The Infamous Bala Shark
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
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The Infamous Bala Shark

Okay, I have been all over the internet looking for info on bala sharks. I saw two of them in a 50 gal and fell in love. Most everyone on the net agrees that they get too big to keep in smaller tanks.

I have met two fish keepers that I respect very much keep bala sharks in a 50 gal tank and had no issue with size. I also know there is some sort of rule or something about fish growing to the extent of their tank, but I have no idea if this is an unnatural of bad thing to rely on. Does it damage the fish if they don't grow to their maximum size? Is there anyone here who has kept bala sharks? Is it okay for them to be in smaller tanks?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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If they are smaller in a smaller tank, then that is because their growth has been stunted by the improper conditions in the small tank. This is a very bad thing to do. Fish need a tank appropriate for their full size, and a 50 gallon tank is simply not suitable for bala sharks.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #3
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If you're gonna keep the proper amount of bala sharks, I'd go with atleast a 125.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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One of our LFS (sadly gone now) had a monster floor tank that showed this principle rather graphically.

The bala sharks that had been grown out in a properly sized tank kept a nice streamlined body shape. Beautiful, fast swimmers, good eaters, just gorgeous. And then there were the ones that came from customers desperately seeking a new home for the bala they had kept in smaller tanks. They had shortened, heavy bodies, thick thru the abdomen, with visibly bowed spines. Alive? Yeah. Healthy? Well, they swam, ate and pooped. Personally, I have higher standards for my fish than mere survival.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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Right. . .I thought the stunted growth was a bad thing. Thanks very much for confirming that. I'd like to keep healthy beautiful fish.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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I can say that a fish will not be stunted due to the tank size they are in.

Poor quality water, not feeding enough, or bad genetics would play a bigger role.

I have kept fish and rehomed them later when they outgrew their tank and the growth was what I'd expect from feeding it regularly not slow just because they're in a small tank.

A fish isn't goign to say, I feel like i'm in a 10g tank and won't grow as fast or big.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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That's a great example Knotyoureality I wish thinks I that was brought up more often.
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advice, bala shark

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