Doctor Fish FAQ:

Doctor fish with a scientific name of “Garra Rufa” is very famous and known worldwide. It is popular and its ability lives to its name. This live fish may look common but its characteristics are both interesting and unique. Now, let’s explore the Frequently Asked Questions about the Doctor Fish!

What exactly does a Doctor fish look like?

  • Doctor fish has a body and fin coloration that are highly variable.
  • This type of fish mostly possess a dark or iridescent blue spot at the upper extremity of the opercle and another on the caudal peduncle.
  • Doctor fish usually has a series of dark markings present at the base of the central dorsal-fin rays and the tip of the upper caudal-fin lobe is black.

Why does a Doctor Fish called a Doctor Fish?

  • The Doctor Fish is known for its name because of its unique therapeutic ability.
  • It is also known as the Pedicure Fish due to its ability to graze on dead skin cells on human.
  • In many clinics, patients dip their limbs into the water to treat psoriasis and other human skin problems.
  • Doctor Fish lives to its name and reputation, myth or not, these kind of fishes are indeed unique!

Where does typically Doctor Fish are found?

  • Doctor Fish can be typical found in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East regions, from the Ceyhan, Seyhan, Asi, and smaller river systems in Turkey.
  • This type of fishes iis also present in the Lake Maharlu basin and coastal drainages as far south as the Mond River in Bushehr Province.
  • The Doctor Fish’s locality is in Aleppo, Syria.

What is the size of a Doctor fish?

  • The Doctor Fish can grow up to 3.9 – 4.7 inches (10 – 12 cm).
  • The average purchase size of a Doctor Fish 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Where does the Doctor fish usually forms its habitat?

  • Doctor fish likes to inhabit swiftly-flowing sections of headwaters and tributaries.
  • These fishes form habitats which contain clear, oxygen-saturated water and allied with the sun.
  • The habitat of a Doctor Fish should facilitate the development of a rich biofilm carpeting submerged surfaces.

How does the Reproduction of a Doctor Fish occur?

  • Large numbers of Doctor fish are traded and produced in several countries.
  • Doctor Fish tends to spawn continuously over a prolonged period, typically between April and November.
  • Eggs are scattered over gravel or rocks and the adults do not exhibit parental care.

What are the additional fun facts of Doctor Fish?

  • Doctor Fish is a member of the loach family.
  • It inhabits most of the cooler freshwater aquarium fish areas of the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. 
  • It prefers very oxygen-rich, fast-flowing water and will often swim directly against the current of a filter output or powerhead.
  • This type of fish has a interesting personality and is generally peaceful.
  • Doctor Fish is a known skilled jumper and climber.

What are the needed preparations to maintain a Doctor Fish?

  • The key to success in keeping a Doctor having a very fast water flow.
  • Make sure that there is a secure lid or canopy on the aquarium.
  • It is highly recommended to have a display arranged to resemble a flowing stream or river.
  • It is best to decorate their aquarium with a substrate of variably-sized, water-worn rocks, sand, fine gravel, some small boulders and furnished with driftwood roots and hardy aquatic plants.
  • A Doctor Fish needs a clean water. The water must be clean and well-oxygenated with turnover preferably in excess of 10 times per hour.
  • Having additional powerheads and air stones can be employed to achieve the desired flow and oxygenation is absolutely recommended.
  • Having a bright lighting will be beneficial to a Doctor Fish because it can promote development of biofilm on solid surfaces.
  • Doctor Fish needs stable water conditions and grazes biofilm.
  • This type of exotic fish should never be added to a biologically immature set-up, and a tightly-fitting cover is necessary since it can literally climb glass.
  • The following are the additional guidelines for caring a Doctor Fish:
  • Water Hardness: 18 – 268 ppm
  • Temperature:  57° – 68° F (14° – 20° C)
  • pH:  6.0 – 8.0
  • KH:  6 – 10 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  30 gallons for a small group

What are the feeding requirements of a Doctor Fish?

  • As mention earlier, the Doctor Fish will graze on biofilm that grows on driftwood, rocks, and plants.
  • Doctor Fish is omnivorous and accepts high quality dry and frozen foods.
  • This type of fish also needs a balance of both plant-based and meaty foods. 
  • Biofilm seems to be essential to its diet, so the Doctor Fish should not be added to new or biologically immature aquariums.
  • Doctor Fish can also eat meaty foods such as live or frozen chironomid larvae (bloodworm), Tubifex, Artemia, and chopped prawn.
  • This type of aquarium fish also eat fresh fruit and vegetables such as cucumber, melon, blanched spinach or courgette can be offered occasionally and home-made, gelatine-bound recipes.

How does Doctor Fish behave? Can it be a good tank mate?

  • Doctor Fish is relatively peaceful and can be maintained alongside other species which require similar environmental conditions.
  • This type of isn’t particularly tolerant of conspecifics in small aquaria, but exists in loose aggregations in the wild.
  • Having only one Doctor Fish can result to having a more aggressive behavior. With this, it is recommend to purchase of 3-4 or more should space permit.
  • Doctor Fish can live in loose groups but may fight with its own kind and similar fish in smaller tanks.    

Keeping a Doctor fish whether it is for business or pleasure, is a big responsibility. This tropical fish is very popular because it is one of the fishes that can have close human contact. Its ability is very unique and even though they are small in size, having clean and sanitized water is a must to keep them safe. The Doctor Fish may not have a Ph.D. in medicine but these fishes can truly capture the heart of everyone who needs healing.

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