Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Tanichthys albonubes
Lin, 1932

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud
Above: A male White Cloud. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Tanichthys= translates to Tans fish (Greek).
Species- albonubes= meaning white cloud, a reference to the type locality, the White Cloud Mountains.


The White Cloud was a very expensive fish back in the 1950's when they were first becoming available. This Cyprinid is now cheap, because it is easy to breed and extremely hardy, meaning there are good numbers of them for sale and they are abundant. The fish are popular with beginners because they are so hardy and easy to keep.

The fish is also line bred, and there are a few types:

Longfin White Cloud

Gold White Cloud
Gold White Cloud


This fish occurs through the highlands of China in cold water streams. Supposedly, the longfin is linebred of a lowland variety and they come from a warmer water area. There is also an island population off the coast of China.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 1 inch, Females- 1 inches
Maturity: .75 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are more colorful and the longfin type males develop longer fins. Females are rounder in shape than males.

Female White Cloud
Above: A Longfin female White Cloud


White Clouds are easy to care for. They do best in a cold water tank, but will do ok in a tropical tank. This means you can leave the tank unheated. White Clouds are peaceful and can be kept with other small, non-aggressive species. These fish can be kept and bred in a 5 gallon tank. It is best to keep white clouds in small groups, but it is ok to keep pairs or trios also.


White Clouds are omnivorous. Feed a mixed flake and small frozen or live foods.


White Clouds are egg scatterers, laying their eggs in plants. I put Java Moss in my tanks for them to spawn in. They are easy to breed, but raising the fry can be difficult. The eggs hatch in 3 days and the fry are small. Feed them micro foods like greenwater. The fry grow fairly fast.


White Clouds are nice beginner fish. I recommend them if you want a cold water species of fish that is easy to keep and small. Although they are common, they are still fun to keep and interesting to watch.