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FAQs on the Tanichthys, White Cloud Mountain Fishes

Related Articles: Cypriniiform Fishes, Glofish, A Bad Omen for the Future of the Hobby? by Spencer Glass

Related FAQs:  Cypriniiform/Minnow Fishes, Shiners & Rosies, Siamese Algae Eaters, Flying Foxes, Hillstream Fishes,

White Mountain minoes      10/13/17
Hi, I have a 5gal Fluval Chi With 3 minoes 1 micro guppies and a snail since March 2017. One of the minoes has sunk to the bottom this is the 3rd day and is eating, I do weekly water changes, today I did a 75% water
change, temps 74° to 76° add a under water filter system and more plants the fish seem to love it. Since then the bottom dweller tries to swim but goes back to the bottom the other 2 kind of carol her what could be wrong or could she be pregnant if so what can I do.
I love my fish.
Sonja
<I suspect the one fish is defective... perhaps genetically or developmentally; as the others are fine... and your tank appears well-established, stable. I would do nothing treatment-wise here. Bob Fenner>

re: White Mountain minoes       10/14/17
Wow, Thanks!
<Welcome Sonja. BobF>

White Cloud swollen belly, still      3/17/17
Hello again Fish Gurus:
<Hey Tracey>
I am still struggling with an intermittently sickly White Cloud Mountain Minnow. I did my best to get a couple of pictures of her (attached). What do you think is up with her belly?
<Well; is distended... but from what (cause?); trapped gas (happens sometimes from flake food..), a tumor, egg et al. binding? Some lumenal parasite or infectious agent?>
It does not look like a normal, healthy rounded belly to me. I have treated with PraziPro in the past so I don't
think it's worms. I'm starting to think maybe it's constipation, but I have been feeding peas once a week for ages. This fish is definitely up and down - sometimes active and swimming and eating with the crowd, sometimes
isolated and hovering with a bit of a wobble.
Any insight you might have would be most appreciated.
[Note: Further to your advice below, I couldn't get most of the meds you mentioned, other than Paraguard. All three fish had a round in the hospital tank with Paraguard and Epsom salts. They all recovered and got their appetites back. After a month of no issues, I restocked with 6 WCMM from another supplier. So far, all is good after 2 weeks - other than the one original fish this week as referred to above.)
Thanks from snowy Canada,
Tracey
<I'd re-try simple Epsom Salt here. Please read Neale's piece re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
And do write back if you're not clear re. Bob Fenner>

Re: White Cloud swollen belly     3/18/17
Thanks Bob. I also have 2 Nerite snails. Can they tolerate the Epsom salt?
<At low concentration they should be fine. Some species are "salty". Bob Fenner>
Re: White Cloud swollen belly      3/18/17

Oops, I meant to say 1 tsp per 10 gallons
<Ah yes. Understood as such. B>

bord brilliant. Wherefore Glofish      11/3/16
Dear WetWebMedia,
Do your friends call you Wet? Or Mr. Media?
<Heeee! I don't care as long as it's not "Late For Dinner">
I want to know what you think of these fish https://www.glofish.com/ are they real and not painted?
<Neither... this species (Tanichthys albonubes) has had a bit of Jellyfish DNA tacked on to its chromosomes... (!):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish >
Are they healthy and safe?
<Yes>
Would they scare regular fish like a clown suddenly showed up? I don't like clowns.
<Most small fishes are rather indifferent to other fishes... Not scary! Bob Fenner>

A White Cloud dies every few weeks     10/30/16
Greetings Fish Gurus!
<Hello Tracey,>
I have a 15 gallon lightly planted tank that I have been trying to keep White Clouds in, but they keep wasting away and dying one by one. The tank has been set up for the last 18 months. The most I’ve had in there at one time is 8 fish (currently 5), so I am lightly stocked.
<Good.>
Tank parameters:
Temp: 20 C (maintained with a heater)
<Depending on room temperature, a heater might not be needed. A definite cool phase, around 18 C, in winter is a really good idea.>
pH: a steady 7.5
GH: 60 ppm
KH: 60 ppm
nitrite: 0
nitrate: < 5 ppm
Water changes: 20% weekly, conditioned with Prime
Food: mostly flakes, peas once a week, the odd algae wafer
<All sounds ideal.>
They start out active and with good appetites, then one by one they stop schooling and eating and just hover around the tank. Sometimes they seem to recover and become active and healthy again, but eventually they fall ill again. I’ve made the mistake of restocking a couple of times when I thought the trouble was over and wanted to maintain at least 6 to minimize stress, but two weeks after adding the new ones, someone stops eating and on it goes. Early on I fed them live mosquito larvae harvested from my rain barrel (I stopped doing that in case it was introducing something) and I did get one (in hindsight) suspect fish in the very first batch that never ate or schooled and died within a month. Attached is a photo of the latest fish on death watch. It has withdrawn and rallied at least once or twice already, but I think this might be it. I have never seen a worm protruding from them, and I have used a magnifying glass to examine them closely and never seen a mark or hitchhiker on them. Medication-wise I have tried General Cure,
<A "jack of all trades, master of none" treatment that is *meant* to deal with external protozoan and invertebrate parasites, such as fish lice. Not nearly as "general purpose" as its name suggests.>
Prazipro (one dose per week for three weeks) and Levamisole (one dose per week for three weeks), but the problem continues.
<These last two are de-wormers.>
Any thoughts on what the problem might be? I love these little fish, but they keep breaking my heart.
<Two things to think about. The first is that none of the medications you've used would seem to match your symptoms. So your lack of success with them is not unexpected. The second is that the symptoms you're dealing with sound a lot more like Neon Tetra Disease (which can/does affect other species, or at least, similar parasites do) or a systematic bacterial infection (sadly very common in farmed fish produced to a price, as with WCMM, Angels, Guppies, and host of other "bread and butter" species). So, going forwards, probably your best approach is to medicate as per a bacterial infection, something like the popular Maracyn 1 and 2 combo, or better yet, the SeaChem Bodyguard and Paraguard combo, which should treat just about everything treatable. Make sure to remove carbon from the filter, if used (generally redundant in freshwater fishkeeping) and provide supplemental aeration, even if that only means lowering the water level a bit so the filter outflow splashes a bit more than usual.>
Thank you,
Tracey
<It's possible you've been unlucky, and/or the fish are sick because of something going on at the retailer. You might leave the tank to settle, and when no more WCMMs die, buy some more to restore the school, but choosing from another retailer or buying online from a trustworthy source. Your local/city aquarium club can help too. Hope this helps, Neale.>
re: A White Cloud dies every few weeks     10/30/16

Thank you for that fast response. I've spent countless hours reading online to try and figure this out. I will let you know if this is successful.
<Glad to help and good luck. Neale.>

Cloud Mountain swollen belly after food     8/11/14
Hi,
<Anupa>
My mountain cloud and cardinal tetra gets swollen belly after food, it swims and behaves normally, but only after they eat food, their tummy swells. Is it bacterial problem ??
<Mmm; not likely. Probably just the food expanding, perhaps gasifying. Try other foods>

or is it normal for cardinal and tetra.
They have been for 3 months now in my tank. Lately one of my mountain cloud got thin day slowly and died. Don't understand what is the problem with it.
<Can't say without information re the system, water quality...>
I have changed my food is small dried pellet powder soaked in fresh garlic juice. All other water parameters are fine.. please let me know.. thank you...
<Need data... Bob Fenner>

Re: Change of plan (possibly)     6/13/14
Hello Neale, I just thought of something I forgot to ask you earlier about keeping the white clouds. I noticed they preferred cooler temps, so how would I keep other fish with them that like warmer waters?
<Ideally, don't. Select species that have the same preferences. Peppered Corydoras for example prefer 18-22 C, which is spot-on for White Clouds. A little time spent researching will yield dividends here -- many popular fish are actually subtropical species. For example Hara jerdoni, Sewellia, Pseudogastromyzon, Schistura balteata etc. But failing that, provided you don't go above, say, 24 C, White Clouds can do well if oxygenation is excellent. Almost all Corydoras are happy at 22-24 C, including the dwarf species ideal for life with White Clouds. >
Also, I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have a UV sterilizer on my tank? I have never tried one and was just curious.
<Fairly pointless in freshwater aquaria if you're not a retailer (who has to deal with a high turnover of livestock).>
Thanks as always for your time.
James
<Most welcome, Neale.>

how infrequently can I feed white cloud mountain minnows?     /RMF      4/2/14
Hello WWM Crew!
<Helen>
I have care of a fish tank at my daughter's kindergarten (actually two of them now, it's the newer one I'm asking about). I set up the tank in February, details as follows:
50 litre coldwater tank with
- a basic filter inside the hood
- an extra powerhead I added because the flow from the filter seemed too slow. This doesn't change the filtration, but does add current to the tank, and the white clouds seem happier for it to me, certainly they are more active - the compact fluorescent light that came with the tank, set to be on for 9 hours/day, plus some day light from the window it's near
- a variety of plants, including "willow Hygro", similar stem plants, elodea densa and some crypt that I pulled out of my tank at home. All  seem to be growing pretty well given they are planted only into gravel.
- water parameters are: ammonia and nitrite presumed to be constantly 0 now, haven't tested those in weeks, nitrate 10ppm, pH tends to about 7.6, temperature room temp I guess around 20 degrees mostly.
The livestock are cherry shrimp and 9 white cloud mountain minnows. The fish have been in there for a couple of months now. The tank seems to have cycled well enough (I added cycled media from home to the filter and didn't see either ammonia or nitrite spikes, but the nitrate is now going up, so I think it's cycled), and I'm wondering what kind of long term feeding arrangement I can get away with, given that mostly its fed by the kinder teachers, none of whom know much about fish.
<I see>
So far they have instructions to feed the fish every "Monday, Wednesday and Friday", and I put in some extra food on Tuesday when I inspected the tank. They were tending to overfeed the tank, so I'd be siphoning up rotting food from the bottom, but I think we have reduced that now, and there doesn't seem to be food collecting on the floor any more. That will also be partly because I've increased the flow in the tank so the food  gets distributed around more and also because the cherry shrimp are breeding  and eating more.
<Ok>
I was planning to change the teachers' instructions to feeding the tank every day during the week, but now I'm wondering whether that might risk more problems from overfeeding than we risk from underfeeding with the current regime. I know the shrimp can just eat more of the algae and  stuff from the plants, but I don't know whether the white clouds can also subsist, in a pinch, on algae and micro-critters in a planted tank, even if the tank is fed only 3 times a week. Presumably the fish may also be eating baby shrimp, but if so I haven't observed it.
How infrequently can fish like white clouds be fed, in general, without ending up gradually starving.
Your advice is very much appreciated,
Helen
<Better to feed all here a couple times per day; but little... dried... flake or small-pelleted food... And in this setting, via an "automated feeder". There are a few makes/models commercially; with adequate volume hopper...
Use the search tool on WWM, and the broader net re. Bob Fenner>
how infrequently can I feed white cloud mountain minnows?    /Neale     4/2/14

Hello WWM Crew!
I have care of a fish tank at my daughter's kindergarten (actually two of them now, it's the newer one I'm asking about). I set up the tank in February, details as follows:
50 litre coldwater tank with
- a basic filter inside the hood
- an extra powerhead I added because the flow from the filter seemed too slow. This doesn't change the filtration, but does add current to the tank, and the white clouds seem happier for it to me, certainly they are more active
- the compact fluorescent light that came with the tank, set to be on for 9 hours/day, plus some day light from the window it's near
- a variety of plants, including "willow Hygro", similar stem plants, elodea densa and some crypt that I pulled out of my tank at home. All seem to be growing pretty well given they are planted only into gravel.
- water parameters are: ammonia and nitrite presumed to be constantly 0 now, haven't tested those in weeks, nitrate 10ppm, pH tends to about 7.6, temperature room temp I guess around 20 degrees mostly.
The livestock are cherry shrimp and 9 white cloud mountain minnows. The fish have been in there for a couple of months now. The tank seems to have cycled well enough (I added cycled media from home to the filter and didn't see either ammonia or nitrite spikes, but the nitrate is now going up, so I think it's cycled), and I'm wondering what kind of long term feeding arrangement I can get away with, given that mostly its fed by the kinder teachers, none of whom know much about fish.
So far they have instructions to feed the fish every "Monday, Wednesday and Friday", and I put in some extra food on Tuesday when I inspected the tank. They were tending to overfeed the tank, so I'd be siphoning up rotting food from the bottom, but I think we have reduced that now, and there doesn't seem to be food collecting on the floor any more. That will also be partly because I've increased the flow in the tank so the food gets distributed around more and also because the cherry shrimp are breeding and eating more.
I was planning to change the teachers' instructions to feeding the tank every day during the week, but now I'm wondering whether that might risk more problems from overfeeding than we risk from underfeeding with the current regime. I know the shrimp can just eat more of the algae and stuff from the plants, but I don't know whether the white clouds can also subsist, in a pinch, on algae and micro-critters in a planted tank, even if the tank is fed only 3 times a week. Presumably the fish may also be eating baby shrimp, but if so I haven't observed it.
How infrequently can fish like white clouds be fed, in general, without ending up gradually starving.
Your advice is very much appreciated,
Helen
<Feeding weekdays, skipping weekends will do no harm. As a ball park, all food should be eaten within a couple minutes. Feeding twice a day works well if you're skipping weekends. Do bear in mind overfeeding _per se_ isn't what kills fish, but too much food rotting and raising the ammonia/nitrite levels. So provided all the food is eaten, and for a while you check ammonia or nitrite are at zero consistently, you're not overfeeding. In terms of underfeeding, fish should look rounded but not swollen, and if each fish eats about as much as the size of its eye per sitting, that's about right. You could also throw in a Pleco-type algae wafer once a week for the Cherry Shrimps; if left unfed, they do tend to fade away until none are left. They eat algae for sure, but they do need proper food as well. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Introducing a single fish into a shoal     9/29/13
Thank you Neale! I'm inclined to try to just add the 1 back, I want to do the best I can for each pet but also realize they're hardy fish, and I don't want to upset an otherwise healthy tank. If I were to try another way, do you think my 10 gallon can handle 7 fish total if I were to add 2?
<Two will be fine; realistically, assuming this tank is at least 20 inches/50 cm from end to end, it should be an adequate home to a school of White Cloud Mountain Minnows, at least ten, perhaps a dozen (assuming of course water quality is good and the aquarium isn't too warm, as high temperatures lower oxygen level, and that's what stresses WCMM more than anything else).>
Or should I keep it at 5 and wait for another to go (they seem to be in perfect health so long as they remain in the tank, could be a while)?
<The more the merrier with this species!>
The only other inhabitants are 6 red cherry shrimp, a clump of java moss and a java fern, I'm going to add some Anubias soon too, the low light/no tech plants are doing great, thanks for your suggestion on that.
<Most welcome.>
Best,
Nick
<Cheers, Neale.>

Hope For Tailless Minnow? Finrot - 8/30/12
Hello, Crew! (Hi Cari)
 I'd first like to say thank you for your website; everything I know about fishkeeping I learned here.
<Lots of good stuff here.>
Here is my issue: I brought home 15 White Cloud Mountain Minnows today and while transferring them to their new home (10 gallon quarantine tank- will eventually live in a 40 gallon tank with my comet goldfish Gustav)
<Hooray for quarantine!>
I noticed that one poor fellow is missing his caudal fin. I also noticed that his tail (from his dorsal fin and back) is far whiter than the rest of his body and none of his brothers/sisters show this colouration. He is reasonably lively, swims with the others and eats well but getting around is an obvious struggle for him.
<This is a good reminder to always inspect the livestock you are about to buy before it is bagged. You might consider taking it back to the store and getting a replacement. Remember, this species is sold as feeders, so they are often in overcrowded tanks. Probably all the fish have some latent amount of this infection that you will want to treat for in quarantine.>
My question is twofold: 1) should I be concerned that this defect might be contagious? (bacterial, fungal etc) or is it more likely to be from trauma?
<I'd be very concerned. Looks like a bad case of Finrot (bacterial) to me, but it might have been trauma originally, and there may be some fungus involved as well..I would definitely isolate this fish away from the other nine.>
2) can he recover?
<Maybe, but I doubt the caudal fin will grow back. The injury just looks too severe.>
Or if not recover, at least live a reasonably happy life? 
<Assuming you can cure what ails it, and if the fish can eat and isn't threatened by other fishes because of his disability, it might live a full life. that may be more work than you want to take on, though.>
I'm trying to attach two
pictures. <Got them. Thanks.>
Thank you,
Cari
<Welcome. Rick>

White Cloud Minnow with Bulging Growth    5/19/12
Hi there, WWM Crew, Thanks you, as always, for your help--I always appreciate it!  Now, I have a problem with one of my White Cloud Mountain Minnows, and cannot find anything that clearly tells me what is causing it.
 I have 14 WCMMs in a 100G medium-heavily planted, cycled tank, temp of 72 degrees, with 5 goldfish and 2 Nerites.  Ammonia, nitrites are always at zero, nitrates at 20 to 40--I change 50% of the water weekly and have two Eheim 2217s on the tank.  The minnows were added about 6 months ago--the last fish I added was a new goldfish about 2 months ago after QT.  Last week, I noticed that one of the minnows was swimming with a jerky up and down movement--though otherwise as active and fast and schooling as normal--and took a closer look.  I found that he has a protuberance pushing out from the underside of his belly and his sides seemed distended.  Scales are not raised. (You can see how he looks from the side in the pic).  I put him in a QT bucket with an air stone.  Looking at him from the top, it looks like he has swallowed a ball--in the abdomen area, he has a large, round bulge sticking out equally on  both sides of his body.  Thinking it might be constipation (or that somehow he managed to eat one of the large NLS goldfish pellets), I began to fast him.  The second day I added a dose of Epsom salts (1/4 teas. to 3 G). The third day I gave a bit of pea. 
Fourth day, nothing.  Fifth day, another bit of pea and Epsom removed from the water.  He still looks exactly the same.  No change in the bulging, so I now am pretty sure this is not constipation.  He is still acting as active as ever, though I imagine this must be awfully uncomfortable.  I have some rather old Jungle antiparasitic food, Parasite Guard tabs, and new Jungle antibacterial food, as well as Medigold.  I have not used any of these yet.  What do you think this might be, and what, if anything, can I do?  If a tumour, I'm inclined to put him back in the tank where he will be much happier, but do not want to do that is it a disease or parasite.   I can euthanize (clove oil) if need be, though as I said, his behavior is still quite normal so it doesn't seem like the time to do that--unless this is something untreatable... Thanks for any guidance you can provide--I really am not sure what is causing this.  None of the other minnows are showing symptoms like this, by the way...just this one fellow. Thanks for any advice!   Catherine
<Do suspect this is intestinal worms, and would medicate thusly.
Levamisole, Piperazine and Praziquantel are often recommended, but don't work as reliably as either Fenbendazole or Flubendazole, but any of these would be better than nothing. Which of these will be most accessible to you will depend on where you live; in the UK for example, they're all available from vets, but "Wormer Plus", sold for Discus, contains Flubendazole and can be purchased mail-order or from some aquarium shops. Whichever you use, since your fish is eating, aim to use the medications that fish eat --
these work dramatically better than medications added to water. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: White Cloud Minnow with Bulging Growth     5/21/12
Thanks very much, Neale.  Not looking like tumour them, so maybe there is a chance for him.  I'm giving it a go.  He still looks dreadful--I can't believe his insides can take the punishment, but with luck, the worms will die and be expelled and he'll be fine.  No one else is showing signs, but does this mean that I should treat all my fish in the main tank?
<For sure. Some worms can cross-contaminate other fish directly, e.g., Camallanus, so it's a good idea to treat ALL the fish living alongside this chap. Also wise to sterilise (e.g., with hydrogen peroxide or boiling hot, strongly salted water) anything that might have picked up worm eggs -- nets, buckets, etc.>
(I have the affected minnow in QT).  Thank you very much for your help!
<Glad to help. Could be a tumour, but I suspect not, and hope for the best.
Cheers, Neale.>

Is my white cloud minnow Pregnant    5/1/12
I have three white cloud minnows and one on he/she stomach area looks bloated I can’t tell if she/he has dropsy or if she/he has babies! There are three in the tank so idk
<Minnows don't get pregnant. They lay eggs. So yes, if she is unusually swollen, bloating, constipation or dropsy are all possibilities. Dropsy is distinctive, and often goes along with lethargy, poor colour, loss of appetite.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/dropsyfaqs.htm
Do see WWM for more. Cheers, Neale.>

White Cloud Minnows, hlth. in new (uncycled) sys.  10/5/10
Crew,
<Salve!>
Good morning, hope you are well today. I have a question for you regarding my white cloud minnows and cycling. I live in Pittsburgh and currently the temperature is at 50 degrees outside.
<Brr.>
I have not turned the heat on in my house yet because it is supposed to get warmer later in the week again. My house is currently reading about 61 degrees inside. I have a 55 gal tank with now 17 white cloud minnows. The tank seems to be reading about 62 to 64 degrees.
<Towards the low end for these fish. Although wild fish are sometimes exposed to fairly chilly conditions, tank-bred specimens should be treated as subtropical fish. Room temperature is fine, but if you find yourself feeling chilly, then it's likely the fish are a bit too cold; 18 C/64 F is generally considered about right for long term success, a little cooler in winter and a little warmer in summer being easily tolerated and probably good for their health and colouration.>
I just got these fish on Saturday (20 of them) and 3 have perished so far.
<Oh.>
The remaining are pretty active and eat when fed.
<In a new aquarium, scale back feeding to perhaps once every other day, at least for the first 3 weeks. This will give you time to make sure the filter is working properly.>
I am chalking up the loss of these to them being very young and getting a couple that were on the way out already from the LFS.
<Perhaps.>
I was lucky enough to find them at a reliable LFS as very young and small (less than ½ inch) fish.
<Oh, yes, very small, likely a few months old often such fish travel poorly.>
I decided to go with the tiny minnows and raise them due to cost and a lighter bioload up front.
<I see well, the theory is a good one, and I've done something similar with livebearers and halfbeaks I've bred myself, moving the juveniles to a new tank so they gradually mature the filter. Can work fine. But the flip side is that very small fish travel poorly and are less able to adapt to dramatic changes in water chemistry and temperature, so store-bought youngsters can be a gamble if used this way.>
My tank readings are as follows...
Fluval 305 Canister filter
Ammonia == 0.25 - 0.50 ppm
<Here's why your fish are likely dying.>
Nitrite == 0 ppm
Nitrate == 0ppm
PH == appx 7.4
<Fine.>
I am a little worried that I have an ammonia reading and zero nitrate.
<Indeed. First check your tap water. Do you have zero ammonia out of the tap? Be sure to test after adding water conditioner, because you can get a false positive if you have Chloramine, so you may as well check that isn't happening here. Anyway, if you do detect ammonia in the tap water, then this ammonia is coming from the water supply or the way the Chloramine is being treated. Either way, not a problem provided you add an appropriate water conditioner -- if in doubt, get one that treats chlorine, Chloramine, ammonia and copper. If you don't detect ammonia in the tap water, but you do detect ammonia in the aquarium, then the ammonia is coming from your fish.>
It makes me think that something has gone wrong with my cycle. I did put a bottle of Fritz Zyme in there with the fish as well just to make sure. My questions are, what should I do to make sure that my tank is actually cycled, I thought it was to begin with before I put any fish in there.
<How did you cycle the tank? Using Fritz Zyme? Or using some other ammonia source, e.g., flake food or bottled ammonia? Instant cycling products tend to be unreliable and you'll find few experienced hobbyists recommend them, at least, not without some sort of double-checking. For example, if this was me, I'd use the Fritz Zyme, and then add fish food every day for the next week or two, and check every few days to see ammonia was still zero. If it was despite the flake decaying in the filter, then yes, the Fritz Zyme has worked. If I was detecting ammonia, then at best the Fritz Zyme had started the cycling process, but I'd need to carry on with it for another couple of weeks before adding any fish.>
Also, should I be worried about the temperature or can these little guys survive pretty well in 60 degree water?
<Water temperature probably isn't critical here; if they're lively and eating, then they're fine.>
Thanks for your help as always,
Matt
<Assuming your tank is still cycling, and act accordingly. Minimise feeding, and do 20% water changes every day or two for the first couple of weeks, ensuring ammonia stays below 0.5 mg/l. On the whole nitrite is the thing to watch, and I'd rely more on my nitrite test kit than ammonia, since nitrite shouldn't be in tap water and rarely comes up as a false positive. In a new tank nitrite peaks at about three weeks, then drops down to zero within six. In cold water conditions cycling takes much longer than in tropical. Remember, in biology a good rule of thumb is that for every 10 degree Celsius rise, the rate of reactions doubles. So even lowering the water temperature from 25 to 15 C will roughly halve the rate at which bacteria multiply. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: White Cloud Minnows 10/5/10
Thanks for getting back to me. I cycled the tank by placing food in once a day for a couple weeks with some Fritz Zyme on the first day. I did test my aquarium right before I put fish in and the ammonia reading was 0 ppm.
Something just does not seem right to me. Thanks again for your help with this,
Matt
<Matt, as I say, these "instant" cycling potions have a mixed record at best. So be open minded. But do also check your tap water; non-zero ammonia levels can be false positives. Cheers, Neale.>

White Cloud Minnows   9/27/10
Hello Crew,
I have a quick question for you. I currently have a 55 gal set up with no fish yet and I want a nice BIG school of fish in it when it is time for me to stock it. I was thinking that maybe 15 - 20 White Cloud's would be great in there if I just let the water go at room temperature without a heater. What other fish do you think I could keep in there with them just to keep the tank interesting?
Thanks for your input,
Matt
<Hello Matt. A lot depends on the temperature of the room! If it's a centrally-heated home kept around 18-22 C/64-72 F, then Peppered Corydoras are one obvious option. They're cheap, fun, easy to keep, and enjoy similar conditions to your minnows. Another good species is the Bearded Corydoras (Scleromystax barbatus) but this fish prefers even cooler water, 16-18 C/60-64 F being about right. Males and females look very different, and the males are famously aggressive towards each other, so a group of two males and four females would provide some boisterous activity. These catfish are often considered the jewels among the Corys, but they rarely do well in tropical tanks, so this is a great opportunity to try them out. If you're going for smaller, more peaceful bottom dweller, then the various
Hillstream Loaches might be a choice, typically Sewellia species. These are *not* hardy fish, but provided you give them lots of water current, excellent water conditions, and plenty of green algae, they aren't
difficult to keep. Florida Flagfish are very cichlid-like, and a couple of pairs would be fun in this aquarium. They eat algae and are in fact mostly herbivorous, and the males are very colourful. They may even spawn in the tank, the fry being quite easy to rear. Both the loaches and the killifish do well around 18 C/64 F. There are some nice subtropical gobies if you hunt around, and species like the Desert Goby (Chlamydogobius eremius) and the White-cheeked Goby (Rhinogobius duospilus) are hardy and colourful, though notorious escape artists so keep the tank covered or they'll jump out! On the other hand, avoid Danios. Although some species can be excellent fish for room-temperature tanks, they do tend to bully White Cloud Mountain Minnows. I hope this gives you some ideas. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: White Cloud Minnows   9/27/10
Thank you for getting back to me so fast! I do have central heat and air so my house is always at about 70 degrees. How many White Clouds do you think would be a good number for my 55 gal if I also had 5 or 6 Peppered Corydoras? I was thinking the more I had the better it would look.
<I agree. Assuming the tank is basically cycled already, I'd start with, say, 20 minnows and a week or two later add half a dozen Corydoras. Water quality shouldn't be strained by that. You could then add at least another dozen minnows and a couple more Corydoras in due course. Essentially allow about a gallon per Minnow, and a couple of gallons per Peppered Cory.>
Thanks again,
Matt
<Cheers, Neale.>

Keeping minnows in a 10 gallon tank  1/19/10
Hello:
I was wondering if it was possible to keep 5 or 6 rosy red minnows in a 10 gallon tank in the long run? Do they need tank length like the Danios?
Also would the tank fill with fry like it would with guppies or is there a way to prevent fry? Thank you!
Judy
<Short answer is no, this wouldn't be nice at all. Rosy Red Minnows are just like any fish and need a tank appropriate to their size and temperament. Cramped fish become ill-tempered, stressed, and often prone to disease. So why bother? For 10 gallon tanks, you want species that don't move about much.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_5/volume_5_3/stocking.htm
Neons are quite good if the water isn't too warm (around 22-24 C) is ideal while Cardinals are a better choice for warmer tanks (26-28 C). If you're a more advanced hobbyist who's happy to research their specific needs, you
can also look for more difficult things like Ember Tetras, Celestial Rasboras, or Dwarf Rasboras (Boraras spp.). A group of 10 or more of these schooling fish in a shady, well-planted 10 gallon tank can look stunning.
And no, tetras, barbs, and Rasboras don't normally breed in community aquaria. Cheers, Neale.>
White cloud minnows  1/19/10
Hello:
Sorry, I made a mistake when I asked about rosy red minnows. It was White cloud mountain minnows. I read they only grow to 1.5 inches and was wondering if that was ok for a 10 gallon tank in the long run?? I am assuming that fry may be a problem though. Again sorry for the mix up
Judy
<Tanichthys albonubes is a wonderful little fish, and it is, in my opinion, a borderline acceptable fish for a 10 gallon tank. Does partly depend on the size of the tank. If the 10 gallon tank was long, say 50-60 cm long, that would be better than one that was just 40-50 cm. Also depends on water turnover; a poky little hang-on-the-back filter that generates hardly any current really isn't the thing. These are hyperactive little fish, and if they can't play in the current and spar with one another among the floating plants, they're just half the fun they should be (and it's bad fish karma
for the aquarist). So I'd sit back, look at the 10 gallon tank, and ask myself whether it's a suitable home for a fish that darts up and down shallow, clearwater streams. Now, if you can stretch to a 15 gallon or better yet a 20 gallon tank -- and the space/price difference is trivial -- then a big school of healthy White Clouds is a thing of joy, and a group of ten alongside half a dozen Corydoras catfish like Peppered Corydoras (which like the same cool water) would be lovely. Cheers, Neale.>

Ailing White Cloud Mountain Minnow  7/24/09
Hello Crew,
<Carla>
Two days ago, my female White Cloud developed swimming problems; she had to exert herself unduly to prevent sinking to the bottom. Upon closer examination, I noticed a red area just above the ventral fin on her right side (please see attached photos). I placed her in my 10 gallon quarantine tank, since the male White Cloud was harassing her quite a bit, especially in her weakened state.
Yesterday she began resting on the bottom intermittently, and this morning she developed a light-coloured area on her right side (it's not fuzzy like a fungal or bacterial infection, it looks more like it's internal), along with a slight swelling.
<I see this in your excellent images>
She has also stopped eating as of today.
My tank parameters are:
-40 gallons
-0 ammonia
-0 nitrites
-0 nitrates
-pH: 8.0
-Temp: 79 F
-Very hard water
-Heavily planted
-8 gallons of water changed weekly
-Internal DIY filter powered by a powerhead
-Tank mates: 2 black short fin Mollies, 6 Wrestling Halfbeaks, 6 Threadfin Rainbows, 6 Cherry Red Shrimp, 2 White Clouds, 1 Scarlet Badis.
The parameters of the 10-gallon quarantine tank are the same. She is the lone occupant of the tank.
I realize I have made two mistakes: not keeping the White Clouds in a school, and keeping them too warm. These two fish came with the aquarium I purchased, and initially, I intended to acquire four more, because they are such lively, colourful, charming little things, however, I did not want to subject more of them to the warm temperatures of my aquarium (I keep it warm for the Mollies).
<All the fish listed could live in cooler water>
I suppose the stress of the high temperature and the harassment of the male White Cloud led to the sickness of the female...
<Maybe... could be "just" genetic...>
Can you determine from the photo what ails this White Cloud? Neale answered my questions previously, which helped out a lot.
<Unfortunately Neale is out temporarily... on holiday for his b'day>
Thanks very much,
Carla
<I would continue to monitor this one Tanichthys in the 10 gal... No treatment per se. And let's hope this issue resolves itself. Bob Fenner>

Ailing White Cloud Mountain Minnow
I neglected to mention that when I placed the White Cloud in the quarantine tank, I slowly reduced the temperature to 72 F. Also, the swelling has increased markedly since my e-mail of this morning.
Thanks...
Carla
<Could be a number of internal issues... perhaps Epsom Salt at one level tsp. per five gallons... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ailing White Cloud Mountain Minnow 7/25/09
Thank you very much for your response, Bob. I have just now added the Epsom Salt. Unfortunately, things seem to be going downhill for the poor creature. The swelling increased at an alarming rate until it burst this morning. Now she has a gaping hole in her side (please see attached photos; the flash washes out the colour, but it is quite an ugly wound).
<I must commend you on your excellent photographs>
She did attempt to eat this evening, but I don't see how she can recover from that big hole in her side. Do you think there is hope, or should I put her down.
<I am a stickler for holding out; hoping for recoveries. I would wait here. Most fishes, including Cyprinids, have excellent regenerative potential...>
After a bit of research, I found this page online: http://zebrafish.org/zirc/health/diseaseManual.php#Egg-Associated%20Inflammation
My White Cloud's wound looks similar to the Zebra Danio's wound as described on that page. Could she have this condition (egg-associated inflammation) as well?
<Mmm, not from where this "sore" is located, no>
Thanks again,
Carla
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

Re: Ailing White Cloud Mountain Minnow 8/1/09
Hello Bob, and thank you again for your advice about the White Cloud, who is improving; she no longer sits on the bottom, and is eating well.
<Ahh, good news>
I thought she was a goner; last weekend she developed another (smaller) swelling immediately above her ventral fin, below the initial swelling. This one ruptured as well. However, now both wounds appear to be healing. She has not yet regained her buoyancy, however. If you review the attached photo, you can see an air bubble in the smaller wound. She continuously "leaks" air bubbles from this wound. Could this air be leaking from her swim bladder, and if so, could this heal itself so that she regains her buoyancy?
<Not from the gas bladder, but likely a purulent bacterial growth... gasifying... Gory, yes>
Unfortunately, now two of my Threadfin Rainbows (Iriatherina werneri) are beginning to exhibit similar symptoms: one of them has also lost his buoyancy, and has developed a dark internal spot just above his anal fin. It looks a lot darker than in the attached photo; the flash washes it out. The other is excreting white, stringy feces. Both have stopped eating. Should I transfer these two to my quarantine tank? Could it be parasitic in nature? I fear this is contagious.
<Mmm... may well be Parasitic... I would advise reading re the assiduous use of Metronidazole/Flagyl, and possibly either buying this (and likely an antibiotic) blended commercially into a dried food, or making one up yourself.>
This is very distressing to me because I am diligent about tank maintenance; ammonia and nitrites, and even nitrates are always zero (I believe because the tank is heavily planted and lightly stocked). I feed them a varied diet of hikari micro pellets, veggie flake, tropical flake, peas and various other veggies, and aphids (they infest my roses and other plants in my solarium; my halfbeaks go mad for them). The only thing I can think of, is that about a week ago I fed them some frozen brine shrimp for the first time that I acquired from another aquarist in trade. If these were "off", could this cause this sort of internal affliction?
<Mmm, not likely at all... This "issue" really would have to have been introduced... via a fish vector>
Once again, thank you so much for your advice, and for your most excellent web site; I review the dailies (daily!), and am always impressed by the expertise and kindness that you, Neale, and the rest of the crew exhibit towards small creatures (I often reflect that the largeness of a person's character is inversely proportional to the smallness of the creature towards which kindness is shown).
Thanks,
Carla
<Aahhh! A trait we share. BobF>

eSHa product info., link  7/23/08 Hi Bob & WWM crew, Just wondering if any of you have the composition for Isha2000; I cannot find it anywhere on the net. If you don't have the info do you think it would it be safe to use with Nerite snails? <Mmm, please see here: http://www.eshalabs.eu/pages_engels/faqs_engels.html> It would be used for columnaris & I am hoping my diagnosis is right: White lips, cottony growth from the mouth, fin rot. I introduced 5 Tanichthys linni into a quarantine tank 54L with 4 existing Tanichthys albonubes which had been there for 2 wks already - big mistake!. One linni mysteriously died & was found half eaten, another with a long stringy cotton substance hanging from it's swollen mouth was euthanized with clove oil & the remaining I took back to the shop annoyed after 8 weeks of waiting. One of them had Finrot - another mistake - triple check before purchase! The albonubes were hospitalized with Nifurpirinol for 4 days (repeating treatment on the 7th day) today they are back in the very clean quarantine tank which I dosed with Pimafix (pimenta 1.0%) 4 days ago. I stopped with this product after 2 days only because my Nerite snails seemed to be robbed of oxygen & I couldn't stand the smell; changed the water at least 4 times. I feel that something nasty is lurking about as I have just caught one of the albonubes banging into the driftwood. I don't know if it was a good idea to put them back before doing the second half of Nifurpirinol. I have just added 1 flat teaspoon of rock salt. Two of the albonubes have very pale white lips & one as I can make out red lips with white spots, very difficult to judge as they move so quickly. They are not eating very much either maybe because of the treatment. I don't think the Nifurpirinol as worked very much & over here ?France? they do not have medicated food. Not allowed apparently! Water parameters: fine Another thing I am worried about is that I may have contaminated the main tank 200L by using the same equipment for cleaning purposes. If you could advise me on the next steps to take and diagnosis that would be great. I'm already attached to these cute little guys! So sorry for this long letter. Cheers Jeanette <Bob Fenner, sending to Neale for further input>

Re: Tanichthys spp.; Columnaris   7/23/08 Hi Bob & WWM crew, Just wondering if any of you have the composition for Isha2000; I cannot find it anywhere on the net. If you don't have the info do you think it would it be safe to use with Nerite snails? <It's eSHa 2000, made by the Dutch company eSHa Labs: http://www.eshalabs.com/esha2000.htm > It would be used for columnaris & I am hoping my diagnosis is right: White lips, cottony growth from the mouth, fin rot. <Certainly sounds like it.> I introduced 5 Tanichthys linni into a quarantine tank 54L with 4 existing Tanichthys albonubes which had been there for 2 wks already - big mistake!. One linni mysteriously died & was found half eaten, another with a long stringy cotton substance hanging from it's swollen mouth was euthanized with clove oil & the remaining I took back to the shop annoyed after 8 weeks of waiting. One of them had Finrot - another mistake - triple check before purchase! <Oh dear!> The albonubes were hospitalized with Nifurpirinol for 4 days (repeating treatment on the 7th day) today they are back in the very clean quarantine tank which I dosed with Pimafix (pimenta 1.0%) 4 days ago. I stopped with this product after 2 days only because my Nerite snails seemed to be robbed of oxygen & I couldn't stand the smell; changed the water at least 4 times. <I'd probably remove Nerite snails while treating the tank. Put the snails in a large plastic carton or bucket, and put the lid on loosely to stop the snails escaping. If you change 50% the water daily, they should be fine during summer for a week like that.> I feel that something nasty is lurking about as I have just caught one of the albonubes banging into the driftwood. I don't know if it was a good idea to put them back before doing the second half of Nifurpirinol. <Diseases like Columnaris and Finrot don't "lurk" as such -- the bacteria are latent in all aquaria. Normally they do no harm provided the fish is healthy. Think of them as being like E. coli on humans. It is when the environment deteriorates for some reason they become trouble. So if you (or the pet shop) have problems with them, you (they) need to review issues such as nitrite, ammonia, and pH stability.> I have just added 1 flat teaspoon of rock salt. <Won't help at all, and could potentially stress these freshwater fish.> Two of the albonubes have very pale white lips & one as I can make out red lips with white spots, very difficult to judge as they move so quickly. They are not eating very much either maybe because of the treatment. I don't think the Nifurpirinol as worked very much & over here ?France? they do not have medicated food. Not allowed apparently! <Antibiotics for treating fish aren't available over-the-counter, i.e., from aquarium shops. But vets can supply them.> Water parameters: fine <Define "fine". It is really VERY rare for Columnaris to "come out of the blue" for no reason at all. So review conditions. It sounds like these fish were sick in the aquarium store though.> Another thing I am worried about is that I may have contaminated the main tank 200L by using the same equipment for cleaning purposes. <Possible, but as I say provided the 200 Litre tank contains healthy fish in a healthy environment, I'd be very surprised if they got sick.> If you could advise me on the next steps to take and diagnosis that would be great. I'm already attached to these cute little guys! So sorry for this long letter. Cheers Jeanette <Hope this helps! Bon chance, Neale.>

Re: Tanichthys spp.; Columnaris  7/24/08 Selon Dear Neale, Thank-you for your advice & indeed the grammar lessons!! <What grammar lesson? Nothing to do with me...> I have already looked at WWW.eshalabs.com. They state nowhere the composition for this product. I will contact them. <Likely a "trade secret" so I wouldn't be too hopeful!> Concerning the issue of antibiotics, sorry I did not make myself clear, I was referring to the antibiotic compounds readily available through the net and in the States e.g. Minocycline (Maracyn 2), tetracycline (Mardel) & Nitrofurazone (jungle labs) & maybe many many more. <These are ONLY readily available in the US; in the UK and France, and likely the European Union generally, they are not available (to the best of my knowledge anyway). The US has relatively lax rules on antibiotics compared with Europe, Canada and Australia. There are pros and cons to both sets of laws, outside the scope of this query!> These are prohibited in France for over-the-counter sales and through the net. Of course I can go to a vet to get these but I would be charged 50 Euros for the prescription. <Not different here in England, though much less expensive than 50 Euro. So I'd ring around your local vets. This is beside the point. The point is you can buy antibiotics over-the-counter! <No, I really can't!> Water parameters as follows: ph 8 gH 12°d kH 10°d No2 0 No3 13 Nh3 0 °C 26 <All sounds fine.> By the way "don't" is the correct informal spelling for "do not". <Indeed it is. This is apropos to what?> Thanks Jeanette <Cheers, Neale.>

White cloud with growing black markings Evening all, <Good evening, Rosa!  Sabrina here tonight> You've always been helpful and on target in the past and after doing a lot of searching, with no answers, thought you might come to the rescue, yet again... <Thank you for the kind words - and we'll sure try> I have a question about white cloud minnows- I have had 2 for about a year now, they are yellow and white, with black specks and markings.  Hearty, fun, and social.  They share a planted tank (15 gallon fresh) with some otos, harlequin rasboras and cherry barbs.  Recently I added 3 clowns to fish tank who at first were pretty dominant and stressed out other fish for a while- now they are all alright with each other and the clowns sit at bottom of tank, or hang out in driftwood, and leave other fish alone. <I assume you mean clown loaches?  Clown loaches get enormous, over time.  You might want to consider a smaller loach species, or plan on upgrading tank size eventually.  At least clown loaches are very slow growers, so you're okay for now.> Soon after all this I noticed that the markings on one of my white clouds were getting darker- the black specks were getting deeper in color and actually bigger. Nothing else wrong with fish, no ich or anything like that- just that its original black specks - actually one in particular on its back- is just a lot longer.  The fish is fine- eats, hangs out with other fish, but I wondered about this.  Is there some kind of skin disease or perhaps stress, or maybe just 'normal'- perhaps markings just increase with age? <It's hard to tell without seeing the fish; if there's any way you could get us a picture, that'd be great.  Otherwise, do a google search on their Latin name, Tanichthys albonubes, and compare yours with pictures of others; that may at least help you to see if the coloration is normal or not.> If you could help me out here I'd appreciate it- I'm always checking on this fish and just a bit worried- would like to know that it's nothing- or, if it is something, what I should do.  Thanks,  Rosa Haritos White cloud with growing black markings - part II Hi Sabrina- thanks for response. <No prob.> I'm actually going to SF, CA for business trip tomorrow and I won't be back until 25th- I CAN send a photo of fish and will, when I get back. <Ah, welcome to my neck of the world.> Haven't found ANYTHING using Latin Name- tried it-- just pix of ich's disease- and I know it's not that. <Try this:   http://images.google.com/images?q=Tanichthys+albonubes&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search .  Should give you lots of pics of White Clouds.> Yup, clown loaches. It was actually someone at WetWeb who told me they are great snail eaters- and they get big, but as you say, slowly. So I bought 3 - so they wouldn't be lonely, and GUESS WHAT- no way did they eat snails!! <Now THAT is stunning.  I've NEVER seen a clown loach turn its nose up at snails!!  It might just be that they needed some time to settle in, first; also, don't feed them other food for a few days, and they should dig right in.> Even when I crushed them and put then right next to them--so I had to pick at snails for a whole week to get rid of an infestation. I asked LFS and they said they would exchange for zebra loach- which is suppose to be more aggressive re snails, but peaceful for the tank--and smaller. <Well, smaller, yes; but I think these have pretty much the same temperament as clown loaches.  Mine certainly do, anyway.  And though they certainly chow down on snails (took all of two weeks for three zebra loaches in my 72g to rid me of all my snails), clown loaches are reportedly much better snail eradicators.> BUT my son, who is 6, fell in love with these fish and pleaded not to trade em. so I'm stuck. <Heh, at least you're stuck with a nice type of fish!> Thanks re white minnow - I'll send photo when I get back. If you find anything in meantime, I'd appreciate it. <Well, I'm afraid it's not so much a matter of finding anything; there's just so many things that it could be.  Stress, normal coloration, etc.  I do look forward to helping you figure this out once you've got a picture for us!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Thanks again, best  Rosa

New Fish, What Kind To Get? What if i were to forget about the Betta Fish and just do tetras? Is there a fish that will go well in a 5 gallon tank that will do well tetras? All i want is to have sum pretty fish in my tank that will do well! Also what are the appropriate levels for he ammonia and nitrates or whatever and if there are high how do i take care of that? <<Hello. Good fish to keep with bettas would be white cloud mountain minnows. Nice, red fins and pretty stripes. The appropriate levels for ammonia and nitrites are zero. For nitrates, as low as possible, not higher than 50ppm. If they are higher, you need to do more partial water changes until they are within range. -Gwen>>

Pregger White Clouds? I have three white clouds (along with some other community fish) in a heavily planted 29 gallon tank. Two of three appear "fat" with a very robust abdomen. The third looks skinny (healthy, just not fat). My kids keep asking if they are pregnant. I had to tell them yes but I really have no idea. They have been increasing in girth for the past month or so. If they are pregnant what can I expect? Brian <<Hello. White clouds will generally breed in cooler water, around 70F. The female will lay eggs on plant leaves. Once you have seen the fish spawn, you should remove the parents (and other fish) so they don't eat the fry. The fry will be tough to keep alive unless you can provide micro-foods (microscopic sized). If it interests you, there are websites where you can find info on growing foods like infusoria, live baby brine shrimp, etc, all the basic feeding info for fish fry. The females will grow round bellies when they are full of eggs, but there is no guarantee that the male is fertilizing the eggs. If the fish are not pregnant, there is the chance they have internal infections. Surveillance is good, watch to be sure the scales do not protrude. If the fish develop the pine-cone signs of dropsy, euthanasia would be required. -Gwen>>

Long-finned White Clouds Dear Robert, <Hello Ed. Sorry for the late response. Have been out diving with friends in the Galapagos... now in Quito> Always admired your articles! Just stumbled onto your site on the web. <Ah, glad we have finally met> My name is Ed Stansbury. I was a contributing editor for FAMA back in the 80s and 90s, but quit writing for them when they refused to pay for an article of mine they published. <Too typical... you may have heard that Norm Ridker (Nee Fancy, Bowtie Publications... owners of AFM) has bought FAMA recently...> I've had about 75 articles published through the years in different mag.s. I have bred regular white clouds since the 1950s. Recently, I have tried long-finned white clouds repeatedly, but always get normal-finned young.....hundreds and hundreds of them. Tried as much as 6-months grow out, just to be sure it wasn't a developmental thing. I'd still like to breed them. Any ideas on what's going on? Any trick to them? <Could be, and I suspect this is, a simple recessive homozygous trait... have you had occasion to breed the F1's with each other? Should be about a quarter that are long-finned...> Sincerely, Ed Stansbury <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Female White Cloud Hey guys, Me again... you were so wonderful answering me last time, and I hate writing to you again, but I can't find anything on the site about aggressive female White Clouds! Any comments you may have on my entire setup would be helpful to me, too. So I was the one with the unheated, filtered, rectangular 10-gallon tank with two big branchy plants, six little tiny red-tipped plants (all the plants are fake), and two large reef-like rocks. It has three White Cloud Mountain Minnows: a little male, and two big females. They seem to be thriving except one thing: Daphnie, the largest female, is a real jerk. At first she swam with the male, and chased the other female away whenever she saw her. Now however, both females (led by violent Daphnie) have ganged up on my little male. She nips him all over his body whenever she sees him, and actively chases him whenever he isn't hiding, which is often because he wants to school with them. A week ago she actually managed to rip one of his two little fins (the front clear ones that he uses to swim)! The fin is sticking out from his body, and the body itself has a little swollen pink place where the fin joins it. The fin itself is ripped in half, and the smaller half is blood red sometimes, like its bleeding -- serious damage. I guess it's possible that this was caused by something other than Daphnie, but it just looks like a wound to me instead of a parasite or something, and I can't imagine what else would have done it. He can still swim with this fin, and acts normal, but it looks painful and doesn't seem to be healing because she picks at this place in particular when she bites at him. So here's my deal: the ultimate goal for this setup was to put in a heater (70 degrees or so since clouds like it cool?), <Better to have a/the heater to keep temperature steady> and then put my male Betta into it. I got him from a pet store with fin rot and he's been healing in a quarantine tank (although the rot seems to be gone, his edge of his tail is bumpy looking, as if it healed to a irregular length -- does this sound like its healed, or just in remission? <Could be fine> There is no black stuff any more, although the edge is darker than his body color of blue, and the tail has normal looking little white peaks that look like bones). I tried him in with the minnows for a day or two just to see, and they all seemed to get along with him (he chased them for a while then stopped caring about them), but this was before Daphnie started getting aggressive.  Do you think putting more white clouds in there would help alleviate her aggression towards this male? <Likely so> If so, what gender do you think they should be? <A mix... at least one more male> I don't know how many more will fit into a tank like this, especially once a male Betta is introduced. Alternately, do you think I should just take Daphnie back to the store? <Maybe> I hate to do that, as I like her a lot, but she seems to be the main problem here. Until then, should I isolate the wounded male?  <If it is continuing to be harassed, yes> I'd put him in the quarantine tank with the Betta, but I'm afraid that without plants to hide behind, the Betta might hurt him. Maybe I could put the Betta in the normal tank and the minnow in quarantine... Any advice would be appreciated! Amy and her somewhat dysfunctional fish <A simple salt addition will likely serve to help heal the one Whitecloud. Bob Fenner> 

White Cloud with Pointy Belly? Hi guys/gals, <Amy> Thanks for your help -- do you reply directly to e-mails as well as posting replies on your wonderful site? <Yes, both> I've been keeping 3 white cloud mountain minnows (a boy and two girls) in an unheated, well-planted 10-gallon with filtration for about a month now. They are the only 3 fish in there and they are showing great health as far as I can tell (I've never had white clouds before), very active and interactive with vibrant dark colors, open fins, eat everything I give them. Both females look very ripe, with bloated, round, white bellies. <This is a great old-timey aquarium fish> Yesterday I decided to give them some freeze-dried blood worms, since they've only had flake food previously. They gobbled the worms all up. This morning, I noticed that my dominant female (it's odd, she actually beats up on the male and the other female, although I've heard they are generally peaceful) has a pointy belly. She's had a fairly bent spine ever since I got her, and so consequently she's been shaped a little funny since she started appearing ripe, but this is ridiculous -- it looks almost like something inside her is forcing a spot near the center of her belly out towards a point. It definitely doesn't look healthy, and I'm worried the blood worms may have caused her to overeat and explode or something. <Sounds like it> She's still acting normally and ate breakfast (by the time I noticed I'd already put flakes in). Do you think I should worry? Thanks for your help! Amy and Daphnie the minnow <I might try the time-tested addition of a teaspoon of Epsom Salt added to the water here... to "move" this object. Bob Fenner>

Re: White Cloud with Pointy Belly? Hey -- thank you both for your help! No need to reply to this e-mail, but I thought you might like to know that the female White Cloud actually passed the pointy object no problem before I even added Epsom Salt, and now she's back to her normal, moderately aggressive little self. What hardy little fish!! I'd recommend them to anyone! Thanks again, Amy and Daphnie the minnow <Ah, thank you for the positive news update. Tanichthys albonubes are one of my fave freshwater aquarium fishes. Bob Fenner>  

Not Tetra ID  1/21/06 Due to my significant other suddenly bringing home some fish, and not recalling the exact species or name of the fish, I would appreciate help in identifying a type of tetra.  (The exact fish were not in the store when I went back days later to look.) As you can see in the attached pic, these tetra are silver with a white belly, and a white line, partially clear fins with red color and white tips. I would greatly appreciate any help so I can make sure I am researching the correct fish.  I have searched and found so many different types and sizes of tetra, and it's driving me a little batty. They look almost like bloodfin tetras, but they aren't that silvery or shiny and the red in the tails isn't that deep.  The white line reminds me of some neons I have seen, but they don't have the bright color or the black on the lower half. In the pic is also one of the fish with a bloated belly area, at first we thought it was pregnancy because of the similar situation with the VWS, but I read on here that they are not live-bearers and what to do.  And if it turns out that the tetra is just fat, then that's fine.  The 3 of them were all the same size at time of purchase, we noticed this one was much bigger 3 weeks ago and it hasn't changed size either way since. As I work on that, I would just like to type this fish and ask if the fatter one looks abnormal. I haven't checked water quality yet, and I severely apologize, but I am very new to aquariums and having this thrust upon me, I think we and the fishies are doing pretty well. Thanks to your website (I had previously identified our other fish at the store, Velvet Wag Swordtail), I found help with a surprise birth, and the other great information on VWS.  (We now have 4 healthy baby VWS 8 weeks later.) I apologize for the poor quality of the pics, and say THANK YOU in advance for any help you can give! >> Your photos are fine. Your fish are not tetras. They are white cloud mountain minnows. Tanichthys albonubes. The fat bellied one is the female, the more slender one the male. Oliver.

Breeding Tan's Fish... Whiteclouds  1/1/06 I have recently purchased 2 Tanichthys albonubes (scientific name). Supposedly 1male1female and would like to breed them. They are with some other species (zebra danio, cherry barb and red platies) and I am not sure if I need to separate them from the other species or just let them be. Do you have any tips? >> You can get all the info you need right here, including breeding tips, - yes, you will need to separate the fish, the other fish will eat eggs and fry. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/wcmm.htm Good Luck, Oliver Aggressive white clouds  9/16/05 Hi Great website! <Thanks!> I need some help. I have two gold fish (one fantail and one normal) and 5 (two were bought 5-6 months ago) These have all been living together peacefully in their now upgraded tank for about 6-7 months. I have recently noticed the older of the white clouds are biting at the tails of my goldfish, who are getting very stressed as I have noticed red streaks in their tails. I now divided the tank in half by a sheet of glass, but of course I don't understand why they were all happy one minute and aggressive the next, please can you help? Thanks Sue  <White clouds are known to show aggression during breeding, do you know the sex of the fish in your tank?  If you have more then one male your poor goldfish may just be caught in the crossfire or could be a target if there is a male who is ready to breed with females in the tank.  I would make sure the white clouds are all female and the aggression should be solved.  I hope this helps and good luck! ~Heather aka LinearChaos> White mountain minnow behavior  9/2/05 Hi!   I recently set up a 50 gallon tank and purchased some neon tetras. Much to my surprise, I noticed that one was a white cloud that had gotten in by mistake. Knowing how lonely he must have felt, I purchased 7 more minnows to keep him company. I finally took my minnows out of the quarantine tank and put them in with their long, lost cousin. He seemed pretty happy. However, I noticed two of the larger minnows (he might have been one of them) a few hours later, swimming up and down, side by side, with fins spread.  Are they into synchronized swimming or are they going to tear each other to shreds?! <Heee! Neither one... well, actually, a sort of synchronized swimming... this is part of their reproductive behavior> (Maybe I have the only mountain minnow to enjoy solitude!) I have to tried to find the answer but no luck. Thanks for any info you can give me! Lee Ann Blevins <Have a friend in town with your family name... Marvin. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Cool water Companions - 04/04/2006 Hi, <Hey, Nate!> I am looking for some companions for some white cloud minnows.  My tank is currently about 68 degrees.  I have a heater, but I understand the white cloud minnows don't like anything above 72.   <Right, best to keep it cool.> Right now I have a 75 gallon with about a dozen minnows, so I have room for more fish.  I was thinking of maybe adding another dozen minnows.  For other cooler water companions.   <Indeed!> I understand I can add guppies, swordtails, platies and mollies (should I bump the temp up to 72 for these guys?)   <Actually, I'd skip on these and go for something a little "cooler" (pun heavily intended) like Goodeids or Skiffia.  Don't mix species from the same genus (for example, Ilyodon xantusi can mix with Ameca splendens, but not Ilyodon furcidens).  You can find a number of Goodeids available on http://www.aquabid.com now and often through local aquarium clubs.  In fact, if you're in the SF Bay Area, I know where you can get a few different species pretty easily.  Goodeids are big, beautiful livebearers that not only prefer but ultimately *need* the cooler temperatures that you're working with.  You could probably be okay with some of the less heavily inbred swordtails, maybe mollies as well, but the best bet for fun fish is the Goodeids.  You can also swing something like giant or zebra danios, as these fare quite well in cooler water.> Are there other fish that like this temperature range (maybe a few bottom dwellers).   <Bottom dwellers - yeah - try to locate Etheostoma species, if you can; these are North American natives, kinda goby-like and very cute.  Some are *quite* colorful.  I believe there are a number of North American natives available at http://www.jonahsaquarium.com .  For something more "common", your basic weather/dojo loach will appreciate the cooler temps, as will some of the more delicate and bizarre "hillstream loaches".  There are even a few Loricariids that can be found in cooler streams.> I am most interested in hardy, colorful fish.  Thanks. <Ilyodon xantusi, Ameca splendens, zebra danios and weather loaches would make fine additions for active, colorful, fun critters.> Nate Terry <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Breeding Whiteclouds (and most minnows)   1/31/06 Dear XXXX, <Make that three X's... one of my fave Mexican Beers/Cervezas>              I have 5 white cloud mountain minnows ( Tanichthys Albonubes ). Should I breed the largest female and the brightest male? If not which ones? <Best to use one (or two) males, and twice this number of females. Bob Fenner>                                                                       Much appreciated Austin

White Mountain Cloud Minnows ... health   6/24/06 Dear Bob and Crew: <<Hello, folks. Tom with you.>> First, the good news! We have written you several times with questions about our two fantail goldfish, Mojo and Jojo, because they have had a series of serious health problems. Well, they are doing great! We moved them both into the 20-gallon BiOrb (after all the black had disappeared from Mojo's tail). They are getting along very well, eating well, and swimming well. Mojo's tail is still a little shreddy, but we figure it may never grow back. It doesn't seem to be affecting him any -- he zips around even faster than Jojo! <<Always glad to hear things like this!>> Now for our question -- we had hoped to have a little shoal of minnows (White Cloud Mountain Minnows) to swim with the goldfish. As we had combined the two tanks into one, we had the little (5-gallon) tank free, so we purchased 11 minnows and installed them in the tank. <<Though I give you well-deserved credit for quarantining your new pets, a five-gallon tank is rather small even for these little guys. Anything pathological that may have been inadvertently introduced - probably internal to one, or more, of the fish - would remain concentrated in this small environment.>> The first evening, they ate fine and were as active as expected. However, over the next 5 days, we lost them all, one by one. The water tests perfect -- including ammonia. This test was verified at the pet store when we took back the dead fish and a water sample. They had no explanation for why so many of the fish had died one at a time over 5 days. <<How long had the LFS kept these fish before you purchased them? Always a good idea to purchase fish that have been in the store for at least a week, two weeks being better. Shipping/handling is incredibly stressful and can/will manifest itself by bringing on disease, potentially of the infectious variety.>> We feel awful that we have lost all these beautiful little fish. Can you help? What might we be doing wrong? <<Did you completely disinfect the five-gallon tank after moving your Goldfish? Water changes alone won't guarantee a disease-free tank. You may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive, ten-gallon tank just to provide a bit more space for any new additions. You might also consider adding some aquarium salt on the next go-around to provide a little preventative assistance with oxygen uptake, etc. This might help relieve the stress that will accompany the trip from the store to home. A final thought along this line would be to check the store's water parameters against your own. pH differences needn't be overly significant to wreak havoc on already stressed animals.>> There is no evidence of disease or parasite action. The water tests good, and we did a partial water replacement after every death. <<This is something that sounds good on the surface of it but may not be the right thing to do from the standpoint of stability. A "hidden" and somewhat obscure situation that arises with water changes is the introduction of undissolved gases into the tank water. Small changes, particularly in a well- aerated aquarium, aren't going to be a problem as the gases will dissipate quickly and safely. Water changes that are too large or, too frequent, may not allow enough time for this to take place, however, especially in a small tank. Food for thought.>> We have an ammonia detector in the tank, which registers safe. We had expected that we might lose a couple (we would eventually like to have 6-9 minnows in the BiOrb with the goldfish), but this was shocking. Help! <<Hopefully, I've given you something to work with and/or consider. One last consideration is that I don't, personally, advocate putting other species in with Goldfish. Water condition-wise, White Clouds would appear to be pretty good candidates for tankmates with Goldies but there have been instances where they have turned up as "snacks", especially if the Goldfish are substantially larger than the Minnows. Just something else to keep in mind.>> Thanks, Anne and Craig <<My best to both of you. Tom>>

White Cloud gasping    1/17/06 Hello Gals & Guys of WWM,  I have a problem with a small fish. First some information, hopefully not too much. I have a five gallon bow front, standard hang on filter, with a few low light plants in it, the inhabitants are four white cloud minnows & two Oto's.  I have a heater in the tank and keep it at 72's. I realize this is a bit on the overstocked side, so I've been religiously changing over a gallon of water every four days. Three of the minnows (2 Females/1Male) are swimming around fat & happy, the Oto's are munching on algae and are doing just fine. The tank (up and running a year) was a home of a Betta that died of old age (he was in a 2.5 gal before he got the upgrade), anyway it was well established when I added the white clouds two weeks ago. The water tests (until today) were zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and 5 nitrates.  When I got home today I noticed that one of the white clouds is  listless, open mouth, and seems to be gasping at the surface - so I tested the water and found that the ammonia and nitrites have spiked (5 & .25 respectively). <Yikes... had you done something to the filtration? I do hope you're treating, storing the new water for changes... for a few days before using. Tapwater is not a very consistent product...> I immediately changed two gallons of water. My questions (sorry to take so long) are: Is there anything else I can do to help this little guy out? Why is only one fish affected? <Mmm, not much to do, unless you have other stable settings to move this fish to... And it's likely the weakest, most susceptible individual...> Could anything else be wrong with him? I was thinking that the last water change I did yesterday kicked up some gunk (technical term) in the substrate that made the ammonia spike. But then I was thinking that maybe I added too many fish too soon and the tank is cycling again. <Both possibilities> OR am I overfeeding these little buggers (they are fun to watch eat, zoom around like torpedoes) and need to cut back? <This too... small amounts more frequently...> Thanks for all that you do, I really appreciate the Q & A's every day and everything you do for the hobby. (I also hope my grammar/spelling/writing isn't too atrocious). Ann. <You're doing fine in the English dept. Thank you Ann. Bob Fenner, who would hold off feeding period till there is no appreciable ammonia>

Re: White Cloud gasping   1/19/07 Afternoon Bob, thanks much for the information.  I do treat & store water a few days before I use it.  The little white cloud did die, but the others seems to be OK for now - swimming around. I've limiting the feeding, changed the water, and put  a new filter cartridge in (in case something toxic was in the old water).   Weirdly, the last water change (last night) put a dusty white layer over everything in the tank (except the fish) it's not bugs, more like minerals or bacteria. <The former... I suspect there is something amiss with your source water... and possibly your "conditioner"... I would practice/mix a glassful... and set on a window sill for look/seeing in the AM>   I'm starting to think something funky is going on with the tap water. <Me too> If they start to look worse, I could put them in with my goldfish, but I'm afraid that the golds are big enough to have a white cloud minnow afternoon snack (more hazardous than cloudy water). <Mmm, Tanichthys are pretty smart... and fast enough to avoid predation... and "like" to tolerate about the same water quality as goldfishes...>   Anyway, I'll keep an eye of them and thanks again for your help, you  & the crew are wonderful! Ann. <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive white clouds   2/4/07 Hi, <Stephanie> I am a elementary school teacher and our science department sent me an "Ecosystem" study kit with 6 white clouds, 2 males and 4 females, in it.  I decided to keep the fish, as I became attached to them, so I purchased an Eclipse 12 tank and set it up with many plants, rocks and wood.  I was told that white clouds are "peaceful" fish, but this has not been the case for me.  They are all aggressive towards each other and have become territorial over parts of the tank.  They chase each other, bang into each other and sometimes confine each other into corners.  Their behavior is in no way "peace" inducing.  What do you think is happening between them? <A bit of "spawning" behavior... not to be overly concerned here. Your system is large enough, the plants et al. providing sufficient habitat to preclude much damage here. Bob Fenner>  



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