White Clouds Come Indoors

September 18th, 2011

We’ve started to get some cooler evenings as we’re days away from the start of Autumn. Therefore, I decided to begin the process of shutting down my raised brick pond for the year by netting out my mosquito controlling white cloud mountain minnows and bringing them indoors.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

I had put a dozen outside in the spring, but so far I’ve netted about 20 adult sized fish, and quite a few tiny fry (2-3 mm). I’m going to try to collect as many of the tiny fry as possible and raise them in an extremely densely planted aquarium inside. I love putting fish outdoors, as when I bring them back inside, I almost always multiply the number of fish I have, and the colors on the fish are fantastic from all of the live food they’ve hunted down over the summer.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

All of these minnows are going into my 12G bookshelf aquarium, which has a large colony of orange-eyed-blue-tiger-shrimp in it, plus about 50 juvenile bristlenosed plecos. This is a low-tech tank without any CO2 added and minimal fertilization, but there has a noticeable increase in plant growth since I’ve added the baby plecos and minnows. I guess they’re producing just enough waste to spur the plants on.

Hemianthus glomeratus

The baby plecos are also progressing pretty well. I’m keep their small bellies round and full by feeding them a mixture of veggie pellets, with earthworm or shrimp protein foods added 1-2X a week. Of course, I just noticed a brand new spawn of bristlenose in my 50G aquarium, so I’m overflowing a little bit with these fish at the moment.

Young Bristlenose Pleco

Nevertheless, my 12G bookshelf tank is becoming one of my favorite aquariums to sit and watch. The bottom is always moving with shrimp and plecos scavenging about, and now the white cloud mountain minnows are constantly active in the upper water column. Comments welcome!

8 Responses to “White Clouds Come Indoors”

  1. Eugen Says:

    The colors of the white clouds are indeed amazing. I never kept them myself, but they are on my to have at some point list.

  2. guitarfish Says:

    I definitely recommend them, Eugen! The Vietnamese White Clouds are a nice variation on the same thing too…

  3. Tim Says:

    The colors are spectacular and to think they fed themselves all summer on larve, did you have to add and foods for them? I’m guessing there size it not great enough to cause any problems with all the shrimp in your 12 gallon, it seems like a lot of fauna for a small tank.

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Tim! I did not feed them once. I made sure that a small portion of the water’s surface did not get covered by plants. This attracted bugs, birds, frogs, etc, some of which provided food for the fish. Plus, I added cherry shrimp, so there were likely tiny baby shrimp in there too…

    I haven’t noticed any diminished OEBT shrimp in the tank since I added them… I’m watching the bioload — if I notice problems, I will move them to a larger aquarium…

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  6. Joe Says:

    Hi Guitar Fish,
    I really like your blog. The pictures are wonderful, and so inspiring. I love your raised brick pond. It has made me want one just like it! Would it be possible for you to tell me what the dimensions of it are? I would be most grateful. 🙂

  7. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Joe! The raised brick pond is roughly 3′ wide x 1.5′ deep x 2′ tall, or about 65 gallons. The bricked part is actually closer to 4′ long, but I built a compartment to the right of the actual pond to house any pumps/equipment I’d need to run. I haven’t actually utilized that, however, to this point. Since it’s all above ground, it pretty much freezes solid in the winter, so I bring any livestock indoors during the cold months. If I have to do it again, I’d probably go deeper, and make it a little bit bigger, but nevertheless, what I’ve got has provided countless hours of enjoyment, as it attracts birds/frogs every year, and I’m able to breed fish outdoors, flower plants, and provide a centerpiece to my backyard. And, the way I look at it, if the next owner of my house doesn’t want to deal with it, they could simply fill it in with dirt, and have a nice raised brick flower bed.

  8. Joe Says:

    Thanks for replying. I’m in Northern California, it never freezes solid (though it does freeze lightly on occasion). The cool wet winters here however are still probably too cold for say white cloud mountain minnows (winter lows average in the high thirties and low forties with daytime highs in the fifties). I can bring them inside for the winter and early spring. The rest of the year has good weather (usually, anyway). I’m looking forward to building this pond. I have lots of extra bricks behind my shed, which will help lower the budget!. Now I’m off to Google to research! Thanks again.