Without our darling fish we wouldn’t be anything and during their years here at Stockholm Fish Spa they’ve learned quite a few things – so don’t be surprised when they now what’s up before you as a visitor does.
Our spa always gets tons of questions about our co-workers the fish so that’s why we’ve wrote down a lot of the information here, but please ask more when you visit us or if you have any questions before you come here.
Name and origin?
The fish are named Kangal Garra Rufa, also called Doctor Fish and are originally from Turkey.
In the wild these fish can be around 3-5 years old but living in a fishspa that takes good care of them they can get even older.
All our fish has been with us since we first started Stockholm Fish Spa in 2011-03-12.
Garra Rufa fish can be 4-5 inches but grows larger in cold waters. With us they live in 29 degrees so most of our fish are around 1,5-3 inches (but some of them has grown more – both in widht and lenght).
How do they eat?
By gently nibbling away your dry and damaged skin with their lips. They have no teeth and no suction cups – that’s why the treatment is so gentile. They can never eat more than what should actually be taken off.
Feels like home?
Garra Rufas are originally from a cave area in Turkey and among the most important things for them to like their home is that you don’t use transparent aquariums. These fish likes dark walls and peace and quiet between the costumers, otherwise they get incredibly stressed. It’s also truly important that they have plenty of space to swim around in – with us they live in 450 gallons of water with both castles, plants, caves and tree roots.
Our fish play a lot but at the same time they really enjoy eating eachothers eggs… As you can see when visiting us some baby-fish are swimming around in the aquarium anyway and that’s because their smart mothers have hidden their eggs in for example the filter system. As soon as the eggs are hatched the small baby fish are being looked upon as friends and can hang out with even our biggest fish whitout any problems, but when they are eggs they’re unfortunately just seen as a really delicious meal.
How much food?
Garra Rufa fish has got high metabolism and enjoys to eat often in shorter periods with time to rest in between. That’s why all of our treatments lasts for 30 minutes.
The fish needs their breaks not to get stressed and during their resting-time we dim the lights in the room, but we won’t switch of the lights completely since that would make them confused and think it’s time to say good night and go to bed.
Do they only eat dead skin?
Skin for Garra Rufas are like hay for horses; roughage. Dry and damaged skin doesn’t include much nutrition and that’s why our fish also gets fed some additional food supplement.
The food supplement are for the fish what oat is for horses so it’s important not to overfeed them – otherwise they can get a stomach ache or get really lively and start racing competitions in the aquarium!
Job and housing?
Like most fish Garra Rufas hates being moved around. You might think they would like one aquarium for work and one for play and rest, but that would be one of their worst nightmares. That’s why it’s important that the aquarium they spend all of their time in is big enough for both feeding time, taking a nap or just swimming around.
This link will take you to a study from Germany in 2006 that involved psoriasis patients and Garra Rufa fish. Please observe that these patients did intensive fish spa treatments repeatedly during a couple of weeks, if you have got psoriasis you will not get this result after only a few times with the fish. Removing dry flakes and getting rid of the itching usually takes around two treatments with one day in between, how long the result will last is different from person to person but since psoriasis is an overproduction of skin the symptoms will be back when new skin is produced.
Our sweet fish really loves visitors with psoriasis, it’s their favorite food all time high!
Good Morning and Good Night
Our fish are pretty sleepy in the mornings but usually wakes up by themselves around 09-10 p.m. With earlier costumers we have to gently wake the fish up. At night when we turn all the lights off our fish knows that the day has come to an end and that’s when they slowly spread out in the aquarium and lies down on the bottom to sleep ♥