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3 Reasons Your Bala Shark Is Swimming Up and Down the Glass

3 Reasons Your Bala Shark Is Swimming Up and Down the Glass

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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.

Bala sharks aren’t sharks, but they are valuable to community tanks.

Noticing weird behavior can help you detect if something is wrong with your lovely pets. So, why is my bala shark swimming up and down the glass?

This article will shed light on the reasons behind your fish’s behavior. You’ll also learn how to fix this problem, so let’s dive in.

Why Is My Bala Shark Swimming Up and Down the Glass?

Unlike other pets, fish aren’t vocal and can’t tell or show you how they actually feel. Moreover, because they live in a tank, you can’t touch or hug your fish to see if there’s something wrong with it.

This is why these amazing creatures display several behavioral patterns you can understand and interpret to see if something requires an intervention.

Glass surfing or pacing is a behavioral pattern that some fish display. It’s when you notice that your bala sharks are swimming up and down the glass.

Bala sharks usually show this behavior when they live in an unhealthy aquarium. A lot of factors lead to this behavior.

1 – Poor Water Conditions

If your bala sharks are stressed, they’ll brush against the tank’s sides more often, in what we call glass surfing. The main reason why fish can feel stressed is unfavorable or poor water conditions.

Improper cycling, a malfunctioning filter, infrequent water changes, and unhealthy water parameters can all stress your fish. Unfortunately, many novice tank owners have no idea how to maintain a healthy environment for their fish, so they might unknowingly keep them in a stressful environment.

If you’re unsure that your water is healthy, you can buy a testing kit or take a sample from the tank’s water to your local pet store and have it tested. You need to ensure that the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are within the acceptable range to maintain a healthy tank.

2 – Overcrowding

Overcrowding your tank by adding too many fish is a significant cause of stress and different health issues. For example, Bala sharks that live in an overcrowded tank will experience stunted growth, a decline in immunity, and more health issues.

Moreover, overcrowding the tank can also push some peaceful tank inhabitants to become more aggressive.

When choosing the right number of balas to add to a tank, you should also consider the number of microorganisms in this tank. These microorganisms contribute to the tank’s balance, but their numbers should be under control.

Moreover, an overcrowded tank needs more maintenance to remove waste and keep water parameters healthy. Bala sharks will gasp for air and brush against the tank’s walls to escape this harsh environment.

3 – Overfeeding

Overfeeding is another form of animal cruelty because you make the tank unhealthy for your bala sharks. Uneaten food that collects at the bottom of the tank can’t be processed by the bacteria, increasing the tank’s bioload.

Decaying food will increase the algae buildup, reducing the tank’s oxygen. It can also lead to a pest snail outbreak.

Although the presence of aquatic snails contributes to your tank’s balance and transforms it into a functioning ecosystem, their outbreak can be highly annoying as they make your aquarium less attractive, produce more waste, and your fish might try to eat them.

How to Stop Fish From Glass Surfing

Glass surfing isn’t a big problem unless your bala sharks become more aggressive.

Some aquarists notice their bala sharks ramming themselves against the glass walls in a desperate attempt to escape the tank. If you see this, you should start doing the following.

  • Make sure that the tank’s temperature is suitable for your bala sharks. These schooling fish live comfortably when the temperature is kept between 72 and 82 °F.
  • Buy a water testing kit and test your water regularly to maintain suitable water parameters.
  • Ensure that your water’s hardness level is soft to medium, between 5.0 and 12.0 dGH.
  • Bala sharks live in schools, so don’t keep one fish alone. Instead, it’s best to keep at least five bala sharks in the same tank to keep them happy.
  • Bala sharks can grow to enormous sizes, so the tank should be at least 150 gallons, especially if you keep other tank mates with them.
  • Be careful about the number and types of fish you add to the tank to be your balas tank mates.
  • Pay attention to feeding and cleaning schedules to keep the aquarium healthy.

Final Thoughts

Bala sharks swim up and down the glass when the tank’s conditions aren’t favorable. Overcrowding and overfeeding your fish can stress them and cause them to bang themselves against the tank’s glass walls.

If you notice this behavior, you might need to increase the tank’s size, clean it more often, and pay attention to your feeding schedule.

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