The spotted garra is a lesser known garra than its more famous cousin the panda garra, but they are a cryptic and beautiful fish in their own right. Garra spilota is a fish that has a pale gold wash, with variable black spots along its side, centered on its lateral line. This fish is also different from others of its genus in that it has red fins, and is indeed one of the prettiest garras around. Ours are currently 2 ½ inches long, and you can expect them to not get too much longer than that, although they will most likely get girthier! Like the panda garra, these fish have a modified upper lip that allows them to cling on to rocks in high flow areas, allowing them to eat algae that is growing on them. Native (and possibly endemic) to the Rakhine Yoma mountains in Myanmar, they were originally found in shallow areas with high flow.
Where they were originally collected, the water was 3 to 6 feet wide, and no deeper than 20”, and yet was flowing moderately, so the dissolved oxygen was very high. You should do your best to reflect this in your tank, as these little fish love to dart around in the rapids and graze. Since their behavior is like this, a naturalistic hillstream style setup is a great choice for these fish, with some rocks and branches which allow the fish to dart around between them as well as harbor biofilm for grazing. Although they eat a lot of algae and are constantly eating, they also appreciate the addition of more protein rich foods in their diet such as brine shrimp or sinking pellets. These are a species of fish that may benefit from specialized feeding, such as coating some repashy on a rock for them to graze on, to offer less competition from some other fish, although they usually are able to get their share fairly well. This fish will thrive in weakly acidic to weakly alkaline water, and does not seem to really mind too much for hardness. The most important factor is to make sure your flow in your aquarium is high enough to keep them happy, as well as pick up any detritus they may kick up as they feed on every surface in the tank.
These fish are great for most community aquariums, and are zippy enough to escape even more aggressive tankmates, making them a great choice in most aquariums. Do note that they get a bit large to have in tiny tanks, but if you have a small group of 3 these gregarious garras, they could keep the surfaces of a 40 gallon tank clean fairly well, and are not known to damage plants or dig them up. These fish ship individually bagged.
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