Garra Rufa Doctor Fish
Garra Rufa Fish
Garra Rufa fish, also known as 'doctor fish' have risen in popularity in recent times due too their use in a spa beauty treatments, as a therapy or to treat skin ailments. In the wild, Garra rufa feed on detritus, algae and tiny animals (like zooplankton). The 'spa' practice is banned in the United Kingsom and much of the USA and Canada, as cosmetology regulators believe the practice is unsanitary.
It is recommended that Garra Rufa fish are kept in well-aerated moderate to fast flowing water to thrive. Garra Rufa are trypically peaceful, but can squabble amongst themselves in groups of less than 5, and may get territorial with similar species, or bottom feeding fish. Fine substrate, or soft sand, is recommended along with a well-planted aquarium with smooth rocks and driftwood.
In principle, yes, but please restrict to indoor aquaria and ensure that the temperature does not drop below 16 degrees celsius. Please take the time to acclimitise them if doing so. Our holding tank conditions are on average 22 degrees, so an aquarium of around 20-22°C is recommended.
What do Garra Rufa fish eat?
Garra Rufa fish, or Doctor Fish, will graze on algae growing in the aquarium, but will also eat small meaty items such as bloodworm and brineshrimp, along with a variety of sinking catfish pellets and algae wafers.
Can I dip my feet in the tank and have them eat the dead skin?
Technically yes, but please don't. It's not very pleasant for the fish, and Garra Rufa fish are not there to supplement your beauty regime. Plus the risk of poisoning the water with nail varnish or other pollutants is very high. Let them nibble on your hands if you must, but ensure your digits are free from solvents, hand sanitizer, chemicals, nail varnish or any other harmful substance that may harm the fish. While the 'doctor fish' treatment has historically been found to alleviate the symptoms of conditions like psoriasis, the treatment is not curative. Morally and ethically, Garra Rufa fish should not be purchased if your sole motivation is to treat a skin ailment.
Approx. supplied size: 1-2" / 3-5 cm
Maximum size: 6" / 15cm
Origin: Turkey, Middle East
Lighting requirement: Bright
Ideal number kept together: 5+
Our conditions: pH 6.5-8.0, temp 22 °C
Ideal pH: 6.5–8.0
Water flow: moderate to strong - good aeration is required
Temperature: 16–25 °C
Ease of care
Moderate. It is recommended that you introduce them into an established aquarium, and ensure that it is well aerated, with plenty of hiding places.
Difficult. Not commonly bred in household aquaria.
They can live to up to 5 years in perfect conditions.
Photo is for illustration only - one supplied.
For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.