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Breeding the White Cloud

White clouds are a great egglaying species for first-timers and seasoned breeders alike.

By Jeffrey C. Howe |

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Besides the zebra danio (Danio rerio), the White Cloud Mountain minnow (Tanichthys albonubes), which is usually just referred to as the "white cloud,” is probably the first egglaying fish bred by most aquarists. They make perfect egglayers because they are easy to care for, not prone to any particular disease and are very prolific.

White clouds were brought to the attention of the Fisheries Experiment Station, Canton, China, in 1932, by a young Chinese boy named Tan. The white cloud is a native of the waters of White Cloud Mountain located near Canton, China. The genus name Tanichthys is a combination of the boy’s name, "Tan,” and ichthys, which means "fish.” The species name albonubes is from the Latin "alba nubes,” which mean "white cloud.” Could one ask for a more appropriate scientific name? During the 1940s and 50s, white clouds acquired the nickname of "poor man’s neon tetra” because they were much more affordable than the colorful — and at the time expensive — neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi).

Want to read the full story? Pick up the February 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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