Will Larger Bala Shark Kill Smaller Bala Shark?

nikm128

Ok so I'm just gonna give you all the rundown on how I got to this point really quick, then get to the question.
I started out with three bala sharks, one of which did not last very long for unknown reasons but I honestly don't remember why I didn't go get another. Then fast forward a few months another one died by jumping out of the tank during feeding and landing in high pile carpet. So now I have just one 6-7" bala which I know needs friends.
So here's the question. Will a half size bala kill any lfs size (~3") bala I try to add?
 

Mrfister1116

Sometimes, the temperament varies in them and I’ve read can be territorial based. As with most fish they tend to pick on any smaller ones though. I’d get the closest in size Bala you can find
 

nikm128

I think the current one is pretty peaceful considering a red tail shark will chase him sometimes and not have anything happen to it. I don't know where I could buy any close to ~6" though
 

Mrfister1116

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one more than 4” at a fish store ... it probably be okay then.
 

Coptapia

They’re a shoaling fish so should only be kept in groups of (6) or more.
Trouble with most shoaling fish, including Silver Sharks, is if you only have two one will probably bully the other. You really need a few... and they grow over a foot long and need swimming room, so you need a huge tank. They shouldn’t actually be sold for home aquaria in most cases.
 

nikm128

I have the proper amount of space for them, I just need to find some that won't be killed by the one on its own at the moment since they need groups. I also need to know what risk there is if any for adding ones half his size
 

Coptapia

It should be fine if you add a few and there’s enough space. It’ll probably love it and shoal with them. Just don’t add one, of any size, and two is often risky aswell. Once they settle whoever’s biggest will bully the other/s, very possibly.

That “group feeling” is the thing. Give him that and he’ll be ‘happy’. Size usually doesn’t matter then.
 

nikm128

Well I think making him more comfortable does slightly outweigh the risk of squabbles. As long as they're not likely to kill each other I can manage it.
 

Coptapia

They’re a very peaceful fish. It’s just the stress of not being in a group can make them aggressive.
 

nikm128

Well in that case I'm not really that worried, I've always been told they're semI aggressive or aggressive fish, just like they're sold as.
Thanks for clearing that up for me
 

Coptapia

They might have the odd argument between themselves but it’s never harmful.
They are often sold as aggressive but that’s because they’re often (usually) kept in numbers that are too small, or too small a tank, or in the wrong type of tank, eg with cichlids or maybe something nocturnal that disturbs them, all in a tank where they can’t get out of the way. All of this causes stress so they don’t behave normally. That’s the aggression.
Same with most shoaling fish.
 

nikm128

Just out of curiosity, what tank size or dimensions do you say balas should have?
 

bizaliz3

Just out of curiosity, what tank size or dimensions do you say balas should have?

At least a 6 foot tank. At least!!
 

nikm128

Ok, that's good. Is 20" wide too narrow for them?
 

Coptapia

Ok, that's good. Is 20" wide too narrow for them?

IMO that’s a bit narrow, but 6ft x 20” will give you a happy peaceful group. They just won’t grow to quite their full potential. They’re very active and powerful swimmers, they just won’t be able to do much of that.
Basically it’s enough but not ideal long term, imo.
 

Jafa

My rescue Bala apparently killed his smaller mate (fits what Coptopia says).
In his 35g cube he was... 'twitchy' and nervous as heck. I had been going to rehome him asap.
I moved him to my 90g community tank (he was scaring the Frontosa) and he is now a lamb.
He feeds with the gouramis, angels and corys and even comes to me for blood worms (who wouldn't)
I will still rehome him (Do you want him? Come on over ) but the size of the tank makes a big difference to his attitude.
...and maybe the lower ph
 

nikm128

IMO that’s a bit narrow, but 6ft x 20” will give you a happy peaceful group. They just won’t grow to quite their full potential. They’re very active and powerful swimmers, they just won’t be able to do much of that.
Basically it’s enough but not ideal long term, imo.
Don't they grow to ~14"? That would give 5-6 inches of extra space wouldn't it?
 

bizaliz3

Don't they grow to ~14"? That would give 5-6 inches of extra space wouldn't it?

Which is less than half the length of their full grown body.

Edit...a 125g isn't horrible. Dont get me wrong. I was just putting it in perspective.
 

nikm128

My rescue Bala apparently killed his smaller mate (fits what Coptopia says).
In his 35g cube he was... 'twitchy' and nervous as heck. I had been going to rehome him asap.
I moved him to my 90g community tank (he was scaring the Frontosa) and he is now a lamb.
He feeds with the gouramis, angels and corys and even comes to me for blood worms (who wouldn't)
I will still rehome him (Do you want him? Come on over ) but the size of the tank makes a big difference to his attitude.
...and maybe the lower ph
How big?

Which is less than half the length of their full grown body.

Edit...a 125g isn't horrible. Dont get me wrong. I was just putting it in perspective.
The tank was built by me, so I'm still in the process of touching it up and stuff. That said it would be a royal pain in the butt, but I could make it a few inches wider. What width do you recommend?
 

bizaliz3

The tank was built by me, so I'm still in the process of touching it up and stuff. That said it would be a royal pain in the butt, but I could make it a few inches wider. What width do you recommend?

Don't ask me. I don't have any experience with them. I just remember the first time I saw a group of full grown bala sharks after only seeing babies at petsmart and was blown away. The fish were long, wide and tall! I believe they were in a 125 at the store. And they just all sat facing one direction. Likely because turning around isn't the easiest when they had less than half a body length to turn around. You know?

If you have the ability to...I would go wider. Even if it is a pain. I think they would be more active and more enjoyable to look at if the tank is as wide as you can make it.

However, I do not think it is awful to keep them in a nice sized group in a 6 foot tank. Its better than most bala sharks get.
 

nikm128

6" Lol, I live in Australia.
Oh, yeah maybe not then lol.
Don't ask me. I don't have any experience with them. I just remember the first time I saw a group of full grown bala sharks after only seeing babies at petsmart and was blown away. The fish were long, wide and tall! I believe they were in a 125 at the store. And they just all sat facing one direction. Likely because turning around isn't the easiest when they had less than half a body length to turn around. You know?

If you have the ability to...I would go wider. Even if it is a pain. I think they would be more active and more enjoyable to look at if the tank is as wide as you can make it.

However, I do not think it is awful to keep them in a nice sized group in a 6 foot tank. Its better than most bala sharks get.
yeah, width is really hard to calculate when some fish can almost fold in half, some can almost turn on a point, and some can hardly bend at all.
Also I felt the same way when I saw 2' common pleco for the first time
 

Coptapia

The tank was built by me, so I'm still in the process of touching it up and stuff. That said it would be a royal pain in the butt, but I could make it a few inches wider. What width do you recommend?

At least 2 ft, preferably 3.
 

nikm128

I can probably do 2', but I can't afford to go over 30" so I might do that.
 

Coptapia

Refreshing to see someone who wants to do it right.
 

nikm128

Lots of people want to do it right, they just won't take extra steps to get there.
 

Jafa

Thought you might like to see a pic of my 'lamb' at feeding time.
20190116_142915.jpg
This is for algae wafers
 

nikm128

What else is in there?
 

nikm128

Very nice!
bizaliz3 when you say a good sized group do you mean 6 like most schooling fish?
 

bizaliz3

Very nice!
bizaliz3 when you say a good sized group do you mean 6 like most schooling fish?

Ya. I definitely do not think a duo or trio should be done. 6 would be nice....maybe even more when they are young!!

You'd have to decide what to do when they get full grown. 6 or more will likely get too crowded as they get bigger. So if you end up with 6 or more foot-long bala sharks...you may end up having to rehome a couple. But I'm sure you could enjoy a nice sized group for a nice chunk of time with a tank as big as you will have!
 

nikm128

I'll just make my multiple tank syndrome even worse and buy/build a 200 gallon tank then haha
In all seriousness though, I'll probably start with at least four since my more trusted family owned lfs has 3 very healthy looking ones. Then I'll see how they get along and if I can do a larger group
 

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