Fun Panda Garra Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi
Panda garra facts that will make them more interesting.

Small, feisty, and attractive are words that will describe the panda garra well. They are small fish but the reason for their popularity is these algae eaters can cope with community tanks with peaceful tank mates well.

They were first discovered in 1998, but their popularity started increasing in 2005.

They are known to use their modified mouths to stay in position in fast-moving waters and is also the reason for their title of being skilled jumpers. Please keep reading on to learn more fun facts about this fascinating fish.

If you like reading this article, check out the cherry barb and the neon tetra.

Panda Garra Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Panda Garra?

Panda garra is a type of fish, native to the tropical and subtropical portions of the mountains of Western Myanmar. They are known to thrive well in fast-flowing waters, often swimming against the flow of current.

What class of animal does a Panda Garra belong to?

Panda garra is a small species of fish that prefers to live in highly oxygenated water. They are also known for being skilled at climbing and jumping, so it is better to have a solid cover or a canopied roof over the tank.

Fast flowing waters are preferable to keep it contented as this species likes to swim against the flow of the current in the mountain range which happens to be its natural territory.

How many Panda Garras are there in the world?

It is hard to say just how many panda garras are out there in the wild as this species is small and pretty good at escaping. Unfortunately, they have been listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN red list.

A major reason for that could be their habitat loss due to agricultural purposes.

They are a peaceful species that are known to deal well with other peaceful fish as well as invertebrates as tank mates. Extreme caution must be followed through when keeping a panda garra with shrimp, as they are not particularly compatible.

Where does a Panda Garra live?

The panda garra originates from the mountain streams of Western Myanmar, where the mountain range shields them from the harsh monsoon of the other parts of Myanmar.

What is a Panda Garra's habitat?

They are known to be middle to bottom dwellers but they spend a lot of time exploring their surroundings.

Who do Panda Garras live with?

This species of small fish are known to live in groups of their own kind, even though constant dominance battles are common. They tend to act quite aggressive and territorial with members of their own species. In the aquarium or fish tank, it would be better to follow a mountain stream-like system, keeping in mind the correct water parameters.

How long does a Panda Garra live?

Panda garra has become a welcome alternative to some of the more common small fish species, as along with eating algae and biofilm, they are also quite inquisitive.

As a result, people who want fish they can actually interact with have started to prefer these algae-eating small fish species more. They are known to live for about six years and tend to cohabit with members of their own species as well as other calm fish and invertebrates.

Even if initial aggression is found among them, they tend to settle quickly once a hierarchy is established in the group.

How do they reproduce?

They are seasonal breeders and require particular conditions to be met before they initiate the process. In the wild, the breeding season lasts between May and July.

During this time you can help by removing the chosen pair from the community tank to a separate one. If the mating is successful, the female lays the eggs in the morning, which hatch in about 24-36 hours.

The fry are able enough to eat food by themselves, even if it takes a bit of time before they mature into adult fish.

What is their conservation status?

The garra flavatra is listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN red list of endangered animals. The reason could be because of excessive pet trade as well as their habitat loss because of agricultural purposes, as they need highly oxygenated water to survive in their natural water conditions as well as in an aquarium.

Panda Garra Fun Facts

What do Panda Garras look like?

Carp Fish

We are unable to provide you with the image of panda garra and have used an image of a Carp fish instead. If you find a Royalty Free image of a Panda Garra please mail us at

Garra flavatra, panda garra being their common name, is a very attractive species of fish, known for their yellow and black band-like coloring throughout the body.

In some of them, the fins might have a slight red tinge. Their modified lower lip, which is known for its adhesive-like qualities to keep them in position in fast-moving water conditions even while feeding, looks almost disc-like in shape.

Males develop a pair of tubercles on the front of their heads when they are ready to mate, while the females become somewhat plumper compared to them.

How cute are they?

These fish are very cute with their black scales and orangeish yellow bars on top of them. They are inquisitive and are known to interact quite well, which increases their appeal to people wanting to keep them as pets.

Their modified lower lip helps them to use it as a suction organ that they sometimes use to try to escape from the tank if they do not like the temperature or the overall water conditions.

To prevent this, you should decorate their tank with hardy plants, rocks, and bright light that helps the growth of algae which plays a major part in their diet.

A solid canopied roof is also recommended as they are known to be skilled at escaping the tank. The tank size should be at least 20 gallons if you want to keep a group of garra flavatra together.

How do they communicate?

Garra fish are known to communicate through body gestures mostly. When aggressive, they would flare their fin as a show of dominance.

They have been known to interact quite well with owners as well.

As their natural habitat happens to be the mountain range, they are used to highly oxygenated water and they often swim against the flow of the current of powerheads and filter outputs. You need to follow tremendous caution if you put the garra fish in with types of shrimp though as they do not deal well with each other.

How big is a Panda Garra?

These algae-eating fish are not very big in size, growing only as much as 2.8-3.5 in as adults,  which interestingly is the same size as a green frog.

However, they do require a big tank if you want to keep them with other members of this genus or even with other types of fish. Although they mostly accept food that lands on the substrate along with algae, they are known as heavy explorers that roam around the tank all the time.

The ideal atmosphere for them would be to keep groups of them in 20-gallon tanks so they do not become territorial against each other.

Big tanks should help with the feeding frenzy as well. The tank should be decorated with plants and the substrate should preferably be rocky with bright lighting to ensure algae growth.

The temperature should not be more than 72°-80° F, and the water hardness should be kept soft to medium.

How fast can a Panda Garra swim?

It is hard to say just how fast the garra flavatra can move. As they prefer to swim against the flow of the current in fast-flowing waters, a habit from their natural habitat that they prefer to enjoy in tanks as well, it is assumed that they are fast swimmers along with being skilled at jumping and climbing.

How much does a Panda Garra weigh?

It is hard to say just how much they weigh, but as they are small fish, it is assumed that they do not weigh that much.

Want to know more about the panda garra size, panda garra tank mates, or the scientific name of the panda garra, aggressive in nature or not, or even about panda garra fighting, then we suggest you keep reading on.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Much like most other animals, the male and female fish of the garra species do not have gender-specific names. A male garra panda is just called a male panda garra, and the female garra flavatra is just called a female garra panda.

The males develop tubercles on their heads as they mature into adults, while the females tend to be plumper compared to their male counterparts

What would you call a baby Panda Garra?

The baby fish of the garra species are initially called larvae, and as they develop more they are called fry, and at last, they mature into adults. Panda garra fry are able to eat by themselves, even if they are not mature enough to be called full-sized fish.

What do they eat?

They are omnivores, eating almost anything that is small enough to fit in their mouths. Picky is not something you would call the diet of a panda garra.

Algae eaters, biofilm eaters, and shrimp eaters, panda garra are called by many names. This actually makes feeding them pretty easy and as you can serve them with chopped and blanched vegetables as well as meaty foods.

Although they are known to eat algae, there are no records of panda garra eating plants. During the breeding season though they require more of a specific diet to initiate the process.

A range of protein-rich foods is recommended during this time. To know more about the panda garra care or panda garra algae control, please keep reading on.

Are they aggressive?

Garra flavatra tend to be a calm species of fish and they adapt well with other calm fish and invertebrates.

Aggression can sometimes be noticed among their own kind though if the group of them kept in a tank or aquarium is small in size.

So if you want to keep them in groups, it should be of at least four to six individuals. This aggression can sometimes be portrayed to other types of fish if they seem similar in color.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you put shrimp and these fish together, you have to maintain tremendous caution.

These fish are omnivores and they are not choosy eaters, they tend to eat most things if they fit in their mouth, so if the baby shrimp is small enough to fit in their mouths, they might end up eating it mistaking it for food rather than a tank mate.

Other than that, the rainbow garra is a calm and inquisitive species and they happen to be ideal for community tanks decorated with rocks, hardy plants, and bright lighting.

Would they make a good pet?

These fish make incredible pets, as they they are calm yet social and spend most of their time exploring and scavenging through the fish tank or aquarium.

Even though they prefer fast-flowing water, they have been known to survive in slow-moving waters as well.

As they are mostly middle and bottom dwellers they tend to eat the food that lands on the substrate of the aquarium, except for algae which also happens to be a major part of their regular diet. So feeding them is quite easy, and if they are comfortable enough they might eat food from your hands as well.

Breeding them might pose some difficulties though, as they can be only bred in a certain season and require particular conditions to be met before the process is initiated.

But mostly, the members of the genus garra make excellent pets, especially for those who want to interact with their fish actively.

Did you know...

Panda garras are attractive algae eaters that are peaceful and good at coexisting with other fish and invertebrates. This is a major reason why they are gaining constant popularity among pet owners.

How is a Panda Garra's mouth modified?

The panda garra's lower lip is modified to look like a disc-shaped organ that has adhesive-like qualities and helps them stay stable in fast-moving waters.

Why do Panda Garras live near the mountains?

The Rakhine mountain range forms a barrier between Central and Western Myanmar, successfully shielding panda garras from the harsh monsoon of the former region and making it an acceptable homeland for the panda garras.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the fluke fish and the yellow bullhead.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Panda Garra coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ambuj Tripathi picture

Ambuj TripathiBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ambuj is a skilled fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University. He has been recognized for his exceptional content writing skills, having won a CineMedia competition. In addition to his writing abilities, he also has a flair for design.

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