ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bala Shark Care and Tank Mate Selection

Updated on June 8, 2014
Bala sharks resemble salt water sharks but are not really sharks. They are peaceful freshwater fish that are great for large community tanks.
Bala sharks resemble salt water sharks but are not really sharks. They are peaceful freshwater fish that are great for large community tanks.

The Bala shark is an extremely popular freshwater aquarium fish that can be found in most local pet stores. Also referred to as the shark minnow, silver shark, or tricolor shark, this shark like fish is a species of the Cyprinid family. Though the shape of this fish and it's fins make it look a lot like a shark, it is not really an actual shark. But because of it's resemblance to a shark, many aquarium owners are drawn to it and it is widely popular in the hobby. Who wouldn't want a pet shark that can live peacefully with other aquarium fish?

Bala Shark Tank Requirements

The bala shark requires a lot of open swimming space due to the fact that they are active fish and grow to be over a foot long. They also prefer to swim in schools so they should be kept in groups of three or more. The tank must also be well-covered because these fish will jump. These character traits make these beautiful fish very hard to keep in a home aquarium. A home aquarium for bala sharks should be no smaller than 75 gallons in size and really should be 90 gallons or larger to give the fish enough space to swim around. The tank should have some plants and other d├ęcor but needs to have a large open swimming area.

Water Chemistry

Bala sharks are hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures and other conditions. Tank water should be kept between 74 and 80 degrees with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0.

Although they are very hardy, Bala sharks cannot tollerate high toxin levels found in newly established fish tanks. It is vitally important that the aquarium is completely cycled and has a healthy bio-filter before bala sharks can be added to a home aquarium. A bio-cycle takes between 6 and 8 weeks to be established so bala sharks should not be placed in any aquarium that has been running for less than 8 weeks.

Bala Shark Tank Mates

Though they have a strong resemblance to salt water sharks (like the reef shark), Bala sharks are peaceful community fish that thrive in a community tank environment. These fish will mix well with other species of Cyprinids. Some excellent tank mates include large barbs like tinfoil barbs and smaller barbs like cherry barbs. Tiger barbs are not good tank mates because of their aggressive fin nipping nature. Bala sharks can also mix well with danios and rasboras. Scissor-tail rasboras are an excellent choice for tank mate. Other freshwater sharks like the rainbow shark and red-tail black shark are not good tank mates because of their aggressive nature.


Bala sharks are easy to care for because they will eat a wide range of food. In the wild they feed mostly on insects, larvae and crustaceans. In a home aquarium they will accept commercial flake foods, sinking pellet foods, algae wafers, freeze dried and frozen foods.

These amazing fish are fun to keep in an aquarium but are not for beginners. Only advanced level aquarium owners with very large fish tanks should keep bala sharks in their home aquariums. If you are experienced and have the room for them, these fish are great additions to a community tank.

What is your Favorite Freshwater Aquarium Shark?

See results

Reader Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)