Bala Sharks Vs Clown Loaches – Similarities and Differences
Bala Sharks and Clown Loaches are both very popular aquarium fish, but for different reasons. The Bala Shark (also known as the Silver Shark) looks a lot like a shark (go figure). The body shape and dorsal fin fit the traditional “great white” shark archetype and there is just something neat about having miniature sharks swimming around in your aquarium, even if the Bala Sharks are only minnows. The clown loaches are also popular for their appearance. The clown loaches have 3 vertical black bands on their bright orange body which makes for a lively looking fish. What the clown loach has above most other fish, is it’s personality. They can be very outgoing and they have many strange behaviours, which earned them the name ‘clown’.
Both bala sharks and clown loaches are shoaling fish, so you should definitely try to have at least 5 of each in your aquarium. If you keep bala sharks singly they may become aggressive and nibble on other fish in the tank. The clown loach on the other hand will become very stressed, its growth will be stunted and it may die. It is more pleasant for everyone involved if you keep these two fish species in groups.
Keeping them in groups can become a problem though. Both bala sharks and clown loaches can grow to be a foot long! When you buy them they are around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 centimeters) so they fit comfortable into smaller aquariums. Once they are grown however, a large aquarium (around 125 gallons) is recommended. That can be quite an investment for a hobby aquarist.
Both of these fish species are more susceptible than most to fish diseases, such as Ich. This means you can use them as a ‘parrot’ to let you know when there are potential problems in the tank. If you notice either of these fishes getting sick check the water quality immediately. If the water quality is normal try your best to diagnose the illness. There are many resources online and there should be someone at the local aquarium store that can help. Since the bala sharks or clown loaches have warned you about a potential problem you have a bit of a head start before the more hardy species become sick.
Before you begin to medicate your fish make sure that you know what is making them ill. You don’t want to medicate for the wrong illness. Also, clown loaches are very sensitive to medication, so make sure you read the label for directions.
Bala sharks and clown loaches are not good fish for starter aquariums. They are very susceptible to “new tank syndrome”. You will want to stock a new aquarium with more hardy species and allow the nitrogen cycle to cycle at least once before adding balas or clowns (this takes about 6-8 weeks).
Bala sharks and clown loaches both come from South East Asia and both are rarely breed in home aquariums. There actually have been zero confirmed cases of clown loaches breeding in aquariums.
If you are thinking about having both bala sharks and clown loaches in one tank you can rest assured knowing that they get along. Just make sure you have enough of each fish otherwise you may run into problems.
Source by Bjorn Allpas