whitecloud 150x150 White Cloud Mountain Minnow, the Perfect fish.This little gem is almost always missed by aquarists. Most often sold at feeder fish size of about ¾ of an inch, people who have kept White Clouds to adulthood, usually keep some forever. What’s not to like? They’re a schooling fish that maxes out at about 2 inches. They have a reflective racing stripe. They breed easily, hence why you see them as feeders all the time. They can also go sub tropical, some people have kept them as low as 40 degrees. The only catch is, they’re cheap! You won’t be able to spend a whole paycheck and impress your fish friends with your rare fish. These beauties are usually 4 or 5 for a dollar!

That’s right, you could spruce up your tank with 100 white clouds for a mere $20. Sure you have to grow them a little bit, but they grow like weeds! For a fish that is extinct in the wild, they sure are cheap. The price shows you how easy they are to breed.

Not only is the price right, but they’re the hardiest fish I’ve ever dealt with. They’ll basically take any temperature you throw at them inside your house. They’re quick and can avoid semi-aggressive predators. They do well in smaller fish tanks and in large tanks. Fully planted aquascapes or rock hardscapes. All they ask is that you feed them once in a while. They’re the perfect fish to stock your tank with first.

The White Cloud is the pound dog of the fish world. You can rescue a nice group of these fish from the feeder tank. Sure they won’t cost you $700 dollars like that neighbor you have with the designer dog. However they will reward you with endless entertainment.

whitecloud2 150x150 White Cloud Mountain Minnow, the Perfect fish.

Tank if White Clouds mistaken for Black Neons!

Truth be told, people are amazed by the adult version of the White Cloud. Today at my shop, someone said “I’ll take a group of your Black Neon Tetras.” To say the least I was puzzled, because I didn’t have any of that fish in stock. The customer leads me to the Black Neon Tetras, and sure enough they’re adult White Clouds. I had not labeled them yet, as they had been in quarantine for the last week. “I never knew White Clouds looked so good when they grew up,” the customer said.

Many years ago when the White Cloud was popular, it was dubbed the “poor man’s Neon Tetra.” While this is still true today, I see nothing wrong with the cheaper version. A lot of aquarists can only afford 12 neon tetras for their aquarium at one time; often resulting in illness as they try to add 6 more to the school every few months to build it up. White Clouds give you the ability to have as many as you want from the get go since 100 will cost you $20.

I also use White Clouds in most of my breeder setups. It works wonders as a dither fish. If one gets beaten up or eaten, I am out 20 cents. However, being that they school and are so fast, I have yet to lose one to aggression ever.

If you really want to be thrifty, buy a pair of White Clouds. Males will have larger and more colorful fins. To breed them simply feed them well and put them in a tank alone together. They will eat their own fry, so, leave them in for 1 week, then remove the adults. In the next couple days you will have a cloud of babies to raise.

The White Cloud also comes in a long fin variety and a gold coloration variety. Both of these will cost you much more than 5 for a dollar. Often times retailing for $7 or so each.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice, in your next aquarium setup you do, make the first fish you add a school of White Clouds. Raise them till they’re over an inch. If you’re not absolutely in love with them, you can donate them back to your local fish store or sell them to another hobbyist. However, I’ve yet to have anyone bring any back. They’re simply a joy to watch and a great addition to most aquariums.

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whitecloud4 White Cloud Mountain Minnow, the Perfect fish.

Lewell's 15 gallon from PAHLS Forum.