Are your Panda Garra escape artists?


New Member
Nov 19, 2022
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I've recently discovered Panda Garra and have a desire to add them to my community tropical tank setup. However, in my research about the species it is warned that these fish are jumpers and climbers and are apparently eager to leave your tank in any way possible! This is a horrifying thought as my setup is an open top 75 gallon and has an internal overflow box plumbed down to a sump. I do have a canopy around the top of the tank but it is not lidded in any way. So then, do any of you keep Panda Garra in an open top tank and have no issue with them escaping (or issues with them in your filtration systems)? Are the warnings more just a caution to note and actually not typical for them to jump or climb out? Thanks!


Supporting Member
Pet of the Month!
May 19, 2022
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Somewhere in space... Wyoming for mail.
I have four of the beasties since around three months ago, awesome fish! I have yet to see any indication of them trying to get out of the tank. Since my rope fish has decided that the pump chamber for my built in filtration is his personal man cave I figure that if he can get there so could the Pandas but they have not. I am not saying that they won't jump. I'm just saying that I have seen no indication of this behavior but my tank is fully hooded. Since the Pandas seem to like pestering my rope I would think that they would follow him into the pump chamber if they were so inclined.

I don't know how much research you have done but if you acquire they need protein, not just algae. Many think they are a loach due to their appearance but they are more related to carp or minnows. That does not mean that they don't need algae as they do along with their liking bio film. They are great for cleaning a tank. I maintain live algae in my tank for them along with giving protein pellets and freeze dried tubifex worms.

These are VERY fun fish and not at all afraid of a human hand. Do not be surprised if you reach in the tank and they attach to your hand. I even have mine hand feeding on tubifex worms. Also it often looks as if they are fighting but there is never damage done and I really believe that they are just playing.

I know that I'm not actually answering your question as to the open top but is the best that I can do. Bottom line is that they DO have the physical ability to jump or mouth climb out of a tank but my research seems to indicate that this normally only happens if the water conditions are not proper for them. While not usually necessary if water conditions are good a hood is recommended. You CAN have a hooded tank seem open. Just cut a piece of plexiglass to fit the top and drill a bunch of holes for air flow.


Fish Addict
Fish of the Month!
May 30, 2021
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Mine never hide and never seem to jump or do much at all to escape. They are not shy either; and frequently get in the way when trying to clean the aquarium. Curious little fellows that know no fear.

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