White Cloud Mountain Minnow

13/04/2021 Off By Andy Ptyushkin

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) is a hardy species of freshwater fish and coldwater fish often kept in an aquarium. The species is a member of the carp family (family Cyprinidae) order Cypriniformes native to China. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is practically extinct in its native habitat, due to pollution and tourism. It was believed to be extinct for over 20 years in 1980, but an apparently native population of this fish was discovered on Hainan Island, well away from the White Cloud Mountain.

The species was discovered at White Cloud Mountain in the city of Guǎngzhōu at the province of Guǎngdōng around the 1930s.

This species grows to approximately 4 cm (roughly 1.5 in) in overall length and is silver-green in colour with a bright red caudal and dorsal fin. Several varieties have been developed through the fish’s domestication, one with bright light edges to the dorsal and anal fins and one with red edges to those fins. The species can also be found in a golden cultivar and a rosy pink variety that displays red on all of the fins, and all colour morphs can have long finnage. Sexual dimorphism is slight but noticeable. The male generally has brighter colours and a slimmer body, and the male’s dorsal and anal fins are wide and fan-shaped, whereas those of the female are triangular and wedge-shaped. Females also present a whiter, distended abdomen.

White Cloud Mountains

White Cloud Mountains

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are considered good fish for beginners, as they are extremely forgiving with regard to aquarium temperature and water quality. Standard flake or pellet food is accepted readily. They are often sold as ideal «starter fish» for cycling a new aquarium, however, this process can be stressful or even fatal, and it is advisable to introduce the fish to an already cycled tank. They are shoaling fish and feel most comfortable in a group of at least five. An individual of these minnows kept alone may become timid and lose its bright colour. White Clouds are generally peaceful and happy to coexist with other fish, as long as they are not put in a tank with larger fish that may eat them. The minnows are usually top or middle-level swimmers and rarely swim close to the bottom of a tank. A typical lifespan can last for five years or longer.

Although it is a small fish, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow is sometimes used as a pond fish, especially in ponds intended for frogs to breed. Adult White Cloud Mountain Minnows will sometimes eat frog eggs as the tadpoles begin to move about or wait for them to hatch. Once tadpoles are a couple of days old they are out of danger. White Cloud Mountain Minnows will effectively control the breeding of mosquitoes. They will breed readily in ponds as long as there are no other fish. While they can endure temperatures as low as 5 °C (41 °F), they should have good heating systems in the pond to prevent the water from freezing over in climates where this occurs regularly, making them more ideal for Subtropical climates (similar to their native habitat).