Many aquarium hobbyists do not realize that bala sharks can grow up to 12 inches in captivity. If you want to see your bala sharks reach their full potential for growth and vitality, feed them a healthy, varied diet of dried, live and frozen foods.
A staple diet for bala sharks should consist of high-quality dried flakes and granules. Select a dried food that is made from healthy ingredients such as spirulina algae, whole fish and fish meal -- avoid foods that have a high percentage of fillers including gluten-based products. This type of staple diet will provide your bala sharks with most of their nutritional requirements which will help them to achieve their optimal size and coloration. Because bala sharks are omnivorous you should select a dried flake or granule food that contains both meat- and plant-based ingredients to ensure balanced nutrition. These fish may also accept algae flakes and pellets as part of a staple diet.
To ensure healthy growth, offer your bala sharks a variety of live and frozen foods as a supplement to their staple diet. Some of the best live and frozen foods to offer bala sharks include bloodworms and brine shrimp as well as Daphnia and Artemia, which are both types of small aquatic crustaceans. When selecting live food for bala sharks, purchase from an experienced supplier so you can be sure the food will be free of parasites and bacteria -- look for a supplier that provides guarantees for their products and has received positive customer reviews. To make frozen foods easier for your bala sharks to eat, thaw frozen foods in a cup of tank water before offering them to your fish.
In their native habitat, bala sharks feed on insects, insect larvae, phytoplankton, crustaceans and algae. In addition to accepting a variety of commercial, live and frozen foods in captivity, bala sharks will also scavenge in the tank for live algae growths and food leftover from previous feedings. Because these fish will graze on algae growths throughout the day, a significant portion of the food you provide should be meat-based to ensure that your bala sharks' nutritional needs for protein are met.
Amount to Feed
Bala sharks are omnivorous and thus will eat virtually anything they are offered. Because they are such eager eaters, it can be easy to overfeed these fish. To avoid overfeeding, offer your bala sharks small amounts of food twice a day, alternating between the staple and supplemental diets. Only offer your bala sharks as much food as they can consume in three to five minutes because any uneaten food will sink to the bottom of the tank where it will accumulate as organic waste.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.