Do betta fish like to hide?

In this blog, we’ll discuss if bettas like to hide. The blog will address the causes and solutions for their hiding behavior.


In this blog

  • Do betta fish like to hide?
  • What are the reasons a betta fish might choose to hide?
  • What needs to be done, if your betta fish is hiding?
  • Why are hiding spots important for bettas?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Do betta fish like to hide?

When a betta fish is feeling stressed or unwell, they will often seek refuge or protection under plant covers or in small spaces to avoid being attacked by their enemies. So, in order to avoid this, they will try to keep themselves hidden.

This behavior is passed down through the wild betta populations and is also seen in captive-bred bettas.

Betta fish are known for hiding when they are scared or feeling threatened. It is perfectly normal behavior for them. If your betta is a new tank.Then he might have been hiding all day until he felt safe. This is a common sign in new bettas, and it doesn’t mean anything to worry about.

What are the reasons a betta fish might choose to hide?

There are several reasons for a betta to hide, most of which are usually minor issues that can be easily resolved by eliminating the stressor.

  • Poor water quality in bettas tank.
  • Loud noises near bettas tank.
  • Aggressive bettas tank companions.
  • If bettas are unwell they tend to hide.
  • If the lights are too bright in bettas tank.

We will discuss the above mentioned reasons in detail:

Poor water quality in bettas tank

The quality of water is usually the reason betta fish hide.Your fish may not be able to handle the changes in water quality quickly. Therefore, the quantity of ammonia, nitrate and nitrate in water must always be checked using water test kits.

If the water quality is poor, your betta fish may show signs of stress, such as changes in color or scales,as a result of exposure to ammonia or nitrate.

Loud noises near bettas tank

Loud noises and vibrations may scare your betta, causing them to hide away. If disturbances persist, they may become so nervous that they won’t leave their hiding place, even for food.

The vibrations in the water are a major source of stress for your betta and they have no way of blocking or avoiding them. This will make them try to hide from the noise and vibration.

Aggressive bettas tank companions

If their tank mate is aggressive, your betta may try to hide. This is a way to avoid getting into a fight or being chased by the other tank.

Betta may be exhausted and refuse to leave their hideout until the tank buddy moves to another part of the tank. 

Bettas cannot adjust with aggressive tank buddies. It is therefore very important to choose their tank buddies wisely or keep them in solitary tanks to avoid fights or clashes and bettas hiding behavior due to such tank buddies.

If bettas are not keeping well, they choose to hide

Sick bettas feel vulnerable when they are sick, they hide and show symptoms of exhaustion.

If you notice your betta fish exhibiting signs of illness due to various water borne diseases or injury due to fights with their tank mates or injury due to aquarium decorations, they will choose to stay hidden until the conditions become normal for them.

If the lights are too bright in bettas tank

Betta fish live in dark waters in their natural habitat and they definitely need both light and dark conditions in order to maintain their biological clock.

As any fish keeper knows, you must replicate the natural lighting conditions of the fish’s habitat in order to keep them healthy. If you are keeping your bettas in too much brightness, then they might get stressed due to such brightness and avoid coming out of their hideouts. Bettas are used to staying in low lights in their wild habitats and exposing them to too much brightness is not good for their well being.

What needs to be done, if your betta fish is hiding?

Bettas have a hard time adjusting to their new home, but if your betta has been in the house for a few weeks, months, or years and they suddenly start hiding, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

You can resolve this by:

  • Add live or fake plants to the bettas tank for hiding.
  • Betta caves for hiding.
  • Bettas logs for hiding.
  • Specific betta leaves for hiding.
  • Floating plants for bettas to hide.
  • You can DIY hiding spots for your bettas.

Add live or fake plants to the bettas tank for hiding

Plants are the most common place where bettas hide in the wild, and they are also important protectors of the fish.

Betta fish come from regions with slow-moving water and an abundance of plant life, primarily stem plants. 

Adding plants to your tank can help make your betta feel secure and give him a place to hide.

Best live plants for hiding:

  • Anacharis
  • Banana plants
  • Amazon Swords
  • Java Fern
  • Anubias
  • Java moss
  • Flame moss
  • Christmas moss

Betta caves for hiding

Betta fish also enjoy spending time in caves, but plants are the perfect place to hide from predators. There are many fish caves available on the market, and you can use anything that is safe to eat, non-stick, and that betta cannot get stuck in.

Bettas logs for hiding

Betta logs are floating logs that are safe to keep in an aquarium. These logs help your fish stay afloat and have access to air while hiding.

Specific betta leaves for hiding

Betta leaves are similar to betta logs, but they don’t provide the same level of security. The leaf has a suction cup that attaches it to the side of the aquarium near the top so that the betta can rest comfortably.

If you place plants around the hammock where the betta’s leaves hang, they will be very happy.

Floating plants for bettas to hide

Betta fish like to live in an environment with plenty of floating plants. Bettas are most comfortable when their hiding place is high, as they live in the wild at the top of the water. Adding floating plants can provide security to them. 

Some of these plants, like red root floaters, Frogbit, duckweed, and dwarf water lettuce, are easy to care for and can survive in a variety of settings.

You can DIY hiding spots for your bettas

You can create a variety of hiding spots for your betta fish using DIY methods. Polymer clay is safe to use in an aquarium once it has been properly cured. This means you can make a cave-like opening in your aquarium for your betta, or maybe create a secret retreat for him.

Why are hiding spots important for bettas?

When setting up your tank for your betta fish, you will need to provide some decorations and hiding spots that your betta can hide behind and feel safe. Bare tanks are not good for bettas as they need some form of mental stimulation.

Betta fish need plenty of hiding places and surfaces to explore to feel safe and secure. If you do not provide these for them, they may become stressed and may not have a good time.

If they are not able to find safe hiding places, they will be constantly afraid. They are not picky about the safe areas; it could just be a fake plant here and there, or a cave, or almost any decoration.


  • Betta likes to hide.Plants are a good hiding place for bettas since that’s what they would encounter in the wild.
  • The bettes prefer to swim alone, and they also need a place to hide. If you want your betta to feel safe, try placing them in areas with lots of plants or caves.
  • It is not unusual for new fish to hide while they are adjusting to their new environment. It’s more concerning if your betta fish is exhibiting unusual behavior that is not typical for them. 
  • Remove the source of stress your betta is experiencing.

Frequently asked questions

Where do bettas like to hide in the aquarium?

Your betta fish may hide under live or fake plants, behind the filter, or even in small crevices in the tank.

Why do bettas hide in community tanks?

Bullying can be a reason why bettas may choose to hide in a community tank. Always make sure each fish is compatible with one another and that they do not bother the betta fish.

Do all bettas like to hide?

When you first get a new betta fish, it can take some time to get used to their new surroundings. Each betta fish has its own personality, but most will respond in a similar way to certain stimuli.