The freshwater Garra Rufa fish are part of the Cypriniformes family. Also known as Doctor Fish or Kangal Fish, these toothless fish have the ability to find and remove the dead skin cells, making the skin smooth and soft.
The discovery of their abilities took place in the beginning of the last century. One legend tells of a Turkish shepherd who put his injured foot among the Garra Rufa fish in thermal spring, and soon the wound healed…
Garra Rufa can reach a maximum length of 15 centimeters (about 5-6 inches) in a natural habitat and 8 – 10 centimeters in tanks.
The Garra Rufa fish come from Kangal (Turkey). For the first time they were found in the hot springs 600 years ago. In the nature Doctor Fish live in hot waters where the temperature is around 25-38°C, but also adapt successfully below these temperatures if the change become gradually. Garra Rufa are met Central Middle East, mainly southern Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan and Iraq.
Garra Rufa normally feeds on phyto- and zooplankton and where such missing – with dead skin cells and specialized food.
Determining the sex of the Garra Rufa is very hard. Males are slightly larger and the females are slightly rounder in the belly. They are egg-layers with external fertilization and reach sexual maturity after the 8th month. The fry develop after three days and live between 3-5 years depending on the conditions where they live.