Skip to Content

How To Care For A Guppy With Clamped Fins!

With guppies being one of the most commonly kept fish for everyone from beginner fish keepers all the way upto people who have been keeping fish for decades, its easy to see why we constantly get a wide range of questions about caring for pet guppies.

One of the more common question that we have noticed being asked from people new to keeping guppies is about guppy clamped fins and how to treat it.

Seeing clamped fins in your guppies is suprisingly common with the condition usually being due to some very common yet easy to avoid mistakes that people make time and time again.

Thankfully, once you correct these mistakes, there is a very high chance of your guppies making a full recovary and not having any further problems.

As there are a number of slightly different causes of clamped fins in your pet guppies, we wanted to publish this article going over how you are able to identify each cause as well as how you can treat it.

This should make it much easier for our readers to identify the problem causing the clamped fins in their guppies as well as get the problem remedied in the shortest possible time frame.

What Does Clamped Fins Mean In Guppies?

Guppies that are suffering from clamped fins will generally keep their fins as close as possible to their bodies and refuse to open them. Due to their relatively larger fins when compared to the size of their bodies, it is usually very easy to identify clamped fins in most guppies.

In some situations, guppies with clamped fins will also collapse their tail too rather than having it fanned out. This is generally in more serious cases indicating that you really do have to take action quickly to help improve the water parameters that your guppies are living in.

There is a high chance that multiple guppies in your tank will all be suffering from clamped fins at the same time too making it much easier to spot.

Clamped fins is also common in betta fish but due to only having a single fish in most betta tanks, it can be much easier to miss the condition due to only having the behaviour of one fish to go by.

Why Do My Guppies Have Clamped Fins?

The four most common reasons that your guppies may have clamped fins are related to water temperature, water quality, ich, and velvet (gold dust disease).

Water temperature and water quality issues do tend to be easy to fix but ich and velvet can take more time and require specialist treatment.

All four of the common causes of clamped fins in guppies can eventually be lethal to your fish if you don’t take steps to treat the root cause of the problem. All four causes of clamped fins can also result in the death of your fish in as little as a couple of days too.

This is why getting a decent, reliable heater in your aquarium is so important as many of the heaters in the entry level tanks are not suitable and will cause water temperature to fluctuate.

If you are a beginner fish keeper then you should really be adding a good water testing kit to your set up as quickly as possible too as it will give you an early warning for problems with your water parameters.

How Do You Treat Clamped Fin Guppies?

If you guppy has clamped fins due to its water temperature then getting the water temperature between 74°F/23°C to 82°F/28°C can be enough to treat the problem.

If your guppies clamped fins is because of the water quality in its tank then you really need to get a water testing kit to investigate things further so you can treat the specific problem.

Ich can be treat with aquarium salt and velvet can be treat by blocking the light out to the tank with both working suprisingly quickly.

The most common problem that we see by far in people new to keeping guppies is that they are unable to maintain the water temperature of their aquarium correctly.

This will commonly result in clamped fins in your guppies but you are able to treat the issue by getting a decent, reliable heater in your aquarium.

The majority of the entry-level tanks that come as a bundle really don’t come with good heaters so simply upgrading to a better heater can be one of the better guppy clamped fin treatment options.

There are a number of potential problems with water quality that will each need their own specific treatment to fix clamped fins in your guppy.

We would always recommend that you just get a API master water testing kit and test the water in your tank as quickly as possible. You will then have a better idea of what is causing the clamped fins in your guppy as well as be able to look for specific options to fix the issue.

If possible, we would recommend that you do go with a master water testing kit that is usually $20-$30 rather than the cheaper $10 entry level water testing kit.

The master water testing kit is much more comprehensive and allows you to test for a wider range of possible conditions in your aquariums water that may be causing the clamped fins issue in your guppies.

Ich is one of the less common causes of clamped fins in your guppies but it can often be treat by adding an aquarium salt product to your aquarium if you catch the ich soon enough.

Sometimes though, if the ich really has set in on your fish then you are going to need to look at getting a specialist ich treatment to cure the problem in your guppies.

The rarest cause of clamped fins in your guppies is velvet that is also known as gold dust disease. Treatments for velvet range from reducing the available light in your aquarium as much as possible to intergrating an aquarium salt product depending on how serious the velvet is.

This can be one of the more tricky guppy clamped fin treatments to impliment successfully but thankfully, velvet is also the rarest cause of the condition in guppies.


That brings our article going over how to treat guppy clamped fins and get your fish back to full health as quickly as possible to an end. The most important thing by far when it comes to dealing with clamped fins in your pet guppies is to indentify the actual cause of the issue and then work on treating it as quickly as possible. Once you have a better idea of what is causing the clamped fins by using the methods covered above, you are able to select the best treatment to move forward with.