Bala Shark, Silver Shark

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The Bala Shark is also known as the Silver Shark and is a growing favorite among tropical fish hobbyists. The Bala Shark isn't a shark at all though. It belongs in the Cyprinidae family. They are commonly named silver sharks because of their appearance and the shape of their dorsal fin. These "sharks" require large tanks because of their potential adult size of 13 inches and because this fish does better when kept in groups. The Bala Shark is mostly peaceful but may eat smaller fish such as neon tetras when they reach a large enough size.
Also, be warned that these Bala sharks are excellent jumpers. Have a hood on your aquarium to prevent your Silver Shark from leaping to its death. They are very fast swimmers and will dart around your aquarium very quickly. Be sure you don't have any sharp objects in your aquarium that could injure your fish.


They are not recommended for the beginner because of their large aquarium requirements.

These freshwater Bala sharks (not really sharks) will eat most types of fish food including vitamin enriched flake foods, pellets, frozen, freeze dried and definitely live foods with the key being a varied diet. They sometimes make a clicking noise while eating.

Bala Shark, Silver Shark Profile Facts and Care Information

Scientific Name : Balantiocheilos melanopterus

Common Names : Bala Shark, Silver Shark, Tri Color Shark Minnow, Hangus, Silver Bala

Care Level : Easy to Medium, needs lots of swimming space and a larger tank.

Size : Up to 13 inches (33 cm)

pH : 6 - 8

Temperature : 72°F - 82°F (22°C - 28°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 12° dH,

Lifespan : 8 - 10 years

Origin / Habitat : South East Asia

Bala Shark Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful and can be kept with smaller fish. However, don't keep with tropical fish small enough to fit in the Bala's mouth such as neon tetras.

Bala Shark Breeding / Mating / Reproduction : Breeding is not recommended in the home aquarium due to their large adult size.

Tank Size : They will do much better in larger aquariums. Considering these are shoaling fish and considering their adult size, a 125 or even 180 gallon tank would be more appropriate for an adult school.

Bala Shark Compatible Tank Mates : Many, given the peaceful nature of this fish but avoid keeping them with fish small enough for them to eat.

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Bala Shark Diet / Fish Food : Good eaters, they will go after flakes, pellets, freeze dried and live foods. Give them a varied diet.

Tank Region : All

Gender : Hard to determine, but the female may be smaller than a male Silver Shark of the same age.

Similar Species : Cyprinids, Barbs

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