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Fish of the Month
Issue: May 2008

Tanichthys micagemmae

FREYHOF & HERDER 2001

FOTM 0508

Augusto Menezes

Common Names: Blue white cloud, royal white cloud, Vietnamese minnow, Vietnamese cardinal minnow, Vietnamese white cloud, sparkle-eye minnow, new white cloud, the other white cloud, micagemmae

Type Locality: 17°07’24”N, 106°58’12”E, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

Range: Ben Hai River, Vietnam

Taxonomic Troubles: This is the original name. After decades of monotypy, this was the first congener to the White Cloud Mountain minnow T. albonubes.

Size: 2.5 to 3 cm TL (1 to 1¼ inch).

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical to cooler tropical freshwater, this fish is native to swiftly flowing streams and rivers.

Difficulty: Very easy to keep and breed. Recommended for beginners

Tank Setup: A planted tank with peaceful companions is ideal. They must be kept as a school of at least six, preferably more.

Feeding: Omnivorous. Natural diet is mostly small invertebrates. Readily accepts all foods.

Breeding: A very easy-to-breed egg scatterer. In the absence of serious predation and with sufficient cover, some fry will survive in a community setup. A species tank will soon contain specimens of all ages.

Description:

A beautiful iridescent minnow with dark lateral stripe, greenish iridescent stripe, full dorsal with white band on top, and red nose, caudal, and anal fin. The neon stripe on juveniles is brighter than anything you will see on other species.



Notes: This fish came into the hobby in the first days of this millennium, and reports indicate that, like T. albonubes, it may soon be extinct in the wild. Unfortunately the rapid growth of the ornamental fish trade from Vietnam is concurring with rapid urban growth and habitat destruction, giving us little time to find and import such gems as these. At least this species was discovered in time and is now established in captivity. Since it is peaceful, beautiful, hardy, and easy to breed, it is sure to become as perennially popular as its congener.

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