Are Tetras Fin Nippers? Are They Aggressive?

Are Tetras Fin Nippers

Often many people ask the question’ Tetra fishes are fin nipper or not? Unfortunately, the answer is not entirely clear. Some tetras tend to be fin nippers, whereas some of them are not. It depends on the nature of your tetra fish. But before mixing the tetra fish with other fish, you need to be quite aware of each and everything. And knowing whether your tetra fish is a fin nipper or not is also included in it.

As the answer to the question ‘Are tetra fin nippers or not’ is not crystal clear, I’m going to put some light on this topic through this article. In this article, you are going to learn whether your tetras are fin nippers or not. And if yes, then the question may arise whether it has a negative impact or not? So, let’s get started:

Common Tetras Who Are Fin Nippers

Unfortunately, the fin nippers tetras are higher in number in comparison to non-fin nippers. Some tetra fishes which are commonly known for being fin nippers like neon tetra, emperor tetra, serpae tetra, and black skirt tetra are briefly listed below:

Neon Tetra

Yes, Neon Tetras are fin nippers in most of the cases. Even though they are delicate in nature, they are likely to chase each other. They also chase different fish fins that are in the same tank and nip the fins undoubtedly.

Serpae Tetra

These fish are notorious fin nippers, and there is no way to prevent them from doing that unless you separate it. Serpae Tetras runs after other fish and nips the fins in most of the cases.

Emperor Tetra

Emperor Tetra is one of the tetra fish which is known as fin nipping tetra fish. Sometimes they tend to nip the fins of other fish and sometimes not. However, you should keep them in a small school to help focus their attention on each other.

Black Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra is one of the known tetra fish for its aggressiveness and nips finner. It is kind of a bit tough to mix black skirt tetra with other fishes because it tends to chase them and nip the fins in most of the cases.

Which Tetras Are Not Fin Nippers?

According to some studies the list of some tetra fish which are not so likely fin nippers are listed below;

Lemon Tetra

Lemon tetras are very peaceful and omnivores by nature. They do not show any kind of aggressive behavior, and they are not likely to be fin nippers. They go well with most of the freshwater fishes.

GlowLight Tetra

This fish does not nip the fin of the fish. The Glowlight Tetra can be kept with fishes like Betta splendens as they are one of the most peaceful species of tetra fish.

Generally, Glowlight Tetra is found to gelled up with most of the fishes and did not show any aggressive behaviors.

Rummy nose tetra

Rummy nose tetra is a good choice for the fish keeper as it is very peaceful in nature. It shows excellent behavior to its community tankmates with most of the fishes. Overall, they do not seem to be chasing other fish to nip the fin.

Bleeding heart tetras

This fish is a tropical fish and mostly good for beginner fish keepers. Though it is listed in non-fin nippers, sometimes it is prone to fin nipping if kept individually. So you need to be a bit aware sometimes even though of its peaceful nature. 

You might want to know details about Bleeding Heart Tetras.

What Causes Fin Nipping in Fish?

Basically, there may be two main reasons why some fishes are fin-nippers. The first one is some fish like tiger barbs bites small chunks out of other fish fins as if assuming it as a food. The second one, due to territoriality, is like aggressive cichlids nipping the fins of other fish that enter their territory to deter them.

Does Fin Nipping Hurt The Fish?

Not instantly, but fin nipping surely can kill the fish. Your fish might get stressed with fin nipping over the times. In such a situation, you can use stress coat and melafix by API to reduce stress and prevent the wound from turning into fin rot disease. Fish do feel pain like most of us, and it can surely die if they cannot endure and tolerate the pain of fin nipping. So you have to keep in mind that fin nipping can harm your fish undoubtedly. If you fish suffers from fin rot disease, use Fin and Body Care from API.

What Does Fin Nipping Look Like?

In simple words, Nipping fins just look as simple as nips in the fins. Despite this, the fin shouldn’t look red, black or any other color which is different from the fish’s color.

However, fin rot can be white around the edges of fish fins. But fins of the fish turning black is a sign of ammonia poisoning, and red streaks, a bacterial infection.

Will Fish Fin Grow Back?

Just like a human wound heals after a certain time, fish are also capable of healing their fin injury. But it surely will take time for healing. In most of the cases, your fish will regrow its fins just like in its natural shape. But only if you treat the fins before it completely eats away the fins. It takes around four to six weeks approximately for your fish to heal its fin after the fin nip.

What are the things that you can do to prevent the fin nipping problem?

There is a solution to every problem if you are keen on it. The list of things that you can do to avoid fin nipping problems among your fish are simply listed below for you;

  • You shouldn’t mix your fish with the fish like cichlids and tiger barbs, which are territorially aggressive in nature.
  • You should not keep slow swimming fish with the fish, which has fast swimming behavior.
  • Setting up enough hiding spots like adding live plants in the aquarium etc.
  • Before adding up the fish, get the proper facts of the related fish behavior.

Follow these things properly, and you will be unlikely to get a fins nipping problem in your aquarium. However, if you notice fins nipping in your aquarium even after it, simply follow the following given tips and instruction;

  • Instantly remove the suffered fish in another separated aquarium tank.
  • Change the water weekly, which will help your fish to heal it’s fins faster.
  • Make sure to maintain water parameters with ammonia, nitrites free to ensure the healing process.
  • Take a recommendation with an aquarist if any condition gets severe danger.


There is a solution to every problem in this world. The only thing is you have to be keen on looking for the solution. This is an era where information holds importance more than money. As with the implementation of the right facts, any problems can be solved.

Likewise, if you follow the instructions properly as provided, then you will surely have no problem in keeping fish. The point is if you have enough knowledge of the related fishes before adding up, then it will help you a lot. But if you mix up the different species of fish altogether, it might risk your fish health in the end result. So knowing all the information before starting up anything is the key factor to success.

As ‘ difficult roads often lead to a beautiful destination,’ caring for your fish in every possible manner is praiseworthy and fruitful in the journey of keeping the fish like beautiful tetra fishes around you.

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