Bala Shark – Pleasant fish

The aquarium fish bala shark or as it is often called the shark barb is a mobile, jumping, but at the same time very shy fish, even despite its impressive size. He loves spacious aquariums and can become a good companion for his owner, as he periodically makes sounds in the form of clicks. And although it resembles its predatory counterparts, hence the name, it is quite peaceful, and gets along well with fish similar in size to it.


The shark barb belongs to the species of the carp family and resembles a little roach. Has a compressed narrow body, mouth and eyes of large size. The main color is shaded in silvery-gray colors, which, in combination with large scales, creates a shiny mirror effect.

The pectoral fins are colorless, while the rest of the fins are usually yellowish and light in color with a black frame. But, even in spite of such a discreet appearance, the ball looks beautiful and can overshadow the originality of other inhabitants of the aquarium.

In its natural habitat, the barb reaches about 30-40 cm, but in the aquarium it grows only up to 15-20 cm. However, with the correct maintenance, this aquarium fish reaches a larger size.

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Habitat conditions

Keeping this aquarium fish at home requires the largest possible aquarium, approximately 150-200 liters. In the case when the aquariums are small, the growth of the fish slows down and the life expectancy is significantly reduced. It is also worth noting that our barb loves to jump, which is why the aquarium must be covered with a special lid.

In addition, for a full-fledged development, a powerful water filtration system and its periodic replacement are required. Aquarists recommend changing about 30-50% of the water once a week, but if this is not possible, it can be done every few weeks. Pebbles of light shades, scattered in a thin layer, are suitable as a soil. As for lighting, natural lighting is best, with a duration of 8-10 hours of daylight hours.

Natural stones, driftwood, and such living plants as anubias, vallisneria, limnophila, crinum and echinodorus are used as a decoration for the aquarium where barbs will live. However, do not forget about the free space in which this fish loves to swim so much. That is why you should not overload the living environment with all kinds of arrangement elements.

In the full content of the ball, the diet also plays a huge role. Combination and live food, plants such as spinach, dandelion leaves, lettuce and common nettle are perfect. Since fish have a weak digestive system, it is recommended to alternate types of dry food and not feed, for example, cheese and bloodworms. For fry, it is best to purchase brine shrimp and rotifer.

The shark balu has good compatibility with other peaceful large fish. Other types of barbs, minors, gourami, char, iris, corridors, tetras, rasbora, pleskostomus will become good neighbors for the bala shark. Even small guppishes can easily get along with friendly balu. However, the proximity to veil fish is strictly prohibited, since an active barb can easily deprive it of its fins. Also, barbs should not be kept with large cichlids, some species of predatory fish and fry. Since bala sharks are prone to eating small individuals.

Interesting facts from the life of barbs

  • The shark subspecies of barbs has many names, for example, silver shark, bala shark, fire-tail fish and even balantioheilus.
  • It is one of the few aquarium fish that can live for approximately 10 years and is considered a long-lived aquarium fish.
  • Shark barb is a rather gluttonous aquarium fish that eats huge quantities of both live and dry food with pleasure. The main thing is not to overdo it in feeding your pets.
  • This type of aquarium fish is very shy and can die from severe fright. In addition, from fear, barbs not only beat against the walls of the aquarium, but also jump out of it. This factor can also be observed during the adaptation period, which lasts about a month.
  • Males are more cocky during puberty. And in order to avoid any conflicts, it is best to reconsider the compatibility of barbs with other fish. Having deposited his small neighbors in another aquarium.



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