Commercial Fish Spa

Doctor fish is the name given to the species of fish Garra rufa. Other nicknames include nibble fish, kangal fish, physio fish, and doctorfishen;[citation needed] in non-medical contexts, Garra rufa is called the reddish log sucker. They live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. The spas are not meant as a curative treatment option, only as a temporary alleviation of symptoms, and patients usually revisit the spas every few months.

The misleading information perpetrated by those who utilize Garra rufa in profitable ventures is that the Garra rufa actually eat dead skin but this is not strictly true, the filtration systems of tanks that have been analyzed have been shown to capture the skin. During their activities of foraging they slough off dead skin. They are simply looking for food which in the wild consists of aufwuchs. In both marine and freshwater environments the algae – particularly green algae and diatoms – make up the dominant component of aufwuchs communities. Small crustaceans, rotifers, and protozoans are also commonly found in fresh water and the sea, but insect larvae, oligochaetes and tardigrades are peculiar to freshwater aufwuchs faunas.


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