View Full Version : Minnow choreography ...

01-12-2011, 01:45 AM
I posted some time ago about witnessing some of my White Cloud Minnos pairing off and doing what appeared to be a choreographed routine, including swimming backwards in tandom, flaring fins, and rubbing against each other with their tail sections.

I suspected this could be courtship dancing, or possible threat behavior, as they would often do it while facing a glass pane that mirrored their reflections.

I just got my first copy of Aquarium Fish International today, and it has a splendid article on breeding White Cloud Minnows. It described the courtship dance as the males flashing their brightly colored fins to the females. What I saw was both fish in the pair flaring fins, possibly at each other or at their own reflections in the glass.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure, now, that this is some sort of courtship display, and in the past, I have seen very plump minnows with bulges in their bellies that could well have been eggs. The females are more plump than the males and less colorful.

It's probably a safe bet to assume that my minnows have bred in the community tank, and probably all the eggs got eaten before any fry could hatch. If I wish to pursue breeding them, I'll need to set up a separate fry tank, although the thick clusters of floating plants could provide a fairly safe fry mat for any babies that turn up. In fact, I have two thick plastic fry mats floating on the surface right now because I like the added lush greenery they provide in addition to the live floaters. Also recently obtained a thick mat of Riccia.

Have been wondering about this displaying behavior, and now I know for sure it's wooing.

Minnow choreography is fun to watch!

-- mermaidwannabe

Michael Milligan
01-12-2011, 01:57 AM
I loved minnows when I had them! I hope to get a new tank to rehome my newt to something unheated (like it is supposed to have). That tank will surely make a good tank for MMs too!

If you like these fish like I do, then you can do a species tank rather than just a fry tank. Mountain minnows are rare in that they tend not to eat their young! So without any other fish to dine on the little ones, your numbers could grow rapidly!

Male Cherry barbs have a wonderful dance they do when they "face off".