White Cloud Mountain Minnow – Ultimate Care Guide of this Schooling Fish

White Cloud Mountain Minnow In A Fish Aquarium
By Garrison Hickles Updated

They may have a long and hard-hitting name, but their personality is quite the opposite. We are talking about the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, a timid freshwater fish that has colorful metallic scales and a reddish tail.

If you are a new fish enthusiast, then Minnow is a great beginner-friendly pet fish for your residential and commercial fish tank. This fish is a popular small freshwater fish for a nano tank. Moreover, it is easy to care and doesn’t make the tank messy. Going through its care guide will help you keep it in your aquarium.   

Quick Details on White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Minnows are hardy species, and if you have a small space, then it is appropriate to keep it in your small tank. The different splashy colors of White Mountain Minnow brightens your fish tank. Before going deep into the care guide, have a look at the table given below, where you will get the quick details about the features and nature of the fish.

Scientific Name Tanichthys albonubes
Origin China
Life-Span 5-7 years
Colors White-Red, Lemon Yellow and Bright-Red
Temperament Peaceful and Social
Size                1.5” (3.81 cm)
Diet Omnivore
Family Cyprinidae
Compatibility With Other Peaceful Fish
Tank Size 10-12 gallons
Care Level Easy


You may get confused with the appearance of White Cloud Mountain Minnow because it is quite similar to Neon Tetra. However, the fins and tails of White Cloud Mountain Minnows are both colored whereas Neon Tetras have colored tails only. Other names of this fish are Canton Minnow and Cardinal Fish. This fish can live from 5-7 years, and it is also the best beginner-friendly schooling fish which is perfect for keeping in a community aquarium. You have to pay $4-$6 to get a school of White Cloud Mountain Minnows.   

Origin of White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Native to China, White Cloud Mountain Minnows were first found in 1980 in the Pearl River of China and Quang Ninh province of Vietnam. The breeding of this fish are also done in rice fields. They can also be found in the the flowing streams of mountains.  

Appearance of White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The length of White Cloud Mountain Minnow can reach up to 1.5” (3.81 cm). The males are more colorful and slenderer than females. The mouth of this fish slants upward and its lower jaw is slightly protruding.

Minnows have no barbels, and their dorsal fins are on the mid-line of the body of this fish. The ventral fins of this fish are triangular and pointed towards its back-portion of the body. The scales of this fish are iridescent pink with lateral lines and black stripes. There is a black fluorescent line that runs from the top to the downward portion of the body of this fish. Its color is shining bronze-brown with dark spots surrounded with red patches. The belly of this fish is whiter than its body.

Types of White Cloud Mountain Minnows

The different kinds of Minnows are similar in size but their body colors and shape of the scales differ from each other. Mostly, you will get only three varieties of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Let’s have a look at their descriptions:

  • Golden Cloud Minnow: This White Cloud Mountain Minnow is not white. It is a cream-colored fish, which has lateral lines on its body. The fins of this fish have a white cloud form, and they don’t have red dots on the snout.
  • Hong Kong Minnow: This fish has pale gold scales and a blue band on its body. You will also find a blue band and lateral lines flowing throughout its body. There are no white tops on its fins.
  • Meteor Minnow: This fish is famous for its trailing fins. The body color of this fish is off-white. The fins of this fish are yellowish with deep shades of red.

Temperament of White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are peaceful breeds, but they become territorial and aggressive during mating. These fish are cooperative, and they prefer swimming with a school of Minnows and other peaceful small fish breeds.

Minnows never harass others or compete with their tankmates. This nature makes them a rare breed for community tanks. To escape from predators, these fish hide in caves or behind aquatic plants. Minnows can swim at the top and the middle of the fish tank. They are rarely seen at the bottom of the tank.         

Suitable Tankmates for White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Minnow lives in the middle part of Pearl River which is the bio-diverse river in China. It is a schooling fish, so it likes to dwell with a shoal of Minnows and other peaceful fish. Some of the best tankmates of Minnows are:

Unsuitable Tankmates

Avoid keeping aggressive fish, predators, and fin nippers with Minnows because these breeds often harm, nip or bully White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Some of the most unsuitable tankmates of Minnows are:

Compatibility of White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Keep at least six Minnows together because it is a schooling fish, and it likes dwelling with a shoal. If it is kept with ten Minnows, then it feels safer but you need to arrange a large tank for keeping ten Minnows.

Dietary Requirements for White Cloud Mountain Minnow

According to expert veterinary nutritionists, you should not overfeed this small species. So, acquire information about the ultimate diet of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. You can feed this fish 2-3 times a day. You can also feed frozen foods, tablets, and dried pellets to this fish. Some of the favorite foods of this micro-predator are:

  • Zooplankton
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Algae
  • Micro-Worms
  • Tubifex
  • Alginate Tablets
  • Mosquito Larvae
  • Daphnia

Habitat and Tank Requirements for White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud is a hardy and beginner-friendly fish which is adaptable to different kinds of water parameter. It is a cold-water fish that likes living in an eco-friendly environment. There are more factors that you should follow for setting a tank for this fish.

Tank Size

Arrange a 10-gallon fish tank for White Cloud Mountain Minnow. You can keep up to five Cloud Minnows in a 10-gallon tank. You will require about 2-gallon water for each Minnow fish.


Keep rocky substrate, cobbles, gravels, and boulders in the tank of Mountain Minnows. Also, keep various green plants in the aquarium of this fish because it loves a green ambiance. These breeds like sheltering themselves under mosses, weeds and floating plants such as Pondweed, Duckweed, Dwarf Rotala, Hornwort and Water Sprite. A dark substrate, driftwood, and rocks are some of the great additions for the aquarium of Minnows. You can also add small caves in the tank for this shy fish.   


A sponge filter will help to flush out the dirt and excreted elements of the fish. An under-gravel filter or a small internal filter will work fine for this fish. The under-gravel filter generates currents that will stimulate the moderate flow of water like streams. Try to clean the filter twice a week to maintain the cleanliness.


Neither very harsh nor a dim light is required for the fish tank of White Cloud Mountain Minnow. You can keep a standard light in the tank of Mountain Minnow.


Mountain Minnows are curious about the outside world, so they have a habit of jumping. So, try to use a tight tank hood or lid so that they can’t leap out of the tank.

Water Type for White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Minnow is a hardy fish so it can adjust to different types of water, but you need to maintain the temperature of the water because it prefers living in cool water. This fish also likes dwelling in slightly acidic water which is low to moderate.


The ideal water temperature of the tank of White Cloud Mountain Minnow is 64-72°F (17.77-22.22°C). This fish can also live at 41°F (5°C). The temperature should not exceed 80°F (26.66°C).

pH Level

The pH level of the water in the tank of White Cloud Mountain Minnow should range between 6.0-8.0.


The hardness of the water should be 5-19 dGH.

Cleaning Method

Use a soft brush and a chemical-free liquid soap to clean the fish tank. After scrubbing the walls and the corners of the tank, wash the aquarium with clean water and wipe it out to maintain the hygiene. Also, clean the decorations inside the tank.  

Replacement Procedure

Try to cycle your tank completely because improper cycling can expose your fish to toxic buildups of nitrogen and ammonia. Replace a minimum of 15% of the water every week and while keeping a new batch of water, maintain the temperature, pH level and hardness of the water.

Breeding Process of White Cloud Mountain Minnow

If you cannot understand the sexual difference between the male-female, then take a look prominently; you will find that the males are slender and brighter than the females. This fish gets sexually mature in six months to one year.

It is easy to breed White Cloud, and you will not face any difficulty if you are a first-time breeder. This fish is an egg-scatterer which lays eggs throughout the year. After the eggs are fertilized, the fries don’t need the help of their parents.

You don’t need a separate tank for breeding. Keep a school of Minnows in a tank. The aquarium should be equipped with clumps of plants and spawning mop where the Minnows can deposit their eggs. The pH level of the water should be 6.5-7.5. The temperature of the water should be 64-72°F (17.77-22.22°C).

Feed live Tubifex Worms and Small Brine Shrimp to the fish. When the female fish breeds are ready to lay eggs, her body turns rounder. She scatters eggs on mosses and plants. The eggs hatch in two days. After they hatch, feed Infusoria-based foods, yolk sacs, Larval Brine Shrimp, and micro worms to Minnow.     

Diseases of White Cloud Mountain Minnow with Intervention

Minnow is a hardy fish that rarely gets sick, but this fish is susceptible to infection like Streptococcal Infections. This bacterial infection occurs in poorly maintained tanks and dirty pools. This is a viral infection, so other fish are also affected by this disease. When a fish is affected by this disease, it swims erratically in a tumbling and spinning pattern. So, separate that fish which is affected by this viral disease. If you keep your fish tank and filter clean, then you can save your pet White Cloud Minnow from this infection. Also, prevent your tank from getting filled up with too much nitrate and ammonia.    

Interesting Facts

  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows were thought to be extinct when they were not seen in the wild for more than 20 years beginning from 1980. However, a sizeable portion of their population was later found in Hainan Island.
  • They are known as “Poor man’s Neon Tetra” since they are more affordable of the two.
  • Initially, it was thought that these fish were the only species in their genus, but two additional species were discovered in Vietnam in 2001.

More Peaceful Small Fish of Freshwater

There is many other peaceful fish that are small in size and live in a freshwater tank. These fish are not only passive, but their appearance is also stunning.