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Old 01-23-2007, 02:47 PM   #1
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bala shark bully

I purchased six bala sharks(about 1.5 inches long) from wal-mart about 2 weeks ago. They are currently in my 10 gallon QT waiting to join the 6 "zebra" loaches(botia striata) i have in my 70 gallon. (I realize bala sharks get quite large and I have a plan for when that happens so I don't want to hear about how horrible of a person I am for keeping them in a 70 gallon) Anyway, up until recently, the bala sharks were getting along quite nicely and seem very healthy. Today I looked in the tank when i returned from class and I notice that one of the bala's is bullying all the others. It seems he has made it his mission to chase and nip one of the other fish, then move on to the next fish and chase and nip, and so on until he has picked on everyone. Then he starts all over again with the first one. I had read that bala sharks were a very peaceful schooling fish. Is it normal for bala's to have a "leader" so to speak after a living together for awhile or is this just because of the size of the tank? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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It is, yes. That's why it's usually wiser to purchase either one, or many. You chose many, so just be patient and they should work out their dominance issues soon.

Welcome to AA, btw.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA! And kudos to you for QT'ing the balas before adding them to your main tank. I agree with DT that they will work out their issues. Perfectly normal behaviour in a new surrounding. You may see the behaviour again once they are moved to the 70 gal for a while.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I've actually been reading the forums here for about a year now. I just decided to join a few weeks ago. I must say that this site has far more information than any other that I've come across. I will be posting pics of my 70 gallon in my gallery as soon as I get all my fish in there and get everything set up the way I want it.
My balas have calmed down for the night it seems. I am also wondering if all bala sharks have the same incredible appetites that mine do. As soon as my wife or I walk into the room the fish appear to beg for more food. They immediately stop what they're doing and look at you while swimming up and down against the front of the tank waiting for you to feed them. When they do get fed, which is only twice a day, (I don't fall for their tricks), it sounds like a clicking machine coming from the tank as they devour whatever goes in the tank in a matter of seconds. I am careful not to overfeed, but the balas don't make it easy by the way they beg.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:23 PM   #5
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That's normal for Balas! They have quite a verocious appetite. Can't wait to see the pictures.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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Mine is also a pig when it comes to food. But then again all my fish are!
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:52 AM   #7
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As everyone has said that is very common for the Bala. The clicking noise is also a a characteristic of this fish, Mine spend all day trying to find missed food anywhere in the tank. Plants, gravel. It is funny to watch them hover over the cories, but for some reason they will not get within about to inches of them, but they will hover right above them and watch them eat, any other fish better look out when it is feeding time.
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