Do fish grow fins back?

Fish sometimes lose their fins as a result of nipping or rot. This condition mostly occurs because of the overcrowded aquarium. This article will cover the concern “Do fish grow fins back?”, their causes, remedies, recovery time, etc.  

Do fish grow fins back? 

Yes, fish can grow their fins back after nipping or rotting. Nipping mostly results when the fish bite or pinch each other sharply. Some fish species are more aggressive than other tank mates and they tend to attack others. Most famous nippers belong to species like cichlids. 

The other condition, rot, can be a symptom of some disease or an actual disease in the fish suffering from a bacterial or fungal infection. The rot of the fin can also be caused by a nipping fin infection. But the good thing is that your fish can grow back their fin readily following the remedies and treatments. 

What are the causes of fin nipping and rot in fish aquariums? 

The following can be the reasons for fin nipping in the fish: 

  • Competition for food 
  • Efforts to mark their territory
  • Finding a resting or hiding place 
  • Bully fish make their other tank mates hide and in most cases, fights between them can cause scratches, scrapes, torn tips, and missing scales. 

The causes of fin rot in fish are given below: 

  • Bacterial/fungal infection 
  • Diet 
  • Suppressed immunity 
  • Poor water conditions
  • Transfer from an infected fish 

What are the remedies for damaged fish fins? 

The following measures have proved to be valuable in the remedy of damaged fins: 

Limiting fish fights 

Fish can grow their damaged fin back after eradicating the causes behind the damage. The first measure is to stop the fights between tank mates to avoid fin damage. It can be achieved by adding different decorations in the aquarium, providing enough food, and arranging hiding spots by adding rocks, plants, etc. 

However, with time, fish can become habitual with each other and stop fighting. If this option fails, you should try separating the aggressive fish from the others and put them in a separate tank. 

Maintaining a healthy diet 

Diet is considered the main cause of fin rot. You should know about the type of fish you’re gonna keep and research its nutritional requirements. It’s necessary because a poor diet can lead to stunted growth and slow fin development. 

Improving fish tank status 

The last cause to consider while tackling damaged fins in your fish is the status of your tank. A dirty tank will promote the growth of fungi and bacteria in it leading to infections that result in fin rot. Improper pH, temperature, and water composition are the factors that make your tank water unhealthy for fish. 

Therefore, it’s recommended to install a good filter so that the waste organic matter in your tank can be removed. Moreover, there are some specific required conditions for a specific fish type, you should also keep them in mind while assembling your fish tank. 

How long damaged fins take to recover? 

The fin recovery of a fish depends on the severity of the damage to the fin. If it’s a small nipping, the fin will recover in 4-6 days, but if the fin nipping is closer to the fish’s body, then the fin recovery will take longer. An improved immune system can also help in the fast recovery of the damaged fin. 

The best way to increase fish immunity is by giving them a proper diet. Fish require vitamins to improve their immunity and promote healing. The healthier the diet, the faster the recovery of the damaged fin. For severe nipping cases, separating the aggressive fish has helped in reducing the duration of recovery. 

How can you tell if fin rot is getting better? 

You can tell if fin rot is getting better and fin is growing back after looking for the following symptoms: 

  • Less-lethargic fish 
  • Reduced stress levels 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Regain fin strength
  • Improved immunity 
  • Reduced chances of secondary infections or re-infections. 

With the passage of time, your fish will become more mobile, and lively, and swim more vigorously. After a week or two, fins will begin showing signs of re-growth. The rotten or nipped part of the fin will fall off, and a new fin will start to develop slowly. 

However, fin discoloration may not disappear immediately, and the original fish color may not come for a while. But most restored fins get their color back when the rot is completely gone and the flippers have fully formed. 


Today, we covered the article “Do fish grow fins back?”, their causes, remedies, recovery time, etc. From the above discussion, it’s clear that the fish can regrow their damaged fins. You can treat your fish’s damaged fin by maintaining the proper diet and water conditions of the tank. 


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