Bala shark fish is almost extinct in its natural habitat and there has been no data reported in the last 3 decades. Does it mean it is a rare fish, the answer is no it is being bred by many breeders in southeast Asia
Why need a beginner’s guide for Bala Shark? Even though they are commonly found fish in local fish stores there is so much misconception about Bala sharks and the beginner’s guide would provide the appropriate information required to upkeep one of the most active fishes Bala shark
Bala Shark Fish – Overview
|Common Name||Bala shark or tricolor shark, silver shark, or shark minnow|
|Scientific Name||Balantiocheilos melanopterus|
|Habitat or Origin||Largely found in Southeast Asia|
|Average Size||An adult fish can grow up to 12 inches|
|Coloration||They are found in Black, grey, and yellow colors in a local pet store|
|Life Span||On average, they live up to 10 years|
|Diet||The young ones feed on bloodworms, brine shrimps whereas|
the adult ones feed on earthworms, prawns, and mussels.
The food should be thawed before feeding
|Gender Identification||Female fishes have round bellies. The male ones grow slightly|
bigger than the females
|Behavior||They are active swimmers and also can jump|
|Compatibility||They are peace-loving fish hence can get along with other|
Bala sharks. They can also be with other large fishes like
Rainbow fish, Gourami, Rasbora, Minor Tetra, Corydoras
|Ideal Tank Conditions||The tank should be a freshwater tank with plants and roots in|
it. The tank size can be approximately 45 gallons per
|Water Parameters||The pH level should be between 6.0-8.0 and water temperature should be between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Breeding||Breeding can be done at varying temperatures. Spawning can|
be done by increasing the temperature to about 82 degrees F.
early morning around an hour or two, spawning happens
after which the males fertilize the eggs with milt.
After this, the parents should be removed from the tank. Later
30-50 %can be renewed
|Common Diseases||Ich, parasites, and dropsy are some of the diseases.|
Ich can be observed when they rub their body against rocks
or gravel. They produce white spots on the body.
When the fluid inside the fish is built up, they cause the fish to
swell up. This is due to a parasite infection
|Approximate Cost||They cost an average of 3 USD to 5 USD depending on the size and in southeast Asia/India they cost almost half the price|
|What to look when buying||The fishes should not have any white spots on them and they|
should not appear swelled overall
|Species in the Market||Bala shark and Siamese Bala shark|
Gallery of Bala Shark fish
- Humphrey, S.R. & Bain, J.R. (1990). Endangered animals of Thailand. Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, 468 pp.
- Samorn Muttamara, S. & Sales, C. L. (1994). Water quality management of the Chao Phraya River (a case study). Environmental Technology 15(6).
- Molle, F. (2005). Elements for a political ecology of river basins development: The case of the Chao Phraya river basin, Thailand. Paper presented to the 4th Conference of the International Water History Association, December 2005, Paris.