Shark - Bala fish


Alternative Name

Silver Shark, Tri Color Shark, Tri-Colored Shark Scientific
Name: Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Basic Info 

The Bala Shark is a sleek, beautiful fish that resembles a mini shark. For this reason they are also known as Silver Sharks. Their silver coloration is distinct because their fins are lined in black. Some Bala Sharks will have white spots on them. At maturity, Bala Sharks can grow to be quite large - averaging 12 to 14 inches in length. Their final adult size should be kept in mind before purchase.


Bala Sharks are generally healthy fish and require little in the way of special care, though they may be prone to Ich. They will eat almost anything you feed them. They prefer live foods, such as bloodworms, glass worms, plankton and brine shrimp. They will eat flake foods, too. Vegetation should also be provided to give them a complete diet. Bala Sharks should be kept in large spaces, with moderate rock and plant decoration. Water temperature should be maintained between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0. Breeding Bala Sharks are rarely bred in captivity. They are usually imported directly from South Asia, which is why they can be more expensive than some other fish. Females tend to be plumper during breeding season than males, but otherwise they are difficult to sex visually.


Fresh water fish - they prefer open areas.


The Bala Shark, also known as the Tri-Colored Shark, is an exotic looking addition to many freshwater aquariums. The Bala Shark is not really a shark, as it is a freshwater species, but they are named this way because of their unique appearance. Bala sharks are great jumpers, so make sure they are kept in covered tanks. Some people have reported them jumping as high as six feet. Bala Sharks are also quite active, and this combined with their final adult size makes a large tank a must once they reach maturity. Young Bala Sharks may be kept in smaller tanks, but as they grow the small tank will no longer be suitable. Bala Sharks are generally a peaceful, non-aggressive fish and will fit well into most community tanks with similarly sized fish. Once they reach their large adult size they may considers small fish lunch. Bala Sharks do best when they are kept with other Bala Sharks, groups of 3 to 4 are ideal. Some Balas Sharks are quite shy and will retreat from view when people approach the aquarium. Bala Sharks are unusual fish because many will emit noises at night that can be easily heard from their tank. The Bala Shark is a relatively hardy fish and for this reason is popular among beginners as well as expert hobbyists.




Bala Sharks are native to southeastern Asia. They can be found in Thailand, southeastern Borneo and Sumatra. In the wild they prefer open areas.


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