The Silver Shark comes from Southeast Asia in Sumatra and Borneo, and possibly the Malayan Peninsula. The natural habitats for these fish are large and medium-sized rivers as well as natural lakes, like the Danau Sentarum lake system of Borneo. These fish are a pelagic species, meaning they inhabit midwater levels rather than the top or bottom areas of waterways. They feed primarily on small crustaceans, rotifers (microscopic aquatic animals), insects and insect larvae as well as algae, phytoplankton (microalgae), and other plant matter.
This is a freshwater fish and not a shark at all, though its form bears a resemblance to the voracious ocean predators.
The Silver Shark has an elongated, torpedo-shaped body and big eyes, presumably adapted to help it find food. Its dorsal fin is triangular and erect, making it resemble a shark.
These large fish reach lengths of almost 35cm in the wild, though generally only grow to about 25-30cm in the aquarium.They can live for 10 or more years in captivity with proper care.
The Silver Shark has an attractive silver colour, slightly darker towards the top and lighter towards the underbelly, with a slightly golden sheen to the sides. The dorsal, caudal, anal, and pelvic fins as well as the tail fin have a white or golden area in the front and central part of the fin. Each of these fins is also edged with a black margin at the rear.
These fish are omnivorous, feeding mostly on a crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, algae, and other plants in the wild. In the aquarium, they will eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance, give them a high quality flake food every day, and feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.
They like mosquito larvae, daphnia, and vegetable foods. Some good vegetable supplements included shelled peas, blanched spinach, and chopped fruits. Large specimens will enjoy additional types of protein like chopped earthworms, prawns, and mussels. These fish will do best when offered food 2 or 3 times a day. Provide only what they can eat in 3 minutes or less at each feeding. If feeding only once per day, provide what they can eat in about 5 minutes
- Species – Balantiocheilus melanopterus
- Common Name – Silver Shark
- Origin – Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia
- Diet – Omnivore
- PH Range – 6.5 – 7.8
- Temperature – Tropical 24-28°c
- Breed Type – egg layer
- Current Size – approximately 7.5cm (Grows to approximately 30cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed