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Updated: Apr 19, 2021


The white cloud minnow is a small, peaceful, hardy, cold water schooling fish that is great for beginners. Once referred to as the poor man’s neon, this fish has become quite popular in the hobby.

While these fish are available in most aquarium stores, their wild population is rapidly dwindling, and there is hope that captive bred fish will one day help to replenish the population.

White cloud minnows generally have a lifespan of 5 years and get to be around 1.5 inches in size.

Tank Set Up

As these are a small schooling fish the bare minimum tank size for white clouds is 10 gallons for a small school, but of course, bigger is always better.

White clouds are very hardy and can survive in a wide range of water parameters, though the optimum temperature range is between 64°-72°, while these fish can handle warmer temperatures for short periods of time, if kept in higher temperatures long term, it can shorten their lifespan. These also have a pH range of between 6-8 but tend to do best when the pH is kept between 6.5-7.5.

To create a more natural environment for these fish you will want to choose a darker substrate along with rocks and driftwood with plenty of plants and a large open area for swimming.

Tank Mates

As white cloud minnows are a schooling fish you will want to keep a minimum of 5 in your aquarium, and they are a very peaceful fish that will get along well in a community tank.

Since they are a cold-water fish you will want to keep this in mind when choosing tank mates. They are also a very small fish, so take care not to choose fish that are too large to keep with them. Always remember, if it fits in the fish’s mouth, it’s food.

A few examples of good tank mates would be platies, danios, swordtails, and Corydoras.


White clouds are omnivores and are typically not picky eaters. A diet consisting of a high-quality small pellet or flake food, along with frozen or live brine shrimp and daphnia will help to keep these fish happy and healthy. White clouds may also even help to keep your tank clean by eating certain types of algae.


White cloud mountain minnows are an egg scattering species and they are a great starter fish for first time breeders, as they are known to be quite easy to breed.

If you are keeping a school with a good balance of males and females, or at least 1 females per male they will pair off and spawn regularly, and since these fish are not known to be aggressive egg eaters, if they are kept in a heavily planted species only tank, you may not need to set up a separate breeding tank.

Male and female white clouds are relatively easy to tell apart. Males have red on their dorsal and caudal fins, while females are slightly larger, more dull in color and have rounder more full bodies.

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