shy pleco in natural fish cave

How to Help for Shy Aquarium Fish?

For many aquarium hobbyists, it is not a surprise that certain fish species tend to be more anxious and stressed in the fish tank comparing to other species that feel pretty great even in empty fish tanks. In certain situations, only one individual fish from the fish tank shows its anxiety and stressful body language. Also, it is important to mention that certain species just can not get along together, especially if the aquarium has a lot of empty spaces, and fishes just can’t hide from more aggressive species.

Aggressive species

Certain species, such as Betta Fish are quite dominant to each other. For example, two Betta fish males can’t live together, because they tend to fight until death. Also, a new Betta male added to the fish tank where females lives, can experience a lot of stress because old females can fight male Betta too. 

Adding equipment

To avoid these types of situations, that was mention above, we highly recommend not to leave your fish tank empty, even if you try to make it minimalistic. Various hiding places such as high or thick plants, rocks, and others can make the life of your aquarium fish a lot easier. Fish species that are not predators naturally like and seeks for hiding spaces to breed, eat, or just swim around. Even though fishes are most of the time a center of attention in a fish tank, they need to have their safe spaces in order to live a happy and healthy life.

fish home cave

Plastic hiding places

There is a lot of option for making a hiding space in your fish tank. If the fish tank that you own is a kids aquarium that is playful and small, we recommend you to search for some caves in local pet stores. A pirate ship, a cave, or a barrel might be a perfectly funny and playful solution for your kids’ aquarium! Make sure, that you buy it from pet stores, if not, check if the hiding place is made of animal-friendly and non-toxic plastic.

Rock cave

If you own an aquascape or a bigger aquarium and you want your aquarium to become the main decoration of your room, we recommend you to make a fish hiding space from rocks. Basically, any aquarium rocks that are suitable for freshwater or saltwater aquarium will be a good material. By doing this, you will reach the most natural and outstanding aquascape look. Also, it will be a unique decoration that only your aquarium has. A couple of high plants or aquarium grass will add more colors and safeness for your fishes.

Ancistrus in wooden fish cave


If you are looking for a more natural look, especially if you own a freshwater aquarium another option for your fish tank cave would be a natural wood that contains various gaps and spaces that can be a great place for your fish to hide. Also, it is a great aquarium decoration that makes it look natural and beautiful. It is important to mention, that not every wood is suitable for aquariums, make sure that you buy it from pets stores and if you want to use something that you find yourself, make sure to check if that wood can be used in an aquarium.

We hope that you find useful information in our article!