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Why Is My Bala Shark Twitching? (4 Common Causes)

Why Is My Bala Shark Twitching? (4 Common Causes)

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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 are undeniably exotic and unique pets. These freshwater fish aren’t only beautiful, but also intelligent and friendly.

With their shimmering silver scales and playful personalities, they add a touch of the exotic to any aquarium. We’ll explore in this article why your Bala shark may be twitching and what you need to do to make them feel better.

So, why is my Bala shark twitching?

Common Causes of Twitching in Bala Sharks

Bala sharks are freshwater aquarium fish popular for their peaceful temperament and active swimming behavior.

However, if you observe your Bala shark twitching, it could be an indicator of a health problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

1 – Stress

Stress is one of the most common reasons for twitching in Bala sharks. Stress arises due to several factors, including poor water quality, overcrowding, and hostile tank mates.

2 – Parasites

Parasites, such as Ich, can cause twitching and other symptoms in Bala sharks. Ich is a common parasite that infects the skin and fins of fish.

3 – Diseases

There are two main types of diseases in fish:

  1. Bacterial and viral infections: These infections occur when they’re overfed (we know you were doing it out of love) and in unsanitary aquarium conditions.
  2. Swim bladder: This condition affects the swim bladder, causing the fish to float or sink abnormally and exhibit twitching.

4 – Neurological Disorders

Like us, Bala sharks can have neurological disorders as a result of a genetic abnormality, or a disease that affects the nervous system.

Diagnosing the Cause of Twitching

To diagnose the cause of twitching in your Bala shark, thoroughly examine the fish and its environment. Following these steps, you can help diagnose any twitching in your Bala shark and keep your pet healthy and happy.

Observe the Twitching

Observe the Bala shark’s behavior to determine if the twitching is constant. Go the extra mile and check if it affects the entire body or a specific area.

Check Water Quality

Ensure the water in the aquarium is within the proper parameters for pH, temperature, and ammonia levels.

Look for Signs of Parasites

Check for any signs of parasites on the Bala shark’s skin or fins, including white spots or discoloration.

Isolate the Affected Fish

If the twitching persists, isolate the poor affected Bala shark in a separate tank. Doing so helps prevent the spread of any potential illness to the other tank-mates.

Consult With a Veterinarian

If the cause of the twitching isn’t immediately apparent, turn to a veterinarian experienced in aquarium fish health to diagnose and treat the problem.

One Silver Lining

While determining the exact cause of twitching in a shark without further information is difficult, it’s not always bad news. Twitching can sometimes be a sign of good health, as it can indicate that the shark is trying to rid itself of parasites or other irritants.

Treating Twitching in Bala sharks

Treatment options vary depending on the cause of the twitching. With that in mind, carefully examining the fish and its environment is essential.

Reduce Stress

Many recently fished Bala sharks suffer from stress due to netting and constant moving. Reducing stress is key in treating stress-induced twitching.

This can be done by avoiding overcrowding and removing aggressive tank mates.

Treat Parasites

If parasites are causing the twitching, it’s vital to treat the fish with appropriate parasite treatment after consulting a professional.

Treat Diseases

Your veterinarian may advise you to use antibiotics for bacterial infections or antiviral medications for viral infections.

The entire tank shouldn’t be medicated without first identifying the specific disease. That’s because some medications can harm or kill other species of fish.

Neurological Disorders

Sadly, there’s no cure for neurological disorders in fish. However, it’s crucial to provide the best possible care and environment for the fish to help improve their quality of life.

Caring for Bala Sharks

Bala sharks are active, energetic fish that require plenty of space to swim and play. They’re best kept in an aquarium that’s at least 125 gallons or larger.

Tank Mates

Generally, they’re peaceful and they do well with other laid-back fish such as tetras, angelfish, and other species of shark. However, they should not be kept with aggressive or territorial fish, as this can cause stress and lead to twitching and other health problems.

Water Parameters

Bala sharks are best kept in water that’s between 74-82°F, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. They also prefer a water hardness between 5-19 dKH.

It’s important to maintain stable water conditions and perform regular water cleansing to keep your Bala shark healthy.


Bala sharks are omnivores and require a diet that includes both meaty and vegetable-based foods. We’d advise you to provide a diet of high-quality pellets, frozen foods, and live foods, to ensure the fish receive a balanced and nutritious diet.


Usually, they don’t require special lighting, but it’s important to provide a light cycle that mimics their natural environment. A 12-hour light cycle is recommended, with 8 hours of light and 4 hours of darkness each day.

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy and stress-free environment includes cleaning the tank and equipment, changing the water regularly, and removing any uneaten food or debris.

Final Thoughts

Having a Bala shark as a pet is like having a shimmering silver friend that adds an exotic touch to your aquarium. But, if you notice your Bala shark twitching, don’t worry!

Just take a closer look at its environment, and if necessary, consult a veterinarian to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. With the proper care and attention, your Bala shark will happily swim and play in no time.

Remember, a healthy Bala shark is a happy Bala shark, so make sure to provide plenty of space and stable water conditions. A Balanced diet, and peaceful laid-back tank mates.

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