Guppies are highly colorful fish with wide, flowing tails. They are a fantastic addition to any aquarium environment and tend to get along well with other small schooling fish. Don’t be surprised, however, if you see a split in your guppy’s tail that you can’t account for, as there are a few things that might have caused it.
Low PH in your aquarium may be the cause behind your guppy’s split tail but it could also be because of other fish having a nibble or two whenever your guppy swims by them. It’s not unheard of for your guppy to have a split tail, however, so it’s not something that you should panic over.
Low Ph in the water causes fin rot, which could be the explanation behind your guppy’s split tail. But it’s something that you will notice over time as it becomes progressively worse, assuming you don’t make some adjustments to the water.
Do Guppies’ Fins Grow Back?
So long as the damage to their tail is not too severe, guppies will usually grow their tail back, though it’s a long, slow process that takes place over a month and a half or so. It’s not something that you should ignore and while you can’t physically treat their tails, there are some things that you can do to help them heal.
Of course, their tails won’t heal back if nothing changes to promote the healing. If your guppy has a split or shredded tail because of fighting, you will need to take the time to identify the fish that it’s having problems with and potentially separate them.
The best way to facilitate your guppy’s tail regrowth is to identify the problem and resolve it as quickly as possible. Once the problem is identified and corrected, it will take time for a guppy’s tail to grow back in the damaged areas.
If the damage is severe, it will grow back but it might not grow back as abundantly as it was before.
Why is My Guppy’s Tail Shredded?
There are three, primary reasons behind a shredded guppy tail. We’ve already mentioned two of them but if there is a reason outside of the main three, it’s going to be something that is rare or extremely uncommon.
- Fighting with other fish
- Poor water quality is causing tail rot
- Your guppy is stressed out
Fin rot can appear in a variety of different ways and is sometimes easier to differentiate between it and visible damage to the tail. Fin rot may not shed your guppy’s tail or even split it. It may simply shrink, growing smaller and smaller until it’s a noticeable change.
Fighting with other fish is something that you are going to notice immediately and the tail will also appear shredded in an unorganized kind of way. One day your guppy is fine and the next, its tail is shredded. So, it’s definitely something that you can pinpoint and start working to correct immediately.
There are several things that can stress a guppy out and poor water quality is just one of them. If your tank is too small or you have too many fish in there with your guppy, it can get stressed over the fight for food and resources. The shredded tail is a slow and steady regression as the guppy becomes more and more stressed.
Like the water quality issue, it’s a slower process and not something that happens overnight.
Will a Torn Guppy Tail Heal?
It will in time, however, it’s never going to heal unless the underlying cause is addressed. The first thing that you need to do is determine what the problem is. Since you may not know whether or not it’s from fighting with other fish, you should separate it while you figure out the cause.
If it’s a matter of water quality, you will probably notice symptoms in the other fish as well. It’s not like your guppy will suffer alone. It’s a good idea to check your water and see where your Ph levels are at. It’s also a good idea to replace your water when you are supposed to and add whatever treatments are necessary to keep the water viable for your fish.
The above-listed stressful conditions are things you should look for as well. If there are too many fish in your aquarium, you need to start separating them or upgrade your tank size to something more sustainable.
In terms of fighting, it’s important to keep your male-to-female ratio in the tank at a 1:3 ratio of males to females. Also, give your guppy some hiding places so it has a place to go and destress.
Do Guppies Bite Each Other’s Tails?
A guppy won’t purposefully target another guppy’s tail, it just happens to be one of the easiest things to grab ahold of when two guppies are fighting. The fighting is usually due to two males disputing over a female or territory.
That’s why the above ratio of 1:3 is best, with males making up the smaller number and females the larger. So long as there are plenty of females in the tank, the males will not have as much of a reason to go after each other.
You might also consider increasing your tank size and creating more hiding spots if you have a couple of males that are disputing their respective territories. With a larger tank, more females, and more hiding spots, the problem should go ahead and resolve itself.
Guppies are far less likely to fight when there is plenty of space for all of the fish and three times the amount of females as there are males.
All Things Considered
There are a few things that can cause your guppy to have a damaged tail. So long as the damage is not too significant, the guppy will normally recover and grow their tails back, at least for the most part.
However, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for the source of the problem and correct that problem as soon as possible.