Bala Shark (Silver Shark) Size, Tank, Food, Lifespan & More

The bala shark is actually a freshwater types of the Cyprinidae household. Bala sharks possess grey or even sterling silver physical bodies along with long, directed yellow or even grey fins bordered along with dark.

Bala sharks are actually well-liked along with aquarists as a result of their shark-like physique as well as striking fin styles. These calm shoaling fish are actually much less hostile as well as areal than genuine freshwater sharks.

Bala Shark Facts & Overview

Bala shark swimming in its decorated aquarium

Scientific label:Balantiocheilos melanopterus
Common labelsBala shark, silver shark, tricolor shark, tricolor sharkminnow
Distribution:Southeast Asia
Size:Up to 14 ins
Life expectations:Up to one decade
Color:Silver along with grey or even yellow as well as fins
Minimum tank size:120 quarts
Temperature:72–82°F (22–28°C)
Hardness:5–12 dGH
Care degree:Easy


Bala sharks are actually belonging to the tidy, fresh water streams as well as ponds of Southeast Asia, consisting of around the Malay Peninsula, in the Chao Phraya as well as Mekong containers, as well as in the waters encompassing Sumatra as well as Borneo.

Bala sharks are actually a risked types that are actually hardly discovered in bush. Overfishing for the aquarium trade and forest fires in 1975 are actually 2 feasible triggers for the decline in bush populace of bala sharks.

The organic environment of the bala shark is actually cozy as well as largely decayed, along with a sloppy, pebbly substratum. Bala sharks favor fast-flowing waters, as well as pullulate the midwater areas of their environment.

Adult Size & Lifespan

Bala sharks grow to 14 ins long. Female bala sharks quit expanding prior to the men, thus male bala sharks are actually longer than girls. Female bala sharks possess cad stubborn bellies than men.

The common lifespan of a bala shark is actually in between 8 as well as a decade.


Bala sharks may be acquired on the internet conveniently, yet the fish are actually complicated to locate in tiny, neighborhood fish retail stores. When getting a bala shark, make certain the fish has actually been actually multiplied in bondage, to safeguard the types’ untamed populaces.

The normal expense of a bala shark is actually $7 to $10. You may purchase all of them coming from the adhering to professional on the internet retail stores:

Appearance & Behavior

Bala shark swimming near rocky substrate and aquarium decorations

Bala sharks possess long, sterling silver physical bodies along with daring, sharp fins. They are actually calm fish along with easygoing characters.

Colors, Patterns, Fins, as well as Sex Differences

The bala shark isn’t a true freshwater shark. The fish is actually named a bala shark due to its own lengthy, sharp dorsal fin, which appears like a shark’s fin.

Bala sharks possess long, torpedo-shaped, silvery-gray physical bodies along with silver or even yellow fins bordered along with dark. The fish’s forward fins are actually tiny as well as displayed dark or even grey. Its body system is actually lighter grey on top than basically.

The bala shark’s tiny, closely-packed ranges are actually many-colored, implying that they demonstrate lightweight as the fish actions, producing a glittering appeal.

Typical Behavior

The bala shark is actually a calm fish that hits it off along with various other calm types in an area tank. As a shoaling fish, the bala shark thinks very most comfy when housed along with a minimum of 4 various other fish of its own kind.

Bala sharks are actually quickly, energetic swimmers that dart around the center of the tank. As daily fish, they are actually more energetic in the time than the evening.

Bala sharks are actually shy as well as conveniently afraid, as well as invest a bunch of opportunity concealing in caverns as well as responsible for vegetations.

Bala Shark Care & Tank Requirements

Bala shark swimming amongst various aquarium plants

Caring for bala sharks is actually very easy provided that you deliver secure water states as well as sufficient room for these energetic swimmers to look into. House bala sharks in a freshwater tank as well as supply all of them an omnivorous diet regimen.

Habitat as well as Tank Requirements

The bala shark’s organic environment is actually pond as well as fast-flowing streams as well as flows in Southeast Asia. These fish are actually made use of to cozy waters along with a pebbly or even sloppy substratum.

Set up your bala shark’s tank to reproduce the fish’s environment in bush. Fully-expanded bala sharks ought to be actually housed in a tank of a minimum of 150 quarts, a minimum of 5 feets all over. The a lot longer the tank, the more room this middle-dwelling fish must look into.

Bala sharks don’t go for a swim along all-time low of the tank or even dig in the substratum, thus there’s no demand to make use of a details kind of substratum. However, a dark-colored pebbly substratum, around ½ an in slow-witted, is actually closest to the substratum discovered in the fish’s untamed environment.

There’s additionally no demand to fill up bala sharks’ containers along with stones or even vegetations. However, a couple of vegetations, like anubias, may produce all of them believe more in the house in bondage as well as deliver a concealing area for exhausted or even tense fish. Plant flora around the sides of the tank to stop interruption to the going swimming locations.

Bala sharks are actually recognized to leap away from the tank, specifically when resolving right into their brand-new atmosphere, so a safe and secure cover atop the tank is actually vital.

Tank Conditions

The excellent tank ailments for bala sharks are actually:

Water kind:Neutral, fast-flowing freshwater
Tank size:Minimum 150 quarts, plus forty five quarts for every single added fish
Water temperature level:72–82°F
Substrate:Pebbles or even dirt
Tank system:Plants, origins
Acidity:6.0–8.0 pH
Water solidity:5–12 dGH
Filter:Yes, to deliver a swift present that resembles the present in the fish’s organic environment
Pump:Pumps result in a fast-flowing present, yet aren’t vital
Bubbler:No, extra oygenation coming from a drinking fountain isn’t needed
Lighting:Yes, a freshwater fish tank lighting ought to deliver a minimum of 8 hrs of sunlight every day, to promote vegetation development as well as deliver a day-to-night pattern
Water heating system:Yes, to deliver regularly cozy waters for this exotic fish

The basics for a bala shark’s tank are actually a strong outside filter, organic tank illumination, as well as a top notch heater.

These fish feel to transforming water guidelines, thus preserving constant water guidelines as well as executing routine twenty–30% water modifications are actually necessary to stop ailment as well as anxiety.


Bala sharks aren’t susceptible to particular health conditions, yet there are actually many fresh water health conditions that impact these fish when they are actually housed in bad tank ailments.


Dropsy is actually an accumulation of liquid inside the fish as well as is actually typically a sign of a microbial or even leechlike contamination. Fish along with dropsy seem puffed up as well as possess sticking out eyes, incrustations that protrude coming from the body system, anorexia nervosa, sleepiness, as well as fast breathing.

To surprise dropsy, incorporate ⅛ tsp of Epsom sodium to every 5 quarts of water in the tank, as well as talk with your animal medical practitioner concerning anti-bacterial medicine for the ailment

External bloodsuckers

Bala sharks may be impacted through many outside bloodsuckers, consisting of anchor worms, fish lice, as well as quirks. External bloodsuckers may be viewed affixed to the body system or even gills of the fish, as well as are actually launched to the tank via brand-new fish, online meals, or even vegetations.

Use veterinarian-approved medicines or even pesticides to get rid of bloodsuckers. Remove triggered carbon dioxide media coming from the tank’s filter while incorporating therapy to the water, due to the fact that triggered carbon dioxide is going to adsorb the medicine.


Ich is just one of the best popular skin layer health conditions among imprisoned freshwater fish. Fish along with Ich possess white colored areas on their incrustations as well as are actually commonly viewed showing off (or even damaging) versus rugged surface areas in the tank.

Treat ich through eliminating the impacted fish as well as putting all of them in a quarantine tank consisting of water that is actually a number of amounts warmer than the residence tank’s temperature level. Add one tsp of sodium every one quart of water in the tank.

Tank Mates

A school of bala sharks swimming in a planted tank

Bala sharks are actually calm fish that may be housed along with various other medium-to-large, calm fish. Don’t home all of them along with hostile or even meat-eating fish like fluorescent tetras.

Don’t incorporate non-fish types like shrimps as well as complainers to a bala shark tank, due to the fact that they are actually recognized to consume shellfishes.

Great tank buddies for bala sharks feature:

  • Other bala sharks — bala sharks are actually shoaling fish that must be actually housed in teams of a minimum of 5
  • Gouramis
  • Corydoras
  • Rasboras
  • Rainbowfish

Diet as well as Feeding

In bush, the bala shark’s diet regimen contains pests, tiny shellfishes, vegetation concern, algae, as well as larvae. Provide a likewise assorted diet regimen in bondage along with a blend of online as well as dried out meals.

High-premium dried out food, like scabs as well as pellets, ought to comprise the mass of the bala shark’s diet regimen. Look for healthy meals that deliver the vitamins, minerals, as well as healthy proteins required for these fish to develop to their complete possibility.

Diversify supplying through incorporating online, high-protein meals like bloodworms as well as shrimp to the tank, as well as routinely supply the fish plankton, diced fruit products, veggies, as well as veggies to strengthen the fish’s health and wellness.

Bala sharks ought to be actually nourished as much as 3 opportunities every day. To stay away from overfeeding, supply the fish a quantity it may consume within concerning 2 mins. No extra supplements are actually demanded provided that the fish possesses a well balanced, varied diet regimen.


Bala shark close up in a tank

Breeding bala sharks is actually reasonably complicated as well as absolute best sought through aquarists along with fish-breeding adventure. Bala sharks come to be intimately fully grown at around 6 months aged, or even when the fish have actually expanded to 4 ins long.

To kind bala sharks, observe these actions:

  1. Place a team of 5 bala sharks in a different 65-gallon reproduction tank along with a temperature level of 77°F as well as a sturdy filter. Keep all-time low of the tank very clear or even incorporate a multiplying internet to see the eggs. Sexing the fish is actually complicated, as well as seeking multiplying along with a huge team of fish improves the possibility that there are actually men as well as girls in the team.
  2. Initiate generating through progressively enhancing the water temperature level to 82°F over the moment stretch of a full week. You ought to observe the girls coming to be cad than regular, signifying the advancement of eggs.
  3. Interested men as well as girls will definitely give rise to early in the early morning, lasting for a number of hrs.
  4. After the woman has actually set eggs along all-time low of the tank, the man is going to enrich the eggs along with milt.
  5. Remove all fish coming from the tank, consisting of the moms and dads, to stop the grownups coming from consuming the fry. Replace the filter along with an inner sponge filter that won’t gobble the fry.
  6. Perform a fifty% water improvement as well as incorporate anti-bacterial answers to the water. Within 24-hour, larvae ought to seem.
  7. The fry must hatch out within 3 times. Feed the fry ciliates, after that change to nauplii of artemia or even cyclops the moment the fry are actually 4 times aged.
  8. Keep the fry in a different tank till the fish hit 6 months aged or even 4 ins long.

Should You Get a Bala Shark for Your Aquarium?

Bala sharks are actually unique-looking fish that deliver a lot of amusement in a residence fish tank.

You ought to receive a bala shark if you possess a lot of room for a minimum of 5 of these energetic shoaling fish. Don’t receive a bala shark if your tank is actually tiny or even consists of huge predacious fish.

Despite requiring a much larger tank than a lot of tropical fish, bala sharks are actually calm as well as wonderful to examine, creating all of them a great selection for individuals that possess sufficient tank room to house the types.



Lucky author of (waited years for the domain). I've always kept a few tanks going. I keep a few African cichlids around in my 50 gallons but primarily focus on our 100 gallon which changes nearly every month depending on what my kids may have in mind.

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