White Cloud Mountain Minnow: Appearance, Lifespan, Size, Diet, Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a small fish to add to your aquarium. This freshwater fish, also known as Tanichthys albonubes, is not only beautiful but also easy to care for.

This blog post will explore the appearance, lifespan, size, diet, care, tank mates, breeding, and more of the White Cloud Mountain Minnow. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to keep these delightful fish happy and healthy.

Benefits of keeping White Cloud Mountain Minnows

This species was originally discovered on White Cloud Mountain in China, hence its name. For several decades, it was believed that this creature had vanished from the wild forever. However, against all odds, some native populations have survived in distant regions far away from their original home.

These fish are known for their peaceful temperament and can coexist peacefully with other small and peaceful fish species. They are also social fish and thrive when kept in schools, which adds to the beauty and activity of the aquarium.

With their dart-shaped bodies, iridescent silver scales, and colorful fins, White Cloud Mountain Minnows add a pop of color and vibrancy to any aquarium. They are small in size, making them suitable for smaller tanks.

Overall, keeping White Cloud Mountain Minnows can provide a visually pleasing and low-maintenance aquatic experience that hobbyists of all levels can enjoy.

Appearance and Physical Characteristics


White Cloud Mountain Minnows have a streamlined body shape, with the upper part of the body wider than the tail-dart-shaped bodies. The snout of these fish is soft and pointed, giving them a distinct appearance.

Males are usually more slender and have more vivid coloration compared to females.

The dorsal, ventral, and anal fins of White Cloud Mountain Minnows are triangular in shape, with hints of red and white on the edges. Some parts of the fins are transparent, creating an interesting visual effect.

The body of this fish shines with a beautiful bronze-brown color, and it is adorned with a fluorescent line stretching from its eye to its tail. This stripe effortlessly follows the fish’s lateral line curve, often glistening with a mesmerizing pink or white shimmer. At the tail’s end is a dark spot with a vibrant red hue. The belly of the fish is even whiter than its body.

Color variations can occur among the species, including gold, blue, green, black, and more. Different color variants have been developed by breeders, such as the metallic blue-black Meteor Minnow or the gold-colored Golden Minnow. The Vietnamese Minnow has a black body with iridescent blue-green scales and fins, making it another popular color variation.

These color variations add visual interest and diversity to aquariums housing White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

Lifespan and Size

The average lifespan of White Cloud Mountain Minnows

The average lifespan of a White Cloud Mountain Minnow is generally between five to seven years. However, the lifespan of these fish heavily depends on the living conditions they are kept in.

Factors that impact their lifespan

Various factors can influence the lifespan of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. These include:

  • Water temperature: White Cloud Mountain Minnows prefer cooler water temperatures. Exposure to higher temperatures can lead to stress and reduced lifespan.
  • Water quality: Poor water quality can negatively impact the health of the fish and shorten their lifespan. Regular water changes and maintaining proper filtration are essential.
  • Diet: A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for White Cloud Mountain Minnows’ overall health and longevity. Offering a variety of foods, including live and frozen options, helps ensure they receive all necessary nutrients.
  • Tank size and setup: These fish should be kept in adequately sized tanks with appropriate water conditions and suitable tank mates. Overcrowding and improper tank conditions can result in stress and shorter lifespans.

By paying attention to these factors and providing optimal care, White Cloud Mountain Minnows can thrive and live for several years in captivity.


The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a petite little fish, reaching a maximum length of just one and a half inches when fully grown. These tiny creatures are perfectly suited for smaller tank sizes and can easily thrive in them.

Diet and Feeding

In the wild, their diet primarily consists of algae, insect larvae, mosquitoes, and brine shrimp. These small fish are opportunistic omnivores and eat anything they can find, including microscopic prey and small invertebrates.

In order to replicate their natural feeding habits in the aquarium, it is important to provide them with a diverse diet. This can include live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and high-quality flake or pellet foods rich in protein and vegetables.

It is important to provide a varied diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Alternate between different types of foods to ensure they receive a wide range of nutrients.

Remember to feed them small amounts multiple times daily, as they have small stomachs and can easily become overstuffed. Additionally, monitor their feeding behavior and adjust their diet to maintain their health.

Care Requirements

Water temperature and parameters

Water temperature and parameters are crucial factors to consider when caring for White Cloud Mountain Minnows. These fish originate from cool mountain streams, so they require specific water conditions to thrive. Here are the recommended water parameters for White Cloud Mountain Minnows:

  • Temperature: White Cloud Mountain Minnows prefer water temperatures between 57°F and 72°F, with an ideal temperature around 64°F.
  • pH Level: The pH level should be maintained between 6.0 and 8.5, with a range of 6.8 to 7.5 being optimal.
  • Water Hardness: White Cloud Mountain Minnows thrive in low-hardness water, so aim for a hardness level of around 10 to 15 KH.

It is essential to regularly test the water using a high-quality water test kit to ensure these parameters are met. Maintaining the proper water conditions will help keep the fish healthy and prevent disease.

Suitable tank size and setup

When setting up the tank for White Cloud Mountain Minnows, it is important to provide them with an appropriate environment that meets their needs. Here are some considerations for the tank size and setup:

  • Tank size: The minimum tank size for White Cloud Mountain Minnows is around 10 to 12 gallons. This size provides enough space for a small group of minnows to swim and thrive.
  • Tank decorations: White Cloud Mountain Minnows enjoy having hiding spaces and areas to explore. It is recommended to include larger rocks and pebbles in the tank to create hiding spots. Adding plants like duckweed or pondweed can also provide minnows with a natural and aesthetically pleasing environment. Line the bottom with gravel or with dark-colored sand.
  • Light: This species is not particularly fussy about lighting, but using softer lighting will make the fish’s colors stand out more.

By providing an appropriate tank size and setup, you can create a comfortable and ideal habitat for your White Cloud Mountain Minnows to thrive and display their vibrant colors.

Tank Mates

Selecting fish that thrive in cooler temperatures is important to create a harmonious environment. However, you must also consider the size of the fish. The White Cloud Mountain Minnows are petite and can easily become a tasty treat for larger fish. Therefore, you must choose small, peace-loving species to avoid potential conflicts.

These are some of the fish that are good tank mates: Bloodfin Tetra, Zebra Danios, Guppies, Endler’s Livebearer, Odessa Barbs, Mollies, and Corydoras.

Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnows

Conditions for successful breeding

Successful breeding of White Cloud Mountain Minnows requires certain conditions to be met:

  • Proper water temperature: Maintain a water temperature between 64 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 22 degrees Celsius) for optimal breeding conditions.
  • Separate breeding tank: Setting up a separate breeding tank will increase the chances of the eggs or fry surviving, as adult fish won’t eat them.
  • Presence of both males and females: You should have a good mix of males and females in the breeding tank to encourage breeding behavior.
  • Adequate food: Feed your fish high-protein foods like tubifex and brine shrimp three times daily to promote breeding.
  • Suitable spawning environment: Add moss plants or a spawning mop to the breeding tank where the female can scatter her eggs. Remove the parents after spawning to protect the eggs and fry.

By providing the right conditions, you can increase the likelihood of successful breeding and enjoy the sight of new fry in your aquarium.

Caring for fry and raising juveniles

Newborn fry requires tiny foods like infusoria and powdered food. You can gradually introduce baby brine shrimp and other small live or frozen foods as they grow. The little one will become independent and mature in just six short months.

Common Health Issues


Prevalent diseases and infections

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a hardy fish, but like any other fish, it is prone to certain diseases and infections. These are some of the prevalent diseases and infections that can affect White Cloud Mountain Minnows:

  • Ich: Ich, also known as white spot disease, is a common parasitic infection that appears as white spots on the fish’s body and fins.
  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that causes the fins to become frayed and discolored.
  • Streptococcal Infections: Streptococcal infections are bacterial infections that cause the fish to exhibit erratic swimming behavior and sink to the bottom of the tank. They can be prevented by maintaining good water quality and hygiene.

It’s important to monitor the health of your fish regularly and take any necessary steps to prevent and treat diseases and infections.

Tips for maintaining good water quality

Maintaining good water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. You must make regular water changes also monitor water parameters. Install a high-quality filtration system in your aquarium to remove waste, excess food, and harmful substances. As well is important to avoid overfeeding:

By following these tips, you can create and maintain a clean and healthy environment for your White Cloud Mountain Minnows, promoting their overall well-being and longevity.

Key takeaways

Overall, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a low-maintenance and peaceful fish ideal for beginners. Here are the key takeaways:

  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows have a lifespan of about five to seven years if provided with proper care and tank conditions.
  • These fish have a unique dart-shaped body with a shimmering bronze color and a prominent horizontal stripe.
  • They prefer cooler water temperatures ranging from 57°F to 72°F, so keeping the tank within this temperature range is important.
  • They are small fish, reaching a maximum size of about 1.5 inches, making them suitable for smaller tank sizes.
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows are omnivores and can be fed various foods, including live insects, worms, and high-quality flake or pellet fish food.
  • They are peaceful and social fish that do best when kept in groups of at least six individuals.
  • Suitable tank mates include other small and peaceful fish that can tolerate cooler water temperatures.
  • Breeding White Cloud Mountain Minnows is possible in a separate breeding tank, and the fry should be provided with appropriate food to ensure their survival and growth.