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Old 07-18-2006, 07:34 PM   #1
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Starting out with Balas?

Looking to get my feet wet (sorry) in the hobby and have spend a few weeks, checking out LFSs, online sites and forums such as this one, and generally trying to do my homework.

I’ve tenatively decided on the Bala Shark as the fish I wanna base my tank around. The trouble I have is that pretty much everytime I encounter information on them its always, get a bigger tank, get a bigger tank, btw you will need a bigger tank then that, etc. So I’m kinda worried that it’s not something I should be messing with.

Reasons I choose the Bala? Body style, schooling, active, reasonably sized, social, and fairly readily available.

70 gallon is certainly in the cards with perhaps something closer to 90. (4’x2’x2’ or some such). The question is, is this something I can hope to use for 3-5 Balas? If not at maturity then for how long assuming I picked up 2" ones? And what else could go in there with them? Was thinking some barbs and/or some sort of catfish or BGK.

Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:59 PM   #2
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3-5 would be fine in a 90 gallon tank. As a matter of fact I think it would look great with those big silver guys cruising around. I think you could do 3 in a 75 as well, but the 90 would be nicer and if you think you can do it, and you have a spot for it, remember that tank is going to be 800+ pounds, get as large as you can.

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Old 07-18-2006, 08:16 PM   #3
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Yeah, Balas are cool.... Had two, one died while moving my tank across town... Mine's pushing six inches now...you'll see a lot of growth with them but they are fun to watch especially when they begin to get bigger and dart across the tank..they look like bullets in the water haha...

I've seen them in stores over a foot though so stock wisely...(this takes years to get that size though)
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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I've had balas on two occassions. Once when I first started with tropicals and currently. I agree with Rich on stocking numbers, since they are large lengthwise and quite fast, the more surface area the better.

It goes without question that they are very elegant to watch while manuvering around the tank; and they are peaceful. A word of caution...they are jumpers and can leap out of a tank for several feet. Keep the lid on at all times.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:25 PM   #5
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I've never kept them, but I've read about how active they are and how big they get. Personally, if you can afford the 90g, thats what I'd go for. If you could get a longer tank, like a 125g (6 footer), that would be even better, especially in the long run. I've heard of these guys banging their heads on the glass because they can be timid. And since they are so active, I think a longer tank would give them more room to swim. Just my opinion though....
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:58 PM   #6
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Bala's are a great choice IMO for larger tanks. They are very peaceful, somewhat skittish and very beautiful. Best kept with more than one.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:16 PM   #7
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Thanks guys.

Also if I'm look at tank dimensions am I further ahead to look for a 'long' tank? Like Xx18"x18" for the Balas? Not having it jut out of the wall as much would certainly be a plus.

And would there be anyway to work a small school of something smaller 2-4" that wouldn't be a problem, or um, food I guess?
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:21 PM   #8
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Yes, anything longer would be better than taller. If you go with a 90 you could certainly have some other stuff in there. I have my bala with tiger barbs, various rainbows, silver dollars, etc. Been a long time since there's been anything in the tank big enough for him to eat, but never knew this one to do it anyway. You may want to check out the red rainbows, turquoise rainbows and bosemani rainbows. That would be a very cool tank, especially with the reds.
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