Skip to Content

Do Fish Fins Grow Back?

Fish are quite extraordinary creatures that have amazing healing properties, and while you should never deliberately test these at home, you may be wondering “do fish fins grow back?”.

If your fish’s fins have been damaged through some accident, it is important to get some proper care for your fish, but it is also good to know what to anticipate – and in many cases, fins will grow back.

This won’t always happen, so do make sure that you keep your fish safe from harm wherever possible. 

Your fish may lose fins through rot, through an injury, or due to a fight with a bigger fish, and any of these things could result in you waiting to see whether its fins will grow back.

It is important to note that if your fish gets badly injured, it may die before its fins have a chance to recover, and the worse an injury is, the greater the chances of the fish dying become.

If your fish has been injured, make sure you deal with whatever caused the issue and reduce the risk of this occurring again.

Tears in your fish’s fins are also likely to heal, even if the fin has not come off completely, and your fish’s tail may be able to heal from damage as well. However, a completely missing tail is unlikely to grow back, and may kill the fish.

Do Fish Fins Grow Back?

There are a number of things that can result in a fish’s fins being damaged, and the severity of the injury will affect its ability to grow back – but in general, a fish’s fins will grow back over time.

This can take a good while, and it is very important to identify what caused the issue to begin with, so you can prevent further damage from happening while your fish is trying to recover.

Fish with damaged fins will need a good diet and a stress-free environment in order to maximize their chances of making a good recovery.

Many fish have the ability to regenerate their fins by making new cells and tissue, although this can take quite a long time.

Often, the skin will be transparent at first, which may look a little odd, but it should soon start to take on the original color and patterning. If your fish is not kept in an optimal environment, it will probably take a lot longer for it to recover.

Identifying the cause and making sure it is not still doing damage is key to maximizing the chances of your fish recovering well. If you don’t do this, your fish is more likely to suffer from ongoing damage and may not ever successfully recover.

If your tank is overcrowded, relocate some inhabitants, and check that all remaining species are compatible and comfortable to reduce the risk of biting.

How Long Does It Take For A Fish’s Fins To Heal?

The length of time it takes for an injury to heal will depend heavily on how serious the injury was and what caused it, but it will usually take several weeks, often around two months.

Although fish are good at regenerating their tissues, it takes time to do this, and you should not expect to be able to see the regrowth straight away, or even in the earliest days. It may be a week or more before you can even see that an injury is regenerating at all.

You can speed the healing process up in a few different ways, besides eliminating the original cause of the injury.

A few things to try include giving your fish high-quality, nutritious food so it has all the energy it needs to regrow its cells, and making sure that the tank water is clean so that there is minimal risk of infections.

If the water is dirty and contains ammonia and nitrates, your fish’s fins will not regrow, because these inhibit fin regrowth, so make sure the water is changed regularly.

You can also add aquarium salt to the tank to promote regrowth, and experts recommend a teaspoon per gallon of water. In some cases, you may need to provide your fish with antibiotics, which you can usually source from aquatics stores. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for treating the fish.

Will A Fish Fin Always Grow Back After Injury?

No, a fish fin will not always regrow after an injury, although it usually will. In some cases, an injury will prove too serious and the fish will not have the energy or resources needed to regrow the tissues that it needs.

If this occurs, your fish may never recover from the injury, and this could have an ongoing impact on how it swims and how healthy it is.

In general, minor injuries will heal up quickly, and major injuries will heal much more slowly, or not at all. Some regrowth is common even in fish that are stressed, but a full recovery may not be made, particularly if the conditions are poor.

Some people find that their fish do not recover from a bad attack or serious fin rot, but it is common for them to make a full recovery as long as the conditions are reasonably good.

Don’t panic if your fish’s fin does not seem to be regrowing; it can take quite some time for regrowth to occur. Make sure that you provide a good environment and everything that your fish needs in order to bolster its immune system and encourage good growth.

Don’t overfeed your fish, but make sure it is getting all the nutrients it needs, as this will be key to helping it grow.


So, if you have ever wondered “do fish fins grow back?” the answer is that they do as long as the fish is healthy and it is kept in good conditions. You can maximize your fish’s chances of recovery by keeping the tank clean, relocating any unsuitable or aggressive fish, and providing high quality food. Keep an eye out for regrowth, and you will hopefully see your fish fully recovered within a couple of months, or even sooner.