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Bala Shark
(Balantiocheilus melanopterus)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Maximum Size: 16"
Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
Water Conditions: 70-82° F, pH 6.0-7.5, KH 10-15
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Southeast Asia
Family: Cyprinidae
Species: Sharks
Aquarium Type: Community
Species Information
Like most fish found in the aquarium hobby the Bala Shark goes by a variety of common names including: Tri-Color Shark, Silver Shark and of course the Bala Shark named after its scientific name. Despite their large adult size, Bala Shark are most commonly kept in standard community aquariums where they will happily coexist with a variety of other community fish species.
While not aggressive, they can be a problem if kept with very small fish species or if not given enough room to swim, as they are active swimmers. Adult specimens are also kept with larger, semi-aggressive fish species as they are usually able to hold their own once they have reached adult sizes of 1 foot or more.
They make a great addition to medium to large aquariums where a small group of them can be kept successfully, swimming about all day providing a lot of activity within the aquarium and providing a bright silver color contrast to other less metallic fish species.
Aquarium Care
Despite their large adult size, Bala Sharks like to swim in schools both in a natural setting and within an aquarium environment, thus it is best to keep them in small groups of 3 to 6 specimens. It is important to keep in mind that as adults they can reach approximately 1 1/2 feet in length, so they should only be kept in large to very large aquariums. Will not particularly aggressive, Bala Sharks can pose a hazard to much smaller fish species like Neon Tetras, as they have been known to eat small fish.
Bala Sharks prefer aquarium setups that have a good mixture of open swimming areas and dense vegetation or vertically oriented drift wood. An ideal setup for this species would contain lots of live plants, driftwood and open areas to swim, with a low to moderate current and tank mates that will tolerate the Bala Sharks active nature.
Feeding & Nutrition
Bala Sharks are omnivores and thus will eat a wide variety of plant based or meaty food preparations. On top of being an omnivore, Bala Sharks are simply just not picky eaters as they will readily consume a wide variety of foodstuffs including: flaked foods, freeze-dried, vegetable or plant matter, frozen foods, bloodworms, tubifex worms and much more. It is best to feed them a 2 to 3 times per day amounts that they will consume within a minute or two.
Additional Photos