Fish Profile: White Cloud Fish

Share This On


The White Cloud fish is a popular freshwater aquarium fish which belongs to the family Cyprinidae under Order Cypriniformes of Class Actiniopterygii. It is also referred to as White Cloud Mountain Minnow, White Cloud Mountain fish, Canton Danio, Chinese Danio or the “Poor Man’s Neon Tetra”.

It is native to White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Shan), Guangdong province, China. The white cloud is a schooling fish and in the wild, and they live in fast-flowing streams.

It has long and slender body with blunt snout. It is greenish brown with a silvery belly and with bright red caudal and dorsal fins. The mouth of the White Cloud slants upward with the lower jaw slightly protruding. It has no barbells and the dorsal fin is positioned past the mid-line of the body just opposite to the anal fin. A gleaming and golden stripe is present which runs from head to tail on each side of the body.

The male generally has brighter color and a slimmer body and his dorsal and anal fins are wide and fan-shaped, whereas those of the female are triangular and wedge-shaped. The white cloud is omnivore fish and in wild condition, it generally feeds on zooplankton and plant material.

It reaches sexual maturity at the age between 6 months and one year of age. When mature the male spreads their fins and displays their most vibrant colors for attracting a female. It grows up to 4 cm in length and its life span ranges from 5-8 years. It is egg-scatterers fish which drops their eggs freely amongst the vegetation.

General Care

The white cloud is a very popular aquarium fish for beginners, especially young children due to their easy care level and hardiness. It is schooling fish and feels more comfortable in a group of at least five or more. It is a peaceful fish which can be easily housed with any other small fish in a community tank.

It is better to keep in at least 10 gallon aquarium with lids as they are quite capable of jumping out of the tank. The tank should also be well decorated with rocks and live plants such as Java moss with darker in color. This plant provides a safe hiding place for the protection of fish and eggs during breeding time.

Just as with any other aquarium, a close eye needs to be kept on the water quality. The temperature and water pH should range from 65-75° F and 6.0-8.5 respectively while carbonate alkalinity and carbonate harness should be from 10-15 dKH and 90 – 357 ppm.


The white cloud is generally peaceful and happy to coexist with other fish. A single white cloud does well in a fish bowl while other White Clouds do best in a group with six or more fish in an aquarium.

In a warm water Aquarium, good tank mates for the White Clouds are Ghost Shrimp, Fancy Guppies, Glass Fish, Small Fish such as Neon Tetras, Glow Light Tetras, Black Phantom Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras and Corydoras Catfish. While in cold water tanks, good tank mates include stone catfish, paradise fish, loaches, Chinese barbs, etc.


In captive condition it can be fed a high quality flake food, Spirulina pellets and vegetables. It also take live foods such as blackworms, blood worms, brine shrimp, glass worm, mosquito larvae, Cyclops, Daphnia and any frozen foods etc. Scheduling the feed between 2-3 times a day.


The white cloud is hardy fish and it is quite resistant to disease. More often than not, the water quality is what would be the main culprit for disease. It is easily prevented by using a quarantine tank for a few weeks before introducing new arrivals into your main tank.

Avoid the use of medications with copper, as White Cloud is very sensitive to copper. Remove any carbon filtration before using medication because the carbon will absorb the medication.

White Cloud Fish Facts Sheet

1. Scientific Name: Tanichthys albonubes
2. Family: Cyprinidae
3. Size Range: up to 4cm in length
4. Diet: Omnivore
5. Tank Size: 5+ gallons
6. Tank Set-up: lightly planted
7. Tank region: Top and Mid Levels
8. Temperature: 65-75° F
9. Carbonate Alkalinity (dKH): 10-15
10. Carbonate Hardness: 90 – 357 ppm
11. Water pH: 6.0 – 8.5
12. Origin: White Cloud Mountain near Canton Southern China.
13. Temperament: Peaceful
14. Care Level: Very easy
15. Habitat: Mountain streams of the Baiyun (White Cloud) mountains, China.
16. Lifespan: 5-8 years s
17. Reproduction: Egg scatter
18. Breeding: It breeds easily in captive condition.
19. Water Movement: Slow

Picture Gallery


Reference Links

  1. Fresh Aquarium- White Cloud Mountain Fish- Tanichthys Albonubes
  2. Aquatics to Your Door- White Cloud Minnow
  3. Aquarium Speed- White Cloud Mountain Minnow Care and Diet
  4. NSW Government- White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  5. Seymour Fish- How to Care for a White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  6. Wikipedia- White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  7. Petsmart- White Cloud Mountain Minnow

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have more tips, diet and care tips for the White Cloud Fish that you would like to share with other readers?

Feel free to do so in the comments section below.

About Dennis Hanson

Dennis is an experienced aquarist with many years of knowledge and experience in keeping successful tanks. He also has no relations to the pop group Hanson.

Leave a Reply