Genus Name: Balantiocheilos Melanopterus
Also known as: Bala Shark, Tricolor Shark, Shark Minnow
Distribution: Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo, Malaysia
Length: up to 14″ (35cm)
Minimum Tank Length: 72″ (180cm)
Water Temperature: 72-84F (22-29C)
Diet: crustaceans, insects, dried food, plant matter
Water: soft to medium
Lives: all, but mostly the middle layers of the aquarium
Breeding: Egg layers
The Silver Shark is a very slender fish with a general convex appearance. The dorsal fin is triangular in shape, hence the common name ‘shark’. The back of the Silver Shark is silver with a yellow sheen, the back is brown and the belly is white. All the fins are tipped with a wide black band.
The Silver Shark is a hardy fish, which can tolerate water temperature changes. Unfortunately Silver Sharks are not sold well in aquarium shops, as the majority of customers do not realise that they grow to 14″ (35cm), and they are also best kept in a shoal of five or six.
Although small Silver Sharks are fine in smaller aquariums, as they grow they will need to be moved to a larger aquarium. They will survive, but they will display uncharacteristic behaviour, as they do not have enough space. Imagine it as similar to keeping a horse in a horse-box.
The Silver Shark is very easy to keep, it is very peaceful, but also a fast swimmer, so give the Silver Shark plenty of open water to swim in. They are also great at jumping, so ensure the aquarium has a well-fitted lid.
There are no obvious differences between the male and female Silver Shark. They have been known to breed in home aquariums on occasion, and when they do they will lay eggs, which are scattered along the bottom. No parental care is given by Silver Sharks, and they will eat their own young.