White Cloud Mountain Minnow Fish (Tanichthys Albonubes)

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Last updated on July 25th, 2022 at 11:55 am

There are many species of fish that can be found in the aquarium hobby, but the White Cloud Mountain Minnow has become one of the most popular species over the last several years. This comes as no surprise because of its bright colors and unique shape, which makes it quite attractive in an aquarium setting. It can be fairly hardy once acclimated to your tank’s water chemistry, making it one of the best choices for newer aquarists who want something that will thrive with only minimal effort on their part.

The genus Cirrhinus, also known as the barbs, has hundreds of species of fish, which can be found throughout Europe and Asia, the white cloud mountain minnow (Cirrhinus molitorella) is one such species that originates from China and has been introduced in to many countries all over the world, including Australia, where it has become an invasive species that some consider a pest.

With its gold, black, and silver coloration, the white cloud mountain minnow makes an attractive addition to any home aquarium and can be quite peaceful with other fish in its tank if they are all introduced at once.

It’s very important to make sure you choose the right fish for your specific tank, especially when it comes to ornamental fish like the White Cloud Mountain Minnow. This aquatic creature requires cold water and special habitat in order to survive long-term and can grow to be quite large if provided with the proper living conditions.

Follow this guide and learn all about the White Cloud Mountain Minnow!

Origin and descriptions

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The White Cloud Mountain minnow originates from China. They were initially kept as ornamental fish, but have become a popular aquarium pet over time. They are good for beginning aquarists because they are peaceful and undemanding, which means they make a great addition to a community tank.

However, due to their small size (about two inches long), white cloud mountain minnows should not be housed with larger fish that may see them as food. They adapt well to most water conditions and can thrive in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Overall, white cloud mountain minnows are relatively easy to care for once acclimated to an aquarium environment.

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Minnow is a common name applied to many different species of small freshwater minnow-type fish belonging either wholly or in part to several families of true fishes. The word minnow itself comes from Middle English, meaning small fry of any kind. Most commonly, however, it refers to chiefly three genera of such fish within Cyprinidae: Phoxinus, Chrosomus, and Rhodeus.

In addition, though by no means exclusively, minnows may also be classified as (true) carps. They are typically greenish in color and display a weak capacity for schooling.

Species profile

White Cloud Mountain minnows are small, freshwater fish native to China. Their scientific name is Tanichthys albonubes and they belong to the family Cyprinidae. They have a short life span, usually living for about 5 years. They tend to grow up to seven centimeters long and are one of several species of labyrinth fish, which means they breathe air from their swim bladder instead of extracting oxygen from the water through their gills like other freshwater species do.

You can keep them in aquariums or ponds as pets or food for larger animals such as turtles or snakes. Although it isn’t common, white cloud mountain minnows will eat each other if kept in captivity without adequate food available.


Most commonly found in limestone caves, near fast-moving streams and creeks. White cloud mountain minnows can also be found in ponds and lakes (with clear, cold water) that are fed by a source of moving water. In smaller streams, they may congregate in large schools to take advantage of better feeding opportunities.

In very cold weather (below 20 degrees Fahrenheit), white clouds move into deeper waters where they cluster together for warmth. This fish is not picky about where it lives as long as there is plenty of food nearby.

White cloud mountain minnow size

These fish species are so small and only grow to a maximum size of 1.5 inches (4 cm) in length.

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White cloud mountain minnow tank size

Due to their small size, the minimum recommended tank size is 10 to 12 gallons.

Tank Requirements

The White Cloud Mountain minnow can be kept in tanks no smaller than 10 gallons. The fish is highly active, making a small tank unsuitable. It will swim throughout an aquarium, causing fin and tail damage to slower tank mates. Additionally, it is a shoaling fish and must be kept in groups of five or more individuals at all times. Thus, it’s essential that you invest in a large enough tank for your group of white cloud mountain minnows.

Finally, because they are native to swift-flowing streams and rivers, these fish prefer high water flow from a power filter or other device. This not only mimics their natural environment but also maximizes oxygen levels for optimal health. They like strong aeration.

White Clouds should always be kept over a coarse substrate as they enjoy rooting around in these areas with their snouts while searching for food.

White cloud mountain minnow tank mates

They are peaceful fish, so they shouldn’t be kept with aggressive or territorial fish. While they’re certainly compatible with other types of dwarf minnows, white clouds should not be kept with larger predatory fish. If you have a small tank and want to keep multiple white clouds, make sure to give them as much space as possible. Some good tank mates are harlequin rasboras, cherry barbs, and betta fish (if you buy just one).

Generally speaking, smaller colorful species tend to do well together while avoiding gaudy finned species like goldfish.

White cloud minnow breeding

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White cloud mountain minnows are very easy to breed, and in fact, it’s hard not to! I’ve always had great luck with letting them do their own thing. Typically they lay eggs on aquatic plants and then take care of them until they hatch. You can purchase live black worms for your fish to eat after their fry has hatched.

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However, I have always been able to get baby white clouds from pet stores as well. There is no guarantee that you will be successful breeding these fish, but if you just keep some male/female pairs together in a 30 gallon tank and have a pH around 7.0-7.2 (they like softer water) and make sure that they aren’t starved while trying to breed, they should be fine.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

White cloud mountain minnows are actually very peaceful, but they will stand their ground and protect themselves if they need to. It’s a good idea to introduce them into an aquarium with similarly-sized tank mates. In addition, it’s a good idea to provide plenty of hiding places for your fish—you can place plants in the aquarium or invest in other types of decor. They may not be aggressive, but these fish do like their privacy.

White cloud fish care

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White Cloud mountain minnows are medium-sized fish that are relatively easy to care for and can live in small community tanks. These fish are bottom dwellers with bioluminescent organs on their bellies, which they use to attract mates at night. They thrive on small crustaceans and mollusks, as well as plant matter such as algae wafers.

White cloud mountain minnows should be kept in temperatures between 72–79 degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer slightly acidic water, 6.5 to 7 on a 1-14 scale. Temperatures can range from 64 to 84, but for breeding and best health, it’s good to keep it at 70 degrees or higher.

What they eat

White cloud mountain minnows are omnivores, eating both plants and animals. It is important to provide them with a varied diet in captivity, making sure that they receive sufficient plant matter. They should be fed commercial flake food at least once per day, along with frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms as an occasional treat. Be careful not to overfeed your fish, however, as it can lead to serious health problems later on.

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White Cloud mountain minnows live for about 5 years, however, it is possible for them to live longer.

Parasites and diseases

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Be sure to do your research and find out what parasites may be present in your fish. Some diseases, such as ich and external parasitic disease (EPD), can affect both fish and humans. The latter is especially important because humans can contract a parasite by eating raw or undercooked seafood that has been infected with an EPD-causing parasite—so it’s always wise to cook all seafood thoroughly before consuming it.

Plus, if you have any concerns about parasites, spend extra time doing research on these nasty little creatures! This will help you better understand how they operate so you can recognize signs of their presence. Most importantly: When in doubt, throw it out! Better safe than sorry when dealing with blood-sucking leeches

Do they make good pets?

Yes. White cloud mountain minnows are great fish to keep in an aquarium or bowl. They are non-aggressive and peaceful, making them a good fit for most other fish. Their mild temperaments make them excellent choices for beginning aquarists. While they generally do not require special feeding requirements, their bright colors will stand out even more if you give them live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms occasionally.