research before you buy!!!!!
both fish are better in large schools
bala need a LARGE tank.
Ok. When you're new to the hobby, you tend to trust the advice of petstore staff as you know no better. Ever since I was young, tiger barbs and bala sharks were "community fish" that could live happily ever after together in the same tank. When I decided 4 years ago that I wanted to start keeping fish, I went to these store staff and asked their opinions. Little did I know that a lot of them feel no obligation to give FACTUAL information to a newb that they can screw for money.
So there's me with my brand new tank and some Tiger Barbs. I was even sold a common plec to go in my nice new CLEAN tank. When I found a nice sized Bala shark, in he went too. No problems. Nothing. Nada. I have kept that shark with Tiger barbs for nearly 3 years. I have had NO problems. This is my experience. Not so much as fin damage.
I am aware that Bala sharks need to live in groups - I found this out recently which is why I have been slowly increasing the number to try to improve the life of that same shark. I currently have 3. I was aiming for 5 but finding Balas at a decent size is not easy so its taking a little while. Admittedly - my bad on the tank size. I honestly thought 48 x 20 x 20" was ample space, but clearly I'm wrong and I'm willing to admit that.
But I really don't think that its necessary to SHOUT. I'm an adult. I can only assume that you, too, are an adult, and I was seeking advice. I did not expect to be condemned to the "irresponsible pet owner" corner. I am all for researching species before I buy them. Back when I first put the Bala with the Tigers I thought I HAD done my research. NOW I know better. I am sure I am not the first person to have mis-matched species on the basis of petstore advice, and I definitely will not be the last.
Also consider what else you have in your tank. You mentioned fish other than the balas and tigers. Will the tigers ever harass them? Will the balas ever eat them?
Luckily, I have a penchant for semi-aggressive fish, apart from the Balas obviously, so my other fish will have no problem with the Tigers
Your gonna have to choose between the two inevitably. And that Bala is going to outgrow that tank eventually so you might as well stick with your barbs and relocate the bala.
Thank you. I have actually just gotten off the phone to a guy who has huge, self-built tanks. He seems keen on taking the Balas and I'm really hoping he does. He seems like a good guy and they'll be with more of their own kind and hopefully very happy
edit - sp.