Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Bala Shark, also known as the Silver Shark, is found exclusively in Borneo, Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia. Though its body shape resembles a shark, the Bala shark is not a true shark and is rather a member of the Cyprinidae family (minnows, barbs). Often referred to as a gentle giant, the Bala shark can reach a very large adult size of approximately 14″, thus requiring an above average aquarium to thrive long term. Specific water parameters are another important factor that may be overlooked for this species (see ‘Care Requirements’ below). Bala sharks form loose pecking orders, and therefore should be kept solitary or in groups of five or more individuals. Too few of individuals may result in the most subordinate fish being bullied incessantly. Aquatics Unlimited recognizes that wild Bala sharks are a listed IUCN species. Therefore, all of our Bala sharks are sourced from aquaculture.
Diet Requirements: Bala sharks are omnivores, but a greater proportion of their diet should be vegetable based. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable and protein based flake foods and sinking pellet foods are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp that contains spirulina algae and other mixed freshwater preparations. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 75 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Bala shark. The tank will need to be upgraded accordingly as it grows into its adult size. This fish should not be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm) as Bala sharks cannot tolerate high nitrates and deteriorating water parameters. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter can also be advantageous to maintain a healthier environment for a Bala shark. Bala sharks are relatively indifferent to aquarium decor, and this has been shown through healthy specimens raised in virtually bare aquariums. Driftwood and other natural looking arrangements will provide some refuge. Ample unobstructed and open swimming space are more important for Bala sharks. A sandy or fine substrate is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. Bala sharks are compatible with a variety of active medium-sized fishes, so long as tank mates will thrive in similar tank conditions and water parameters. Do not mix Bala sharks with overly aggressive and pugnacious species. Small fish species could be predated on as the Bala shark grows. Bala sharks kept in too cold of water, or fluctuating water temperatures, make them especially susceptible to ich. Recommended water conditions, 76-82° F, KH 4-15, pH 6.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2-1/2” to 3-1/2”, Large: 4” to 6”, XLarge: 7”+
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.