All FishesCyprinidaeCyprininaeBalantiocheilos

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Scientific Name Balantiocheilos melanopterus  (Bleeker, 1850)
Common Names Silver Shark
Bala Shark, Haibarbe (Germany), Silverhaj (Sweden), Tricolor Shark
Type Locality Bandjarmasin, Borneo, Indonesia.
Pronunciation bah lan tee chee los - mel an oh terr us
Etymology The specific epithet means black (melan) fins (pterus).
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 300mm or 11.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Sexing Females, beyond the size of about 3"/8cm SL, females are obvious by being much more robust in the middle body.
General Remarks Endangered in the wild, all species in the aquarium trade are farm raised. Usually found for sale at around a 2"/5cm in size but will steadily grow to six times this size. At this size a group will need a tank width of at least 24"/60cm and length of 72"/180cm. At all sizes, and especially in cramped conditions, this fish will jump out of the water; a lid is essential.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Asia: Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. Becoming rare or extinct in many river basins.
Mekong (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Thailand Waters, Chao Praya (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Pacific, Malaysia Waters, Peninsular Malaysia Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Pacific, Greater Sunda Island Rivers, Sumatra Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Pacific, Greater Sunda Island Rivers, Borneo Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Endangered, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 1996.
pH 6.0 - 8.0
Temperature 22.0-28.0°C or 71.6-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Aside from handsome looks, this commonly available species will tolerate a wide range of water conditions as noted here. Optimum conditions are a medium uni-directional water current, neutral pH and 25°C/77°F.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Will accept a wide range of foods in all areas of the water column. Flake food is a good staple and frozen bloodworm a weekly bonus.
Furniture Requires open swimming space. Wood or rockwork can be added but will really only benefit other fishes in the aquarium.
Compatibility Peaceful and not predatory. Should be kept in a shoal of at least six. Safe with fishes even down to a fraction of its size.
Suggested Tankmates A fantastic middle water fish for larger display tanks. Perhaps the ideal dither fish for a clown loach tank because of their comparable sizes. Works well with pretty much any other active fish such as barbs, larger characins and many larger catfishes.
Breeding Unreported in the home aquarium but is captive / farm bred in large numbers.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië v. 1 (no. 1), pp 11.
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There are 4 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2019 Oct 26 07:13 (species record created: 2012 Mar 18 05:07)