Bala Sharks Care 101: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re an aquarium enthusiast like me, you’re probably always on the lookout for new and exciting species to add to your collection. One of my personal favorites is the Bala Shark. These gorgeous fish are known for their sleek, silver bodies and impressive size, making them a stunning addition to any tank. But before you rush out to buy one, there are a few things you need to know about Bala Shark care.

Bala Sharks require a large aquarium with good filtration and swimming space. They are peaceful and should be kept in groups of at least six. They feed on high-quality flakes and pellets, and their diet can be supplemented with live and frozen foods. Regular water changes and maintenance are essential for their health.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Bala Sharks are not your average aquarium fish. These creatures have specific needs when it comes to water quality, diet, and tank size. As someone who has made mistakes in the past when it comes to fish care, I can tell you that it’s crucial to do your research before bringing any new species into your home. Trust me, it’s not worth the heartache of losing a beloved pet because you didn’t take the time to learn how to properly care for it.

In this article, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Bala Shark care. From the ideal tank setup to the perfect diet, I’ll cover all the basics so you can provide your fish with the best possible life. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium pro or a newbie just starting out, I hope you’ll find this guide helpful and informative. Let’s dive in!

Bala Sharks

Species Summary

As an aquarium enthusiast, I have found that Bala Sharks are one of the most popular fish species for hobbyists.

They are a beautiful and fascinating fish that can add a lot of life to any aquarium. Here is everything you need to know about Bala Sharks:


Bala Sharks are native to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Sumatra, and Borneo. They can be found in rivers and streams with fast-flowing water.

They are also known as Silver Sharks, Tricolor Sharks, or Tri-Color Minnows.


Bala Sharks have a relatively long lifespan, with some living up to 10 years in captivity.

However, their lifespan can be affected by the quality of care they receive, as well as their environment.


Bala Sharks have a sleek, torpedo-shaped body that is silver in color with black fins.

They also have a distinctive black spot on their dorsal fin. Their body is covered in small scales that give them a shimmering appearance.


Bala Sharks can grow up to 14 inches in length, making them a fairly large fish.

It’s important to keep this in mind when selecting an aquarium for them, as they need plenty of space to swim around.

Growth Rate

Bala Sharks are relatively fast growers, especially when they are young. They can grow up to an inch per month during their first year of life.

However, their growth rate will slow down as they get older.

Behavior & Temperament

Bala Sharks are active and social fish that do well in groups. They are not aggressive towards other fish, but they can be territorial towards their own kind.

It’s important to provide them with plenty of space and hiding spots to help reduce any potential aggression.

Male vs Female

It can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Bala Sharks. However, males tend to be slightly smaller and slimmer than females.

During breeding season, males will develop small white bumps on their head and pectoral fins.

Overall, Bala Sharks are a great addition to any aquarium. They are beautiful, active, and social fish that can add a lot of life to your tank. With proper care and attention, they can live a long and healthy life.

When I first introduced Bala Sharks to my aquarium, I was amazed at how active and engaging they were. They quickly became the focal point of my tank and provided hours of entertainment.

Watching them swim and interact with each other was truly captivating.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When it comes to Bala Sharks, it’s important to provide them with enough space to swim around.

I recommend a tank size of at least 125 gallons for a school of 5-6 Bala Sharks. This will give them plenty of room to swim and explore.


Bala Sharks prefer subdued lighting, so it’s best to use low to medium intensity lighting in their tank.

I recommend using LED lights, as they are energy-efficient and provide a natural-looking light for your fish.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for the health of your Bala Sharks. I recommend using a canister filter or a hang-on-back filter that is rated for at least twice the volume of your tank.

In addition to filtration, you should also provide adequate aeration to ensure there is enough oxygen in the water. An air stone or a powerhead can help to achieve this.


Bala Sharks are tropical fish and require a water temperature between 75-82°F. A reliable heater is necessary to maintain a consistent water temperature.

I recommend using a submersible heater that is rated for your tank size.


When it comes to substrate, Bala Sharks prefer a sandy bottom. This substrate will not only provide a natural look to your tank but will also help to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

I recommend using a fine sand substrate that is at least 2-3 inches deep.


Adding decorations to your tank can provide hiding places for your Bala Sharks and make their environment more interesting.

I recommend using natural-looking decorations such as driftwood, rocks, and caves. Avoid using decorations with sharp edges that could harm your fish.


Live plants can help to oxygenate the water and provide a natural look to your tank.

However, Bala Sharks are known to be plant eaters, so it’s best to choose hardy plants that can withstand their grazing. Java Fern, Amazon Sword, and Anubias are good choices.

Bala Sharks 4

When I first set up my Bala Shark tank, I made the mistake of using a brightly lit aquarium and a gravel substrate.

It wasn’t until I noticed my fish were stressed and not swimming as much that I realized my mistake.

After making some changes to the tank setup, my Bala Sharks became much more active and appeared much healthier.

Now, I always make sure to provide them with a spacious, natural-looking environment that suits their needs.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

I keep my Bala Sharks in a tank with a water temperature of 74-82°F (23-28°C). It is important to keep the water temperature stable, as fluctuations can cause stress and illness in the fish.

Use a reliable aquarium thermometer to monitor the temperature, and consider using a heater to maintain a consistent temperature.

Water pH

The optimal pH range for Bala Sharks is 6.5-7.5. I test the pH of my tank regularly using a liquid test kit.

If the pH is outside of the optimal range, I make adjustments by adding aquarium buffer or pH adjuster. It’s important to make gradual adjustments, as sudden changes can be harmful to the fish.

Water Hardness

Bala Sharks prefer slightly hard water with a range of 5-12 dH. I test the water hardness using a liquid test kit and adjust it using aquarium salt or a water softener if necessary.

It’s important to avoid sudden changes in water hardness, as this can also cause stress and illness in the fish.

Water Changes

I perform weekly water changes of 25-30% to keep the water quality high. This helps to remove excess nutrients and waste products that can build up in the tank.

When performing water changes, I use a gravel vacuum to remove debris from the substrate and replace the water with fresh, dechlorinated water that has been brought to the same temperature as the tank water.

Overall, maintaining good water quality is essential for the health and well-being of your Bala Sharks.

By monitoring and adjusting water temperature, pH, and hardness, and performing regular water changes, you can help ensure that your fish thrive in their aquatic environment.

Personally, I have found that maintaining consistent water quality has helped my Bala Sharks stay healthy and active. By keeping a close eye on the water parameters and making any necessary adjustments, I have been able to create a comfortable and safe environment for my fish to live in.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping a clean and healthy environment for your Bala Sharks is crucial for their well-being. As an aquarium owner, I have learned that regular tank maintenance is essential to keep my fish happy and healthy.

One of the most important aspects of tank maintenance is water changes. I usually change about 20% of the water in my tank every two weeks.

This helps to remove any excess waste and debris, which can cause harmful toxins to build up in the water.

I also make sure to clean the substrate during water changes to remove any uneaten food or debris that has settled on the bottom of the tank.

Another important aspect of tank maintenance is filter cleaning. I clean my filter once a month to ensure that it is working properly and removing any harmful substances from the water.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your filter to avoid damaging it.

In addition to regular water changes and filter cleaning, I also test the water in my tank regularly.

This helps me to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the water, which can indicate if there are any problems with the tank’s ecosystem.

If the levels are too high, I take action immediately to correct the problem.

Overall, maintaining a clean and healthy tank is essential for the well-being of your Bala Sharks.

By following a regular maintenance routine and monitoring the water quality, you can ensure that your fish are happy and healthy for years to come.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

When it comes to choosing tank mates for your Bala Sharks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to choose fish that are similar in size to your Bala Sharks.

This will help prevent any aggression or bullying. Some good options include Silver Dollars, Rainbowfish, and Gouramis. These fish are all peaceful and can coexist happily with Bala Sharks.

Incompatible Fish Species

On the other hand, there are some fish that you should avoid keeping with Bala Sharks.

These include aggressive or territorial fish like Cichlids or larger predatory fish like Arowanas. These fish can pose a threat to your Bala Sharks and may even attack or kill them.

How Many Bala Sharks Should I Keep Together?

Bala Sharks 5

When it comes to how many Bala Sharks to keep together, it’s best to stick to a group of at least three. This will help prevent any bullying or aggression within the group.

It’s also important to make sure you have a large enough tank to accommodate the group. Bala Sharks are active swimmers and require plenty of space to move around.

Personally, I have had great success keeping my Bala Sharks with Silver Dollars and Gouramis. They all get along well and create a beautiful display in my tank. Remember to always do your research before adding any new fish to your tank, and never overcrowd your tank.


As an aquarium hobbyist and Bala Shark enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of providing these fish with a well-balanced and nutritious diet.

In this section, I will cover everything you need to know about feeding your Bala Sharks.

What To Feed

Bala Sharks are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal-based foods. In the wild, they primarily feed on small fish, insects, and crustaceans.

In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods, including:

  • High-quality commercial fish food pellets or flakes
  • Frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
  • Fresh vegetables such as spinach, peas, and zucchini

It is important to offer your Bala Sharks a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.


Adult Bala Sharks should be fed once or twice a day, while juveniles should be fed three to four times a day.

It is important not to overfeed your fish, as this can lead to health problems such as obesity and poor water quality. Only feed your fish what they can consume in a few minutes, and remove any uneaten food from the tank.


Here are a few tips to keep in mind when feeding your Bala Sharks:

  1. Rotate the types of food you offer your fish to prevent boredom and ensure they receive a varied diet.
  2. Soak dry food in water for a few minutes before feeding to prevent it from expanding in your fish’s stomach and causing digestive issues.
  3. Avoid feeding your fish too much live food, as this can introduce harmful bacteria and parasites into your tank.

By following these tips and providing your Bala Sharks with a well-balanced and varied diet, you can help ensure they live long, healthy lives.

Common Diseases


I have found that Bala Sharks are generally hardy fish and are not prone to many diseases. However, they can still fall ill, especially if their water quality is not maintained properly.

The most common diseases that affect Bala Sharks are bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasites.


Bala Sharks 3

When your Bala Shark is sick, you will notice a change in its behavior and appearance.

Some of the most common symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, rapid breathing, and visible wounds or sores on the body.

You may also notice your fish scratching against objects in the tank, which could indicate the presence of parasites.


If you suspect that your Bala Shark is sick, it is important to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading to other fish in the tank.

The first step is to isolate the sick fish in a separate tank to prevent contamination. Then, you can treat the fish with medication that is specifically designed to target the type of disease it is suffering from.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the medication carefully and monitor your fish closely during the treatment process.


The best way to prevent diseases from affecting your Bala Sharks is to maintain good water quality in the tank. This means regularly testing the water parameters and performing water changes as needed.

You should also avoid overcrowding the tank and introducing new fish without quarantining them first.

Finally, make sure to feed your fish a balanced diet and provide them with plenty of hiding places and other forms of enrichment to reduce stress.

Personally, I have had to deal with a case of bacterial infection in one of my Bala Sharks. It was a stressful experience, but with the help of a veterinarian and diligent care, my fish made a full recovery. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your fish healthy and happy.

Signs of a Healthy Bala Shark

As an aquarium owner, I know how important it is to keep my fish healthy and happy. When it comes to bala sharks, there are a few signs you should look out for to ensure they are healthy.

First and foremost, a healthy bala shark should have clear eyes. If their eyes are cloudy or have any signs of discoloration, it could be a sign of infection or disease.

Another sign of a healthy bala shark is their behavior. They should be active and swimming around the tank. If they are lethargic or hiding, it could be a sign of stress or illness.

Additionally, their fins should be intact and free of any tears or damage. Damaged fins can lead to infections and other health issues.

Lastly, a healthy bala shark should have a healthy appetite. They should be eager to eat and should have a good appetite. If they are not eating or seem to have lost their appetite, it could be a sign of illness or stress.

Overall, keeping a close eye on your bala shark’s health is crucial for their well-being. By monitoring their behavior, appearance, and appetite, you can ensure they are healthy and happy in their aquarium home.

Signs Your Bala Shark Is Sick

As an aquarium hobbyist, I have learned that keeping fish healthy requires a watchful eye and quick action when something is amiss.

If you have Bala Sharks in your aquarium, it is important to know the signs that indicate your fish may be sick or stressed.

Here are some of the most common symptoms to watch for:

  1. Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
  2. Unusual swimming behavior, such as swimming upside down or sideways
  3. Difficulty swimming or staying upright
  4. Gasping at the surface of the water
  5. Visible signs of injury or disease, such as redness, swelling, or sores
  6. Clamped fins or fins that are held close to the body
  7. Changes in color or texture of the skin or scales
  8. Abnormal feces, such as color or consistency

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action right away.

Sick fish can quickly deteriorate and infect other fish in the tank, so quarantine the affected fish immediately to prevent the spread of disease.

Consult with a veterinarian or aquatic specialist to determine the best course of treatment for your Bala Shark.

Prevention is always the best medicine, so it’s important to maintain good water quality, provide a healthy diet, and keep the tank environment clean and stress-free.

Regular water changes and monitoring of water parameters can help keep your fish healthy and happy.


Breeding Setup

I’ve found that Bala Sharks prefer to breed in a separate tank, away from other fish. The breeding tank should be at least 75 gallons with plenty of hiding spots, such as plants and rocks.

The water should be kept at a temperature of 77-82°F and have a pH of 6.5-7.5. I also recommend using a sponge filter to keep the water clean without harming the eggs or fry.

How To Breed

When it comes to breeding Bala Sharks, I’ve found that it’s best to have a ratio of two females to one male.

The male will begin to chase the females around the tank, and when a female is ready to spawn, she will lay her eggs on a flat surface, such as a rock or plant.

The male will then fertilize the eggs.

After spawning, it’s important to remove the adults from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry.

The eggs will hatch in about 48 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming after another 3-4 days.

At this point, it’s important to begin feeding them small amounts of baby brine shrimp or crushed flakes several times a day.


Bala Sharks 2

When caring for Bala Shark fry, it’s important to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated.

I recommend doing daily water changes of 10-20% and using a sponge filter to prevent the fry from being sucked up.

As they grow, you can slowly decrease the number of water changes and increase the amount of food you give them.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the temperature and pH levels, as any changes can be harmful to the fry.

I recommend using a heater and thermometer to keep the water temperature stable, and testing the pH levels regularly.

Overall, breeding Bala Sharks can be a rewarding experience, but it does require some patience and attention to detail.

With the right setup and care, you can successfully breed and raise healthy Bala Shark fry.

Personally, I’ve found that breeding Bala Sharks can be a fun and exciting challenge. Watching the fry grow and develop their unique personalities is truly rewarding. However, it’s important to remember that not all attempts at breeding will be successful, and it’s important to be prepared for any challenges that may arise.

Product recommendations for Bala Shark:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Bala Shark. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. API Aquarium Water Test Kit– It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  3. Seachem Prime  – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Bala Shark and other fish.
  4. Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – If you plan on keeping live plants in your aquarium, this substrate is a great choice. It provides the nutrients that plants need to thrive, and also helps to maintain a stable pH.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter– This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  6. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Bala Shark healthy.
  7. Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister Filter – This is a small and efficient filter that is perfect for smaller aquariums housing Bala Shark. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  8. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light  – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Bala Shark. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.


Well, that’s everything you need to know about taking care of Bala Sharks! I hope this guide has been helpful for you in setting up the perfect home for your new aquatic pets.

From my personal experience, I can say that Bala Sharks are truly fascinating creatures to watch. I remember when I first got my own Bala Sharks, I was amazed by their agility and speed as they swam around their tank.

Remember to keep their tank clean and well-maintained, and to provide them with plenty of space to swim and play. With the right care and attention, your Bala Sharks can live long and healthy lives.

Don’t forget that each Bala Shark has its own unique personality and quirks, so be sure to spend time observing and getting to know your new aquatic friends. I’m sure you’ll enjoy every moment of it!


Here are some frequently asked questions about Bala Shark care:

Q: How often should I feed my Bala Sharks?

A: I feed my Bala Sharks twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s important not to overfeed them, as this can lead to health problems. I recommend feeding them a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Q: How big do Bala Sharks get?

A: Bala Sharks can grow up to 14 inches in length, so it’s important to provide them with a large enough tank. I recommend a minimum tank size of 125 gallons for a school of 3-4 Bala Sharks.

Q: Do Bala Sharks need a heater?

A: Yes, Bala Sharks are tropical fish and require a water temperature between 75-82°F. I recommend using a heater to maintain a consistent temperature.

Q: Can Bala Sharks be kept with other fish?

A: Yes, Bala Sharks are generally peaceful and can be kept with other fish of similar size and temperament. However, they may eat smaller fish that can fit in their mouths, so it’s important to choose tankmates carefully.

Q: Do Bala Sharks need a lot of space to swim?

A: Yes, Bala Sharks are active swimmers and need plenty of open space to swim. I recommend providing them with a long tank with plenty of swimming room.

Q: Do Bala Sharks need a lot of maintenance?

A: Bala Sharks require regular maintenance like any other fish. This includes weekly water changes, filter maintenance, and monitoring water parameters. However, they are relatively hardy and don’t require any special care.

Overall, Bala Sharks are a beautiful and fascinating fish to keep. With proper care and attention, they can make a great addition to any aquarium. I hope these FAQs have been helpful in answering some of your questions about Bala Shark care.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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