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Balantiocheilus melanopterus
Bala Shark, Tricolor Sharkminnow

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Bala Shark - Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Photos & Comments

Balantiocheilus_melanopterus_3.jpg (23kb)
Photo Credit: Chris Kingery

I've had my bala for nearly 2 years and aquired him along with the tetra with a 230 liter tank. At that time he was aproximatly 15 cm in length. Since then I've upgraded to a 680 liter tank and Mr. Bala is now a whopping 25 cm! He's a pig, and eats virtually everything that is thrown in the tank. His tank mates includes severums, angels, clown loaches and fancy plecos, which all get along - until feeding time. Then is when he dominates.

Contributed by Chris Kingery

I bought my bala shark Fred a couple of weeks ago, but he didn't seem very happy. He would swim back and forth along the front of the tank, hide under his tank decoration, etc. I thought he might be happier with a companion shark, so I bought Ethel. They have been practically inseparable since I added Ethel to the tank as you can see. By the way, Fred is on top. Ethel is below.

Contributed by Mark Shimonek

I have one bala shark in my tank and he and my silver dollar fish are pals. They swim around together all the time. He is very peaceful and never bothers any of my other fish. He is very graceful and great to sit and watch at feeding time. They are noisy eaters. I would recommend them to anyone who has enough room for them.

Contributed by Cassi

I have had several Bala Sharks with no luck. They seem to be really skittish when it comes to other fish, and very sensitive to water conditions. They were in a tank with several peaceful fish, but seemed that Tiger Barbs overly stressed them out...enough to DIE! I would recommend to anyone who wants these to do like I do, and build yourself a "peaceful" tank, or better yet, a "Bala Shark" tank, then you can truly enjoy these beautiful fish.

Contributed by Jeff Mitchell

I have 2 balas, one around 12 cm, the other around 11 cm. Both are around 3 years old and have been peaceful (if nervous) in my community tank. The introdution of 2 tinfoil barbs which have rapidly outgrown everything in the tank except for my 30 cm Pleco did not cause a problem at first, but now the larger of the Balas is acting aggresively against the larger tinfoil (around 14 cm) and some serious fin-nipping has occured. I think this is largely due to the size of the tank (120 cm) and the relative size of the fish. I intend to upgrade soon to a 180 cm tank as soon as I can.

Contributed by Jamie Clark

I recently bought 3 bala sharks for my tank and generally agree with most of the comments about their peaceful nature, temperament, etc. But what I noticed the other day while watching my tank confirmed the suspicions I have had since I got them. They eat snails! While they are not like clown loaches which I hear will clean out a tank of snails, it looks like they will snack on them from time to time as I saw one swim up and snatch one off the side of the tank and swallow it. This is good as it will help manage the snail population but not eliminate them, so you can still benefit from snails (eating algae, tank waste, etc).

Contributed by Lon Shaver

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