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How Fast Do Bala Sharks Grow? (Everything You Need To Know)

How Fast Do Bala Sharks Grow? (Everything You Need To Know)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Did you know that the Bala Shark is one of the largest freshwater fish in Southeast Asia?

Well, now you do! Although they’re not like the sharks that you’ve seen on ‘Jaws’, they look like larger saltwater species. But don’t be scared of them, they’re harmless.

As part of the barb family, they’re known for their shark-like high dorsal fins and distinctive body shape. This is exactly why they’re associated with other sharks. You should also know that they’re relatively big, compared to other freshwater species. Do you know how fast Bala Sharks grow?

How Fast Do Bala Sharks Grow?

Bala Shark Swimming Toward Bottom of Tank

Do you think they could possibly grow as big as their peers? Like Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, or even Whale Sharks? The answer is no, they don’t. Yet, unlike aquarium fish, they could get huge yet remain enchanting like goldfish.

The Bala Shark’s growth rate is phenomenal, with the right diet they could grow about 1 to 4 inches in as little as a month.

My Bala Shark, Frank, used to grow at an incredible rate! In only 6 months, Frank went from 2 inches to 8 inches. I can definitely confirm that they do grow fast from my own experience.

Did you also know that these beautiful silver-bodied creatures can eat up to 3 times a day? They also have a preference for shrimps and have aggressive eating habits!

Wondering What to Feed Your Little Fin-tastic Bala?

If you’re considering having a Bala Shark as a pet, then you’re in luck! They can continue growing and live up to ten years if you provide them with a proper diet. Here’s everything you might need to know. Yet, their lifespan in the wild remains to be unknown.

I would also recommend you raise them in a school, as they prefer to hang around with a lot of other aquatic friends. They definitely do love the company.

In fact, there’s a lot of factors that affect Bala Shark’s size, let’s take a look at the different habitats they could grow in.

Bala Shark Size in Their Natural Habitat

Wild Bala Sharks live all over Asia, usually around the Chao Praya and the Mekong basins. Their habitat is around the Malay Peninsula in Mainland Southeast Asia. They’re available in the wild in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia.

They’re found in fast-flowing streams and rivers. If you’re ever near one, you might want to keep your scuba equipment on hand so you could see them for yourself.

You’ll hear the name “Gentle Giant” associated with the Bala Sharks. It’s a common term used to describe their calm demeanor. In their native habitat, these gentle giants can grow as big as 14-15 inches. This makes them one of the biggest species in the region. The male Bala Shark grows a lot bigger than the female, though.

Bala Shark Size in Captivity

Bala Shark in an Aquarium With Rocks in the Background

Bala Sharks have gained popularity in aquariums due to their gentle and peaceful nature. This makes them the perfect breed to go with other cichlids in tanks.

If you buy or catch them while they are still in the juvenile phase, they could be about 2-3 inches long. They fail to reach their full potential when kept in an enclosure.

When they’re still quite small, a tank that is about 30 gallons and 30 inches in length should be okay. But once they start growing, you will need to upgrade your tank.

You will also need to put other factors that might affect your baby shark into consideration, like water temperature, water hardness, and a decent filtration system to keep your little ones safe.

They will need a lot of water changes, they’re very sensitive to water parameters. However, when they’re raised in captivity, they can usually grow up to around 14-15 inches in length.

This is a lot smaller than the usual size of Bala Sharks. They grow bigger in their natural habitat as we’ve mentioned above.

As their body size tends to vary in short periods of time, Bala Sharks need to live in tanks that are larger than usual. Some of them need tanks that can get as big as 150 gallons and 70 inches long.

If you want to grow some of these creatures, consider changing tank sizes every once in a while. Upgrade to a bigger one to allow more space for them to grow in a healthy manner.

Fun Facts

Bala Shark Swimming in Planted Tank

Here are some cool facts you didn’t know about this fascinating creature:

  • Bala Sharks have many other common names: Tri-color Shark, Tri-color Minnows, Shark Minnow, Silver Bala, and Silver Shark.
  • They communicate with one another through movement, sounds, electric waves, and smell.
  • They’re very fast swimmers. The exact speed is unknown.
  • A baby or young Bala Shark is referred to as a ‘fry’.
  • Bala Sharks are currently on the endangered species list (Red List of Threatened Species). They have become rare or extinct in many of their original habitats.
  • They have become extinct due to pollution and overfishing.
  • Bala Sharks tend to devour smaller species of fish.
  • They’re bred in Asia using special hormones that help them with spawning.
  • It’s hard to tell the males apart from the females. Yet, female Bala Sharks tend to develop a more round belly so that it could be home to the eggs.

Final Thoughts

After knowing more about them, can you answer the following question: how fast do Bala Sharks grow?

Here’s some help! In conclusion, the key factor in growing Bala Sharks is their surrounding environment. They need their space to swim freely and roam around.

So if you’re an animal activist, don’t try to breed them unless you’re an expert, of course. This will be part of your efforts to sustain the environment and to take care of this beautiful creature.

We can definitely call you an expert after reading this article! You now have enough information about Bala Sharks. You will be able to grow your own little friend with the right tank instructions.

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