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Bala Shark

Animals Home > Fish
The Bala Shark is actually a small fish, and not a shark. Although the Bala Shark is not a true species of shark it is called one because the shape of its body is almost like a scaled down version of a real shark. This refers primarily to the shape and size of the fins in proportion to the rest of the body. In the Bala Sharks native habitat of Asia they can be found swimming in rivers and streams.
  Bala Shark In Aquarium

Captive Care


Bala Shark Description

Latin Name: Balantiocheilus melanopterus Lifespan: 10 years
Distribution: Southeast Asia Estimated Size: Up to 18"
Almost all Bala Sharks have a black band which goes along the edge of their fins. The front area of the fins are a yellow-orange colour. The sides on a Bala Shark are generally silver, sometimes with a hint of yellow in them. They have also been known as Tricolor Sharks.

Bala Shark Captive Care

The Bala Shark is known to be a very good jumper. In captivity you must take care to ensure their aquarium is closed tight. This is especially important when you first put them into a new tank as they may be uncomfortable for a few days.

Bala Sharks can get along with most other fish. This makes it an ideal candidate for community tanks. Bala Sharks are omnivorous, and when full grown, may eat smaller fish.

When full grown Bala Sharks can reach over 1 foot in length although in captive environments 8 inches is usually the largest a Bala Shark will grow. They are fast swimmers and enjoy swimming around the aquarium which means that they will need quite a large aquarium to do so properly.

Captive Care Conditions
Tank Size: 48 inches Strata: All
pH: 5.8 to 7.8 Hardness: dH range: 5.0 - 15.0
Temp: 72ºF to 84ºF (22-29°C)  

Bala Shark Classification

- Kingdom: Animalia
 - Phylum: Chordata
  - Class: Actinopterygii
   - Order: Cypriniformes
    - Family: Cyprinidae
     - Genus: Balantiocheilus
      - Species: B. melanopterus

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