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A small number of native populations of the White Cloud Mountain Minnow have been discovered in isolated locations within the coastal province of Guangdong and Hainan Island in China, as well as in Quảng Ninh province in Vietnam. The species is still very rare in the wild and is considered an endangered species in China. Efforts are underway to reintroduce captive-bred populations into the wild. Currently, all White Cloud Mountain Minnows sold in the aquarium trade are captive-bred.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows should be kept in good-sized schools, preferably of a half dozen or more. When kept singly, they tend to lose color and hide most of the time. They are peaceful and fit well with other small peaceful fish. Avoid larger fish, as they will be inclined to eat White Cloud Mountain Minnows. The same is true of any aggressive species of fish. Often they are sold as companions for Goldfish, due to both species preferring colder water temperatures. However, Goldfish can and often do eat fish the size of White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Therefore, combining those two species in the same aquarium is not a good idea.
This species of fish is very hardy and well suited for the beginner aquarist. Although undemanding when it comes to water quality, this White Cloud does not deal with heat well, preferring water in the 18–22°c range. There is evidence that keeping White Cloud Mountain Minnows in warmer water (constantly above 22°c will shorten their lifespan. It is well known that they display richer colours when kept in water that is a bit cooler than the typical tropical aquarium temperature of 26°c.
Substrate for the White Cloud Mountain Minnow tank should be fine and darker in colour, with plenty of vegetation as well as some rocks and driftwood. Leave an open area for swimming and offer subdued lighting to bring out the colours of this fish. Water hardness and pH are not critical, but it is wise to avoid extremes. Avoid the use of medications with copper, as White Cloud Mountain Minnows are very sensitive to copper.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows are sometimes kept as a pond fish, to help control the breeding of mosquitoes. Keep in mind that they cannot be kept with large pond fish, as they will be eaten. They do make good companions for frogs.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows eat all types of food, including live, frozen, and flake food. In their native habitat, they are voracious insect eaters. They particularly relish mosquito larvae, daphnia, and shrimp. Feed a good variety of dry and frozen foods, including some live foods whenever possible.
Sexual differences are slight, and determining the sex accurately can be difficult. Males are more slender and brilliantly colored than females. Females that are ready to spawn have a fuller abdomen. White Clouds reach sexual maturity between 6 months and 1 year of age. When mature enough to spawn, males display against each other, spreading their fins and displaying their most vibrant colours, in the hopes of attracting a female.
- Species – Tanichthys micagemmae
- Common Name – White Cloud Mountain Minnow
- Origin – Guangdong and Hainan Island in China, as well as in Quảng Ninh province in Vietnam.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7
- Temperature – Tropical 16°c – 22°c
- Breed Type – Egg scatterers
- Current Size – approximately 2cm (Grows up to approximately 4cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed