Bala Shark
Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Care Level




Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

12 - 18

Minimum Tank Size



Black, Silver, White



Water Conditions

72-79° F, KH 10-15, pH 6.5-7.5


General: The bala shark occupy the natural lakes and river systems of Borneo. Having the ability to reach a length of over twelve inches, a mature bala shark should be kept in an aquarium of at least 150 gallons. It is often best to keep bala sharks in groups consisting of six or more. Ideally, the bala shark should be provided additional current with the application of a powerhead.

Dimorphism: The bala shark female will take on a more gravid appearance when ready to reproduce.

Fecundity: There have not been any reports of bala sharks being bred in the home aquarium.

Water Chemistry: 72-79° F, KH 10-15, pH 6.5-7.5

Aquarium Diet: Bala sharks are omnivores and can be fed spirulina, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, daphnia, fish flakes and sinking omnivore pellets. In the wild, bala sharks have naturally adapted to feeding on bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Compatibility: Bala sharks are typically compatible with semi-aggressive cichlids such as acara (Andinoacara pulcher), severum (Heros sp.), blood parrot cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus x Paraneetroplus synspilus), and other fish such as silver dollars ( Metynnis sp.), Synodontis species, panda garras (Garra flavatra) and large barbs such as tinfoil barbs (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii).

Bala Shark Videos

Author: Grant Stevens