White Clouds or Tanichthys albonubes are small fish that looks like tetra. They are really a minnow from China. The name comes from the mountain range that a small freshwater lake contained they. The Latin name albonubes means white cloud. They are a very hardy fish that will survive in fairly cold temperatures. They are not really a tropical fish but do well in a tropical environment. There are a couple other types available long finned and albino. The albino are a yellow-orange color with bright red fins and yellow tips. The normal White Cloud has a brown body and stripe on the side of the body that is pinkish orange. The fins and tail have red. When the males are doing their mating dance the colors are more intense. There was a time when they were expensive fish but they are so easy to breed that price dropped. They were nick named the poor man's Neon Tetra but today they are more expensive the Neon Tetras.
Food: They are not picky eaters. They will do fine on flake food. If you are trying to encourage them to spawn as with most fish they like live feeds. The will eat the normal range like Daphnia, Bloodworms, grindal worms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. It is just a matter of what you have available.
Water: They seem to do fine in any moderate water type.
Temperature: They can survive in 50 degree water. They seem to be more attractive in the tropical range.
Plants: I like to keep them with java moss or some floating plants. They will eat the smaLL organisms in the plants and will scattering their eggs there. It is s great plant for the fry to find their first meal.
Tanks: I would say that you can keep a group in any size tank from ten gallons and bigger. You can have a larger group in the bigger tanks. They are not aggressive with other types of fish. I have heard of the males fighting with each other. They do this to win the females favor.
Spawning: These are one of the easiest egg layers to spawn. It is a great starter fish for beginners. If you are want to try breed fish this is your ticket. In truth these fish breed almost daily. You can tell when the males are displaying for the female. The way to tell the difference between the males and females. The females will have a fuller belly which is holding eggs. The males have a more slender body when you compare the fish. White Clouds are eggs scatters. They just drop everywhere. There two ways to raise the fry. One is to do nothing and watch if some show up in your community tank. I remember the first I noticed babies. I notice a blue line flash in the water of my tank. They fry are almost invisible until the first line forms on the sides of the body. When they are newly hatched they are transparent and like a piece of ice floating the water with two eyes.
The second way is to set-up a ten gallon tanks with marble on the floor. When the eggs fall the adults can not eat them. If have enough Java Moss you can cover the floor and use small rocks to hold in place. The plant would also provide micro-organism for the fry to feed on. The parents can be conditioned with live food for a couple of weeks before you plan to spawn them. You keep the parents in the tank for three days. The eggs will start to hatch at that point and parents will not be tempted to eat them. If you do not have green plants in the tank some green water can be added to provide food for the fry. When they are a couple of weeks old then they are big enough for brine shrimp. I have another guide for that subject.
These are cute little fish. You can find them in most local pet stores.
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