Bala Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus)
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Bala Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus)


Information

Common Name: Bala Shark
Proper Name: Balantiocheilus melanopterus
Category: Cyprinids
Temperature: 21 - 28 C
Temperament Peaceful
Maximum Size: 38 cm
 
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
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Got to be one of the most miskept fish. Always put in tiny tanks, most people don't know just how big they get! Properly kept, in at least a 100 gallon tank, they are great fish! Very peaceful, although balas, like any other fish, will eat any and all fish that are immensly smaller than themselves.
 
Algae Grower
 
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these giant minnows are great fish. they grow quickly, are very active, and are very peaceful. they do need a large tank. i refused to buy them until i had my 450 gallon tank set up. they would swim in pairs and sorta dance against each other down the length of the tank (10 feet) rather quickly, so i feel they would need an even bigger tank to be happy once reaching full size. i do believe that they are extinct in the wild and mainly exist in farms where they are bred for food and the aquarium hobby.
 
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They are peaceful fish, though skittish as heck. I've got three that range between 3" and 6" - it took quite a while to earn their trust, and now that I transfered them to their own 90 gallon tank, they're back to scattering when I approach the tank. How annoying. As far as a planted tank, just be aware that nothing pleases a Bala Shark more than rooting around the base of any plant you add to your aquarium, and uprooting plants (especialy tall plants) seems to be a Bala team sport.
 
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These guys love schooling and grow huge! For these reasons, it is recommended that you have at least a 6 foot long tank. They are excellent community fish but as with all large fish, they should be watched around smaller tank mates.
 
Algae Grower
 
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Best kept in a species tank of no smaller than 3ft long in groups of 4
 
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2/27/2013 I have 2 that are about 1/2 grown in in my 125 gal. (6' long tank). When fully grown, I am not sure anything less than 400 gal would give enough room. Yes they are a bit skittish. My wife bought two of these ("because she liked them") while I was out of state for about a year. She did no research first. They just get too big for a 125 gal.

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