aquarium hiding places for fish are more important than many of you might think. Let’s go over the reasons why you need to have hiding places in your fish tanks and some different types of aquarium hides.

Why do fish like aquarium hiding places?

1. To Feel Safe & Secure for Fish

The first reason you need to have hiding places for aquarium fish is for them to feel safe. Many of your fish in the wild have places where they can hide, breed, and go about their lives. Maybe they sleep during the day and come out at the night as nocturnal.

So if you have a fish that is used to having hiding places or should have hiding places, they may not behave the same way, if they don`t get their natural environment. It might cause stress and lead to other problems. So it is important to have hiding spots for fish to feel safe, even schooling fish.

2. When Introducing New Fish

Introducing New fish
Introducing New Fish

Another movement you need to consider having hiding places in your fish tank is when you introduce new fish to your aquarium. Those new fish might want to have some aquarium hiding spots to hide and get away before they kind of interact with the rest of the aquarium.

Because when those fish are first in, they are not accustomed to the surroundings. It’s a bunch of new fish, a new environment, and maybe they just want to kind of have a little place to feel safe before venturing out into the remainder of the aquarium.

3. Prevent Tank Bullies

Tank Bullies in Aquariums
Tp Prevent Tank Bullies

The main reason you need hiding places for fish in the aquarium is bullies. If you have ever kept some aggressive or semi-aggressive fish varieties like African cichlids, you might have a situation of tank bullies.

When you have a fish that might be lower on the hierarchy of your community tank, it might get picked on more than other fish. So you need to have aquarium hiding places for them. Fish tank hiding places help them to keep safe, make them feel less stressed, and also just a little reprieve from aggression. 

Here the aggression could be temporary, just because of a couple of males fighting and establishing dominance or it could be a breeding situation where the female is getting harassed by the male. So, the female fish just needs a place to get away and hide from the male. Then she can be left alone for a while. 

4. To Raise Fries and Spawning

Aquarium hiding spots can also be great places to raise fish fry or to do some type of spawning. Some fish varieties are cave dwellers or rock dwellers that want to have some crevice or little cave to spawn and breed. 

So aquarium hiding places might be some kind of hut for your South American cichlids that want to have their babies in a small little cave or something or it might be like a situation with shell dwellers where they use the shells for their babies to grow up.

Where can fish hide in a tank?

There are different types of aquarium hiding places that you can create for your fish. They are not limited to fish tank caves or rock formations.

1. Aquarium Plants

Plants as an Aquarium Hides
Plants as Aquarium Hides

Aquarium plants are a good hiding place for aquarium fish. So just having lots of aquarium plants in your fish tank will provide a lot of natural hiding places for nano fish varieties in your tanks.

2. Readymade Aquarium hiding Decors

Caved Rock Formations
Caved Rock Formations

There are different types of aquarium decorations made with ceramics, and plastic. Some of them look like random rock or cave formations, sunken ships, castles, and skulls. Also, there are ceramic structures designed to look like a piece of wood or driftwood. 

3. Aquarium Rock Formations

Many fish keepers use different types of natural rock formations in their fish tanks as decorations. You can keep those piles of rocks as they create small caves.

4. Drift Woods

Driftwoods as aquarium hiding places
Driftwoods as aquarium hiding places

Aquarium driftwood can also create hides for certain types of fish depending on their size, and can also be decorations.

How many Aquarium hiding places do fish need?

The number of hiding places for an aquarium will totally depend on the type of fish that you are keeping and the size of those fish. If you have a community tank with aggressive or semi-aggressive fish, you may need several number of hiding spots for your fish.


Providing proper hiding places for your fish is a win-win situation. Your fish will have a nice secure place to live and you will be rewarded with a more visually appealing aquarium containing fish that display a more realistic range of behaviors, giving you hours of entertainment.

If you are into DIY Aquarium projects, you can even design eye-catching rock formations by yourselves.

Resources: Tazawa Tanks


I am Prasanjaya who is an aquarium hobbyist for nearly a decade. I wish to help fishkeepers to get accurate and helpful information regarding every aspect of fishkeeping.

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