Max Size: 35cm

Bala Shark (Balantiocheilos Melanopterus)

Due to their peaceful and hardy nature, Bala Sharks do well in a large community aquarium. As they get older, however, they will eventually outgrow most tanks, and they will continue growing for several years.

The eyes and mouth are disproportionately large compared to their torpedo-shaped bodies, and their scales display silvery-grey shades.

The pectoral fins are almost invisible because of their transparency.

The dorsal, pelvic, Caudel and anal fins are all light greys or yellow tones

edged in deep black.

The large triangular-shaped dorsal fin, located almost perpendicular to the body, plus the size they can grow to make them look like actual sharks.


Bala shark
Silver shark
Silver shark
Bala shark
Bala Shark
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBalantiocheilos Melanopterus
Other NamesTricolor Shark, Silver Shark, Tricolor Sharkminnow, Shark minnow
OriginsIndonesia, Malaysia, Thailand
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan8 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 10
72 - 82℉
22.2 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Bala Shark will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is almost impossible to sex this species, the majority of the time there is no noticeable external differences between the two. What we do know is during spawning season the females will develop a more rounded belly than the male.

Other Sharks of interest

Black Sharkminnow(Labeo chrysophekadion)
Chinese High Fin Banded Shark(Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)
Chinese Neon Golden Stripe Shark(Sarcocheilichthys parvus)
Rainbow Shark(Epalzeorhynchos Frenatum)
Red Tailed Black Shark(Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)
Siamese Algae Eater(Crossocheilus oblongus)
View all Sharks
Date Added: 28/08/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 14:02:55