Have no fear! GARRA RUFA fish has no teeth. They gendly suck the dead cells off our skin and provide a micro-massage which helps blood circulation. The experience is slightly tickish at first but skin instanly becomes softer and smoother. Acupuncture points on your feet are activated by the rubbing motion of the fish giving an uplifting feeling during and after the treatment.

Meet The Garra Rufa


In the early 19th century in Kangal-Turkey, two brothers were swimming in a thermal spring and noticed that small highly active fish gathered around their feet. The fish were feasting on their skin but the feeling was closer to a tickling rather than actual bite.

From that day onwards the two men kept visiting this spring almost every day. Over the time, they realized that the skin disease from which one of them suffered, begun to recede. They realized that the fish removed the dead skin and helped in fast healing of the wounds. Thus, began the spread of these small fish reputation. Garda Rufa fish can be found also in the Jordan River and there are a few spas in close proximity to thermal springs inhabited by these fish, where people with chronic skin disorders visit to heal from.

The Garra Rufa is also known under the following names Doctor Fish, Kangal Fish (on behalf of the homonymous city in Turkey where they were first discovered) and Nibble Fish (fish pick!) These fish are the original fish used for ichthyotherapies.

Their origin is from the Far and Middle East.

Their lifespan ranges from 4-6 years and the maximum length can reach up to 10 cm. 

Because their home countries are countries with high temperatures the ideal temperature for Garra Rufa best performance is 28-32o Celsius.

What are their eating habits? The Garra Rufa feed on natural algae when they are in their natural environment and dead cells of other organisms. Basically they are opportunistic scavengers. When kept in a controlled environment like a fish spa aquarium, their diet is based on dead cells of clients however we additionally offer 2-3 times special food tablets consisting of fish meat and are rich in vitamins and nutrients to maintain them healthy and super active.

       Sanitary Rules

Many will reasonably wonder whether the process of fish spa therapy is safe in terms of hygiene. Here we should mention all the rules and procedures followed in our branded fish spas.

First, we will mention that the system has a special fish spa filter which consists of four elements each of which contribute to maintaining the purity of water and health of fish as well as the microbiological condense in the water.

The filter briefly, consists of: a mechanical filter which removes suspended solids and organic products of fish and environmental dust or debris of skin, a biological filter in which there are alive and captive bred aquatic microorganisms which feed on organic waste of fish keeping resulting in clean water. This is necessary for the proper operation of an aquarium with fish. There is a chemical filter that contains activated carbon which discolours the water making it crystal clear and there are also synthetic resins that help eliminate the reminenant bioload ( urea and fish feces). Finally, there is the ultraviolet UVC device which helps in ensuring the strong sterilization of water to prevent spreading of any pathogen microorganism such as microbes and other bacteria. The filters are cleaned and serviced at regular intervals twice a week and our technicians conduct several diagnostic water tests in a way to reasure the aquarium tanks are clean, healthy and sterilized both for the Garra Rufa fish and for you.

So, you can be reassured that you will not put your hands, your legs or your body in dirty water or contaminated by a previous treatment since our FISH SPA systems operate in compliance with all health specific provisions adopted in most EU countries.

Benefits Of


​It has been more than 200 years when humans first realized the beneficial characteristics of the strange fish living in thermal springs in Asia Minor. Garra Rufa have no teeth and offer an incredible sense of relaxation when they come into contact with the skin to "nipple out" the dead cells of the outer layer of the skin. While on their way to skin exfoliation, they provide a gentle massage which helps the blood circulation.

​Although, fish spa is famous for both the above reasons, the major benefit is offered primarily to people with chronic dermatological conditions such as eczemas, psoriasis, dermatitis, dry skin and fungal infections. The fish spa is not used as a therapy in itself, however studies have shown that continued use of fish spa in such cases can effectively help in improving the current situation equivalently to that of the western approach of medical treatment.

Why is that? Because Garra Rufa have a "magical enzyme" in their saliva! This enzyme functions to assist the regeneration of the removed dead or infected by a disease cells of the outer layer of the skin. (As an artificial ingredient, it is used in the skin regeneration lotions that help cure psoriasis and other skin disorders, etc.).

       Hygiene Rules

For Puplic Safety, the managment has right to refuse guests with open wounds, skin irritations, blisters, communicable skin diseases and under the influence of alcohol.

Guest are required to behave in the spa so as not to disturb, inconvenience or offend other guests.

Extended exposure to warm water may be detrimental to the health of elderly persons and persons with heart conditions, diabetes, or high or low blood presure.

No children under 12 who are not supervised by an adult may use the spa.

Diabetic poeple are strongly advised not to use the fish spa.


  • Knocking on the aquarium glasses

  • Scaring the fishes

  • Feeding of fish

  • Catching of fish

  • Standing / Walking inside aquarium

  • Sudden  movements

  • Pets inside the spa

  • Food and bottles

  • Smoking

  • Using sprayed products





  • c-facebook
  • c-tbird
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • YouTube Classic
Page Up
Page Up
Page Up

© 2012 by Fish Spa Kangal Santorini - Wellness Center.