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White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Scientific Name: Tanichthys albonubes
Family: Cyprinidae

About the White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Species Type: Freshwater Fish
Category: Cyprinids

Care Level: Very Easy. Will tolerate a wide range of water parameters including pH, temperature and hardness. Can tolerate higher nitrate levels than other fish and is hardy enough to withstand the cycling process. Will readily eat prepared foods and has no special care requirements.

Origin: White Cloud Mountain in Guangdong Province, China, and a few isolate populations elsewhere including Hainan Island off the southeastern coast of China. Habitats have included clear mountain streams thick with aquatic vegetation and slow-flowing coastal streams with sandy/rocky substrates.

Compatibility/Temperament: Very peaceful, compatible with other non-aggressive fish that prefer a similar temperature, such as Puntius padamya, P. semifasciolatus , Macropodus opercularis (the two latter fish are sympatric in some of its habitat), some of the Danio and Devarrio species, etc. A shoaling fish, it must be in a group, minimum 6 but preferably 8 or more.

Description

A widely-available fish that is unfortunately often maintained in less than suitable aquaria where it will not exhibit its real beauty and will most likely not live long. It is not a fish for the normal warm tropical community.

This fish has been commercially raised for decades but the mass-produced fish no longer exhibit the stunning colouration of the original or pure-bred stock; it is worth acquiring fish from a select breeder. Several strains have also been produced, such as long-fin, golden, albino, etc. Two other species, T. micagemmae and T. thacbaensis, occur in Vietnam and the first of these is sometimes seen in the hobby.

The species was formerly thought to be extinct in the wild, but discoveries of small isolated populations have occurred, the last in 2009 on Hainan Island off the southeastern coast of China.

The species was described by S.Y. Lin in 1932 and the newly-erected genus was named after the fish's discoverer, Tan Kam Fei. It remained monotypic [only this one species in the genus] until the two afore-mentioned Vietnamese species were described in 2001. Until recently, this species was deemed to be in the danionine/rasborin taxon but recent studies indicate it may be closer to the bitterlings [sub-family Acheilognathinae].

A.W.C.T. Herre described the species Aphyocypris pooni in 1939, but Weitzman and Chan (1966) determined it was the same species and this name is now a junior synonym.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Diet

In nature, it feeds on insects, worms, crustaceans and plankton. Readily accepts prepared foods, but variety should be offered with frozen bloodworms, daphnia, artemia, and live worms and insects.

Size

Attains just over 1.5 inches.

Minimum Tank Suggestion

24 inches in length; these are active swimmers.

Ideal water parameters for White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Soft to moderately hard (up to 20 dGH), slightly acidic to basic (pH 6 to 8) water, temperature 16-22C/60-72F. Though not a coldwater fish, warm temperatures such as the average community aquarium (25-26C/77-79F) is likely to shorten the fish's lifespan and cause health issues.

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