Bala Shark Fish Specie: Balantiocheilos melanopterus, often known as the tricolor shark, tricolor sharkminnow, silver shark, or shark minnow, is one of two species in the genus Balantiocheilos. This species is not a genuine shark, but its torpedo-shaped body and huge fins have earned it the name. It was first described by Bleeker in 1851 under the name Barbus melanopterus.

The Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo are home to the Bala shark. Confusion with the recently described and potentially extinct B. ambusticauda led to previous records further north in the Mekong and Chao Phraya Rivers. The species was also considered to live in Thailand’s Mekong and Chao Phraya rivers. However, in 2007, Ng and Kottelat confirmed that this information was incorrect.

Bala Shark Fish Specie Body Structure

The dorsal, caudal, anal, and pelvic fins have black borders, and the dorsal, caudal, anal, and pelvic fins are silver. To locate and catch their prey, they have large eyes. The Bala shark can grow up to 35 centimeters in length, with females being smaller. The scales of the Bala Shark are well-defined and have a silver metallic luster. The hue darkens as it gets closer to the top and fades as it gets closer to the bottom.

Bala shark with good body structure

Many river basins in their natural range have become rare or extinct. Fishermen in Danau Sentarum (Borneo) stated in 1993 and 1995 that population levels had dropped substantially after 1975 for no apparent reason. Overfishing for the aquarium fish trade or forest fires in 1975, which resulted in contamination, was named by fishermen as a possible cause. The species is believed to be extinct in the Batang Hari basin (Sumatra), and all B. melanopterus individuals exported to the aquarium trade from Indonesia and Thailand are captivity bred.

Habitat

Bala sharks can be found in big and medium-sized rivers and lakes at midwater depths. They are resilient fish that can withstand temperature variations, pH changes, and other variables that would harm other fish. The pH of the water should be between 6.0 and 8.0. Soft to medium water hardness is ideal for this species. The water temperature should be regulated between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius (72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit). Bala sharks prefer to be kept in pairs or groups of two or more. Because it is a proficient jumper, it requires a covered aquarium, although it may damage itself on the tank’s lid.

Bala shark swim through its habitat

Diets

They eat phytoplankton and small crustaceans, rotifers, and insects and their larvae, but predominantly small crustaceans, rotifers, and insects and their larvae.

These fish would form shoaling groups while they hunted for food, escaped predators, and looked for mates in the wild. Bala Sharks must be with their species to avoid developing harmful habits that could lead to their premature death.

Small fish can be eaten by Bala Sharks if they are small enough to fit in their mouth. Snails, which are a component of their natural diet, are also a favorite food for these opportunistic feeders. Arowanas, big cichlids, and pufferfish are some of the predatory animals to watch.

Behavior

Once they’ve become used to their new surroundings, Bala Sharks will become more active. They’ll be grouped together in close proximity. They would sometimes imitate each other’s movements, and jumping is a good defense tactic. It allows fish to flee from their predators for a short time.

Bala shark displaying its behaviour

Reproduction

Bala Sharks don’t have the best parenting skills. Once the eggs have been placed and fertilized, females pay little attention to them. Males do not offer protection to their offspring. Males and females would devour their eggs and newly hatched fry, in reality.

Caring

You’ll need to feed your fish the right diet at the right time, and you’ll need to keep an eye on the water conditions. They can survive for up to ten years on average.

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