Silver Shark

Silver Shark
Silver Shark
Silver Shark
Silver Shark

Silver Sharks (commonly also referred to as Bala Sharks) are by far the most sought after freshwater shark in the aquarium trade. Young specimens are a thin, narrow fish with sharp triangular fins that feature black surrounding edges. The Silver Shark’s body offers a stunning colour of silver, some with light brown through the back of the shark and usually found with a white belly.

Common Name(s) : Silver Shark, Bala Shark
Family : Cyprinidae
Species : Balantiocheilos melanopterus
Origin : Asia –   Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo, Maylasia
PH : 6.5 – 7.5
Hardness : Soft to Medium
Temperature : 24 – 28°C / 75–82°F
Maximum Size : 33cm / 13″
Lifespan : 6-10 years
Aggression Level : Low-Medium (3/10) (Larger specimens may eat small tetras)
Recommended Tank Size : 150 Litres +
Strata : Bottom Half


Enjoy a planted tank with the addition of rocks, driftwood or ornaments for some cover.


  • Tropical Fish
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • Some African Cichlids
  • Some American Cichlids


Omnivores, in the aquarium they will take a wide range of foods including flake, pellets, vegetables, bloodworm or brine shrimp.


Sexing is difficult, no distinguishable differences between sexes. Suggested males grow larger, but this thin information.

It is unlikely these fish will breed in the aquarium however they are egg scatterers.


I joke with customers sometimes that the Silver Shark is the dumbest fish going around in the aquarium trade. Skittish is probably a more accurate description, they are quick to leap out of the water if surprised.

We find them very hardy often easing into new aquariums well. They do prefer soft to moderately hard water and are very comfortable in PH levels of 6.5 – 7.5.

These fish certainly do better in a school – not only that but they look sensational gliding just above the substrate in a group.

They can grow up to 33cm+ and therefore it is recommended to place them in a tank no smaller than 3ft.

You will mostly find Silver Sharks in the bottom third of the tank. They are a showy fish that you will commonly find hanging around in around the open spaces at the front of the aquarium.

They enjoy most foods, but particularly enjoy live brine shrimp and blackworms, but will also do well on a combination of flake, frozen foods, vegetables and plants. Silver Sharks are omnivore therefore enjoy a varied diet.


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