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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the



Tanichthys albonubes

Tanichthys albonubes


    Not really a "tropical fish" in the true sense of the word, the white cloud still finds a niche in our tanks. Once called "the poor mans neon" they deserve to stand on their own merit.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 1.5 inches (4 cm)
    Tank: 24 inches
    Strata: Middle, top
    PH: 6.0 to 8.0
    Hardness: Soft to hard
    Temperature: 61° to 72°F (18 to 22°C)


    Order: Cypriniformes
    Suborder: Cyprinoidei
    Family: Cyprinidae
    Genera: Tanichthys


Common name:

    White Cloud, Mountain Minnow

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Southeastern China, in the Canton and Hong Kong regions of the White Cloud Mountains.

General Body Form:
    Long and thin, with a small mouth that faces up. Unlike most barbs there are no barbels. The males are more slender than the females. Overall very similar to a young neon in shape.

    The general background coloration of the White cloud is an Olive-Brown color with the underside being almost pure white. The Dorsal and anal fins start out a pale Yellow that turns into a bright Red area extending to the end. The Caudal fin starts with a Blue to Black spot at the base with a Red area extending to the end. The forks of the caudal are a pale Yellow. The main body has a Blue to Black< line running down the sides toped by a narrow iridescent band which runs in color from Gold to Gold with a Green tint. In younger fish this stripe takes on a more Blue tint and some say it is very similar to the neon in color. Although small if you take the time to look at this fish it is a beauty in it's own right.
Tanichthys albonubes
Golden variety

    An easy fish to care for, the tank need not be large. Provide a well planted tank with open space to swim. The White Cloud is undemanding and all kinds of food are accepted from flake to live. They are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups, being peaceful they can be housed with other community type fish. Provide good filtration with a gentle current. Water parameters are not overly important as they will adapt to a wide range of conditions. The tank need not be heated as they do not require the higher temperatures of other fish. They will adapt to the conditions of a tropical tank, but may not show their best colors once the temperature exceeds 77f. A perfect choice for a mini aquarium that you can keep on your desk or in your office as a species tank.

    Found among the vegetation of Clear mountain streams in Southern China.

    The white cloud is one of those fish that require little influence to breed. In a heavily planted tank breeding will happen regularly and many young can survive to add to your school. Spawning takes place over several days and the eggs are laid among the plants. These will hatch in about two days. The fry are very small and will need the smallest of flake food to eat. Breeding can be stimulated by lowering the water temperature slightly.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Sophi
At first, when I had 7 of these cuties, they seemed like perfect little angels. They were living quite contentedly with my betta. However, I woke up yesterday, and he was dead. Fins were torn, he was bloody, etc. None of the white clouds had a scratch on them. (Please note that this wasn't immediate, they were together for almost two weeks before this.) Since I didn't see what happened, I can't absolutely confirm this, but I'm 99% sure that those white clouds tormented him and nipped at him until he died. They will be going back to Petco, and I will hopefully replace them with a much less nippy fish.
From: Joanna Read
I've read a number of articles re breeding wcmm's that strike me as very hard work. I set up a small 5 gal glass tank on a window ledge with a thin layer of gravel, 50% water from another tank, 50% mineralized RO water and floated Myriophylum and frogbit. Placed a plastic cover over the tank and left alone for two weeks. Next introduced three pairs of wcmm's and fed flaked frozen and live foods as I do my other tanks. Nothing happened so I stuck black plastic on three sides. Bingo! 50% water change weekly from day one using a thin pipe and tubing so I can remove debris from the gravel gently. Also run a small internal filter low which I rinse out every four weeks. No heater. The parent fish are laying regularly and I feed three sizes of flaked foods, frozen and live to cater for all. The young fish like brine shrimp nauplii but I've only given them twice. I reckon there are forty young fish and half are half the size of the parents. There may be more, but it's hard to tell amongst the plants. I've kept two big planted tanks for four years(50 gal barbs and 60 gal tetras) and honestly think wcmm's are the most lovely and most fun.
From: Adrian D'souza
Great fish for beginner's and advanced hobbyist as well..when kept in a group of 5 or more they school together and occasionally flaring takes place between males, but no damage is done. I have 5 of them in a 15 gallon tank with RCS..very active n can tolerate a wide range of temperature and eats all types of food provided it fits in their mouth..highly recommended
From: Sean Rune
I'm responding to a previous post about white clouds not getting along with Bettas, I did not have a problem keeping four minnows with my Betta in a four gallon tank. I suppose it depends on the temperament of the Betta. I have found these fish to be pretty, hardy, and entertaining. I have read elsewhere that Bettas are mostly aggressive towards long-finned species.
From: Zukuda
Hi, I just got 12 of these little guys, I'm mainly posting because someone said they do well with bettas, not a good idea. I started off with 12, and in under 10 minutes, I had 8. Apparently Betta's love to eat these little guys. Don't worry, I separated them. They're doing great and I look forward too many long days watching these little guys! I recommend them!
From: Bob Anderson
I have enjoyed white clods for years. Originally I had a 10 gallon tank that was well planted with live plants and had only white clouds and cat fish. Everyone got along fine, spawns happened periodically and enough lived with no special care to keep the population stable. The fish moved from Minnesota to Louisiana to Texas and eventually Colorado.
I shut the tank down and recently decided to add some white clouds to a community tank. I had neons, white clouds and guppies, with cat fish. Everyone was apparently doing OK for about 6 months until a couple days ago. The White Clouds started to spawn and became totally different fish. They have killed some of the guppies, which were way bigger, and have the rest cornered unable to move.
Need to think twice about adding these fish to a community tank. They are good most of the time, but killers during the spawn.

From: Janelle
I have 6 of these in a ten gallon, with a Cory and 2 kuhli loaches, and they are doing great! I feed them mostly flakes and bloodworms, and when I feed the bottom feeders, the minnows nibble a little on their pellets! About 3 days after I got them, they actually bred... with no success. But it was really interesting to watch them fight over territories! but anyway, I reccommend this fish to anybody!!!!!
From: Ash
great little fish. Easy to care for and a great community fish I started off with 8 in a 10 gallon tank and within a year I had 30 or so in there so I up graded to a 50 gallon tank with lots of Java moss .They love it .. you should keep this fish in a group of 6 or more and if you want any successful breeding you should provide a suitable sized tank and suitable plants I strongly recommend Java moss. Now I am a breeder for several pet stores.
From: Edward Greece
White clouds are some of the best fish I have ever had. They are also a great community fish. I have had mine for at least 9 months now and so far they have been great. They like basically any surroundings they are in and eat almost anything u feed them. ( Live or flakes - whatever! lo) anyway, finishing up - get some white clouds. Best fish ever.
From: Birdie
I've only had good experiences with these sweet entertaining little guys. I currently have 5 of them in a 10 gallon tank with my Male Betta Sumo. I run a simple Aqua-Tech 5-15 filter. They are not a messy fish so it's easy to keep the tank clean. Behaviorally they are easy going and curious. They have never nipped or harassed Sumo in any way. I introduced them to the tank first and then added Sumo. He did flare quite a bit at first and chased them around the tank. Eventually he realized they were too fast for him to catch and moved on to more important pursuits, like flaring at his reflection. I've noticed that they actually engage him in play now. Their favorite game is hide and seek. Sumo hides behind his cave and waits for them to come looking for him and then darts out suddenly and watches them scurry off and hide behind their favorite plant. They'll repeat this again and again, it's very apparent they understand it's a game. I have never seen signs of aggression from White Clouds when kept in proper conditions. The only instances of aggression that I have seen occurred when they were kept in groups smaller than five and/or were in an overstocked tank. I keep the tank between 74-78 degrees and that seems to work well for everybody. They don't seem as lively in higher water temps. Their color also tends to not be as vivid in higher temps. They are not picky about food. I feed them mostly flakes, and the occasional bloodworm. They will also sometimes nibble on Betta Pellets. I would certainly recommend them to any one who wants a low maintenance, low aggression entertaining addition to their tank. Keep in mind stocking levels and that they are a schooling fish and you should have no problems.
From: Amy
I just bought 4 white clouds and added them to a 20 gallon tank with 5 Mollys and 3 clown loaches (there was a betta that lived happily with everyone prior). These 4 white clouds are aggressive to everyone, they even stripped the betta's tail in 1 night! As a pack they chase down the other fish and started attacking a molly. I am ready to return them and let the everyone know don't trust what you are told or read about these fish.
From: Joe Anderschott
Because of their ability to survive in a wide range of temperatures, these are great fish for southern outdoor ponds for mosquito control. I bought 8 of them about a year ago and put them into my 1,100 gallon pond. There's now over 50 of them.
From: Marijn
I've had white clouds for quite some time now. I started with 7,and finally,after many readinghours about how to spawn them,and trying out stuff,they did it. Now I do it all the time. I separate the females from the males,and I condition them for a week.(Just give a lot of food,spread during the day,and different food,like flakes,life food etc...)then I take the fattest female and the most coloured male and put them in a small tank.(You don't have to buy one,just a small plastic box or whatever is good,they even spawn in a 10,5,5 cm box. On the ground some marbles to cover it,so the eggs fall through,and some fine plants. Leave them alone for about 2 days and then get them out. The female should be slimmer now,and about 2 days later you should see fry hanging on the glass. You really have to look closely because they have no colour and are very small. This way you can have a lively big tank filled with white clouds in no time
From: Frank
Those of you with only one white cloud, please get a couple more. They will appreciate it. (Or die) I only have a 10 gallon tank, and will be upgrading soon to a 55 gallon tank because they bred. I started with 3 adults, and now their are 12-14 fry, which I spared from the filter by purchasing a breeding cage (very inexpensive, 5 bucks I think). After a month, they were large enough to release from the cage back into the tank. Although many reports on the Internet claim that white clouds do not eat their young, the larger fry will eat tiny fry, I saw it happen right in front of me, so if you are trying to keep ALL your fry safe, you may want to separate them. I fed them drops of egg yolk when they were tiny (I read that somewhere, and it worked, so I'll pass it on. You have to squeeze the yolk through a very clean cloth (make sure there is no soap residue in it, rinse it quite a few times). Just put the yolk in the cloth and wring small drops into the water. After they got larger I just ground up flake food with my fingernail into a powder and that seemed to work. They are transparent for quite awhile, and you will see the food in their bellies. I also fed them bloodworm every now and then, which is good for the fish, but very expensive. One box of 16 pouches is over $4 at Walmart. I think these are cool fish and I can't wait to get them into the larger tank. I hope this info helps!
From: Lyle
I have had white clouds over a year now and they do pretty well. I started with 3 and have lost 3 and added 2. The first of the 2 I added is aggressive or territorial. I'm not sure how to describe the behavior. I think it is responsible for killing the last of the first 3. It has been alone for 3 months when I decided to add a new one. The aggressive behavior is starting again against the new white cloud. I would add more to see if it would alter the behavior but my tank is very small (aqua baby). It was interesting to watch how the colors of the two white clouds change once they were introduced. The new one exhibited little color but within a couple of hours the tail fin became a bright red. The body of both became a darker brown. The aggressive one exhibits some sort of fighting dance which is displayed by getting close to the other one and then it flutters its fins rapidly and then slams it's body against the other one. The new one just takes the beating but I'm concerned it will soon perish. At first I thought it might be some sort of mating ritual but has not seen any signs of offspring. I may introduce a new species to see what effect that may have.





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