Bala Shark
Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Care Level




Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

8" - 12"

Minimum Tank Size

150 gallon


Black, Silver, White



Water Conditions

Slightly Acidic (6.4 to 7.5 pH), intermediate water hardness (6 to 18dGH), 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit


General: The Bala Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus) naturally 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 over 150 gallons. It is often best to keep Bala Shark in groups consisting of six, or more. Bala Shark have naturally adapted to feeding on benthal (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates, and significant amounts of current. Ideally, the Bala Shark should be fed sinking foods, and provided additional current with the application of a powerhead.

Aquarium Diet (Omnivore): Spirulina, Brine Shrimp, Mysis Shrimp, Krill, Mullusk, Daphnia, Sinking Omnivore Pellet

Preferred Water Chemistry: Slightly Acidic (6.4 to 7.5 pH), intermediate water hardness (6 to 18dGH)

Dimorphism: The Bala Shark (Balantiocheilus melanopterus) female will take on a more gravid appearance when ready to reproduce.

Compatibility: The Bala Shark are typically compatible with Acara, Severum, Blood Parrot, Silver Dollar, Synodontis, Plecostomus, and large Barbs.

Author: Grant Stevens