Species name: Tanichthys albonubes
Synonym: Tanichthys albonubes; Aphyocypris pooni
Common Names: White cloud mountain minnow
Family: Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps)
Order: Cypriniformes (carps)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Max. size: 4.0 cm
Origin: White Cloud Mountains in China.
Temperament:Very calm and likes to be at least in pairs.
Company:Will mix well with other similar sized fish.
Water parameters: temperature 16°C; pH 6.0 – 8.0
Aquarium setup: Tanichthys albonubes(White cloud mountain minnow) is kept by some people outside during summer months. Fishes that have been kept in outdoor pools over summer have more colour than the indoor fish due to the abundance of natural foods, from insect larvae to algae. It can also be kept at the lower end of the tropical scale.
White Cloud Mountain minnows are considered good fish for beginners, as they are extremely forgiving with regard to aquarium temperature and water quality. They are often sold as ideal “starter fish” for cycling a new aquarium, however it is kinder if they are introduced to an already cycled tank. They are schooling 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 color. 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.
Although the nominal temperature range for the species in the wild is 18–26 °C (64–72 °F), it can survive water temperatures down to 5°C (41°F). This makes it an ideal fish for keeping in an unheated aquarium in cold climates. In fact, White Clouds are more active and healthier when kept at temperatures lower than those at which most tropical tanks are kept. Water hardness (dH) should be from 5 to 19, and pH levels should range between 6.0 and 8.0. Also, the aquarium should have a top. White Clouds have been known to jump out on rare occasions.
During the 1940s and 1950s, White Cloud Mountain minnows acquired the nickname, the “Poor Man’s Neon Tetra,” because they were much more affordable in price than the colorful and then expensive Neon Tetras.
Two variants are commonly available: the “Golden Cloud” and the longer-finned “Meteor Minnow.” The Golden Cloud is a relatively new variety as compared to the Meteor Minnow. The Meteor Minnow first made its appearance in the 1950s in Perth, Western Australia and the Golden Cloud in the 1990s. Breeding between the two varieties has recently resulted in another attractive fish, the “Golden Meteor Minnow.” Inbreeding of Golden Clouds have resulted in “Blonde” Clouds, light yellow specimens similar in colour to blonde guppies and “Pink Clouds”, flesh colour specimens which lacks further pigmentation still.
Feeding: They will accept most commercial foods but relish live and frozen foods.
Breeding: Males are slimmer and have more intense colouration than females. Often you can separate a pair to spawn, however, some prefer to spawn the fish in schools so that the females aren’t stressed as much. They are egg scatters that will readily breed and left to their own devices in a well-planted tank they will quickly multiply. However, they show no brood care.
The White Cloud Mountain minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) is a hardy species of freshwater fish and coldwater fish often kept in aquaria. It is a member of the carp family (family Cyprinidae) of order Cypriniformes, native to China. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is practically extinct in its native habitat. It was believed to be extinct for some years, but an apparently native population of this fish was discovered on “Hainan Island”, well away from the White Cloud Mountain. They are bred in farms and are easily available through the aquarium trade.
The species was discovered at White Cloud Mountain (白雲山; Pinyin Bái Yún Shān) in Guǎngdōng in the 1930s by a Boy Scout leader called Tan, a distant relative of Tan Meng Yoe —hence the generic name Tanichthys (“Tan’s fish”). The specific name albonubes is from the Latin alba nubes (white cloud).
The fish are sold in the aquarium trade under a variety of names, including White Cloud, White Cloud Mountain fish, White Cloud minnow, etc. The names Canton or China danio (although it is not technically a danio) and cardinal fish are also encountered. In Chinese the fish is known as 唐魚 (táng yu), 廣東細鯽 (Guǎngdōng xìjì), or 潘氏細鯽 (pānshì xìjì). Aphyocypris pooni is an obsolete synonym for this species; it was coined to designate a color variety which is now known to be the same species as the White Cloud Mountain minnow.