Will Guppies Tail Grow Back? What to Do

Guppies have beautiful tails and fins that make an aquarium look magnificent. The organs also enable the fish to swim and get to their destination. However, the tail can get damaged when guppies fight, get attacked, or hit an obstacle.

So, will the guppy’s tail grow back?

Guppies have great regenerative abilities; their damaged tails or fins can grow back within days. However, severely damaged tissues may not regrow, and the fish may succumb to blood loss or infection.

Will Guppy’s tail grow back?

A guppy has great healing ability and will grow its tail and fins after an injury. After healing, the tail will likely get its original shape and color. The healing can take from less than a week to a month, depending on the following factors:

Nature of the injury

Minor injuries on the fish fins typically take a shorter time to heal. Tail and fin injuries resulting from nipping or bumping into obstacles take one to three weeks to heal.

Unfortunately, the fish may be unable to regenerate its tail if the tissues are extensively damaged. Fin rot, in particular, is a fatal condition that may even kill the fish, especially when it has spread to the rest of the body.

Tank conditions

An ailing guppy will heal better when kept in a conducive environment. If, for example, the injury was caused by fin rot or nipping, it is important to quarantine the fish and give it the best water quality.

Ensure the water is slightly hard with a pH of between 6.8 to 7.8 and a temperature of about 72°F and 82°F (22°C and 28°C). Ammonia and nitrate levels should be at zero.

The health of the fish

When a healthy fish is injured, it will typically heal quickly. However, a sickly fish already has a weak immune system and will struggle to heal from a minor wound or injury. Loss of appetite, lethargy, fish breathing fast, and clamped fins are signs of sickness.

Guppy’s age

Age and healing ability are evident even in humans. A teenage child will heal a broken arm quicker than a senior citizen. Similarly, a younger guppy can heal and grow back its tail within a short period, unlike the older fish.

Will guppies tail grow back

How to fix a guppy’s tail

A guppy will recover its tail, but you can hasten the process by doing the following.

1. Provide good water conditions

A good environment will make your guppy recover its tail faster. Ensure the PH is at 6.8 – 7.5 while the temperature is between 72 – 84 degrees F. If the injury was caused by fin rot, clean the tank immediately and change the water.

Moving forward, ensure ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite level are maintained at zero. Remove all leftovers and fish waste because they constitute bacteria growth. You can also add mystery snails to help clean the tank by feeding on algae and fish leftovers.

2. Treat with medication

Depending on the severity of the injury or if a disease caused the injury, you might have to consider seeking veterinary services. Fin rot is treatable by antibiotics, and a vet can offer some insight to help curb the disease’s spread.

If the injury is minor, you can provide a better environment and allow the guppy to heal independently.

3. Provide better nutrition

Feeding your guppy with enough food and nutrients will aid healing. If seriously injured, move it to a separate tank until it heals to avoid bullying from other fish. Feeding the guppy with fats and protein rich-diet will help expedite the healing process.

4. Use aquarium salt

Adding some aquarium salt to the tank will hasten the healing process. A high salt concentration in the water will kill microorganisms by sucking bodily fluids. This aids in controlling the disease and aid in healing.

5. Remove harmful objects

If the injury was caused by decoration or a stone with a sharp edge within the tank, it is best to remove the object to protect other fish from injury. It will also help the ailing fish, who might stumble into the object again.

6. Move the bully fish

Move any aggressive fish to a separate to protect the vulnerable fish. As you know, any confrontation may deteriorate its health even further. Keep the recommended guppies in the tanks and provide hiding places for the fish.

What can damage a guppy tail?

Understanding why a guppy may end up with a damaged tail or fin is also important, especially in preventing future incidents. The following are potential causes:


Fish are vulnerable to diseases caused by viruses and bacteria, especially when kept in poor-quality water. Fin rot is one of the common diseases that affect fish. Tearing up of the guppy tail is one of its symptoms.

Fin rot is treatable in its early stage but deadly if left untreated. Some of its symptoms in its advanced stage include fin rot, body rot, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Attack by other fish

A guppy can get attacked by other tankmates who may nip its tail or fin. Aggressive fish will generally pick on small or weaker fish. Add hiding places in the aquarium or move the aggressor to a separate tank to stop guppies from nipping and prevent injuries.

Hitting objects

A guppy can also be injured by hitting an object within the tank, such as an ornament. If the tank is crowded, then get a bigger tank. Be sure to inspect the tank for dangerously sharp objects and remove them.

Can guppies survive without a tail?

A guppy can live without a tail, just like a human can live without a limb. However, the fish’s quality of life will reduce as they typically depend on their fins to navigate the waters. By providing special care, your fish should live happily.


Guppies can regrow their damaged tail and fins. However, the recovery rate will depend on the extent of the injury, age, and overall health of the fish. Healing can take two days to about a month, depending on the above factors and how well you care for the guppy.


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