Bala shark

Aquarium fish: Bala shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus)
Size: 25 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 350 l

Bala shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus) – freshwater aquarium fish of the carp family.


The species comes from Asia . The barb shark inhabits stagnant waters, rivers, and streams in Southeast Asia. For some time now, it has been found less and less in natural habitats.

Characteristics and disposition

In aquariums it is usually up to 30 cm long.

It is characterized by a silvery coloration with a black border around the fins (except for the pectoral fins). Tail fin deeply indented, yellowish. It is not possible to distinguish between the sex of young fish . Adult females have a slightly more rounded abdomen compared to males. Bala sharks are gentle fish, but they can eat fish smaller than themselves, and the slowly swimming ones stress with their activity.

They should be kept in a group of several individuals – 5 or more are recommended. Complex hierarchies form within the herd. If we buy 2 or 3 fish, the dominant fish will torment the others. If kept individually, it will show aggression towards other inhabitants of the aquarium.

Nutrition and feeding

We feed the fish with live, frozen and dry food, systematically supplemented with green food (e.g.

peas, zucchini, spinach). Larger individuals can be served chopped, scalded earthworms, shrimps and clams.


A very large aquarium of more than 180 cm is required, which must be tightly covered to prevent fish from jumping out. When planning a reservoir for shark barbs, it is important to take into account, above all, a large swimming space. This species will look great in an aquarium designed like a rushing river – as a substrate for river gravel and a few larger stones and roots for decoration.

These barbs are sensitive to organic pollutants. The water must be well filtered and oxygenated. They must also be provided with sufficiently strong water movement. Due to its size, the shark barb does not fit into a general aquarium. However, if we have a sufficiently large aquarium, it can be kept with larger fish such as e.g.

Great Loaf , Lawn Mower ,Shark catfish .


The reproduction of these aquarium fish is impossible at home. Commercial fish come from breeding farms where hormones are used for reproduction.


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