Panda Garra

Panda Garra

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Garra flavatra

Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical
to the image provided



































Synonyms



None



Distribution



Western Myanmar



Sexual Dimorphism



Mature males in breeding condition develop
tubercles on the head. Mature females fuller bodied.



Maximum Size



10cm (4?)



Water Parameters



Adaptable, but extremes should be avoided. pH:
6.5-7.5, general hardness: up to 15 dH.



Temperature



23-26 deg C (73-79 deg F)



Compatibility



Specialist community



Lighting



Bright


 

Care

The Panda Garra is a beautifully marked cyprinid species,
which is suited to mature tanks that are over 4ft (120cm) long and which have
vigorous water movement/high O2 level. It will not thrive in a standard
community set-up, so be sure to meet its requirements for highly oxygenated
fast-flowing waters - ideally provided by powerful external canister
filtration. Unlike many members of the Garra genus, this species is relatively
sociable, and is best kept in groups of 5 or more. In numbers less than this, they
may squabble amongst themselves (and similar species) every so often, ?greying
out? as they do so. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a soft sand or very
fine rounded gravel substrate, and furnished with cobbles, smooth rocks, and
bogwood pieces. Lighting can be fairly bright to encourage algae growth, which
the fish will enjoy browsing on for the micro-organisms it may contain. Shady
areas can be provided with the layout of the rockwork/bogwood, and by growing
canopies of hardy plants such as Anubias sp. or Java fern (both tied to the
driftwood). Some thought should be given to creating a number of ?visual
barriers? within the aquarium at the time of aquascaping, so if any minor
territorial disputes do arise, the fish can get away from the other?s line of
sight. An extremely important point to note is that Garra flavatra are capable
of climbing up the glass with ease, something they tend to do when newly
imported or moved; therefore be absolutely sure the tank has tight fitting
coverslides and that there are no small gaps that the fish can crawl out of
e.g. where equipment power leads feed into the back of the hood. Bottom
dwelling tankmates could include many of the peaceful botiid river loaches, the
nemacheilid brook loaches, and the more robust members of the balitorid
hillstream loach group. For the upper levels, consider some of the Barilius,
Danio, Devario, Opsarius, and smaller members of the Puntius genera (research
individual species to ensure compatibility before purchase though, as not every
species from these genera will be suitable). Although these fish tend to be of
a peaceful nature, they can be fairly boisterous at feeding times and are not
recommended for housing alongside slow-moving laterally-compressed fish such as
discus or angelfish (which do not benefit from the same water conditions
anyway). Water quality is of utmost importance for the Panda Garra ? be sure to
carry out regular partial water changes to ensure that nitrate levels remain at
a minimum. As the fish mature, their colours and patterns will intensify; the
above image shows a mature male specimen. May also be seen on sale as the
Rainbow Garra.

 

Feeding

This species enjoys grazing on the micro-organisms found
within algal growths in the aquarium; it should not be considered an
algae-eater, as some sources erroneously suggest. Offer plenty of small meaty
items such as mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, chopped Mysis
shrimp etc, along with a variety of sinking catfish pellets/granules/wafers.

 

Breeding

Successful captive breeding of the Panda Garra has been
reported in river-style home aquaria. In such instances, the act of spawning
has often gone unnoticed, and only realised when the presence of small fry are
found hiding amongst small nooks and crannies in the decor. These findings have
often occurred after larger than usual, slightly cooler water changes have been
performed. Some South East fish farms are now breeding this species on a
commercial level. The fish are said to be kept in highly oxygenated, fast-flowing
neutral conditions and conditioned well on small live foods. Pairs are then
selected and moved to their own aquarium with virtually identical conditions.
Spawning occurs when the first rays of morning sun hit the aquarium glass. The
clear eggs take between 24-36 hours to hatch, depending on water temperature