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Tanichthys albonubes - White Cloud Mountain Minnow


  • Tanichthys albonubes - White Cloud Mountain Minnow

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Scientific name: Tanichthys albonubes - White Cloud Mountain Minnow
    Common name: White Cloud Mountain Minnow
    AKA: White Cloud

    Country of origin:

    pH: 6.0 - 8.0
    Temperature: 18 - 26c (can survive down to 5c and up to 40c)
    Hardness: 5 - 19
    Water flow: Standard
    Oxygenation: Standard

    Maximum size: 4cm

    Diet: They are omnivorous and will take dried flake food, pellets, live food such as mozzie wrigglers and graze on algae if avaiable in ponds. They are usually not at all fussy and very easy to feed.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    Breeding: They are an egg scatterer, and if provided with a mop or sufficient moss or plants, they can lay eggs, however they need to be kept from them by a division in the tank, or removal of the eggs or fish, otherwise they will eat the eggs. They do not generally eat the fry.

    Tank companions: Although they are only 4cm long, their mouths are surprisingly large for their size, and they are able to take shrimplets to at least 3-4 weeks. I would not advise having these in a shrimp tank. (I tried in mine and re-homed them quickly after watching them eat adult shrimp, acting in teams when necessary.) For the same reason I wouldn't house them with significantly smaller fish, such as boraras - well, OK, I did, and again there were fish that went missing.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    They are able to live with both cold water and cooler heated tanks.

    For all that they are a fairly assertive fish in the tank (especially at feeding time), they are also a relatively small fish at 4cm given their body shape, so don't house them with fish which can eat them (i.e. fit them in their mouths).

    There are 3 colour varients.
    - the one in the top photo is the red finned variety
    - there is the original variety, with grey fins, and a white band around the fins
    - there is an albino bodied, red finned variety
    There is also the long-finned varient of each, e.g.:

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur

    They are often advocated as good fish for ponds, as they can manage cold temperatures, even as good fish for frog ponds. However they do eat frog eggs & tadpoles. There is the risk of them escaping from ponds into the waterways, where they could become a threat to native fish and their habitat. Please be aware of this when choosing your pond inhabitants, and make sure that your pond cannot run off into creeks, lakes or gutters - even in flood conditions.

    There have been feral populations established in NSW:

    There are alternative fish - generally local natives - which will not eat your frog eggs & tadpoles. This is very desirable, as the frogs will be drawn to spawn in any pond, and by destroying each of these spawns, you are diminishing a population which is already under threat from loss of habitat, the overuse of fertilisers which flows into run-off and primarily the use of phosphates in household detergents and cleaners which is lethal to frogs. In the northern part of the country there is now the added threat of cane toads to contend with, and a fungal disease which is fatal to frogs - not handling them is the best way of protecting them.

    They are sometimes seen as a grey, boring fish, but as you can see from the photos, their sparring can bring out their best, and they could be a fish well worth re-visiting.

    Tanichthys albonubes are legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:

    The IUCN Red List reports Tanichthys albonubes as a species with insufficient data for assessment with an unknown population trend at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    White clouds are a great fish for beginners.

    Photo thanks to Aquasaur
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