With the popularity of the white cloud minnow slowly increasing within the fish keeping hobby, a number of people who already keep white cloud minnows in their tanks have chosen to breed them to try and make a profit.
Due to this, there has been an increase in the number of people reaching out and asking various questions about how they should care for a pregnant white cloud minnow.
Unlike some species of fish, it is usually surprisingly easy to care for a pregnant white cloud minnow and they are a relatively easy fish to breed making them very beginner friendly if you want to breed your own fish.
Still, just like most other species of fish, there are a few simple things that you are often able to do that can help drastically increase the white cloud minnow fry yields from your pregnant white cloud minnow.
Due to so many people making simple, easy to avoid mistakes when breeding their white cloud minnows, we wanted to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Are White Cloud Minnows Livebearers Or Egg-Scatterers?
White cloud minnows are egg-scatterers meaning that they will lay eggs but rather than laying a concentrated clutch of eggs, they will usually scatter them over an area of the tank.
The strategy behind this is to try and reduce the chances of a potential egg eater finding the full clutch of eggs and being able to eat them all.
Although this can make it a little more difficult for a male white cloud minnow to fertilize all of the eggs, there are a few things that you can do to help make it as easy as possible.
We have seen some people claim that their white cloud minnow are livebearers meaning they give birth to live fry like a guppy rather than lay eggs.
This is not correct and we would guess that they have been missold another species of fish and told they are white cloud minnows.
How Can You Tell If Your White Cloud Minnow Is Pregnant?
Before you can start to care for a pregnant white cloud minnow, it is important that you know how to tell if your white cloud minnow is pregnant as they can often be very good at hiding the fact that they are carrying eggs.
An Increase In Body Size
The first and most obvious sign that your white cloud minnow is pregnant is an increase in their body size.
As the eggs develop, they will take up more and more space inside of the white cloud minnow’s body and this will cause their belly to swell up noticeably.
If you are struggling to tell if your white cloud minnow’s belly is swollen or not, a good way to check is to look at other white cloud minnows of a similar size to compare.
A Change In Coloration
Another sign that your white cloud minnow is pregnant is that their coloration will often change slightly as the eggs develop.
This is usually most noticeable in female white cloud minnows as their colors will often darken and become more intense.
Although this is not always the case, it is something to look out for.
A Change In Behavior
One of the most common signs that your white cloud minnow is pregnant is a change in their behavior.
Pregnant white cloud minnows will often become much more aggressive as they start to protect their eggs and this can often be directed towards both other fish in the tank and even you if you put your hand in the tank.
They may also become much more reclusive and start to spend more time hiding away as they try to reduce the chances of being found by predators.
How Do You Care For A Pregnant White Cloud Minnow?
Now that you know how to tell if your white cloud minnow is pregnant, it is time to look at how you can start to care for them.
The first and most important thing that you need to do is to make sure that their tank is set up correctly.
Set The Tank Up Correctly
This means having the correct water parameters, the right amount of hiding places and plenty of plants.
A quick and easy way to do this is to just add a bunch of live plants to the tank but fake plants can work if needed but fake plants offer no benefit to your water parameters.
The second thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are feeding them the correct diet.
Pregnant white cloud minnows will often have a much higher appetite as their body is working hard to produce eggs and fry so it is important that they have a nutritious diet that will help them to stay healthy.
One of the best things that you can do is to feed them live food as this will contain all of the nutrients that they need but if you cannot get hold of live food, high quality frozen or freeze-dried food will work just as well.
White cloud minnows are opportunistic omnivores meaning that they can survive on plant based food but prefer animal based food if possible and the species tend to do much better with an insect based diet, especially when pregnant.
Provide Plenty Of Hiding Places
The third and final thing that you need to do is to make sure that there are plenty of hiding places in the tank for your pregnant white cloud minnow.
This is important as it will help them to feel safe and secure and reduce the stress that they are under.
It can also help to prevent them from being bullied by other fish in the tank.
Some good hiding places include caves, driftwood and plants.
Should I Put My Pregnant White Cloud Minnow In A Breeding Tank?
Although it is not essential to put your pregnant white cloud minnow into a breeding tank, it can be a simple step that can drastically increase the survival rates of your white cloud minnow fry as well as increase the initial egg yields from your pregnant white cloud minnow.
A breeding tank can be a cheap, small tank, usually around 10 gallons that has a bunch of live plants in it with optimal water parameters where you put your pregnant white cloud minnows and a few males.
It offers the advantage of not having the predators that a community tank may have that can eat your white cloud minnow eggs and fry.
Once your pregnant white cloud minnows have spawned their eggs you usually remove them from the breeding tank as they can eat their own eggs.
A couple of days later, you usually put the male white cloud minnows back into the community tank as they will have had plenty of time to fertilize the eggs and will start to eat them given time.
We know that a breeding tank can pump your costs up so most beginners will usually just breed their white cloud minnows in their main community tank but if you do want a serious breeding operation then this can be an important step to consider.
How Long Are White Cloud Minnows Pregnant For?
A white cloud minnow is not technically pregnant as she carries unfertilized eggs rather than developing babies.
Still, it is a very common term used within the fish keeping hobby so we will stick to using it.
The time frame that a white cloud minnow can be pregnant and carrying eggs for will depend on a number of factors such as the health and age of the fish as well as her diet and the water parameters of the tank.
A white cloud minnow can be carrying her eggs for anywhere from one week to one month in most situations before she chooses to spawn the eggs and release them.
In most cases, the actual spawning process of scattering the eggs will take less than 24 hour hours.
How Often Do White Cloud Minnows Lay Eggs?
Depending on the specific situation, some white cloud minnows can release eggs one per week during the breeding season.
This can quickly grow the population of white cloud minnows in your tank but it is rare that they will spawn this frequently.
There are too many variables all at play at the same time to be able to offer a more accurate time frame though.
Some white cloud minnows will spawn once per season, others will spawn multiple times per season even if they are in the same tank while being the same age and eating the same food.
It’s just one of those things that is unpredictable and difficult to gauge for fish keepers.
Why Is My Pregnant White Cloud Minnow Growing Big?
Some pregnant white cloud minnows may have problems releasing their eggs, especially if the fish is older or fed a poor diet.
This can cause her to keep on growing big as more and more eggs are produced without her being able to release them.
There are a number of things that you are able to try to correct this issue though.
Increase Water Temperature
The quickest and easiest method is to increase the water temperature in the tank by a couple of degrees.
This is usually fine for most community tank setups and shouldn’t cause any problems in the tank but can often help a pregnant white cloud minnow release her eggs.
In most cases, you will usually have to only have the slightly higher water temperature for a couple of days before your pregnant white cloud minnow spawns her eggs too.
A Gentle Massage
In some cases, a gentle massage can help your pregnant white cloud minnow release her eggs but we really don’t recommend that you try this method if you are new to the fish keeping hobby.
If done incorrectly it can actually end up causing problems with the fish and some pregnant white cloud minnows may not be ready to release their eggs yet due to various reasons.
There are a number of guides online on how to do this but we tend not to go over it due to the risks associated with the method.
In addition to this, it is common for people to think that their white cloud minnow may be pregnant when it could be a different issue which we will cover in the section below.
If this is the case, the gentle massage will do nothing positive and make the issue with your fish worse.
What Else Could Cause A White Cloud Minnow To Have A Big Belly?
Pregnancy is not the only reason that your white cloud minnow may be looking larger than it normally would.
Other causes of bloating or swelling in white cloud minnows include constipation, dropsy, and swim bladder disease with all three of these commonly being misidentified as a pregnant white cloud minnows.
If you are new to the fish keeping hobby then it can actually be difficult to work out if your fish is pregnant, constipated or suffering from dropsy or swim bladder disease.
We covered the various secondary signs of a pregnant white cloud minnow earlier in the article though and we would recommend that you look out for those if you are not certain that your white cloud minnow is carrying eggs.
You can usually tell if your white cloud minnow is constipated as the fish won’t poop and will usually eat less than usual.
Dropsy will usually cause the fish to swim in a strange way while also lifting the scales off the fish too.
Swim bladder disease will also cause your white cloud minnow to swim in a strange way helping you work out that this is the potential problem with the fish.