The simple answer to whether betta fishes like to hide or not is, yes, they do. A betta fish loves his personal area for hiding. However, it’s not the sole reason for hiding.
Other factors can make the fish hide more often than usual. You have to differentiate between the expected and unusual behavior of the fish.
So now you know that hiding is completely natural for a betta fish. But, is there any other reason for your fish to hide? There are plenty. Keep an eye out for these reasons and make sure that your betta fish doesn’t hide unless he wants to.
Reasons why betta fishes hide
Other than craving for personal space, betta fishes hide whenever something isn’t right. But what can be wrong?
1. New home adjustment
When you suddenly change the surrounding for a betta fish, he can feel threatened and hide. It’s a usual behavior, and you don’t have to worry about it. However, if you want to make the experience less stressful, I recommend acclimating your fish.
If it’s a cup betta, don’t take more than a few minutes as the cup will contain ammonia and nitrite. Your betta tank should already be ready when you have your pet with you. Slowly add few drops of water to your betta’s habitat. The rate should be 2 to 3 drops per second. Once the water level doubles, remove half of the water.
This process helps your betta adjust to the new tank with ease. Remember that your betta is still likely to hide for the first one or two weeks.
2. Reacting to changes
Even the slightest changes can make your betta go into hiding. For example, when adding a new tank mate, moving the decoration around, adding new decorations, changing the water, or any other small changes.
The betta feels threatened whenever something changes and tries to escape by hiding. It’s nothing unusual, and you don’t have to do anything to make it better.
3. The water isn’t at the optimal state
The optimal water temperature for betta fishes is 76 to 82 degrees F. The ammonia and nitrite level should be 0 ppm and nitrate at 20 ppm. Check your water condition using a kit to make sure everything is okay with the water. If something is wrong, it can make your fish uncomfortable, and you have found a reason why your betta is hiding.
4. The lights are too bright
Too much brightness can make your betta fish get uncomfortable as their natural habitats are shady. Adjust the lights and see what your pet does. If he comes out of hiding, you will know how bright the lights should be.
5. Is he sick?
Don’t forget to check if your fish is hurt or sick. It’s another primary reason for your betta to hide. Getting hurt can make your betta feel uncomfortable and result in hiding. Check for unusual health occurrences from time to time.
One way to find out whether your fish is sick or not is to follow his food behavior. If he stops eating and stays hidden, you have got yourself a sick betta.
6. Lack of accessories
As you already know, your betta needs hiding places to play and feel comfortable. If your tank isn’t a playful place, your betta can feel depressed and stay hidden in unusual places. The solution to this is obvious- add accessories. There are a lot of playful things explicitly designed for betta fishes.
Do I need to create hiding places for my betta fish?
Yes, you do. Hiding and playing with hiding places is a prominent part of the betta fish attitude. If you wish to make him more comfortable and feel welcomed, it’s better to create hiding places for him. Adding a cave is a very effective idea when you have betta fish as your pet.
The more places your betta will have for hiding, the more he will act normal.
Why is my betta hiding behind the filter unit?
Sometimes you will notice your betta hiding behind the water filter unit even after installing enough hiding places. This indicates problems in the water. When the water isn’t optimal, your betta can experience difficulty breathing. As the water filter releases fresh water, he hides behind it to feel more relaxed. It’s a sign that you should change the water.
Summing It Up
So, there you have it, everything that was bothering you about why your betta fish is hiding. Remember that even if everything is alright, your betta fishes will still hide. It’s their natural habit to hide from time to time.
Betta fishes come with their unique personality. If you have done everything right and the fish still won’t come out of hiding, all you can do is wait. Wait for your fish to get comfortable and come out of his hiding on his own terms. You keep fulfilling your duties, and he will do his.