Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Bala Sharks (

Squirrelx 07-07-2010 02:29 PM

Bala Sharks
Hey, I just wanted to know if someone could help me out.

I got a 55 Gallon tank with a Top Fin 60 filter and just a small air pump. I'm hoping to get maybe 2 Bala Sharks and a Red tailed black shark when my tanks ready.

Is the tank a big enough size for them? I know eventually they can get up to 12 inches and hopefully I can find a new home for them. Also since they are aggressive, would adding a Pleco be a bad idea? or would they get along? :?


kitten_penang 07-07-2010 02:44 PM

the pleco will get along fine.they are a hardy fish species.we use them for cycling the tank all the time.

Byron 07-07-2010 02:51 PM

My suggestion is to forget the bala sharks; the red tail shark is OK in a 55g with reservations.

Bala sharks are large (12-13.5 inches) and while it may be OK to house them temporarily in a 55g they will soon (very soon) need larger quarters. Also, this is a shoaling fish that should be kept in groups of 5. When kept in say 3's there is usually one that is killed by the others as there are not sufficient fish in the group to establish the fish's natural pecking order. When kept singly this fish has been known to turn very aggressive to other similar-looking fish, since it is deprived of its social group again. And five of these means at least a 8-foot tank. Unless that is in the near future, please don't buy these fish. Potentially-large fish in small environments develop internal organ problems and deficient immune systems, and usually have much shorter life-spans.

As for the red-tail shark, at 5-6 inches it will manage in a 55g. Just recognize that they can be aggressive with similar-shaped fish, and sometimes with other fish. It seems to vary with the fish, but one must recognize that the potential is there. It is highly aggressive with its own, and in nature lives in solitary except when spawning. So as a single fish it makes a good resident in a larger aquarium (like a 55g) provided companions are carefully chosen.


Squirrelx 07-07-2010 03:12 PM

Ok thanks for the reply guys! I'll probably stay away from them then, and go with something that doesn't grow to such a large size.

Could you recommend anything else for the size of my tank? For me, both Aggressive or Community type fish I'm fine with.

Byron 07-07-2010 04:46 PM

You could do quite a few different aquascapes with a 55g. I'm not fond of suggesting fish as I think it should be your tank, I just step in with advice when I can about this or that fish.

The first thing to consider are your water parameters. That may narrow down the options and save a lot of research. Fish compatibility involves sharing the same requirements for water parameters (pH, hardness, temp) and environment (plants, caves, rock, wood...) as well as behaviour and size. Fish that are similar in all these will naturally be less stressed and thus more healthy in the aquarium that provides what they need.


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