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I do not currently have an aquarium but I am planning to (hopefully soon). I am figuring out what types of fish I want so that I can start putting together a list of equipment I'll need.

I really like what young bala sharks look like, but I'm wondering if there are any fish that look similar but don't get nearly as big at maturity.

Thank you for any advice and suggestions!
 

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I can't think off any off the top of my head... you might try looking at fish from the cyprinid family, particularly barbs. They are from the same family as bala sharks.

When looking for fish I find it particularly helpful to go to the local library, chapters or wherever and flip through books on aquarium fish. Many list fish by freshwater/saltwater, family and then species. There are tons of fis 'profiles' to browse... if the picture catches your eye then read below the picture to see if it's suitable for your tank.
 

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I do not currently have an aquarium but I am planning to (hopefully soon). I am figuring out what types of fish I want so that I can start putting together a list of equipment I'll need.

I really like what young bala sharks look like, but I'm wondering if there are any fish that look similar but don't get nearly as big at maturity.

Thank you for any advice and suggestions!
Hi the mullet fish are ver similar to the bala shark. So much that I wonder if they are related. Just google mullet fish
 

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If you are looking for a similar color scheme, Pictus Catfish or Scissortail Rasbora could work. If you are looking for a shark-like body shape, you could look into Rainbow Sharks or Red Tailed Black Sharks.

Pictus Catfish get to 5 inches. They are extremely active schooling fish that hang out in the bottom areas of the tank. Their long whiskers are a sign that they are predators, and they will eat small fish, so keep them only with similarly sized tank mates. These guys also may fin nip some, so don't keep them with long-finned tank mates.

Scissortail Rasboras can get up to 6 inches, but usually stay smaller than that. These are gentle schooling fish for the mid/upper water areas.

Rainbow Sharks and Red Tailed Black Sharks are similar, both are cyprinids that are shaped like sharks. Both are territorial semi-aggressive bottom dwellers. Rainbow Sharks tend to be less aggressive toward other species than the Red Tailed Black Shark, but both won't tolerate any fish shaped like them, colored like them, other sharks, or other bottom dwellers.
 
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