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Despite their name and its connotations, sharks are extremely peaceful (except for red-tailed sharks) and live best in a community aquarium with fish of the same disposition. In fact, they are not really sharks and actually belong to the minnow family. It is their upright dorsal fin that gives them a shark-like appearance.
While most fish tend to stay at a certain level of the aquarium, you will see your shark swimming at the bottom, middle and top of your tank. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter, including prepared foods, small live foods and certain vegetables. Sharks are active swimmers and need a large tank that is long rather than tall. A good rule of thumb is one gallon of water for every one inch of full-grown fish.
Learn about the Bala Shark
Common NamesBala Shark, Silver Shark
Scientific NameBalantiocheilus melanopterus
Feeding HabitsThis fish will accept a wide variety of small live foods, such as bloodworms, Tubifex worms, Daphnia, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp. Supplement their diets with fresh, parboiled vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, zucchini and peas. They will also accept flake and freeze-dried foods on occasion.
CompatibilityThis is a peaceful species that can be kept with similar-size fishes with similar temperaments. They grow quite large!
HabitatThis species prefers lots of swimming room. It should be housed in a larger aquarium that is long rather than tall. Only plastic plants should be included on the sides and back of the tank (these fishes do a good job of removing leaves from stems on all but the toughest of live plants), with a piece of driftwood or limited rockwork in the center of the tank to create a pleasing display. Because this fish is an accomplished jumper, a tight-fitting cover is a must.
BreedingNot successful in the aquarium. Female is heavier during spawning.
Additional CommentsA covered tank is necessary as these fish are fantastic jumpers. During the evening they will make audible noises. Vegetation is necessary for proper health and growth.
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