Fish Profile

White Cloud Mountain Minnow: A Colorful Tropical Freshwater Fish

White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an ideal fish for those who are just planning to know more about the fish keeping hobby. This is because white cloud mountain minnows are very easy to care for; even a beginner aquarist with a bit of knowledge about the fish can house them easily. These fish are good looking and peaceful schooling creatures and can get along with other fish with ease. 

This article is all about the fish called White Cloud Mountain Minnow, which can bring color and beauty to your aquarium. In this article, we are going to learn about the fish and its requirement in detail: tank size, diet, lightings, water quality, filtration, breeding process, etc. This article will help who are planning to keep White Cloud Mountain Minnow for the first time.

Introduction of the Fish

White Cloud Mountain Minnow is from the Cyprinidae family. These freshwater fish are very small in size and bright in color. They have an elongated body, which makes them one of the most popular starter fish in the fish keeping hobby. Likewise, 

White Cloud Mountain Minnow is easy to breed too, so if you are looking for a hobby and a passion for earning money at the same time, this is the fish for you.

The male fish are more colorful than the female White Cloud Mountain Minnow. Likewise, a female is comparatively big in size than a male. 

White Cloud Mountain Minnow is considered to be one of the most peaceful and social fish; they aren’t aggressive. 

Natural Habitat and Origin

The species of White Cloud Mountain Minnow were first discovered by a boy named Tan at Baiyun Mountain, which is also known as White Cloud Mountain, located a few kilometers of the Guangzhou, Guangdong Province China. Their primary habitat was in the Pearl River, which is one of the most bio-diverse rivers. But, due to the massive trade of the fish and pollution, they became extinct from its natural habitat. However, later they were discovered in a small number of native populations in the surrounding area of Guangdong province and Hainan Island in China as well as Quang Ninh, Province Vietnam. 

Today, White Cloud Mountain Minnow are bred in captivity to fulfill the demand of the fish in the market. However, breeding in farms has made the fish genetically weak to any sort of disease. 

White Cloud Mountain Winnow requires cool water temperature; they cannot adjust in warm water. Likewise, they need clean water to survive. They can be kept as a captive in Pond as a pet. In the wild, they depend on small insects, plant matter, algae, and anything that fits in their mouth. Therefore, to resemble their natural diel, you can feed them, brine shrimps, or dried shrimps, blood worm, dried worms, food flakes or pellets, etc.

Fish Appearance 

White Cloud Mountain Minnow are unique species of fish; they grow to about 4cm – 4.5cm long. Talking about the fish appearance, they have a streamlined and elongated body, a little flattened on both sides. They have golden scales with silver belly with some reddish tint color on both sides. The younger fish are blue in color, and when they reach their adulthood, they turned into the golden color.


A small number of native populations are found on the surrounding coast of Guangdong Province and Hainan Island in China and are also available in Quang Ninh province in Vietnam. Due to a large number of the aquarium trade, pollution, etc., they are one of the rarest fish in the aquarium trade. It has also been reported by the government of china as one of the rare and endangered species. 


White Cloud Mountain Minnow is affordable fish, a school of these fish 6-7 fish cost around $20. These fish is also titled “The poor man’s Neon Tetra” during the 1940s to 1950s as they are colorful and affordable than Neon Tetra. As these fish are schooling fish, you will need to add at least 6 of them to a tank.

Life Span

The average lifespan of White Cloud Mountain Minnow is 6 to 7 years in captivity if adequate water parameter is provided. To keep them happy and increase their lifespan, you need to resemble the habitat that they live in your tank. 

Sexual Difference

It is very easy to differentiate the gender of White Cloud Mountain Minnow. The easiest way to differentiate is by looking at their appearance. 

Male White Cloud Mountain Minnow is small and colorful as compared to females, while the female has a thicker body with a bigger and round abdomen. 

Social Behavior and tank mates

White Cloud Mountain Minnow is very peaceful in nature. They can go along with any peaceful fish. The only time when you get to see their aggressive behavior or let’s say dominating behavior is during mating season. The mating season starts in March till October. 

As these fish are schooling fish, they need to be kept in a group of at least 6 of its own kind. 

Although these fish are hardy and rare does not means that you should only keep one species in a tank. As they are peaceful in nature, you can keep them with any non-aggressive fish. 

In the tank, they can live peacefully with other aquatic creatures like Dwarf Gourami, Paradise Gourami, Zebra Danios, Catfish, Rasboras, Mollies, Snail, and Shrimps, etc. Aggressive fish like Tiger Barb, Kill Fish, and Cichlids, etc. should be avoided. 

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The White Cloud Mountain Minnow is a very good looking and appealing fish. Their peaceful natures make them a perfect choice for the starter. Feed them with a good diet, do a water change, look after their water parameter, give them enough space to swim. This is all it needs to live a happy life in your aquarium.

If you have the idea of what the fish requires, it won’t be difficult for you to keep the fish.


Caring for the White Cloud Mountain Minnows

Like every living creature on earth, White Cloud Mountain Minnows also needs air, water, food, and community to live their life. You are the one keeping them or planning to keep them in captivity, so it is your job to give them a happy life. You can recreate natural habitat for them by adding some driftwoods, roots, and rocks, and plants inside the tank. There should be flow in the water too inside the tank. Although they are peaceful and happy to coexist with other fish, larger and aggressive fish should be avoided as their tankmates. Below are the things you need to consider to provide them an adequate environment to thrive.

Fish Tank

One inch of fish requires one gallon of water to live. As these fish are close to two-inch, one White Cloud Mountain Minnows requires 2 Gallon of water. 

As these fish are schooling fish, they need to be kept in a group of at least 6. The simple calculation is 12 gallons for a group of 6 fish.

Now, you add only fish to your tank right; you will need a filter, decorations, gravels that’s going to take some space on your tank. So, adding up, let’s suppose all the equipment, decorations take up to 2 gallons of your tank size. So, the requires a tank size of 6 White Cloud Mountain Minnows is at least 14 Gallon.

Bigger is always better. A bigger tank is much easier to maintain than a small tank. The water parameter also stays stable for a prolonged time as compared to small tanks.

If you want to add tank mates, the community tank needs to be much bigger in size. You can also recreate their natural habitat by adding some floating plants. Bigger the tank much better and more room to play, and they can also breed easily.

If you want to go for a community tank, don’t get a tank below 50 Gallon.


The lighting should neither be bright light nor dim light. They preferred standard light. 

Decoration and substrate 

You can keep any kind of substrate in your tank: gravels, sand, or soil if you are planning to go for a planted tank. Add plants like Duckweed as it can recreate natural habitat for them. Adding live plants to your tank will also maintain the ecosystem of the tank.

Fish Diet 

In their wild habitat, they are micro-predators. They survived by eating little aquatic invertebrates such as an insect, larvae, green algae, Zooplankton, brine shrimp, etc. that floats in the water surface. In captivity, they prefer frozen, dried, pellet, and flake food. You can also give them a small part of fruits and vegetables as a wide diet.

They are small, so they do not consume a lot of food; otherwise, the food might decay and can imbalance the ecosystem of the tank.

Maintain Water Quality   

Like we humans live in the land, aquatic animals like White Cloud Mountain Minnow live in water. Therefore, the quality of water should be maintained all the time. Just like we live in the home and we clean our home regularly water tank is home of the fish, so you will need to clean the tank time and again. 

Do at least 15% water change every alternative day to maintain the water parameter.

Don’t use soap while cleaning your tank.

Scrub away algae from the glass one a week before doing a water change.

Do not overfeed your fish. Only feed the fish what they can consume within 5 minutes. Remove any uneaten foods else the food will decay and disrupt your water parameter.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow prefers to live in cold water, so the temperature between 20 C -25 C (68-75 F) is the best. 

The pH level should range between 6.5- 7.5, and the water hardness should be 5- 19 DGH. 

Always use an aquarium filter to maintain the water parameter. Choose a filter that can generate water flow in the tank, which can recreate natural habitat for them. 

Fish Disease

The main reason for fish to suffer from various diseases is due to poor water quality and poor diet. 

Some of the common diseases are Fin rot, Mouth Fungus, ich (white spot), Dropsy, bloat, etc.

Fin rot is the disease that can be caused by a bacterial infection. It produces a white edge in the fin. The reason for the infection is due to poor water quality. This disease can cure by maintaining water level or by giving antibiotics. 

Mouth fungus is caused by Gram-negative bacteria. This disease causes white or cloudy fungus to appear in the mouth. Prevention is to maintain the water parameter. 

Dropsy is caused by the build of fluid inside the tissues of the fish. It causes fish fins to rise up from its body.

Breeding the fish

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are easy to breed and are a good choice for first-time breeders. March to October is the mating season for them. In mating, season male becomes aggressive to attract more number of females.

The water level and diet should be in its regular setting. Add some plants for them to lay their eggs.

The basic requirement of the breeding process consists of adding male: female ratio should be 1:2 in a separate breeding tank. The temperature of the water level should be 20- 22C. Mating takes place when a male swim around the female, and the female accepts a male as her mating partner. 

A single female can lay 130 eggs. She lays her eggs around the rood of Duckweed and other aquatic plants.

Once the mating ritual completes, remove the parents from the breeding tank else they might eat their own eggs.

After about 2 to 3 days, the eggs will hatch. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow’s fry doesn’t require parental guidance. 

You don’t need to feed the fish right after they hatch as they will be carrying their food in their belly. 

After 3 to 4 days, start by feeding baby brine shrimps or egg yolks.

Once they get big enough, you can crush the food pellets or food flakes and give them their regular diet. You can also give them live or frozen/dried food as a treat.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows are a good beginner fish who are exploring the world of the home aquarium. It is a peaceful fish who get along with other fish and can live in lower temperature. They eat micro- predator in the wild and prefer to eat flakes, live, or frozen food. This fish can be a perfect addition to your tank community as it adds beauty to your tank through its bright color.

We have come to an end with this article. I hope I have covered all the required information that you will need to start keeping White Cloud Mountain Minnow fish. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a message in the comment section below. I would be happy to help.