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White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)
White Cloud Mountain Minnow, WCMM
White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) - breeding
Originating from Chinese mountain streams, rarely grows up to 4 cm. This type of fish is really comfortable with colder water and can withstand the winter at 12 - 16 ° C. At summer the highest temperature that suits them is 24 - 25 ° C. At higher temperature they can not survive. You should provide them with enough air in the tank, or else it could lead to death. If the flow of air in the air diffuser gets weaker or if they are withouth air even for a short time it could be also lead to death. Regarding feeding they are not choosy, they will accept dry or live food in a wide range of products. They are peaceful shoaling fishes. They will not eat the fry or the eggs from other fishes or their own. Sometimes it can happen that the female has the urge to eat her own or other fishes eggs but it is very rare. No need for making quality water, tap water will bee just fine for them.
Gender Recognition (Sexual Dimorphism):
Male and female have a white stripe from the eye up to the tail. Males are thinner and the white line on their body is straight. Males attract the females by displaying their upper and lower fins. The upper and lower fins of males have a stronger red and yellow coloration than females. Females look just as like males, only the white stripe on their side is not straight but slightly curved, begining from the eye to the end of her bellie. The colors of her upper and lower fins are not so intense in colors like by the males.
Preparation for spawning aquarium (Breeding):
I have made 10 liter aquariums. Took a plastic green net (best to take green or brown colored nets) and the holes were 0.5 cm. I cut the net to be slightly larger than the aquarium and put it on the bottom so that it is bent in a semicircle. Be careful that the net goes exactly by the glass, otherwise the fish could slip below it. The aim is that the fishes spawn over the net so that the eggs can all fall down to the botom of the aquarium where the parents can't reach them. Above the net I put somme java moss with one pebble stone on the top of it, so the fish can spown around the moss. Basically if you put some kind of plant in the spawning tank, it will serve like some kind of a trigger for spawning. I put air diffusers in the small aquariums. They do not need light, so I put around it a dark blue paper, so they wouldn't become frighten when I'm close. You should put some cover over the aquarium, because the males chase very intensively and the females could jump out.
Note: its good to separate the males from females for 10-14 days before spawning.
Preparation of water for spawning:
They do not need any special water, if it's under 10 KH. I made water with 0 KH and 0 GH and latter adjusted it with mineral salt to gain 4 KH and 3 GH, while the water temperature was kept constantly between 23 - 24 ° C. For me it turned out that this water was ideal for spawning.
Note: I had good spawnings with 19-21°C also, its not necessarily to have high temperature.
When are the fishes ready for spawning:
The males are always ready to spawn so you should only watch witch males are displaying more their fins and separate them to another tank. Females are ready to spawn when their bellies become more rounded, it can be best determined before the feeding.
Tanichthys albonubes is quite difficult to reproduce, they are shoaling fishes and they will not scatter all eggs at once.The spawning will continou for several days. Some aquarists breed them as a group in a densely-planted aquarium without human interference. When the fry starts to appear, they only remove the little ones from the collective aquarium. I personally aded two males and one female to each spawning tank and made about 200-300 fry from one spawning. Before or during the spawning season I do not feed the fishes. Spawning commonly lasts up to 10 days, but it can happen that the female is spent of eggs at once.
First day - laying eggs
Morning before feeding, I saw a female that is ready for spawning, I put her with two males in the prepared spawning tank. In the evening I saw that the males are chasing the female. Several hours later, males were completely peaceful and the female was in the corner of the aquarium. I saw eggs on the bottom of the aquarium. Since the fish were peaceful and did not chase continuesly, I removed them from the breeding tank. I also removed the plastic green net. I didn't put any product against fungi in freshwater aquriums.
Note: if males stop chasing this means that the spawning is completed, if the females still have a big bellie it means that the spawning is not finished yet and the fishes should be left for another day in the breeding tank.
Sekond day - white eggs
In the morning I noticed that 2-3% of the eggs are white. I took a small pipette and very slowly removed the white eggs from the healthy ones. Furthermore there was no need to use any medicine in the water.
Third day - hatching
To my joy in the morning the hole aquariums floor was full with fry. I still didn't see any danger for the little ones, so I didn't use any product for the water.
Fifth day – when the fry starts to swim
The fry started to swim and there where around 200-300pc. They lost the yolk and I started giving them very little boiled egg yolk. The egg must be hard cooked and use only a very little of it stirred with water for the feeding of the fry. Iff you give them too many egg yolks, it would lead to fatal results.
Twelfth day -moving fry to a biger tank
The fry are quite lively and the aquarium starts to be to little for them. I moved the fry from the breeding tank into a larger tank of 80l and now I begun to feed them with Artemia. Just few of them died, so I'm further counting 200 -300 pc .
After 2 weeks with the remaining fry there shouldn't ocure any problem, every one of them will grow up. For thirty days I give them Artemia and only afterwards try the dry food or home-made food.
This is my
personal experience of breeding Tanichthys albonubes and it doesn't
mean necessarily that you will require the same parameters for
spawning. But I made several thousand fry in one month with this
kinde of water and aquarium setup, of course with more fish couples,
not just with a single female. This can help you too, to find a
golden middle for spawning. When they grow up and you put them into a
larger aquarium it is really a nice site, and particularly since the
invested time and effort was yours and at the end it's the most
beautiful scenery. I wish everyone good luck for breeding.
Author Zsolt Deak