Max Size: 9cm

Panda Garra (Garra Flavatra)

The Panda Garra is an attractive, active, entertaining species. Because of their interesting behaviour and beautiful colouring, the Panda Garra is easy to recognize and has become more available in the hobby.

These fish fair better kept in groups of 5 or more, preferably in a biotope type community setting with other individuals collected from their range.

It would be best if you house them in an established tank with mixed gravel, rock and pebble substrate with a few hardy plants attached to the rocks and driftwood branches for decoration.

They require well-oxygenated clean water and regular water changes to keep them active and healthy. Panda Garras have been known to climb out of the tank if they don't like the water conditions, so a tightly-fitting lid is also recommended.

Colour pattern varies considerably between individuals, with some displaying particularly intense yellow and red pigmentation interspaces, but it's unclear whether such differences represent natural variation between or within populations.

The Panda Garra is the only member of the Garra genus with vertical bars alternating between light and dark brown to black and red markings on its fins. When feeding, they adhere to the substrate using their modified lower lip, which forms a slightly adhesive disk in turbulent waters.


Panda garra
Garra flavatra
Panda Garra
Panda Garra
Quick Facts
Scientific NameGarra Flavatra
Year Described2004
Other NamesPanda Loach, Banded Butterfly Loach, Rainbow Loach
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 6 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH2 - 12
KH2 - 8
71 - 81℉
21.7 - 27.2℃


In the home aquarium, the Panda Garra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

3 interesting tank mate ideas for the Panda Garra could include:

Black Widow Tetra(Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
Congo Tetra(Phenacogrammus interruptus)
Silver Flying Fox(Crossocheilus reticulatus)

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexing Panda Garras can be difficult because you have to wait until they reach maturity; otherwise, they will look remarkably similar. Sexually mature males develop a series of prominent tubercules on the head, around the caudal peduncle and along the lateral line. They also develop a bronze to reddish tail colour and tend to be slimmer in the body than females. In contrast, the females tend to be plumper than the males and do not develop the tubercules.

Other Garras of interest

False Siamese Algae Eater(Garra cambodgiensis)
Red Garra(Garra Rufa)
Date Added: 12/11/2020 - Updated: 06/12/2022 15:15:59