Bala Shark Mating Suggestions
In breeding Bala Sharks there is an essential first step; making sure you have both females and males in the tank. “Duh”, I know, but it’s not easy to tell the difference. As far as I know the only way to tell the difference is that males are larger than females. That’s not always helpful since individuals grow at different rates and you may have fish at different stages of their life cycle. The best thing to do is to have 5 or 6 or more Bala Sharks in your aquarium. If you have 6 Bala Sharks that you choose at random from a store aquarium then there is a 1 in 128 chance that ALL of them are males. That would put a real damper on any Bala Shark mating you had planned. Unfortunately, you’ll have to take that chance and hope you’re not one of the ones who have only males.
Breeding is not recommended for hobby aquarists because most home aquariums are too small for breeding bala sharks. If the aquarium is too small, the bala sharks will more than likely become mad or aggressive or both and then they don’t have time to think about mating.
When a Bala Shark is about 9 inches (22.5 centimeters) long it will become sexually active. When they reach this length you may start seeing courtship or mating type behaviour. You have to make sure that the aquarium conditions are in the ranges that they find comfortable and keep the temperature of the water near the upper end of the temperature range (see Bala Shark care). Bala Sharks scatter their eggs and fertilize them externally. You will want some type of current in your aquarium otherwise when the males release their sperm, the sperm won’t get very far. Normally, in nature, the female fish will scatter their eggs and the males will swim upstream a little bit to release his sperm. Then the current will take the sperm and lead it over the eggs for insemination.
If there are eggs scattered on your aquarium bed and we’ll assume that they’re inseminated you can pat yourself on the back, not many people have made it this far. Now, you may want to consider getting another aquarium so that you can transfer the baby Bala Sharks into a safe environment. The large Balas have been known to eat the babies (in the natural Bala Shark habit it is a problem that is easily avoided since the breeding grounds are far away from the rest of the Bala Shark population). Now, you have 25 baby Bala Sharks in the new aquarium and they’ll grow up fast. What are you going to do with them then? You may want to keep them all for yourself. If that's the case, you may have to invest in an indoor pool (or an outdoor pool if you live in a place where it’s warm year round). No joke either, you could keep them in a pool. You could also give them away to friends, or sell them to strangers (it might be a pretty good little side business if you live in a fair sized city). I’m sure the local aquarium shop would take them off your hands too.
Bala Shark mating is a very difficult project to carry out successfully in a home aquarium unless you have access to large aquaria and possibly the help of a breeding hormone extracted from Carp.
Go to Bala Shark Care (next page).