Garra Rufa Doctor Fish


    Same day despatch when ordered before 2pm
    Usually arrives in 2-3 working days
    Orders over £50 sent by next working day courier

Sale price£3.95


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.

Can I keep Garra Rufa fish in a coldwater fish tank?
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
Family: Cyprinidae
Temperament: Peaceful
Lighting requirement: Bright
Ideal number kept together: 5+

Water conditions
Our conditions: pH 6.5-8.0, temp 22 °C
Ideal pH: 6.5–8.0
dH: 6-18
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.

Life Span
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.

In stock orders placed before 2pm will be despatched on the same working day (not including palletised items, pond plants or fibreglass ponds).

Pre-orders are shipped once we have the stock available and will be shipped using the service chosen at checkout.

All services are working day services and do not include delivery on Saturdays and Sundays or public holidays as standard. Deliveries are usually Monday to Friday only, although some Royal Mail items may be delivered on weekends as standard if the service is available in your area.

 Packet/Courier items    
 Royal Mail (2-3 days)  £0.00-£49.99 £2.99
 Royal Mail Next Day (1-2 days)  £0.00-£49.99 £4.99
 Parcelforce 24 (1 day)  £0.00-£49.99 £7.99
 Parcelforce 24 (1 day) *  £50 and up FREE
 Pallets (booked in)  aquariums / bulky items  

 Pallets Standard (3-5 days)


 Pallets Express (1-2 days)

 - £39.99


*EXCLUDED ITEMS  extra delivery fees apply:
 Fibreglass Ponds (booked in)    

 Zone 1 (7-10 days)

 - £79.99
 Zone 2 (7-14 days)  - £149.99
 Zone 3 (7-21 days)  - £249.99
Pond Plants (direct from grower)
All pond plants (3-10 days) one-off fee regardless of order size/value £5.99


* Orders over £50 that are under 2kg may be sent by a Royal Mail Tracked 24 service.

Please see our full delivery information page and terms and conditions for detailed information on shipping policies and zones


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