Animal Stories - Bala Shark

Animal-World Information about: Bala Shark

The very popular Bala Shark has a perfectly sweet disposition and peacefully goes about minding its own business!
Latest Animal Stories
Anonymous - 2018-05-03
our silver sharks never bred but our catfish sucking loaches did. we found the all over the floor of the tank and it looked like they had been alive quite a while

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  • Anonymous - 2018-05-03
wendycats2003 - 2009-09-29
Hi, I have 11 bala sharks and they are doing really well, even the youngsters are growing. My question is, how long are they pregnant for, as I cant seem to get any answers. In my local pet shops, you can buy them on a regular basis. I go to a person who knows his tropical/cold/marine fish very well. Some pet shops will just sell you anything, but after contacting the right people I now know who to go to.

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  • Carol - 2011-01-02
    I hope you have a fish tank as big as sea worlds if you have 11 of them. They are wonderful fish but not for most home fish tanks due to their size. A tank of 12" fish had better be a super-sized one.

    They do not breed in captivity.
  • Melanie - 2015-06-04
    They are egg layers.It's rare for them to spawn in your tank.I've had one lay eggs in the gravel of my tank once.She lost a lot of her scales and nothing came of it.
Knife Fish Lover - 2014-11-01
I think there might be something wrong with my female rainbow shark,i got her at walmart (she was '.50') in early 2014,she hid a lot when i added her,but for 6 months she was active and swimming (after being added to my 35 gallon),but now she hides in my sunken submarine all the time ,please help!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-11-02
    Sounds like it is stressed. These are skittish fish, and they get big... quickly. It may be that the 35 gallon aquarium is now too small for it, also check for tankmates that may be overly active or aggressive.
  • Knife Fish Lover - 2014-11-02
    Should i move her to my 55?
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-11-03
    Couldn't hurt.
deena francy - 2014-07-21
i hav a pair of bala sharks.1 of them is showing a red colouration on base of all fins.but its active and takin food as usual.all other fishes r well.wat might hav happened to my bala? cant stand by seein him like this

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    It sounds like a bacterial disease, probably what is known as 'Red Pest'. The fish can be treated with an antibiotic in its food. You can learn more about it on the Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments page here:
justin - 2011-01-15
I have a 60-gallon tank, and at Petsmart the people say these things get 14 inches! Is this true? Will I need to get more than one?

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  • nm123 - 2011-11-06
    No they aren't schooling fish they get about that size maybe smaller in aquarium though.
  • Justin - 2013-08-06
    Okay, what you really need is a large tank setup. They can't live well on their own.They need to be in schools of three to five for maximum mental health.
  • Zack Bradford - 2013-12-16
    Yea, they definitely need to be in odd groups. They won't make it to 14 in your tank, I had a 55 and there just wasn't enough space for them, sorry to say but you'll be lucky if they make it to about 8 inches. I only say that because your tank mates will have a big play on them, say you have a fish like barbs for example. The bala will get skittish and will jolt into the glass and continue to knock itself out. But cool fish give the tank character and you'll definitely need a bigger tank if you want them to thrive not just survive. Feel free to ask about other fish as well if idk I wont bs ya.

Justin - 2013-08-06
Hey I have three balas. Two are about four inches and one is a little over three, I have a clown loach and three zebra danios. As well my wife bought three neon tetras and I bought a pleco. I believe (now that we are missing a tetra) that one of my bala sharks is responsible. But I have them in a large 100 gallon setup. They are great fish and I agree definitely not for children, they require advanced care and can be difficult to treat. I love them though, even though they are tetra murderers. Ha ha

ivor whitehouse - 2005-10-28
a nice fish but very easily spooked. did have three but lost one when it jumped out of the tank when cleaning. put it back quickly but the stress gave it a heart attack and it died suddenly. they do not bother other fish at all but they will eat small fry as i have seen them feed on newborn platies. seem to be quite hardy and are supposed to live up to ten years if well looked after and a bit of luck. would not recommend for tanks less than four feet as a full grown one needs space and even four feet can be considered small when you are a foot or more long. have not bred in the aquarium but they seem to go through some form of display or ritual which looks like a prelude to mating. a beautiful fish and justly popular.

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  • Terry - 2013-06-21
    Hi there, you mention a form of display or ritual with these fish, I have a pair of them have found it impossible to sex them however have regularly caught glimpse of them swimming almost in tandem with them inter lapping tails! Is this the 'perhaps' ritual to which you allude? I am a little concerned as my UFO 500 tank is only 78 litres therefore not sure if that's large enough tho it should do just now I guess, also I've read many things on this page about pairs not being a good thing, these two seem fine and the old romantic in me hopes that this is a mating ritual and indicative of them being fine together!
Miguel Angel Montanez - 2013-02-03
Why is my bala shark hovering in the corner like if it was guarding something? It has been doing it for two days now and it just seems weird.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-02-04
    Is the area near anything? Filter, heater??
Anonymous - 2012-12-04
How high can Balas jump? I ask because the 7' Balas we've had for a year lives in a tank without a top. The tank is 200 gallons. He shares the tank with lots of plants and half a dozen goldfish. The tank is actually a square water tub, with fiberglass sides, used specifically for aquatic plants, some of them emergent - so a top does not work. The fish mysteriously showed up one day so I wasn't prepared for a jumping fish. If I know how high Balas jump, I can attach plexiglass to the sides so there's more height. Ever since we've had him, our Balas appears healthy, growing fast and seems fine. I've never seen him jump, but that doesn't mean he doesn't. I'd appreciate some advice with this. Thanks

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-04
    Hard to say.  Really depends on the clear area of the tank to build up speed.  The more open room at the surface the farther it can jump.
  • Anonymous - 2012-12-11
    Thanks Jeremy for your reply. I was afraid of that. I guess I need to decide if I should try to find a suitable alternative home for this guy. Since he is the only Bala in the tank, that's not ideal either. I'm just concerned that any other home (pet shop) would end up being way too small. So my issues are raising the sides high enough to prevent jumping out and his being solitary. As much as I like him, it's annoying that he was dumped and his present conditions aren't ideal either.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-11
    Try adding some floating plants.  adding plexi glass angles inward will work too
nm123 - 2011-11-07
I just got 1 SILVER SHARK and I was wondering if I can't fit it in a 30 gal wide with one angelfish and a red tailed shark, Cory and a clown pleco oh and 2 silver tip tetras?

PLEASE GET BACK TO ME ASAP I love this fish so much and don't want to see it die.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-08
    No they won't fit except if very young and that is a stretch. Scroll up in the article and you will see that 70 gallons minimum is recommended for this one fish - preferably 140 gallons. Another problem is if a fish can fit another fish in his mouth - they will consider it food.
  • nm123 - 2011-11-08
    what about just the silver shark nothing else
  • nm123 - 2011-11-09
    What about if just the silver shark lives in the tank its wider horizontally than vertically.
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-13
    When they are stessed in a small tank they will try and jump out of your tank and kill themselves. They also need to be in groups or the same thing will happen
  • Juliette - 2012-02-18
    I have three balas and they are now aged 10 years, beautiful fish very harmonious. Never have any of my balas eaten the fry of any other fish that have bred in my tank (including yellow labs (chiclids) and yes they live together very well). They were in a 180 litre tank until recently. The only time they jumped was during feeding for the floating food so as far as I can see they will thrive in a smaller tank but a larger tank is better for them as they will display a more natural behaviour. Two of them are (I believe) displaying a courtship ritual by rubbing,pecking and swimming together.