Bala Sharks: Care Guide, Tank Size, Food, And Tank Mates

To care for bala sharks, provide a minimum of 125-gallon tank, feed them a varied diet of small pellets, live foods, and vegetables, and consider compatible tank mates such as silver dollars and rainbow fish. Bala sharks are an excellent addition to large community aquariums due to their lively nature and unique appearance.

But they are not suitable for small tanks or beginner aquarists. To ensure their wellbeing, these fish require ample swimming space and a proper diet that meets their nutritional requirements. Additionally, it’s essential to choose appropriate tank mates as they can be aggressive towards small and passive fish. In this care guide, we’ll provide an in-depth overview of the preferred living conditions, dietary needs, and ideal tank mates for your bala sharks.

Tank Size And Setup

As a lover of bala sharks, it is crucial to provide the best possible care for them. Having the appropriate size and setup of the tank is essential for their well-being, including their swimming activity and overall health. Here are some important points to keep in mind when considering the tank size and setup for your bala sharks.

  • The tank size should be at least 125 gallons or more to accommodate their fast swimming and active nature.
  • Bala sharks prefer tanks with plenty of open space to swim around, so be sure to keep the tank free of clutter.
  • Including decorations like rocks, driftwood, and plants can provide hiding places and natural habitats for your bala sharks to explore. However, make sure they do not take up too much swimming space.
  • Maintain water temperature between 72-82°f, and ph levels between 6. 5-7. 5, as these are the ideal conditions for their well-being.
  • The tank should have a good filtration system to keep the water clean and free of toxins.
  • Avoid overcrowding the tank or introducing aggressive fish as bala sharks are peaceful and prefer living in groups of at least five.
  • Regular water changes are also essential to ensure a healthy environment for your bala sharks.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can provide your bala sharks with a comfortable and healthy living space. Remember, happy and healthy fish mean a happy fish owner.

Water Conditions

Keeping the right water conditions is crucial to keeping your bala sharks healthy. As a sensitive fish, they can easily be stressed and develop diseases if the water is not kept clean and optimal.

Keep The Water Clean And Well-Maintained By Performing Regular Water Changes.

  • Change 20% of the water weekly to remove toxins and pollutants.
  • Use a siphon to remove debris from the substrate and clean the tank sides.
  • Avoid cleaning the filter with chlorinated water as it kills beneficial bacteria.
  • Always treat tap water with a de-chlorinator before adding it to the tank.
  • Add aquarium salt to the water to control nitrate levels.

Install A Powerful Filtration System To Ensure Water Quality.

  • Use a filter that is suitable for your tank size and bala shark population.
  • Choose a canister or power filter as they provide excellent mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
  • Ensure the filter is regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent clogging and bacterial buildup.
  • Place the filter in a way that water is circulated all over the tank.

Maintain The Water Temperature And Ph Levels Within Optimal Range Consistently To Prevent Stress And Diseases.

  • Bala sharks require water temperatures of 72-82°f (22-28°c), with a ph range of 6. 5-7. 5.
  • Keep the temperature stable using a heater and thermometer.
  • Use a ph testing kit to monitor and adjust ph levels as necessary.
  • Avoid drastic changes to water temperature and ph to prevent stressing the bala sharks.

Feeding Requirements

Bala sharks are beautiful fish, with their sleek and streamlined bodies and vibrant colors. If you have these magnificent creatures in your aquarium, you need to be aware of their feeding requirements. Proper nutrition is vital to keep your bala sharks healthy and active.

Feed Them A High-Quality Diet That Includes Both Plant-Based And Protein-Rich Foods.

Bala sharks are omnivores, and their diet should reflect that. A balanced diet should consist of both plant-based and protein-rich foods. High-quality commercial fish food, including pellets and flakes, should be the primary source of nutrition. In addition, live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods, like brine shrimp and bloodworms, provide an excellent source of protein.

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Offer A Mix Of Pellet And Flake Foods, Supplemented With Fresh Vegetables Like Zucchini And Spinach.

It’s essential to maintain variety in your bala sharks’ diet. Offering a mix of pellet and flake foods is a great way to ensure they get a balanced diet. Supplement with fresh vegetables like zucchini and spinach to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients and fiber.

You can also include blanched peas for roughage that aids in digestion.

Feed Smaller, Frequent Meals Throughout The Day Instead Of One Large Feeding.

Rather than one large feeding, offer smaller meals throughout the day. This approach mimics their natural feeding pattern in the wild and helps prevent overeating and bloating. Generally, two or three smaller feedings in a day should be adequate for adult bala sharks.

Proper feeding is critical to the health and wellbeing of your bala sharks. Be sure to offer a variety of foods, including both plant-based and protein-rich options. Feed small, frequent meals throughout the day, and supplement with fresh vegetables. Following these guidelines will ensure your bala sharks stay active, healthy, and happy.

Tank Mates

Other Peaceful And Active Fish Species Like Tetras And Gouramis

When choosing tank mates for your bala sharks, it’s essential to consider their temperament, activity level and size, to avoid conflicts amongst the fish.

  • Tetras: these small fish are perfect for a community tank as they are peaceful and active. They come in various colors and have a school-like behavior, creating a beautiful display in your aquarium.
  • Gouramis: these fish are known for their vibrant colors and interesting behaviors. They have a peaceful temperament, making them an excellent choice for a community tank.
  • Rasboras: these small, schooling fish are peaceful and active, making them a good choice to add to your bala shark aquarium.
  • Danios: these active and playful fish are perfect for larger aquariums and provide an excellent contrast to the slow-moving bala sharks.

Avoid Aggressive And Territorial Fish Like Cichlids And Bettas

When it comes to choosing fish to add to your bala shark aquarium, it’s essential to avoid aggressive and territorial fish species, as they may harm your bala sharks.

  • Cichlids: these fish are known for their territorial behavior, making it difficult for peaceful tank mates like bala sharks to coexist with them.
  • Bettas: bettas are beautiful fish with vibrant colors and flowing fins. However, they have a reputation for being aggressive and may harm your bala sharks.

Ensure All Tank Mates Are Similar In Size And Temperament To Prevent Conflict

It’s essential to ensure that all of your bala shark’s tank mates are similar in size and temperament to prevent conflicts amongst the fish.

  • Similar size: when choosing tank mates, ensure that they are similar in size to your bala sharks, as size differences may lead to aggression.
  • Similar temperament: choose fish with peaceful and active temperaments that can coexist peacefully with your bala sharks.

Choosing suitable tank mates for your bala sharks is crucial for creating a peaceful and thriving aquarium community. By selecting peaceful and active species such as tetras and gouramis, avoiding aggressive species like cichlids and bettas and ensuring all tank mates are similar in size and temperament, you can create a harmonious community where your bala sharks can thrive.

What Are Suitable Tank Mates for Bala Sharks?

When considering suitable tank mates for Bala Sharks, it’s important to cater to the needs of other fish species too, such as the care for black ghost knife fish. Balas require ample space due to their large size and active nature, while black ghost knife fish thrive in similar conditions, preferring peaceful companions and hiding spots in the form of plants or caves. By providing the right environment, both species can coexist harmoniously in the aquarium.

Common Health Issues

Bala sharks are fascinating fish that make for excellent pets. However, improper care can lead to various health problems that can be detrimental to their well-being. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to be aware of the common health issues that your bala shark may encounter.

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Ich, A White Spot Disease Caused By Parasites.

  • Ich is a common health problem that can affect bala sharks, caused by parasites that attach themselves to the fish’s skin and fins, causing white spots to appear.
  • These parasites thrive in aquariums with poor water quality and high-stress levels, making it essential to maintain excellent water conditions.


  • White spots on the skin and fins of the fish, which may appear like grains of salt.


  • Maintaining a clean and healthy aquarium environment.
  • Introducing new fish to the tank to avoid introducing parasites from an infected fish.


  • Adding aquarium salt to the tank.
  • Using ich medications available in pet stores to treat the condition.

Swim Bladder Disorder, Characterized By Difficulty Swimming Or Maintaining Balance.

  • Bala sharks with swim bladder disorder often have difficulty swimming or maintaining balance, which can make it difficult for them to survive in captivity.
  • The disorder can be attributed to overfeeding, poor diet, or bacterial infections.


  • Swimming erratically, difficulty swimming, or maintaining balance.


  • Preventing overfeeding or feeding a well-balanced diet.
  • Maintaining optimal water quality and environment in the aquarium.


  • Fasting the fish for a few days.
  • Adjusting the diet and feeding schedule of the shark.
  • Treating bacterial infections with medications.

Bacterial Infections, Which Can Occur Due To Poor Water Quality Or Stress.

  • Bala sharks are susceptible to bacterial infections, which can lead to health complications and even death.
  • Poor water quality and high-stress levels in the aquarium can cause bacterial infections.


  • Lethargy, loss of appetite, inflammation, or lesions on the fish’s body.


  • Maintaining optimal water quality and the appropriate environment for the fish to prevent stress.
  • Keeping the aquarium clean and performing regular water changes.


  • Treating the fish with antibiotics.
  • Keeping the tank clean and performing regular water changes.

By being aware of the common health issues that can affect your bala shark, you can provide them with the proper care they need to live a long and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions For Bala Sharks: Care Guide, Tank Size, Food, And Tank Mates

What Is The Ideal Tank Size For Bala Sharks?

Bala sharks require a spacious tank of at least 125 gallons to swim freely and grow to their maximum size of 14 inches.

What Should I Feed My Bala Sharks?

Bala sharks are omnivores and should be fed a varied diet including high-quality pellets, flakes, frozen or live foods.

Can Bala Sharks Live With Other Fish Species?

Bala sharks are generally peaceful but may become aggressive towards smaller fish. Suitable tank mates include larger peaceful fish such as barbs and cichlids.

What Is The Ideal Water Temperature For Bala Sharks?

Bala sharks prefer a water temperature range of 72-78°f (22-26°c). Sudden changes in temperature or ph can lead to stress or disease.

How Do I Maintain The Water Quality In A Bala Shark Tank?

Regular water changes, testing of water parameters, and proper filtration are critical to ensuring good water quality and the health of your bala sharks.


After reading this comprehensive guide on bala sharks, it’s clear that these fish are a fantastic addition to any aquarium. As long as you provide them with the appropriate tank size, ph level, and water temperature, they are relatively easy to care for.

Feeding them a balanced and varied diet is essential to keep them healthy, and it’s important to pay attention to their behavior to ensure they are getting the right nutrients. When selecting tank mates, it’s important to consider their non-aggressive nature and avoid pairing them with overly aggressive or territorial fish.

With a little bit of research and effort, bala sharks can bring life and excitement to your aquarium for years to come. So, if you’re searching for an active and interesting fish species to add to your tank, the bala shark is a perfect fit.

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