Balitora – A Fish Species With A Colorful, Shimmering Body


Last updated on July 11th, 2022 at 10:33 pm

The balitora is a freshwater aquarium fish that’s commonly sold at pet stores in North America. This little fish makes an interesting and relatively inexpensive addition to any tank with other peaceful fish species such as tetras or barbs.

Although it looks good swimming on its own in smaller tanks, balitoras do best in larger aquariums where they can live with their own kind in schools of about 10 to 12 individuals.

For those who love keeping fish as pets, a balitora may be a perfect choice. With its shimmering scales, this unique and exotic fish species makes a great addition to any home aquarium. Let’s take a closer look at how to care for balitoras in order to make sure they’re healthy and happy in their surroundings, so you can enjoy their beauty for years to come!

The Balitora is from the Balitoridae family, which includes many species of freshwater fish in Asia and the Americas. The Balitora originates from Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, and Thailand, but it has also been introduced to other parts of Asia like Japan and Korea; additionally, it can be found around the world in places where there are natural or man-made lakes and rivers, such as Taiwan and Spain.

What is balitora?


The balitora is a fish species native to freshwater river systems and tributaries. Since it’s easily adaptable to captivity, many aquarists decide to add one of these shimmering fish to their tanks.

Balitoras are air-breathing freshwater fish species native to South Asia. Growing to an average length of 15cm (6 inches), these fish have long cylindrical bodies and shimmering scales that give them their name. You’ll find balitoras in almost every body of water in their range: fast moving streams and rivers, lowland ponds and lakes, swamps and canals.

Their coloration varies depending on their habitat; bright green is common among young individuals while older fish are typically brown or black. In captivity, they’re known to live up to 18 years if given proper care and feeding.

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While they tend not to spawn in tanks, it’s possible for those who know what they’re doing. It should be noted that balitoras sold as aquarium pets do not come from sustainable sources so it’s best to use your own discretion when purchasing one!

What makes balitora different from other fish species?

Balitoras have many distinguishing features from other fish species. Some of these include shimmering blue or red/orange stripes across their body, as well as two large fangs (one on each side of their mouth) that are used to defend themselves and catch prey. They also have gills positioned differently than most other fish species: they are placed on either side of their head, rather than underneath it.

This allows balitoras to swim almost equally well in both air and water! Since balitoras can breathe outside of water, does that mean they aren’t actually fish?: The short answer is no — balitoras still do need to be submerged in water at least some time during every day (usually for about 5-10 minutes), so technically speaking, they are still classified as fish.

Species profile


The balitora is an Indonesian fish species that originates from Southeast Asia. They’re highly sought after for their shimmering bodies, which can appear to glow at times. Balitoras are generally peaceful but territorial by nature, and therefore do not make suitable pets for children. These ornamental fish prefer to live in tanks of at least 50 gallons (190 L), ideally, 100 gallons (378 L) is better.

Tank mates

Balitoras have been known to get along well with other species. They do best in schools of three or more. Many home aquarists have kept Balitoras successfully alongside bettas, gouramis, and dwarf shrimp (though like any fish, it’s important to research compatibility before attempting multi-species tanks). Balitoras are also fast swimmers and may outpace your other tank mates.

Balitoras are social fish that can be kept in small groups or alone; however, larger tanks will result in more active and better-looking displays. Balitoras should not be kept with aggressive fish as they’re quite timid and may become stressed easily.

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Balitoras are egg layers that spawn well in captivity. Both parents tend to their young. Babies will eat commercial pellets for at least one month before starting to eat prepared foods. The fry should be kept in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons, and should be fed live or frozen food. Once they are large enough (at least two inches), babies can be sold to pet stores.

If space allows it and breeding is desired, both parents can be kept together until they have spawned several times. In nature, these fish may lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time. Adults need at least 200 gallons each; 150 square feet of surface area per adult is recommended. Breeding setups do not need to be heated above 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

Warm water slows the development of the body’s shimmery colors and lengthens larval stages by four weeks or more; an ideal temperature range is between 69 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are they peaceful or aggressive?

Balitoras are not very aggressive towards other species of fish. The Balitoras are known for being a peaceful fish when it comes to their tank mates.

How do you take care of a balitora?


These fish are generally quite hardy and therefore easy to care for. They enjoy living in a tank where they can swim around freely. They like being able to explore all areas of their home so make sure that you provide them with plenty of room in their tank as well as hiding places such as caves and rocks for them to play hide-and-seek.

It is important to have at least one other balitora in your aquarium; they like spending time together swimming side by side and playing games together. There should also be lots of plants in your tank for them to swim through giving them something new to see every day which will keep them from getting bored or restless.

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In an aquarium of at least 180 liters or larger, balitoras can be kept in small groups consisting of 10 to 15 fish. They do best in water temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius; however, they can also be kept without problems in warmer aquaria (over 30°C). Water changes of up to 50% per week are beneficial for them. Use soft water with neutral to slightly acidic pH value.

What they eat

Balitoras are omnivores that love to snack on algae. However, they will eat fish flakes as well. The key is to not overfeed your fish; only give it what it can eat in three minutes or less. After feeding your Balitoras their favorite snacks, you should take out whatever food hasn’t been eaten in six hours; uneaten food becomes harmful for your pet.

You should also try and change up your fish’s diet at least once every two weeks. This isn’t so much to mix things up, but rather to ensure that your fish’s body gets all of its required nutrients from other sources besides algae.

Water parameters


Balitoras live best in soft to moderately hard water (dH of 5 to 25). They will not survive in acidic or alkaline water. However, they are tolerant of mildly high pH levels (pH 7 to 8) and do well in tanks with very low pH levels. Hardness is measured on a scale of 0 to 30. Zero is completely soft water; 30 is completely hard water.

As mentioned above, these loaches need some hardness but err on the side of softer rather than harder. The specific gravity should be 2 to 3 times that of seawater (1.020 to 1.025); keep it stable by adding salt when necessary. This makes an ideal environment for balitoras and their eggs.


Balitoras can tolerate temperature ranges from about 60°F (16°C) up to 83°F (28°C), though 82 to 83°F is ideal for spawning. Soft water means less dissolved oxygen, so a good rule of thumb here is 1 fish per 10 gallons requires a turnover rate of 6x per hour!

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The average lifespan of Balitoras is about 5 to 7 years. But these fish have been known to live up to 10 years in captivity. With proper care and feeding, Balitoras can live longer than their common aquarium cousins. If you’re interested in caring for these long-living fish, you might find yourself a lifelong friend!

Parasites and diseases

When you’re looking at fish to buy for your aquarium, don’t overlook disease and parasite prevention measures. Many aquatic creatures are easy to spot—for example, signs of external parasites include red spots or sores on their skin—but internal parasites are much harder to identify.

If you think your fish might be infected with internal parasites or other types of disease, such as ich or other infections, contact an aquaculture specialist or a veterinarian who works with fish and has training in aquatic diseases. Treatment is more effective when administered early, so watch out for any signs that your fish isn’t acting normally, and make sure you know how to spot them


The main predators of Balitoras are Largemouth Bass, Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), Northern pike (Esox lucius), and Sucker (Catostomidae).

Do they make good pets?

Yes, they make wonderful exotic additions to an aquarium. The unique body coloration of these tropical fish is sure to draw attention from visitors and family alike! However, before you rush out and purchase one of these wonderful creatures from your local pet store or breeder – it is important that you understand what makes them such great pets (and which species would be best suited for your needs).