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The Comprehensive Guide To Raising The Bala Shark

Are you on the lookout for a brand new fish in your freshwater aquarium? Don’t be intimidated by the identify – the Bala Shark is definitely a mild large that may assist tie the ecosystem of your aquarium collectively.

In case you are on the lookout for a beautiful, even-tempered fish, this one is perhaps a good selection for you. Though it’s giant, and due to this fact advisable for people who’ve some expertise in protecting fish, it’s in any other case straightforward to look after.

Be taught extra about the right way to efficiently increase the Bala Shark by studying our complete information to elevating the Bala Shark.

Bala Shark Background

Bala Shark 6
Photo by Lady Alec

Additionally recognized scientifically as Balantiocheilus melanopterus, this fish is a part of the Cyprinidae household. It’s recognized by many different names, together with the Silver Shark, the Tri-Colour Minnow, the Silver ala, and the Tricolor Shark.

Although not technically a  shark, this fish earns its identify due to its elevated dorsal fin and slim physique sort. Its distinctive look makes it look quite a bit like a shark – however that’s about all that this fish has in frequent with its bigger, extra predatory fellow fish.

These fish are discovered naturally within the fast-moving waters of Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Kalimantan, and Sumatra, however is now discovered in lots of areas of the world because it has been bred for the aquarium hobbyist trade. This species is normally present in rivers however has additionally been detected in quick-moving streams.

These fish normally are discovered within the middle parts of the water, as a substitute of on the high or backside. That is the place the fish will spend most of its time swimming round there. They like clear, quick-moving waters, significantly these with mud or pebbles as a backside.

This species was first found in 1850 by Pieter Bleeker, and whereas it was a part of a wholesome inhabitants on the time, it’s now believed to be endangered. Inside the final ten years, the inhabitants has declined by greater than fifty p.c. Since being declared as endangered in 1996, the numbers of Bala Sharks within the wild have dropped significantly.

Sadly, it’s not clear what’s inflicting the inhabitants to plummet. Some prompt causes embody air pollution and habitat loss. Because of these lowered populations, most Bala Sharks which might be offered in aquarium shops had been grown on farms and never really wild caught.

Bala Shark Look And Conduct

Bala Shark 3
Photo by Tony Godinho

We already talked about that the Bala Shark appears very similar to its namesake, an precise shark. Nonetheless, they’ve very different behaviors from sharks within the wild, and it is essential that you just take note of these behaviors as they’ll have an effect on the way during which you arrange your tank.

For starters, Bala Sharks are shoaling fish. This implies they wish to journey in teams, normally migrating about in teams of 5 or 6 people. If you happen to select to maintain Bala Sharks in your aquarium, do not preserve only one – it is strongly recommended that you just preserve at the very least 4 collectively to present them some security in numbers. 4 is only a minimal, nonetheless – extra are positively inspired.

These fish is usually a little bit grasping with regards to meals, so should you preserve these fish with different smaller fish, you will have to be conscious of how you’re feeding them. Whereas Bala Sharks are very lively, they will generally cover in decorations, rocks, roots, and vegetation in your tank. That being mentioned, they don’t seem to be aggressive and won’t assault your different fish.

Bala Sharks are recognized for being fairly timid and simply frightened. That is very true if you first introduce them to your tank. Whereas they are going to be lively all through a lot of the day, chances are you’ll discover them partaking in evasive or fearful behaviors extra usually throughout this time. As soon as they turn into acclimated to the tank and to their new tankmates, you will notice them swimming round extra usually. They could even attempt to bounce out of your tank!

The looks of the Bala Shark is kind of just like that of an everyday shark – though, in fact, it’s a lot smaller. These fish have single tall dorsal fins and lengthy, slender our bodies that look considerably like torpedos. Every fin has yellow stripes with black edging. These fish even have two ventral fins. These are usually small and are normally one coloration, and are a lot bigger than the anal fin.

The Bala Shark has a gray physique that turns into brighter and extra vibrant towards the underside. These desserts are crowded shut collectively, making a fantastically luminous impact as they swim by means of the water.

These fish are comparatively small. Within the aquarium, they’ll solely attain a few foot in size. Nonetheless, within the wild, Bala Sharks can develop as giant as 14 or 15 inches.

Bala Shark Tank And Water Necessities

Bala Shark 2
Photo by Mark Connell

When establishing your tank, begin by laying personal a substrate of high quality mud or pebbles. They will tolerate all kinds of substrate supplies, as they have an inclination to hang around towards the middle of the water column, however these circumstances are normally greatest. It’s best to put down about one centimeter of substrate.

What’s extra essential is that you just present an distinctive filtration system. That you must embody a filter that mimics the Bala Sharks’ pure atmosphere of fast-flowing waters, and also you additionally must ensure you select a filter that may match your tank measurement. When unsure, put money into a strong exterior filter.

Be sure you preserve the acidity of the water between 6.5 and eight. This would be the closest to the pure temperatures that the Bala Shark enjoys. It’s best to keep a temperature of about 77 levels Fahrenheit. Hardness will not be fairly as essential to the Bala Shark, however consistency is vital  -try to maintain water temperatures even and regular at about 10-13 dGH.

Lighting is essential for a Bala Shark – it is best to add a freshwater aquarium lamp that gives eight to 9 hours of sunshine. As a result of Bala Sharks are lively, it is best to put a lid on high of your tank. It will forestall them from leaping out. It’s particularly essential that you just put a lid on the aquarium when you’ve first launched the Bala Shark to your aquarium, as they’re extra prone to bounce when they’re feeling burdened or unsettled.

You additionally want to offer your Bala Sharks with loads of open swimming area. Ideally, you shouldn’t muddle your tank with too many rocks, vegetation, or decorations. You possibly can embody a number of vegetation, like anubias, which can develop alongside the sides of your tank. It gained’t disrupt the swimming patterns of your Bala Sharks, however it’ll give them loads of locations to cover in case they really feel anxious.

A forty five-gallon tank is greatest, however it is best to improve the amount as your fish develop bigger. In some circumstances, it could be greatest to begin out with a bigger tank so that you just don’t want to vary their atmosphere as they get greater. This tank needs to be lengthy and huge. The best tank can be about 150 gallons, which gives you loads of room for additional fish. Bear in mind, Bala Sharks are shoaling fish and want at the very least 45 gallons a chunk – so the extra fish you’ve, the extra space you will have.

What Do Bala Sharks Eat?

Bala Shark 1
Photo by Valar Morghulis

Bala Sharks like to eat, they usually positively usually are not choosy. When you’ve Bala Sharks in your aquarium, you’ll be able to feed them all kinds of meals, together with these which might be dwell, dried, or frozen. It’s best to use a high-quality pellet or flake meals because the cornerstone of their weight loss program, however you may as well add different forms of meals from that base, too.

For instance, you may contemplate including meals like greens, plankton, or bloodworms. They love spinach and diced fruits, and these might help forestall points like constipation. These fish are distinctive in that in addition they want quite a lot of protein. You possibly can add a protein-rich meals, like shrimp or bloodworms, two to a few occasions a day.

Basically, two to a few occasions per day is about how usually you’ll want to feed your Bala Sharks, too. Observe your Bala Sharks whereas they’re consuming to find out how lengthy they take. Often, they’ll take about two to a few minutes to complete their meals, and any meals that’s left over after feeding needs to be faraway from the tank to stop contamination of the water.

So long as you keep a constant and common feeding schedule along with your Bala Sharks, they’ll develop to be sturdy and wholesome. You shouldn’t want so as to add any dietary supplements or drugs should you present your Bala Sharks with a nutritious diet.

Bala Shark  Tank Mates

As a result of Bala Sharks are so peaceable, you’ll be able to preserve them with nearly another sort of fish. If attainable, it is best to begin by housing solely Bala Sharks collectively. You possibly can then add different species solely after the Bala Sharks have settled in. It will assist preserve their nervousness and fearfulness at bay.

By way of species to keep away from, it is best to avoid carnivorous recipes, like giant cichlids. These are usually very aggressive. You also needs to keep away from very small species like neon tetras. If you happen to plan on breeding any of your fish species, you shouldn’t preserve them with Bala Sharks, as they’ll attempt to eat the fry.

You possibly can preserve Bala Sharks with different Bala Sharks in addition to with species like rainbowfish, gouramis, rasboras, chars, tetras, and corydoras catfish. Keep in mind that measurement and disposition are a very powerful elements with regards to housing your Bala Sharks – stick with these of the same measurement and disposition.

Bala Sharks will usually eat non-fish inhabitants, so in case your tank is already house to creatures like shrimp and snails, it’s in all probability higher that you just don’t add Bala Sharks. They are often aggressive towards small shrimp and sometimes eat non-fish species, too.

When unsure, preserve Bala Sharks with tanks of different Bala Sharks. So long as they’ve loads of room to swim round, they’ll get alongside splendidly. Simply do not forget that teams of Bala Sharks smaller than 4 can improve the chance of aggressive habits among the many species.

Frequent Bala Shark Ailments

Bala Shark 5
Photo by Take2thesky74

Bala Sharks are usually susceptible solely to the ailments that ceaselessly have an effect on freshwater tank inhabitants. You have to to make a particular effort to maintain the water in your aquarium additional clear, as Bala Sharks are delicate to water adjustments. Conduct common partial water adjustments and permit for good filtration, which can assist them keep wholesome.

As a result of Bala Sharks are simply burdened, it is best to keep away from offering additional stressors in the course of the first few weeks after you’ve launched them to your tank. For instance, attempt to not transfer the fish or clear the tank for a number of weeks after you’ve added your Bala Sharks.

Keep in mind that ailments may also be attributable to malnutrition or the feeding of low-quality meals. Be sure you are offering the very best weight loss program in your fish in an effort to guarantee their well being.

Bala Sharks are vulnerable to sure fish ailments like parasites, ich, and dropsy, all of that are fairly frequent in freshwater tanks. Dropsy, for instance, is attributable to a buildup of fluid inside your fish. This could trigger swelling and is normally indicative of one other downside, resembling parasitic invasion or bacterial an infection.

Ich, however, is a extremely contagious pores and skin an infection which creates white spots on these scales of your fish. Your fish might start to behave oddly, bumping and scratching towards objects within the tank. You possibly can normally deal with ich with medicine and by quarantining your affected fish.

Breeding And Life Spans Of Bala Sharks

Bala Shark 7
Photo by Wakhyudin mubarok

When correctly cared for, Bala Sharks are likely to dwell lengthy lives – in lots of circumstances dwelling for as much as a decade inside an aquarium tank.though they don’t seem to be tough to breed, this isn’t normally accomplished in house aquariums as a result of they’re so giant.

If you happen to want to breed your Bala Sharks, you will have to begin when they’re younger – earlier than they’ve reached sexual maturity. Start by eradicating a number of younger bull sharks at round 4 months of age and rehome them to a second tank.

It may be tough to inform Bala Sharks aside by gender, however should you preserve a number of sharks your duties could also be a bit simpler. Feminine Bala Sharks have rounded bellies, and the males are, total, barely bigger than females.

To arrange your fish for spawning, you will have to maintain your aquarium at a hotter temperature (no colder than 77 levels Fahrenheit). Give your fish loads of room, ideally in a tank bigger than 65 gallons, and ensure the breeding tank will not be cluttered with decorations or vegetation.

You don’t want to put a substrate in your Bala Shark breeding tank. In truth, substrate can add extra challenges to elevating your sharks, as you gained’t be capable to see the fry if you clear the tank. You too can add a web to the underside of the tank to make this simpler.

Bala Shark 4
Photo by Little Monsters

Enhance the temperature of the water to about 82 when you find yourself able to breed your Bala fish. Do that step by step, in order that they don’t turn into shocked. Spawning will happen within the morning and final for a number of hours. Then, the male with fertilize the eggs with milt.

Water stream is essential at this level, as a result of the milt will turn into distributed evenly across the tank. After spawning, it is best to take away the filter and as a substitute place a sponge filter into the tank in order that the fry can’t injure themselves.

After spawning, you also needs to take away the breeding couple. You possibly can take away the unfertilized white spawn after a few hours, too. Later, you’ll be able to renew the water by about fifty p.c, making certain that the filter is on. Larvae will seem in a few day, maturing to fry in simply three to 5 days.

Younger fry may be fed ciliates and nauplii of artmiera or cyclops. They may develop at completely different speeds, so don’t be alarmed if some appear extra developed than others.

Is A Bala Shark For You?

Bala Sharks are beautiful fish with peaceable demeanors that make them glorious matches for any tank during which they’re positioned. These giant fish require giant aquariums however are shockingly straightforward to look after. Breeding is straightforward, although time-consuming, and is an effective way to extend the inhabitants of Bala Sharks in your house.

You possibly can even preserve Bala Sharks in case your aquarium is full of different species. These pleasant fish are keen to regulate to any dwelling circumstances and can make a improbable addition to your freshwater tank.

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