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Bala Sharks

Barbus melanopterus
Puntius melanopterus


The Basic Data on Species

ORIGIN South East Asia
TEMPERAMENT Peaceful, Active needs lots of room. *Jumpers! DIET Go to the bottom of this page to view recommended commercial diet
WATER TEMPERATURE 76.6 F - 82.6 F WATER QUALITY This species needs" Excellent" water quality
pH LEVELS 6.5 to 7.0 SPECIES Cyprinid
LIFE SPAN Up to 10 years dependent on water quality, food and stress levels. Grows slowly but will eventually need at least a 100 Gallon tank. Can jump up to 6 ft. Needs Tank cover.

Very good community fish.

Will even do well will Neon Tetras.

GROUPING Groups of 6 or more. They get a tad nippy with other Bala's if not in a school.

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  • My Freshwater Bala Sharks

    A 20 Gallon Glass Tank hold 3 medium Bala's and 6 Iridescent Sharks. I have to start separating them soon as all are getting quite large. I love my Bala Sharks as anyone who has owned them will attest to. They are mellow and very enjoyable. They make these really cute clicking noises that catch everyone off guard and they LOVE their bubbles. I have an air wall at the back of the aquarium and they spent most of their time swimming in and out of it.

    These are not the best first aquarium fish owners choice. I lost 3 to diseases that occurred at the same time! They had fin rot, ick and fungus. I was a novice aquarium keeper at the time and ended up spending a lot of money and time getting these last three to stay alive. I discuss this more on the disease section of this site. Water quality is very important with this species. I noticed when they returned to normal health that they were more aggressive toward each other. This is a reaction to only having 3. They are much happier and healthier in a school of 6 or more which would require at least a 30 gallon tank to start. The upside to their growth pattern is they are said to grow 20 cm in two years unlike larger species such as Oscars and Pacu that gain weight monthly. They are JUMPERS they will jump when startled up to 6 ft. It is necessary to keep them in a covered tank.

    Click the shirt to find out how to purchase a Bala shirt for yourself!

    Recommended Reading

    Click on picture of book to view more information

    Recommended Equipment for Aquarium

    At least a 40 or 50 Gallon aquarium

    Good Filtration

    Products to test and improve water quality

    Recommended Feeding

    Please click on picture of product for more information.

    San Francisco Bay Brands Betta Food Freeze Dried Bloodworms

    1 gram. Bettas and Bala's love this protein rich, all natural food. Freeze drying locks in nutrients and preserves the natural shape, making it more appetizing for finicky eaters. Never clouds the water.

    Hikari Bio-Pure FD Tubifex Worms

     0.78 oz. Tubifex worms specially freeze-dried to maintain the nutrition and flavor of live. Enriched with multi-vitamins. Promotes extraordinary health and color. All the benefits of live tubifex worms, free of parasites or harmful bacteria.


    Ocean Nutrition Formula One Flake Food

    2.5 oz. Significantly improves coloration and vitality in your fish while boosting their immune system to aid in disease resistance. Fresh seafood and algae make this a gourmet natural food for all marine and freshwater tropical fish.