Why Is Your AngelFish Losing Its Fins? Causes and Fixes


You may observe that your Angelfish is losing fins without knowing the underlying cause as a fish owner. The cause of fin loss is something you should seek because it’s hard to help your Angelfish grow its fins back if you don’t know the primary cause of the fin loss. What can make an Angelfish to lose its fin?

An Angelfish can lose its fin as a result of bacterial infection or injury. The level of care that you give to your Angelfish determines the fish’s vulnerability to infection and injury. Lack of proper care is the primary reason why your Angelfish is losing its fin.

There are certain steps you can take to fix the problem of fin loss in an Angelfish. This article does not only talk about the causes of fin loss, but it also talks about the proper way of fixing the problem. Kindly read on to see more information on the causes of fin loss and how to fix the problem.

Why is Your AngelFish Losing Its Fins?

An Angelfish can lose its fin due to various reasons. As a fish owner, you need to know all the reasons why your Angelfish is losing fins.  Once you have been able to identify the cause of the problem, you’ll find it easy to solve the problem.

Here are the reasons why your Angelfish is losing fins:

1.       Attacks From Tank Mates

Although Angelfish look very peaceful, they sometimes bully one another. Angelfish can attack one another for various reasons. For instance, they can attack one another over territory, especially when they live in a small tank.

Angelfish can lose their fins during such attacks. You might not witness any attack, but if you have more than one Angelfish in a tank, they can attack one another and become injured during such attacks.

2.       Damage From Rough Objects And Surfaces In The Tank

Accidents happen in fish tanks also. If Angelfish get caught between obstacles, they will struggle to set themselves free. Unfortunately, they can lose parts of their fins while struggling. Rough tank surfaces can also scrape an Angelfish’s fins away gradually until the damage become very noticeable.

Why Is Your AngelFish Losing Its Fins?
Why Is Your AngelFish Losing Its Fins? Causes and Fixes

3.       Mishandling

Humans can also be part of the reasons why Angelfish lose their fins. If you are fond of throwing your Angelfish or gripping them in the wrong spots, you may end up damaging their fins. Fins are delicate parts that can break or tear when you mishandle a fish.

4.       Poor Water Quality

Angelfish are vulnerable to a disease known as fin rot when they stay in dirty water. Just as the name of the disease implies, the fins of affected fish will begin to rot.

There are various factors that can reduce the quality of water. Some of these factors include overfeeding of fish, overcrowding, delayed water changes, and every other poor water maintenance practice.

5.       Exposure To Infected Fish

Fin rot, which is one of the major reasons why Angelfish lose their fins, is contagious. Consequently, a healthy Angelfish will begin to lose its fin when you expose it to an infected fish. Fin rot spreads faster than many water-related diseases. 

Just a single infected Angelfish in a tank can transmit the disease to several healthy fish within a few days.

Angelfish losing fins
Why Angelfish losing its fins?

Do Angelfish Grow Their Fins Back?

You might be wondering whether it’s possible for Angelfish to grow their fins back after they lost them.

Angelfish can grow their fins back in almost all cases. Even in a case where the fin breaks, an Angelfish will still grow another fin.

As a fish owner, you need to eliminate the underlying cause of the fin loss before the fish can grow another fin.

The regrowth of fins usually takes up to 4 – 6 weeks. The severity of the damage is one of the factors that will determine how long it takes to grow new fins. The growth is always noticeable right from the outset. The fins will appear transparent at the initial stage of the regrowth.

After some time, the new fins will have patterns. Kindly note that the new fins may have patterns different from the ones on the damaged fins, but the new fins will function exactly like the old ones.

Bones will also be forming while the fins are growing until fins become fully grown. The Angelfish will be able to use the fins once again when the regrowth is completed.

If you are interested in learning more about your fish behavior, check out the links below:

What Is Angelfish Fin Rot?

Fin rot is a disease that makes fish lose their fins.

Fin rot always starts from the edges of fins and advances towards the fin base. Both bacterial and fungi infections can cause fin rot. Even though the disease appears to be attacking only the fins, it can kill a fish if it is not treated on time.

Some of the symptoms of the disease include fin fray, inflammation at the base of the fin, whitening of fin edges, and disintegration of the fin.

Bad water condition is the major cause of fin rot, but the presence of wounds can make fish vulnerable to the disease even in water with moderate conditions. The fin rot disease always starts with a bacterial infection, but the condition can worsen later on when fungi infection sets in.

Angelfish losing fins?
Angelfish losing fins

Fish that have the disease tend to seek relief by rubbing themselves against objects and surfaces in the water. If the disease gets to an advanced stage, the affected fish will become lethargic.

How to Treat Fin Rot in Angelfish?

If your Angelfish is infected with fin rot, you should treat the disease by doing all the things below. Ensure you carry out each of the steps below. 

While the first step below will help you eliminate the disease’s underlying cause, the remaining steps will correct damages that the disease has caused already.

In case you have more than one Angelfish, and you realize that some of them are infected, we recommend that you keep the infected Angelfish in a separate tank before you start treating them.

The separation will prevent the disease from spreading to the healthy Angelfish and also allow you to focus on the infected fish.

Supply Good Water

It’s impossible to treat fin rot in bad water. Even if it’s possible, such treatment won’t last since the fish can become infected once again by the polluted water that surrounds it. However, clean water will make it possible for you to treat fin rot.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do difficult tasks before you can keep the water clean. Once you change the water regularly and avoid leaving pollutants in the water, you will be able to maintain the purity of water.

You may add a moderate quantity of aquarium salt to water if you want to accelerate the treatment. Aquarium salt can help your Angelfish to recover from diseases faster by protecting it from parasitic infections and reducing stress.

Angelfish losing fin
Why angelfish is losing its fins?

We advise you to check the pH of the water also. If the pH is outside the range of 6.0 and 7.5, you should correct it. An Angelfish won’t have the privilege to recover from sicknesses when the pH is far beyond the correct range.

Water temperature is another factor that you need to consider when treating fin rot. The immune system of Angelfish works at its peak when the water temperature is between 25°C to 29°C. You should check the water temperature and raise it if necessary. This will help your Angelfish to fight the disease naturally and hence facilitate the treatment.

Use medication

You should add an antibacterial drug to water in order to kill bacteria, which is the major root cause of fin rot. Ensure you use the drug according to the instructions on its label.

Constant use of the antibacterial drug is enough to deal with fin rot caused by bacteria. However, if the fin has some holes, you need antifungal drugs because the presence of holes signifies that your Angelfish is suffering from a secondary fungal infection.

Ensure you increase aeration as soon as you start adding medications to the water because the medication will reduce the oxygen level to some extent. Also, it’s very important to remove all active carbon filters when you add medications to water. Active carbon filters will absorb medications if you fail to remove them.

Provide nourishing feed

You should give your Angelfish nourishing feed that it deserves. The feed that you give your Angelfish will either supplement treatment or make treatment ineffective.

If your Angelfish consume feed that lacks vital nutrients, it won’t respond to treatment. It would be best if you avoided expired feeds because they usually contain harmful bacteria. Ensure you observe your Angelfish closely while you treat fin rot.

The condition of the fin should stop deteriorating a few days after you start the treatment. If the Angelfish is responding to treatment, you’ll notice that the lost fins will begin to grow back about one week after you start the treatment.

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