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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(tl;dr -- If the CMMs are nibbling on the plants, it's probably because the plants are losing leaves anyway, making them more tempting than usual; or high temp and other factors are making these CMMs behave oddly.)

I believe the Cloud Mountain Minnows have succeeded in nibbling my staurogyne repens to death, which annoys me greatly. I was feeding them once a day (New Life Spectrum 0.5mm pellets), but have added a second feeding and basically keep going until they're no longer interested - in hopes I can distract them long enough to give the remaining stauro a chance to recover. They didn't seem interested in flakes.

Is there a good reference online or off where I can find out what they're more likely to snack on, so I can plan accordingly? Between the two tanks they haven't appeared to touch the rotala indica, bycopa, java fern, anubias, crypt, duckweed, etc - just the stauro...

Thanks!
 

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I have white clouds in a 20g long with leopard vals, various crypts, salvinia minima, and anubias petite. I've not see any plant damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think you'll find a reference because that sounds highly unusual. Are you positive your white clouds ate them and your plant didn't die from something else?
As I run though this again in my head, this may be a side-effect of some other lack/problem. But they certainly have had opportunity, and they're always so hungry it seems like motive...

The more I think about this, the more it seems like it should go in a tank journal. Let's dismiss the charges against the MCMs for the moment, while I finally get that going. There's a bunch of other stuff it could be, but these fish will eat a huge amount, and have been hanging around the bottom, so I figured...

Thanks, we'll come back to this later.
 

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According to Seriously Fish, it seems the WCMM could maybe use some plant/vegetable/algal matter in their diet as well.
Tanichthys albonubes ? White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Aphyocypris pooni) ? Seriously Fish

Some people that report abnormal (of a well balanced diet-fed fish) behaviors of eating plants, it seems plausible that either the fish are just hungry/underfed or their is a lacking nutrient in their diet (such as plant matter for omnivores).
Lacking plant nutrition in their normal fish food, may have the fish resort to obtaining that plant nutrition elsewhere, that of which being live plants (usually softer leaved or unhealthy/decaying plants).

So you can try feeding more of the current food and if the behavior still persists, looks for a new staple diet, or just an additional food that contains some more plants/vegetable/algal matter.

Any other tankmates in there? Even snails, shrimp and even other fish can munch on decaying plants.

Is that a new account smj?
I swear I've seen that avatar pic way before January.
 

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Truly a lot of if's involved before handing down indictment on fishes .
I have kept same 15 to 18 white cloud's for over a year, and feed fishes three times a week and witnessed no damage to healthy plant's.
Unusual for these fish to go to ground with sufficient diet/feeding's but if you can get schooling fishes such as these to do it,then your feeding about right IMHO.
Have seen fishes fed two or three times a day, become programmed to select certain color of flake food's which prolly represent different flavor in prepared mixes and let the rest fall to the substrate.
They quickly realize in a few hour's,more will be forthcoming, and they repeat the exercise only taking certain color flake or flavored bit's.
Reducing the number of feeding's,, resulted in more of the food being eaten quickly as it entered the water, and then the fishes would /will go to ground to forage for remains.
Decaying plant matter for whatever reason(lot of if's), along with infusoria, and other micro critter's,algae matter, found anywhere would be fair game for near any fishes,snail's,shrimp, in my view. Not just white cloud's .
Ain't easy to get shoaling fishes to go to ground when they are much more comfortable feeding from surface to mid depth's.
Very disciplined feeding involved.
 

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Interesting this was mentioned as I noticed today one of my WC's dashing about the tank with a little Java fernlet trailling from it's mouth, which I've not noticed before. The group I keep outdoors seem to continually graze on the light film of algal mats in their stock tank, and find enough to eat with just my small tri weekly feedings of pellets.

P.S. What temperature do you keep your WC at? They prefer slightly cooler conditions than most tropicals
 

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Fish are weird sometimes. Many people say angel fish don't eat plants, mine probably eats an equal weight of food and my plants
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe the staurogyne r. is having other issues, and the fish are just taking off any new/weakened leaves. After the first two weeks the stauro seemed to be putting out new leaves, looked a little bushier. But they've certainly been going downhill more recently, and the remaining four are looking sad. Probably a combination of the fish needing variety and the plants having other issues. The jungle vals slowly dwindled - or a slow melt and no return - in that tank (15G vert), and I thought it might be too little light but they haven't done any better in the 10G. That's when I started using the test kit weekly on the 15G (results are generally pH 7.0-7.2, 0 on ammonia, and 0 or one step up on the odd week for nitrites and nitrates - haven't opened the gH kit yet).

I haven't noticed the CMMs interfering with any other plants in either tank - rotala indica, crypts, vals, subwassertung, Java fern, anubias, bacopa, some more I'm not certain on the ID. Just the stauro, which is only in that 15G.

The silver/white CMMs in the 10G are a little smaller, and they turned their nose up at the pellets the same week I noticed fry in the tank. But several online sites and some folks here indicate that CMMs don't generally eat their fry, so likely it was something else. I'm using ground up flake for the juvies, but enough that the adults are mostly eating that. A couple will take some pellets, and the "big" single rasbora who ate nothing but pellets for years will have some. Never had any stauro in that tank.

I tried flake in the 15G once and the golden CMMs ignored it. Maybe I'll give it another try.

I generally shoot for 80F in each tank, which is probably a tad on the warm side for the CMMs. I've got a couple corys in the 15G and the sole surviving rasbora (of ~3 years in the 15G when it was in the living room) and a pleco in the 10G.
 

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80 degrees is really pushing it for WC's I've overwintered our pond raised group, there are some that actually live in the Koi pond section with out any heat whatsoever, and the water temps have been in the mid to upper 40's, probably a little lower this December and January. They are tough fish. But, they have somewhat short lives, and running their temperatures at 80 degrees is burning their small candle at both ends. Try for about 72 degrees.
 

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I keep my white clouds, danios, barbs and corys in an unheated tank in my sunroom. The temperature in the tank stays around 68 f. in winter and they all do very well and live very long lives. It gets warmer in summer. I have had corys live to be 14 years old. My oldest zebra danio is 6 years old now. I think the cooler temperature does increase their lifespan. I have never noticed the white clouds bothering the plants in the tank.
 

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mine does not eat any of my plants. st. repens included.
However my apple snails and amano shrimps did eat plants like AR mini and downoi to the very roots. once i started feeding those the problem dissapeared
 

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I agree with Grunge, definitely lower your temperature down to 72*F. Your WCMM much prefer the cooler temp. Your corys and rasboras are good at 72*F as well. Not sure what pleco you have, but they can adapt just fine. Plants will be fine too. 80*F is definitely too high. That high temp might explain the WCMM being even hungrier (which may be why they are munching on plants out of starvation from increased metabolism due to the high temps). Fish not taking to new foods right away can be common and takes a few introductions/feedings before they accept it (uncomfortable heat causing stress could also be partly why, but kind of doubt so).
 

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I have to agree with everybody else. I had the gold and long finned ones and they never ate my plants. Is this a low tech tank? For me, repens does much better with at least low-medium light and diy c02.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should really check things before I post...

The 10G has the heater set for 78F, and the thermometer reads 78F. I just turned it down to 76F and will take it down another 2 tomorrow evening.

Whatever the heater in the 15G was once set to, it read 76F when I just checked. I probably frobbed it the last time I cleaned the tank and didn't realize it. The other thing to note is that this is a physically small Aqueon Pro 50 mounted high in the tank. I'm sure it keeps the upper half of the 15" water column at around 76F -- but I doubt the lower half is that warm, which may be a factor in why the CMMs are hanging out in the lower part of this tank.

The golden CMMs in the 15G are jumpy, so I'll turn their heater down 2F tomorrow - and probably leave it at that. The thermometer in the 10G belongs in the 15, so I'll move that too. The ancient strip thermometer stuck to the outside top of the 15 is all jacked up, came that way with the tank, wihich is why I got the thermometer for it in the first place.

Appreciate the tips, though probably not as much as the fish do... ;)

Oh, and I offered flake again in the 15G. This time they liked it.
 

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This is a very interesting topic - we never experienced any plant nibbling from the white clouds when researching on them for our article. Although we have heard a few rare cases of this happening but yours seems to have the most information out of them all with maybe temperature being one of the variables. Maybe you can keep us updated on if they still are eating after the temp change and the flake diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
White clouds do much better at cold temps, they are cold water fish not tropical. ... that's 57-72°F.
Mine started breeding when I took the heater out and tank temp went to 65F.
This is consistent across several online articles on the CMMs and I totally believe it. But check my other thread -- my silver CMMs bred at 78F, for whatever that's worth. I'd had them for a month, or maybe more - I haven't kept anything like a tank diary. Maybe the stress from the high temp is what cost me the sixth adult minnow, whom I noticed was missing a few days before I spotted the fry.


This is a very interesting topic - we never experienced any plant nibbling from the white clouds when researching on them for our article. Although we have heard a few rare cases of this happening but yours seems to have the most information out of them all with maybe temperature being one of the variables. Maybe you can keep us updated on if they still are eating after the temp change and the flake diet.
I'll share whatever I observe. (Not sure if I'm going to buy more stauro though.) But maybe I'll try putting the one in best shape under a glass jar and see what happens - while continuing with the temp and diet change.
 

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To explain the possible reason for breeding despite the warmer temps, I wouldn't be surprised if it's noted that warmer temps can trigger spawning behavior (even in nature, changing seasonal temps or stormfront rains/floods bring in cooler/warmer water can cause breeding). Some fish spawning is triggered by cooler water, some via warmer water. If you were feeding high protein foods (bloodworms, blackworms, etc), that can also condition fish to spawn. If they spawned due to warmer temps, that is fine, but it's not a good idea to constantly keep them at those warmer temps. Just explaining. Glad to see you are doing the right thing for the fish.
 
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