Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Tanichthys albonubes

White cloud mountain minnow

White cloud mountain minnow, Tanichthys albonubesWhite cloud mountain minnow, Tanichthys albonubes
Photos by Andy Rapson


Tanichthys: Latin, tan, tannus = the crushed bark of oak and other trees + Greek, ichthys = fish.

General Notes:

Sometimes referred to as the poor mans neon tetra, white cloud mountain minnows have a beauty all of their own. White cloud mountain minnows are reliably peaceful and make very good inhabitants of a community tank of small fish. They are very easy to care for and are ideal for the novice fish keeper. White cloud mountain minnows should be regarded as being sub tropical rather than tropical or cold water. They won't do well at higher tropical temperatures or if kept in cold water with fluctuations in temperature. White cloud mountain minnows are shoaling fish and should be kept in a group of at least five individuals. They show their best colours under subdued lighting and over dark substrate. If the tank is very bright with pale substrate the colours of the fish will appear faded. There are several tank bred morphs available including long finned and albino varieties.


Wild White cloud mountain minnows feed on a variety of things including detritus, small inverts, worms and crustaceans. In captivity they are one of the least demanding of all fish and will readily accept flake food along with suitably sized live or frozen food,


Female Tanichthys albonubes are more rounded than the males when adult, particularly when carrying eggs. The males have more vibrant colours.


White cloud mountain minnows are perhaps the easiest of all egg layer to breed in captivity. They will spawn quite frequently in a community aquarium without any special care. To raise a brood you will need to put the parent fish in a separate breeding aquarium in order to keep the eggs and young fry safe from other fish. Feed the parents lots of live ot frozen food and make frequent water changes, this will quickly bring them in to breeding condition. The eggs will be scattered over fine leaved plants and at this stage the parents should be removed.

The fry will hatch after approximately 48 - 60 hrs and will become free swimming a few days later. Once free swimming feed them with infusoria or (more safely) with liquid fry food and then either newly hatched brine shrimps or crushed flake food once they are big enough to eat it.

Wild status

Tanichthys albonubes is considered rare in the wild, there are small but distinct populations which don't overlap and are spread out in different regions. One possibility is that these small fish are being overlooked, because of this Tanichthys albonubes is classed as being data deficient. There are no known immediate threats to the species. All white cloud mountain minnows in the aquarium trade are commercially bred.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 8
dGH: 4 - 19
Temperature: 18 - 22°C (64 - 72°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 2 - 3cm (1in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for White cloud mountain minnow, Tanichthys albonubes

Origin: China and Viet Nam, widely introduced to other Countries.

Habitat: Among the vegetation in clean, slow moving, streams


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Tanichthys
Species: T. albonubes, Lin 1932

Common name:
White cloud mountain minnow

Synonyms: Aphyocypris pooni