White Cloud Mountain Minnow

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Species group:

Other common names: White Cloud; Meteor Minnow; The Poor Man's Neon; Chinese Danio; White Cloud Mountain Fish; White Cloud Minnow; Canton Danio; Cardinal Fish; Working Man's Neon

Scientific name: Tanichthys albonubes

The basics:
The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a coldwater hardy member of the carp family which is native to clear, slow moving and heavily vegetated streams in several areas of China and Viet Nam. The wild population is believed to be very small however, though it is bred in large numbers for the aquarium hobby. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is very popular in home aquariums, and is considered a great beginner fish because it is very tolerant of different water temperatures and water quality. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow are fast-swimming fish that feel most comfortable in a shoal. They also breed better in larger groups. An individual Minnow kept in the tank may become timid and lose its bright color. They are extremely hardy fish that can withstand a wide range of temperature variations and are usually top or middle-level swimmers. These fish are very active and love being in the midst of lots of plants.

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is torpedo-shaped and comes in brown, green, yellow, red, neon blue, and black colors. It may have a dark brown base color or a silvery grey or silvery green backdrop with a bright crimson red tail and fin edges and a horizontal stripe which appears white or pale yellow in bright light. This horizontal stripe appears almost luminous if the fish are kept on a dark substrate. The caudal and dorsal fins have a shape similar to that of a goldfish. The caudal and dorsal fins have a creamy yellowish-beige color that fades to the translucent half farthest away from the body. The other fins are completely translucent. A rare long-finned or veil-tail variety of the White Cloud Mountain Minnow called the Meteor Minnow was traced in the 1950s. Meteor Minnows are also known as Red Rocket Minnows. Another variety of White Cloud Mountain Minnow is called ‘Gold Clouds’ and made its appearance in the 1990s. These fish are gold to light orange in color with red fins and red eyes. These fish are also known as Golden or Albino Cloud Mountain Minnows. Breeding between the Meteor Minnows and the Gold Clouds has recently resulted in another attractive fish, the ‘Golden Meteor Minnow’. Prominent colors are brown, silver, white, green, yellow, red, cream, gold, light orange, neon blue, and black.

1-2 inches

They are peaceful and are suitable tank mates for a community tank as long as they are not put in a tank with larger fish that may eat them. The males indulge in a lot of displaying and may fight a little with each other.

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow can be housed in a 10-gallon tank. A minimum of 5 gallons would be sufficient if it is filled with a lot of plants since the plants would help to increase the biofiltration capacity. They can be kept in a 16-inch tank or in small desktop tanks. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow prefers a lot of plants among which it loves to hide or sleep suspended. The White Cloud is a slightly acidic, soft water fish that can adjust to temperature variations of about 10 degrees cooler or hotter for short periods of time. It can survive water temperatures down to 41°F. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an undemanding fish in terms of water requirements and can survive in de-chlorinated tap water. They appreciate a good filter outflow for them to play in. A dark fine gravel substrate helps to showcase these fish to the best advantage. They are ideal fish for keeping in an unheated aquarium in cold climates.

65.00-75.00 °F


35.710-62.500 mg/L


room temperature aquariums, schooling, beginner fish, shimmering silvery body, hardy, Subtle beauty


warmer water, water quality problems


great dither fish, cool water schooling, densely planted tank

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