White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Tanichtys albonubes

Type of Animal:

Mountain streams, mountainous river deltas, clear slow-moving coastal streams/tributaries w/ sand/pebble/leaf litter substrate & maximum water depth of 1.97 ft, calm areas/backwaters close to patches of dense trailing marginal vegetation, live in water temps of 5-72 F & prefer lots of plants

Pearl River Delta region of SE China & Hainan Island

Silver-green fish w/ bright red to pink tail/dorsal fins, males brighter/slimmer, male’s dorsal/anal fins wide & fan-shaped while female’s dorsal/anal fins triangular & wedge-shaped. 3 other varieties occur (the latter one only occurring in captivity)-Hong Kong variety pale gold w/ blue banding on lateral lines & no white tips on fins, Golden Cloud variety cream w/ white banding along lateral lines, Meteor variety selectively bred for long trailing fins

Insects, larvae, daphnia, shrimp, vegetables, fruit, plant matter, blackworms, bloodworms, fish flakes, fish pellets, algae, microworms, plankton, tubifex worms, krill, fish fry (including own species), nuts, carrion

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Breeding in aquariums, zoos, & aquaculture. Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish. Efforts to reintroduce captive-bred animals to wild.

Schools of 10-100 fish

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School
Male: 0.4 oz
Female: 0.5 oz
2-3 days 

Life Span:
3-7 years

Body Length:
Male: 1-1.2 in
Female: 1.4-2 in

Main predators are other fish.
Critically endangered due to overcollection, pollution, habitat destruction/loss/alteration, erosion, tourism, development, & restricted range.
These fish are very hardy.
Also called White Cloud Minnow, White Cloud, White Cloud Mountain Fish, China Danio, Canton Danio, Cardinal Fish, & Canton Minnow among others.
These fish sometimes used in ponds to control mosquito populations.
They’re egg scatterers, dropping eggs freely among vegetation.
Males attract females by displaying fins, often alongside each other.
Beginning in 1980, this fish thought to be extinct in wild since it hadn’t been seen for more than 20 years. Seen again in wild in 2001 w/ population in Hainan Island discovered in 2007.
Females may produce up to 300 eggs when spawning.
Almost all fish in aquarium trade derive from captive stock.

Fun Fact(s):
These fish have very big appetites.
These fish 1st discovered in 1932 in White Cloud Mountain a few miles N of SE Chinese city Guangzhou by Boy Scout leader named Tan Kan Fei.
During the 1940s & 1950s, they were known as the “poor man’s Neon Tetra” due to being more affordable & less colorful.
While highly endangered in wild, these fish very common in captivity & make great pets.

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