about pet health, aquaculture, nutrition, diseases, and animal welfare issues.

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