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White Cloud
(Tanichthys albonubes)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Maximum Size: 2"
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Water Conditions: 64-75° F; pH 6.0-8.0; dH 5-20
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Southeast China
Family: Cyprinidae
Species: Danios
Aquarium Type: Community
Species Information
The White Cloud (Tanichthys albonubes) species of Minnow/Danio originates from the White Cloud Mountain area of the Guangdong Province of southeastern China. Their native habitat consists of shallow heavily vegetated mountain streams. While the climate of southeastern China is very warm, the mountain streams the White Clouds live in is fed from underground springs which keeps the temperature on the cooler side (between 54 and 75 degrees).
White Clouds have been a very popular species within the aquarium trade for decades, thus today they are almost exclusively imported from large fish farms in southeastern Asia. Farm breeding has actually helped to make the species more tolerant of the warmer water temperatures that most hobbyists keep their tropical aquariums.
In addition to water temperature, farm bred specimens also tend to accept a wide variety of commercial foods and tank conditions. White Clouds are hardy enough for beginning aquarium hobbyists, but still interesting enough in coloration and personality to be included in many advanced aquarist planted aquariums as well. Hobbyists should have little trouble finding White Clouds available for sale at either their LFS or online retailers.
Aquarium Care
White Clouds are fairly undemanding in terms of their aquarium requirements, with a moderately decorated 10 gallon aquarium being sufficient. Being a small schooling species in nature means that they have evolved to live in large groups. Both their social structure and their sense of security and protection is built around living in schools of individuals, thus it is highly recommended that hobbyists house them in groups of 8 or more individuals.
Their coloration and pattern is such that a group of these fish swimming closely together makes for a very attractive and interesting sight. Single or paired individuals will not tend to swim as actively about the aquarium and will often simply hide much of the time.
While not overly demanding in terms of water chemistry, aquarium size or decor, White Clouds will prefer an aquarium that has plenty of plants (either live or fake) and moderate water currents. Keeping White Clouds in an aquarium with a darker gravel substrate and lush vegetation, combined with a sizable group of fish will produce much more vivid coloration and active swimming behavior.
With their relatively small adult size of just 2 inches and small biological impact, White Clouds make an excellent schooling species for both larger and nano planted aquariums. They are a very peaceful species that will coexist with any other peaceful tropical fish species. Care should be exercised when keeping White Clouds with larger semi-aggressive community species that are large enough to see them as food.
Feeding & Nutrition
In nature White Clouds utilize their upturned mouths to feed on small insect larvae, worms, crustaceans and other similar prey that inhabit the dense vegetation of their native streams. The bulk of their diet should come from meaty foods; however, they should also be provided commercial omnivore preparations, algae or plant based flakes.
It is best to feed them a mix of commercial carnivore and omnivore flake foods, while mixing in some freeze-dried or frozen worms, daphnia, cyclopeeze, brine shrimp or other similar food items. Providing a varied diet will help ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a healthy immune system.
Additional Photos