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Silver shark / Bala shark

Picture of Silversharks Picture of Silvershark
Photos © Sean Evans

Common name:Silver shark, Bala shark, Tri-colour shark, Malaysian shark
Scientific name:Balantiocheilos melanopterus
Size:Up to 14" (35cm), but usually smaller in aquaria - around 6-8" (15-20cm).
Origin:Southeast Asia: Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia.
Tank setup:A 4ft/122cm tank will be sufficient to raise a few juveniles, but realistically a tank 6ft/183cm in length is required to allow these fish to thrive once they reach adult size. Provide refuges, but leave plenty of open swimming space with no sharp decor (see below).
Compatibility:Despite its eventual size, this is a peaceful community fish. It is preferable to keep them as a shoal, though this requires a very large tank eventually. May be harassed by more territorial tankmates, such as Red Tailed Black sharks.
Temperature:22-28oC (72-82oF)
Water chemistry:Fairly soft, slightly acidic (pH 6.5-7) ideally, but does fine in harder and more alkaline water.
Feeding:Omnivorous, eagerly consume any food offered.
Some vegetable component to the diet is recommended.
Sexing:Unknown, females may be deeper bodied.
Breeding:Rare in aquariums, no details available.
Comments: A hardy and robust fish, though often somewhat nervous. They are very easily startled and may try to jump out of the tank. You should therefore try to avoid sudden movements near the tank or when cleaning. Also avoid sharp decor, or they may injure themselves when dashing for cover.




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