White cloud minnow lay eggs and they do not become pregnant. In this article I will show you how to spot when they are ready to start the hatching process.
How To Tell If Your White Cloud Minnow Is Pregnant
The easiest way to check if your white cloud minnow is pregnant is to check its gravid spot. If the gravid spot is dark it is a good indicator that your fish is pregnant. You can also check if the abdominal area has become bigger than normal.
Below is a video showing a pregnant white cloud minnow
Do White Cloud Minnows Lay Eggs?
The white cloud minnow fish lay eggs and are not livebearers. The process occurs starts when the eggs in the female are released and then fertilized by the male outside of the body.
These types of fish are known as egg scatterers as they will release eggs year-round.
You’ll see that a female white cloud minnow is ready to disperse eggs as she’ll have a swollen abdomen and are likely to be constantly followed by the males.
In the video below you can see a white cloud minnow that is ready to lay her eggs (Top left of tank)
How Long Are White Cloud Minnows Pregnant For?
A white cloud minnow is usually pregnant for around 4 weeks. When the females begin to spawn, their eggs will be scattered quite randomly over the plants or spawning mop and this can take up to 24 hours
The parents will then protect the eggs from other fish and might be aggressive during this time. If this causes tension with other fish you might want to remove the fish until the eggs have hatched.
How To Tell If White Cloud Minnow Is About To Breed
It can be very hard to tell male and female white cloud minnow apart but if you have a large group then it’s overwhelmingly likely that eggs will be released then fertilized.
Once they are, neither the male or female care for their young.
While telling them apart can be a challenge, white cloud minnow males are usually more slender and have a better color than their female counterparts.
One of the clearest ways to tell them apart is when the female is ready to release eggs.
This will generally happen between the ages of six months and one year. When it does the female’s abdomen will swell and it will look as if she is pregnant.
This isn’t always the case as it could be a sign that the fish is either getting fat or is unwell. If it’s the latter then there will most likely be a change of behavior to go with the physical change.
How To Breed White Cloud Minnow
If you’re a novice to taking care of fish then you may be sad to learn that many don’t make great parents, including the white cloud minnow.
Not only don’t they care for their young but they also will eat the eggs and also the fry (the name for juvenile fish before they are fully grown).
While a lot of fish do this, white cloud minnow doesn’t do it very aggressively. If you are keeping a large school of them then some of the fry are going to survive and develop into their adult size.
If there are other types of fish in your aquarium then that can add to the problems.
If you are worried about none of the fry surviving then you have the option of setting up a separate breeding tank that contains either a spawning mop or plants for them to deposit their eggs.
The chance of fry surviving will depend on the following water conditions
- Soft water will be preferred
- Balanced PH level
- Water temperature between 68F – 72F.
When the females begin to spawn their eggs will be scattered quite randomly over the plants or spawning mop and this can take up to 24 hours.
After the following 36-48 hours, the eggs will begin to hatch out. When this happens, you should remove the parents and place them back into your main tank.
Remove the parents once the eggs begin to hatch out. Fry should be fed very fine micro-foods and then freshly hatched brine shrimp as the best source of nutrients.
The fry will then grow very quickly and are very easy to care for. After they’ve grown you can then introduce them to the main tank without any issues.
The feeding in the initial stage is the most difficult aspect as they are so incredibly small which is why they often get eaten. Without the right conditions, the female won’t produce her eggs or could well absorb them.
If you want to be able to promote breeding without a separate tank then the best conditions will be a heavily planted tank as this will increase the chances of the young surviving. Another idea is to add java moss as this can act as shelter. Breeding can be promoted by reducing the water temperature slightly into the zone we looked at above.
What Happens When White Cloud Minnow Are Ready To Breed?
The whole process can happen very quickly and you can suddenly find yourself with a whole new collection of fish. With a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years, it’s always a good idea to let breeding occur naturally.
As well as the females getting a swollen abdomen, you’ll also see the makes start to chase them around while trying to flash their colors. This is because they want to be able to fertilize the eggs and will often bump into them before they spawn.
If you check a few hours later and your females are thinner and everyone looks a bit more relaxed then it’s a sure sign that you have plenty of fertilized eggs in your tank. Can’t see them? Well you won’t be alone as white cloud minnow eggs are clear and extremely small.
It doesn’t take long for them to gain some color and become a bit more visible. Don’t worry if you can’t see anything at first as they can be very hard to spot, even if there is a lot of them. Once this process occurs then you’d be able to follow them for a few days.
The best fish breed for beginners
If you are interested in breeding fish then the white cloud minnow is going to be a great place to start. They are very easy to care for but will give you plenty of experience and lessons that you are then able to take into trying to breed other types of fish.
Other types of fish are very quick to cannibalize their young which can make it very difficult to breed in an aquarium. Even though white minnow fish still do this to an extent, it’s much less than other types. The tank conditions, food and growth are all fairly easy to follow.
So there you go, you now know that there has never been such as a thing as a pregnant white cloud minnow. When you suddenly find your fish with a swollen abdomen, however, it’s a sign that you should get the tank and food ready to nurse some minnow eggs into their full size.