Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Garra flavatra

Panda garra

Kissing gourami, Helostoma temminckiiKissing gourami, Helostoma temminckii
Photos by Andy Rapson


Garra: Native from Burmah; garra = big nose; the rhino horn fish from Burmah.

General Notes:

Panda garras are generally quite peaceful but they do have some requirements. Well oxygenated water with some movement is highly recommended. Bright lighting to encourage the growth of algae. Keep in a group of five or six individuals with other peaceful fish such as barbs, danios, rasboras. There will be some signs of aggression until the group develops a hierarchy and then things will settle down. Well oxygenated clean water is essential to these fish if they are to thrive.


The panda garra will graze on algae but that won't be enough to sustain it. A varied diet should be offered in the form of high quality flake food, algae wafers or pellets, frozen or live blood worms, freeze dried tubifex worms.


Garra flavatra has no external sexual differences and cannot be reliably sexed. Until the fish are in breeding condition. When in breeding condition the males develop tubercules on their gill covers and the females become noticeably plumper.


In their natural habitat the breeding season is from May to July so that is when the fish are collected. They can be bred if purchased in this condition. The eggs are laid in the morning, and depending on the temperature they will hatch; 24 to 30 hours later. The fry can be fed on hard boiled egg yolk mixed with water or a commercially available liquid fry food once the fry become free swimming. After a week or so they are large enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimps or micro worms.

Wild status

Wild Populations of this fish are classed as being vulnerable. Agriculture, dams affecting their habitat and collection for the aquarium trade are joint causes.

Information at a glance

pH: 7
dGH: 5 - 12
Temperature: 22 - 27°C (72 - 80°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 6.2cm (2.5in)
Min tank size:100 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Bottom/lower

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Helostoma temminckii

Origin: Asia: Myanmar

Habitat: Clear water rivers and streams with stony bottoms


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Garra
Species: G. flavatra Kullander & Fang, 2004

Common name:
Panda garra

Synonyms: None