Thanks again for your help.
I have 2 in my 125 gallon only because that's all they had for sale at a LFS. I think I paid around 10 bucks USD for fish around 2-3" long, which is lower than the going rate. I really wish I had 3 so they had a little more of a group, although they rarely pal around like my loaches do. They may chase each other a bit, but my tank is loaded with hide-a-ways. They don't bother any other fish in the tank at all.
My only regret was that I didn't take a before and after picture of when I put them in - I can't image this to be normal results - but I'll tell you my story.
My tank was covered in a brown film, I assumed to be diatoms. I always kept the front pane clear for viewing, but I let it grow everywhere else, after all it did look natural. The second I released them into the tank, they immediately began cleaning the glass. You could literally watch them pave a line of cleanliness in their wake. The next morning I woke up to a tank that was dang near spotless. I kid you not.
They're omnivores and seem to forage constantly, so once they clean up the "gunk" they'll eat anything you put in the tank (mine eat flakes, shrimp pellets, chopped frozen shrimp, brine shrimp, blood worms, algae wafers, literally anything. They don't bother my plants other than eatting the film off of them.
They're superior to plecos in every way. You may have to special order them, my understanding is there kind of new to the hobby. For those that may say they have to have moving water, in nature they live in streams that also become near standing still/stagnant during periods of the season.
I have 3 panda rufas in my kids tank, they're not near as attractive or janitorial in the sense of eatting scums. They clearly have a preference for moving water as they swim in the out flow of a filter ALL DAY! I get tired just watching them!
To summarize panda garra: peaceful, efficient, and beautiful.
The causes of both are difficult to pinpoint with any certainty. Low or high flow, or either of nitrate; high light or intermittent or seasonal intense lighting. Over the years I've had both & beaten them with different strategies...eventually...but it's very hard every time!
Can you post pics of your tank , tank & tap water parameters, maintenance schedule, filters, lighting; just everything, lol....& then we'll ask for more! & offer several different treatments that may or may not work for long...but just might work for you!
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