White Cloud Mountain Minnow Tank Size | Species Profile

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an impressive little fish that comes from the waters of China. Its scales display a stunning array of colors.

The tropical fish are famous because of their beautiful appearance, however, there are many species of temperate that are equally stunning.

The white cloud mountain minnows can be described as tiny colorful fish that were once referred to as “the working man’s neon” since they were similar to neon tetras’ colors but weren’t as costly.

For more than half a half-century over a half-century, the white cloud mountain minnow was the only species of the newly-defined genus. In 2001 two other species that were found in Vietnam were identified as Tanichthys micagemmae in addition to Tanichthys thacbaensis.

Of the two species, only Tanichthys micagemmae (Vietnamese white cloud) is sold in the trade of aquariums.

Minnows are a great choice for beginners. Minnows are great for beginners. They are simple to take care of. They are also not that messy and are great for community tanks.

The school of fish could make a wonderful addition to the nano tank or a freshwater biotope.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows make fantastic alternatives in place of higher-maintenance exotic fish.

Learn more about white cloud mountain minnow tank size, feeding, species profile, and tips on how to look after these stunning mountain dwellers.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Facts & Overview

BreedingEgg scatterers; easy to breed
Temperature60 F (15C)
Hardness5.0 to 19 dGH
pH6.0 to 8.0
Care Level:Easy
Colour:Many based on the type of plant
Lifespan:5-7 years
Size:1.5 inches

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow (also known asTanichthys albonubes) belongs to the Cyprinidae family.

They’re a relatively new species that was discovered in China in 1932.

The geographical roots of this fish are in China as well as Vietnam has experienced significant changes, and has had a negative impact on its habitat.

This has caused a deleterious effect on the habitat and the species is disappearing.

In 1980, the species was not discovered in the wild for over 20 years, leading to the idea that it was extinct.

A small number of native populations have been discovered in remote locations in the coastal province of Guangdong and Hainan Island in China, and also within the Quang Ninh province in Vietnam.

The species is uncommon in the wild and is considered to be an endangered species in China. The efforts are in progress to restore captive-bred populations in the wild, but at present the all-white cloud mountain minnows available in an aquarium market are captive-bred.

In the aquarium world, it is also known in the aquarium hobby as Cardinal Fish or Canton Minnow. Sometimes, they’re called Danios.

They are able to live between 5 to 7 years and are extremely popular, particularly for those who are first-time keepers. They are available at almost any aquarium shop or aquarium retailer and even major chain stores.

Expect to pay $4 to $6 for a school of 5 White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

Typical Behaviour

White Clouds are peaceful in the absence of the mating season. When they compete for mates, males are aggressive and territorial. They tend to be extremely cooperative and be able to swim, feed and play within coordinated shoals.

They prefer to be in groups that consist of 5 or 6 individuals. The bigger the school has, the more they will be.

They don’t bother or fight against their tank mates. They are fantastic community fish. They’re not shy, as long as they feel secure and at ease in their tank.

They will show the bright colors in the middle level within your tank.

Despite their small dimensions, they will be happy if they are in a big enough group. They’re not very inclined to hide, though they do enjoy rocks and plants as an extra place to hide.

The life span is that White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The average lifespan of white cloud mountain minnow is generally 5 to 7 years old, greatly based on the living conditions they’re in.

While these fishes that come from China are robust and able to adapt to changes in conditions in the aquarium. They still have an equal amount of water parameters that aquarists need to observe.

Although they are tropical origin fish, they require cooler temperatures in order to develop and flourish in good health. When you subject them to warmer temperatures than the ideal and put them at risk of getting sick and even death.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows are tiny, with a maximum size of 1.5 inches.

They’re shaped like darts with pointed snouts and slim streamlined bodies. Their dorsal as well as ventral fins are almost triangular and point towards the rear of their bodies.

The typical White Cloud Mountain Minnow variety is characterized by green and silver scales with iridescent black and pink lines along lateral lines. They sport red-tipped snouts and caudal fins and black dots at the bottom of their tails. Dorsal and ventral fins are red with white tips.

There are three more commonly used kinds:

  • Hong Kong: This colour form has pale gold scales with a blue band on the lateral lines. The fins do not have white tips.
  • Golden Cloud: This colour form is creamy with a white band on its lateral lines. The fins are exactly the same as the normal White Cloud form, but they do not have the red dot that is on the snout.
  • Meteor Minnows: These are specially bred for their long and trailing fins. The colours of their bodies are similar to the traditional form, but the fins can be yellow or darker colours of red.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Wild, fish are found in these streams in Guangzhou’s Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain. The streams are clean, mildly acidic and have a low to moderate flow.

They are extremely hardy fish that can tolerate an array of temperatures and changes in water quality. The ideal temperature for them is between 64° and 72° F, however, they can withstand conditions as low as 41°.

These mountain streams are very rocky substratum. In areas with a slow flow, large boulders and cobbles may mix with an extremely thin gravel layer. They reside in areas that are brimming with algae and aquatic plants. They are able to shelter and reproduce in mosses, underwater weeds as well as floating plant species.

Tank Setup

The maintenance of the best tank setup and environment isn’t as difficult as it appears. The only thing you need to be sure of is to regulate the natural tank conditions that mimic those of the streams that flow through Guangzhou’s Baiyun (White Cloud) Mountain.

Your aquarium must be cycled completely prior to introducing any new fish. Incorrect cycling could cause your fish to have harmful accumulations of nitrogen and ammonia.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are well-known for being attracted to the world outside their tanks. So, your aquarium must be protected with a hood to prevent them from leaping out.

Water Parameters for White Cloud Mountain Minnows

The water conditions that are natural to the ponds, as well as streams, have a slight acidity as well as a low to moderate flow. In these streams is crystal clear, and in a few instances, it is possible to observe the water’s surface and even through the pond.

Water Temperature

The tank’s temperature should be maintained between 64° and 72° F. Variations that are above or below this range are acceptable however the temperature must never exceed 80°.

pH Level

The ideal pH of water could range between 6.0 to 8.0 however you must be aiming at 6.8-7.5.

Water hardness

The ideal water hardness for cloud mountain minnows is 10-15 KH.

Filter Type

For optimal results, a smaller internal filter or an undergravel filter will work for the fish. Filters made of undergravel are able to create tiny currents which mimic the flow of their natural streams.

The primary goal of this filtering system is to hinder the rapid expansion and spreading of streptococcus bacteria that can be found in water. This can harm the other fish in the tank, and ultimately prove fatal too.


It is recommended to use the sand-like gravel substrate, with large pebbles. The larger boulders and cobbles are a must as part of the decor. They provide additional protection and refuge for your fish when they are tempted to get away.

Underwater plants are essential on every White Cloud tank. The best plant varieties comprise Dwarf Rotala, Water Sprite, and Hornwort.

Floating plants such as Duckweed and Pondweed aid in creating an organic look to your aquarium. Make sure they don’t overshadow your fish or any other plants.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Tank Size

A White Cloud Mountain Minnow should be kept in a 10-gallon aquarium. This will be sufficient enough for 5 Cloud Minnows.

You’ll require 2 gallons of water for each White Cloud in your tank.

This is a great option for smaller aquariums at home. However, if you have a white cloud minnow in the tank, ensure you have several in the aquarium, instead of keeping them aloof and on their own.

If you are planning to set up an area for a community tank or even keep an entire school of white cloud mountain minnows, you’ll need to think about buying a larger tank rather than sticking with a small 5-gallon and 10-gallon tanks.

What number of White Cloud Mountain Minnows live in 20 litre tanks?

It is possible to keep about 2-3 cloud mountain minnows per 20 liters or the 5.5-gallon tank.

Tank Mates

Mountain minnows with white clouds need to be kept in large schools with a minimum of at least a half dozen or more. If they are kept in a single tank they will fade in color and disappear for the majority of the time.

They are calm and go well with other tranquil fish. Avoid tankmates with larger sizes, because they are more likely to consume white cloud mountain minnows. This is also true for any species that is aggressive.

The fish is from China’s Pearl River, which is the most bio-diverse river in China.

They share their area together with Gold Barbs, Weather Loaches and a variety of Gourami called The Paradise Fish.

They are wild river-mates who make the top tank mates.

They are able to live alongside Rosy or Cherry Barbs and also be Gold Barbs. Gold Barb. They can be kept in conjunction in a Dojo Dojo or Horseface Loaches.

Paradise Fish and other Gouramis are also good options. The dwarf Gourami is the best choice because of its tranquil nature and its suitability for tanks for community use. Zebra Danios along with Corydoras Catfish and Galaxy Rasboras would fit perfectly in the White Cloud tank. The school of Harlequin Rasboras will also make an ideal addition to the.

They will not annoy or prey on invertebrates. Therefore, you’ll be able to include some snails or shrimp.

If you’re using those of the Meteor Minnow variety, you must avoid pairing the fish with Barb. Barbs are famous for nipping and biting on their fins in long-finned species of fish.

Avoid the most aggressive of Loaches or Barbs like those that have a strong personality, like the Tiger Barb or the Clown Loach. Cichlids are also a good choice due to their pushy personalities.

Certain pet stores sell these fish for sale as tank mates for Goldfish. However, this isn’t recommended since Goldfish get too big to be kept in a safe manner.

Usually, they are used as companions to goldfish due to both species preferring cooler temperatures in the water.

But, goldfish can and do often devour fish that are the size of white cloud mountain minnows. Therefore, combining the two species into the same aquarium isn’t a great idea.

Keeping White Cloud Mountain Minnow Together

The fish should be kept in groups that are at a minimum of 6. They are more comfortable in larger classes that exceed a maximum of 10.


The White Clouds are micro-predators which means that they feed on tiny invertebrates within the column of water.

Some of the most nutritious kinds of food items to include in your diet are:

  • Insect larvae
  • Zooplankton
  • Brine shrimp
  • Green algae
  • Water fleas
  • Tubifex
  • Microworms
  • Green Algae

Zooplankton colonies in nature are not able to develop as quickly in an aquarium, as they do in nature. They are microscopic prey that your fish want to be introduced into the tank.

The ideal diet is an equal proportion of fresh prey, live prey, and flake or pellet food.

The brine shrimp and water fleas will mimic the natural zooplankton communities that fish might discover on their own in nature. They also consume tubifex and other micro worms to get protein.

They won’t consume your plants, but they will aid in the removal of any algae that has accumulated in your tank.

The ground flake or pellet food you feed them should contain protein as well as vegetables. If you have tanks with a small number of algae, alginate tablets will help ensure that they are getting plenty of greens. They can be fed fresh vegetables and fruits for treats on occasion. They might nibble some fruits and vegetables but they do not comprise a substantial portion of the food they consume.

These small fish have large appetites and need to be fed 2 or 3 times per day.

Diseases and Care

Like all fish in captivity, even these small white cloud mountain fishes are susceptible to certain illnesses.

It is a hardy species that rarely gets sick. But, it is vulnerable to streptococcal infections.

Streptococcus is an infection of bacterial origin that can develop in dirty and unmaintained tanks. Although it isn’t very prevalent, it can be seen in tanks that haven’t been maintained and cleaned for an extended period of time.

Once a fish is infected the disease can rapidly spread to other fish, and could lead to death.

If you notice any of your mountain minnows reaching the surface, floating or floating in a tumbling fashion in the tank, it’s an indication of a disease.

Fish that are infected by streptococcus could be unable to hold themselves on the surface of the ocean. They swim in a very unpredictable manner either in a spinning tumble pattern.

Any fish that has suspected strep should be removed immediately from the tank then taken to a vet who is specialized in aquarium fish to administer the necessary antibiotics.

Cleansing the tank and filter at least every month will help prevent strep and other bacterial infections, as well as fish parasites. The ideal is that your water needs to be changed at least every two weeks.

Check your fish for irregular or non-coordinated swimming. This could mean that there is too much ammonia or Nitrite built up in the tank.


White Clouds are quite easy to reproduce. They enjoy a long breeding season, which runs from March through October.

In the school with a balanced mix of females and males, they’ll form a pair and spawn multiple times during the year.

When mating, males at the school are known to be aggressive in an attempt to control one another. It is only the one instance where your fish will behave like bullies. If a female decides to select a mate, they will form a pair.

If you wish to breed them in isolation it is possible to do this in the form of a 7-gallon tank filled with clusters of aquatic plants and moss. The temperature should range from 64° and 72° F.

Prepare your pair by giving it 3 daily meals of live invertebrates. These include tubifex worms as well as brine shrimp.

Males who are ready to mate will be brighter and flashier colors. Females will get bigger and more round.

Once the eggs are ready egg is laid, she is going to scatter her eggs on the mosses and plants. When the eggs have been placed, parents need to remove the tanks to avoid egg cannibalism. The eggs hatch within 2 days.

The newly born larvae need to be fed infusoria-based food following the loss of the yolk sacs. Once they are a bit larger, they may be fed micro-worms as well as larval brine shrimp.

Are White Cloud Mountain Minnows Good For Your Tank?

If you’re a new keeper and are looking for a new fish, it is recommended to keep the White Cloud Mountain Minnow as the perfect fish, to begin with.

They are simple to take care of, easy to breed, and thrive in a tank that is a community. If you love aquascaping this little guy will make great additions and will not eat your plants.

These fish possess all the character and color of tropical fish, however, they can withstand a wider range of environmental factors.

Their toughness makes them an ideal option for beginners over other higher-maintenance nano-fish.

If you’re not like you’re ready for tropical fish now, but want something that is just as gorgeous and beautiful, this White Cloud Mountain Minnow might be the perfect option you’re seeking.

Do you want to keep some White Clouds within your personal nano tank? Tell us in the comment section in the section below…


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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