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5 Reasons Why Bala Sharks Rub Against Each Other

5 Reasons Why Bala Sharks Rub Against Each Other

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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 shy or slow-moving, and they add a lot of movement and vibrance to any aquarium.

But if you keep a close look, you might notice something is off, even for the fast-moving balas.

So, why do bala sharks rub against each other? Is there a way to fix this behavior?

You’ve come to the right place because we’ll answer this question in our article, so keep reading.

Why Do My Bala Sharks Rub Against Each Other?

Fish use their bodies to communicate and express their feelings.

Seeing something unusual in the tank, like your balas rubbing against each other, might happen for several reasons.

1 – It’s a Mating Dance

Although this behavior is more common in other species, bala sharks can also engage in a mating dance.

Most breeders could link this behavior to the production of eggs, but it hasn’t yet been scientifically proven.

2 – They Could Be Playing

Fish can play with one another, and rubbing against each other is their way of having fun.

As long as they’re not ramming each other against sharp objects, they should be fine.

3 – To Assert Dominance

Bala sharks are usually the largest in an aquarium. In most cases, they want to show other fish who’s the boss.

In some cases, balas could also try to establish dominance within their group.

You might notice some of their scales falling off to the tank’s bottom. This shouldn’t concern you unless they start attacking one another or other fish in the tank.

Bala sharks usually swim, following one another and rubbing their middle sections or tails against one another.

If another fish comes close to them, they usually drive it away, and they can get mean to protect their space while doing this activity.

4 – Your Tank is Overcrowded

An overcrowded tank is the root of all evil.

Bala sharks can engage in several non-desirable behavioral patterns when the tank is too small for them.

Most aquarists will get a good tank for the bala sharks they own, forgetting that this fish can grow one foot long.

Since you should keep at least five or six balas together, you should ensure that the tank is big enough to accommodate their mature size, provide plenty of swimming space, and accommodate the size of other creatures and structures in the same tank.

5 – They Could Be Sick

In some cases, rubbing against one another or different objects in the tank can signify an illness or infection.

Your bala sharks might be trying to relieve the pain or seek help by doing so.

They could also be suffering because you’re keeping them in unfavorable conditions.

How to Fix This Behavior

Since rubbing against one another has several reasons, you can try various methods to help fix it.

Examine Your Fish

Before considering any other solution, you should examine your fish for spots or signs of injury.

If you notice that your bala shark is sick, losing scales, has a bloated abdomen, or has a wound, you should consult the vet about the best way to tackle this issue.

Improve Their Environment

Bala sharks are pretty sensitive and can get extremely annoyed, stressed, and even aggressive if you keep them in unfavorable conditions.

First, you must ensure that you have a 150 or 200-gallon tank to provide these fish and their tank mates with enough space.

Second, you should never keep one or two balas alone, as they’ll become too stressed. Instead, keep at least five or six balas in the aquarium.

Then, you need to test the water parameters to ensure they’re suitable for your bala sharks. These fish won’t tolerate changes in temperature or hardness levels, so you must test the water regularly to ensure they’re comfortable.

Give Them Space

You should move the mating pair to a separate tank if your fish are mating. It should measure 55 gallons, or it could be slightly larger.

Don’t overcrowd the mating tank with plants and decorations, and make sure there’s enough room for swimming. Use a sponge filter to clean the water without sucking the fry.

Let Them Be

Bala sharks could be rubbing against each other because they’re playful. But, in this case, you can only watch them and enjoy their captivating behavior.

They could also be trying to establish dominance, which is normal and shouldn’t be worrying.

Final Thoughts

Bala sharks can rub against each other because they’re playful.

However, your intervention will be needed if you notice that they’re overly aggressive, attacking one another, or dancing to mate.

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