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Clear Signs of Stress in Bala Sharks

Clear Signs of Stress in Bala Sharks

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Many people believe that getting pet fish is an excellent decision for a novice pet owner.

They’re not totally wrong since living in a confined space gives you more control over the fish’s habitat to keep them healthy and happy.

Yet, you must be aware of signs that show that your fish aren’t OK, so you can make some necessary changes.

This article will list the signs of stress in bala sharks and what you can do about them. So, let’s dive in.

Signs of Stress in Bala Sharks

Bala sharks are interesting freshwater fish as they grow to a big size in a tank, making them the gentle giants of your aquarium.

Moreover, they don’t usually attack other fish, but they will display a lot of movement, racing inside the tank from one side to another.

But if you like watching bala sharks, you might notice a few things that show that your fish aren’t OK. Here are some signs that your bala sharks might be stressed.

  • The fish are twitching or moving rather frantically, even for the fast bala sharks, without going anywhere specific.
  • Balas swim up and down the tank, rubbing themselves against its walls.
  • The fish ram themselves into the tank’s walls.
  • Bala sharks start showing white spots on their bodies because of ich or other parasitic infection.
  • They are rubbing themselves against the gravel and rocks.
  • They swim to hit the tank’s bottom.
  • They lock their fins to the side and stop moving them.

Reasons Why Your Bala Sharks Are Stressed

Bala sharks are pretty hardy and can live up to 10 years in captivity. Yet, they are pretty sensitive to different stressors that affect their well-being. Here are some reasons why your fish might be stressed.

  • Keeping one bala shark in a tank is a significant stressor. These community fish like to live in shoals, with at least five or six members in the same tank.
  • Poor water conditions are the main reason why bala sharks suffer from stress.
  • Choosing a small tank for your bala shark can stress them as they grow bigger and compete for food.
  • Overcrowding can stress balas greatly, and they might even leap out of the tank to die if their aquarium is too overcrowded.
  • Although they might seem interesting, poor handling, like squeezing the fish’s body or touching the eyes or the gills, can cause stress.
  • Aggressive and non-compatible tank mates can make bala sharks stressed.

How to Deal With Bala Sharks’ Stress

Although bala sharks are prone to stress, you can do several things to make them feel better.

Choose and Set Up the Right Tank

Bala sharks can grow to be about 12 inches long or even more. This means that you must ensure that the tank you pick for them is big enough to accommodate their current and future size.

You should keep at least five or six balas in the same tank. Adding more will be better if there’s enough space for all the fish to roam freely.

Pay Attention to the Fish

Stress weakens the fish’s immune system, so you might see white spots appearing on their bodies. This is usually caused by ich, but it can result from any other parasitic infection.

If you notice any sick bala shark in the aquarium, remove it and keep it in a separate tank until it improves. You might also have to ask the vet for an antibiotic to make your sick fish feel better.

Pay attention to any changes in the bala’s environment, like a changed diet. Some food types can make the balas sick and stressed.

Maintain a Healthy Tank

Use a stabilizer to maintain healthy conditions in your tank.

You should also invest in a filter and a powerful pump to clean the aquarium more often.

Ensure you maintain the right temperature, hardness, and pH within the best range for balas.

Using a testing kit, you can monitor and adjust the water parameters to make them more suitable for your bala sharks.

Pick the Right Tank Mates

Think carefully before choosing tank mates for your bala sharks, as they might stress them and make them uncomfortable.

Although bala sharks are big fish, they’re docile and peaceful. Shy and slow-moving fish can be good companions for them.

You should avoid filling the tank with big or aggressive fish that might startle your bala sharks.

Final Thoughts

Signs of stress are often seen in bala sharks when they’re not kept in the right conditions.

They might start hitting themselves against the tank’s walls or swim frantically. In some cases, fish can jump out of the tank.

Choosing the right tank that provides them with enough space and maintaining a healthy and suitable environment will protect your bala sharks from stress and keep them in good health.

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