In spite of their name, bala sharks (Balantiocheilos melanopterus) are not sharks. They're fish of family Cyprinidae. These energetic freshwater fish are also called silver sharks, tricolor sharkminnows and tricolor sharks. Bala sharks tend to have relaxed and easygoing temperaments. They're often kept in community tanks. They thrive with ample space.
Bala Shark Basic Information
These sizable minnows originated in southeastern Asia -- specifically Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. They generally grow to around 14 inches in length. When living in a tank with other fish, they usually keep to themselves, with the exception of extremely small fish like neon tetras. Bala sharks generally flourish in the company of other fish of same size. Their natural habitats consist of predominantly rivers and streams. They occasionally inhabit lakes. Bala sharks usually display inquisitive dispositions.
Suitable temperatures for bala sharks are in the ballpark of 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, according to FishChannel.com. The bulk of aquarium fish thrive in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. In that respect, bala sharks are not too unlike many other fish. If you're ever uncertain about the temperature requirements of a specific fish, speak to an aquatic veterinarian. Certain types of fish do well in water on the cool side, while others require warmer temperatures.
Other Water Factors
Outside of tank temperature, other water factors are also crucial for optimal bala shark conditions. Make sure the pH of the water is somewhere between 6.0 and 8.0. H20 alkalinity is also a vital component, as it defends against swift shifts in pH. Make sure the alkalinity of a bala shark's water is anywhere between mildly hard and soft. Within their aquariums, they appreciate stones, driftwood and live plants. Bala sharks have the ability to leap, so ensure the top of your aquarium is secure.
Other Care Considerations
Water-related factors aren't the sole concern for owners of bala sharks. Proper diet is important. These omnivorous creatures are far from fussy when it comes to eating habits, eagerly taking in most kinds of sustenance. Bala sharks mostly appreciate meaty foods but also occasionally feed on plants. Vegetables, flakes and bloodworms are bala-shark-friendly.
Fish of this schooling species need the company of fellow bala sharks. More than six is optimal, but a minimum of three specimens is absolutely crucial. When they're all by themselves, they can develop fierce tendencies -- not good. They are usually compatible with rainbow fish, gouramis and angelfish, for a few examples of potential tank mates.
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