Bala Sharks

Shap33

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Nov 6, 2018
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Real Name
Adam
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Male
Hello,

Long time listener first time caller. Been coming into the site to read a lot of helpful information however finally decided to sign up and post. There’s so many theories on Bala Sharks and I’m hoping I’ll be okay with my new set up. I’m moving from a 75 gallon to a 220 gallon next week. I’ve wanted to for awhile but the Bala Shark purchase I shouldn’t have made a few weeks ago, kind of made me pull the trigger.

I have the 5 in my community take now, doing well. They are about 3 inches, and get along with everyone. Very cool fish, and definitely use all of the tank. I’ve been surprised how Nimble they are, upside down eating off the live plants.. I used to think they were dying when I first saw that.

I have mostly rainbows, 7 roseline sharks, and one electric blue acara that HATES any other cichlid or close to a cichlid I ever attempt to try to put in the tank, but super peaceful to everyone else.

My question is, will the 220, 6 foot long, 2 foot width and almost 3 feet high be enough for this fish long term or should I loook to move them now? I made this purchase maninly for them and to see them grow in the correct environment however the more I read, some even suggest 500 gallons the minimum.

I’ll be running two FX6s that I customized to hold way more media, mechanical and biological.

Open to any suggestions. Thx in advance!
 
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Rob909

Fire Eel
Aug 31, 2018
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Fontana, CA
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Rob Figueroa
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Male
Swim space is key for balas. They’re extremely skittish and will bang their heads against the sides and lids of the tank. I lost a big 8” one to that. They can run into decorations as well. Also, keep aeration on that tank!!! Power heads or spray bars pointed at the surface or bubblers. My bubbler line came off the pump once during a water change. By the time I came back, I had lost 4 and was able to revive two of them.
Just personal experience so you can see yours grow up right!
 

fishhead0103666

Giant Snakehead
May 14, 2018
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How did the line coming off during a water change kill 4 and almost kill 2 others?
 

Rob909

Fire Eel
Aug 31, 2018
331
422
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Fontana, CA
Real Name
Rob Figueroa
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Male
I tugged on it to tuck it back into the tank and it slipped off the pump.
I didn’t have any power heads at the time and that was my only form of aeration. Balas don’t do well in water with low oxygen.
 

fishhead0103666

Giant Snakehead
May 14, 2018
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Yes but I still don’t quite understand. Do they need extremely high amount of oxygen in the water and due to the pumps coming undone and not putting oxygen in the water that’s why the deaths occurred?
 
Sep 24, 2017
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Pennsylvania
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Jeffrey
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Didn't know bala sharks were that sensitive to oxygen. Generally speaking with large fish (oscars, arowanas, sharks, flowerhorns, etc.), you don't want to have too much decoration, especially not hard decorations because they can run into them and hurt themselves. I think that long term the 220 should be fine. As for the oxygen thing, I think having a few sponge filters will be good, they will clean the tank AND provide aeration, should be very good and the sponge filters don't need to take up much space (I think corner ones would be best) and they won't be hard so it won't hurt the sharks. That's just me
 
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celebrist

Potamotrygon
May 7, 2013
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alaska
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Mike
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Swim space is key for balas. They’re extremely skittish and will bang their heads against the sides and lids of the tank. I lost a big 8” one to that. They can run into decorations as well. Also, keep aeration on that tank!!! Power heads or spray bars pointed at the surface or bubblers. My bubbler line came off the pump once during a water change. By the time I came back, I had lost 4 and was able to revive two of them.
Just personal experience so you can see yours grow up right!
mine are not skittish at all in the 450, neither are the silver dollars. most people keep these species in to small of a tank IMHO
 

Shap33

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Nov 6, 2018
14
13
3
38
Real Name
Adam
Gender
Male
Thanks everyone. It’s unfortunate most fish keepers can’t keep these fish and give them the tank they really need. I’m disappointed because I felt going from a 75 gallon to a 220 gallon, 6 foot long would be sufficient long term. Do most agree this won’t be the case and maybe I’m better off trading them back in? My only thought is this fish stores sell so many of these guys for so cheap(just like the little plecos that grow huge) what are the chance they go to home with a bigger tank than a 220 gallon.

Good points in the extra aeration. On my 75 now I run 4 Acua clears, 2 110 and 2 50s. I also have a spong filter going and 3 airstones hooked up to those battery things that if the power goes out, the batteries kick on.

I actually have an extra sponge filter in now too so I can use all the extra bacteria when I make the move next week.

Will Two FX6s outtakes point at the surface of the water, 4 big airstones enough on a 220? Also all live plants.
 
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