Bala Shark Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

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Bala sharks are freshwater fish that come from Southeast Asia, and they have become a fairly common pet.

 There are many things that you will need to know about these fish so you can properly care for them. This is an exotic pet, so it needs special care in a number of ways.

Bala Shark Appearance & Size

These sharks can grow up to 35 centimeters or 14 inches long. They have a mostly silver coloration with areas of black on their pelvic, anal, caudal, and dorsal fins. Some of these fish also have small patches of yellow or gray. One of the defining characteristics of these fish are their large eyes, which are very useful when it comes to hunting their prey.

Most bala sharks live anywhere from 8 to 10 years in captivity. There are a number of factors that can affect how long these fish live, including the size of the tank they are kept in.

Another unique physical characteristic of these sharks is their solitary dorsal fin, which stands straight up. In fact, this is how they get their name.

Bala Shark in a water e1591109428511


Bala sharks are generally docile creatures, but it’s not a good idea to keep them with small fish. They can become aggressive if they feel like they need to compete with other fish for food.

You’ll find that these fish are fairly active a majority of the time, but they can also be shy and hide away from short periods of time. If you want a fish that you can admire swimming around the tank, this one is a good choice. 

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Natural Habitat

These sharks can be found in Southeast Asia in lakes and rivers, as they can only survive in freshwater environments. They tend to be found in fast moving, clear bodies of water that are very clean. Most of these fish spend their time in the middle areas, as opposed to the top or bottom.

Bala Shark Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

The filtration system that you use in your tank is one of the most important things when keeping bala sharks. These fish are accustomed to fast flowing water, so you’ll need a powerful filter. This is definitely not something that you want to go cheap on.

You can use any standard aquarium lamp that is designed for freshwater tanks. Just make sure that you keep the light on for about eight hours every single day. When it comes to the tank’s substrate, a thickness of 1 centimeter is best. You’ll want to use small pebbles with a dark coloration that vary in size.

Another crucial component of your bala shark tank setup will be the top, which should have a lid on for the first 3 to 4 weeks. While these fish are fairly docile, they can easily jump out of a tank with no lid. This is especially common when these fish are going through their initial adjustment period in the tank.

It is important that you keep your Bala shark in a tank with a minimum 45-gallon capacity. It will be necessary to get a larger tank as your fish gets bigger. When these sharks are fully matured, they need to be kept in a tank that 150 gallons minimum. A good rule of thumb is to add 45 gallons for each of these fish you are planning to keep.

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2. Water Conditions

Make sure that you maintain a water acidity levels of 6.5 to 8 at all times. The temperature of the water will need to stay at 77 degrees Fahrenheit or close to it at all times. A water hardness range of 10 to 13 dGH is recommended for the best possible environment.

3. Bala Shark Tank Mates

You’ll want to avoid keeping any small fish with your bala shark, as they could get bullied. You can keep these sharks together, provided there is enough space for all of them to swim freely. Rainbow fish, minor tetra, and corydoras all make good tankmates for these fish.

4. Bala Shark Food

Dry fish food is best for bala sharks, but you don’t want to feed them just anything. Make sure that you take the time to find a good quality food. These fish should also be given small amounts of vegetables and Bloodworms from time to time. This will help to keep your bala shark healthy as a whole. They require a good amount of protein on a daily basis. Two to three meals a day is standard for these fish.

Common Health Problems

It is important to keep in mind that bala sharks can develop a number of diseases, including dropsy. They also tend to have issues with parasites. You will therefore need to closely monitor your fish’s behavior and appearance so you can spot any odd changes that might indicate a problem.

Bala Shark Breeding

If you want to breed bala sharks, you’ll need a 65 gallon tank minimum. It is also important that you keep the water in the tank at a steady 77 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. You can encourage spawning by slowly increasing the temperature of the water up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Bala sharks can grow up to 14 inches long and have a solitary dorsal fin that stands straight up on their back.
  • These sharks typically live around 10 years in captivity with proper care.
  • If you are planning to keep a Bala shark, you should use a tank with a minimum capacity of 45 gallons.
  • Add 45 gallons for each Bala shark you plan to keep.
  • A powerful filter is a must for keeping these fish, as they are accustomed to strong flowing bodies of water.
  • Keep a lid on the tank for the first few weeks while your fish adjusts to its new environment.
  • A water acidity level of 6.5 to 8 is necessary for keeping your Bala shark healthy.
  • Make sure that you feed these fish dry food as well as the occasional vegetables and blood worms.
  • Parasites can be a major issue with Bala sharks, so keep an eye out for strange behavior or changes in your fish’s appearance.
  • If you are going to breed your Bala sharks, you should have a 65 gallon tank minimum.
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