Why Do Swordtail Fish Hide?

Why Do Swordtail Fish Hide?

The swordtail fish isn’t bashful, but you may occasionally come across it hiding behind plants or other decorations. So, why do swordtail fish hide?

There might be a variety of causes for your swordtail fish to become hesitant in the aquarium. Some reasons are disease, illness, quarrelsome tankmates, tension, and other factors.

In this guide, we’ll look into common causes of why your swordtail fish is hiding and how you can deal with it.

Do Swordtail Fish Hide?

When a swordtail fish feels threatened, it typically hides. They frequently seek shelter when they are terrified or upset since they have a natural need for self-preservation.

This usually happens when they are first introduced to a new aquarium or when there is some sort of change in their environment. Once they acclimate and become more comfortable, they’ll start to come out more often.

10 Reasons Why Swordtail Fish Hide

There are various reasons why your swordtail fish might be hiding. Let’s see some of those reasons in detail below:

1. Disease or Parasites

One of the primary reasons for a fish to hide is due to an underlying health issue. If your fish is sick, it will look for a place to hide so that it can rest and recuperate.

There are a few signs that you can look out for to determine if your fish is sick. These include:

  • Clamped fins
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gasping for air
  • Flashing
  • Rubbing against objects
  • White spots on the body

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to take your fish to a vet for a check-up.

2. Unsuitable Tank Mates

Another possible reason why your swordtail fish is hiding is due to incompatible tank mates. If the fish feels threatened or harassed by its tank mates, it will look for a place to hide.

Incompatible tank mates will often chase, nip, or bully the swordtail fish. As a result, when these bullying fish are around, the swordtail fish will try to stay hidden.

3. Improper Male to Female Ratio

The ratio of male to female swordtail fish is an important factor that can affect the behavior of your fish. If there are too many males in the tank, the females will feel harassed. This happens because the males are constantly trying to courtship the females.

As a result, the females will often look for places to hide to escape the attention of the males.

4. Increase In Ammonia Levels

Ammonia is a poisonous gas that is produced when fish waste decomposes. If the levels of ammonia in the tank are too high, it can cause stress and illness in the fish.

As a result, the fish will look for places to hide in an attempt to escape the toxic conditions of the water.

5. Improper Temperature

The wrong water temperature can also make your fish hide. If the temperature in your aquarium is too high or too low, it will put stress on your fish, which can make them susceptible to disease and even death.

They’ll search the tank for an area where they can escape the chilly water and hide.

6. New Environment

When fish are first introduced to a new environment, they often hide. This is because they are not yet acclimated to their new surroundings and are still adjusting.

They’ll often hide until they feel more comfortable and are used to their new tank mates and environment.

7. Pregnancy

The hiding behavior is entirely normal during pregnancy, and you should not be concerned about losing the fish.

Pregnant swordtail fish often hide to protect their fry (baby fish). When the fry are born, they are very vulnerable and need to be hidden from predators.

The mother will often hide her fry in plants or other objects in the tank until they are big enough to fend for themselves.

8. The Fish is Sleeping

You must be aware that fish do sleep, even though it might not look like it. When your swordtail fish is hiding and not moving, it’s likely that it’s just taking a nap.

9. Your Tank is Overcrowded

Overcrowding can be another reason why your swordtail fish is hiding. If there are too many fish in the tank, it can be stressful for your fish.

This is because when there are too many fish in a small space, they produce more waste and ammonia. As a result, the water quality deteriorates, and this could make your fish ill.

10. Loud Noise

Loud noise can also be stressful for your fish and make them hide. Television, music, or even loud conversations can make your fish feel uncomfortable and look for a place to hide.

How To Prevent Swordtails From Hiding?

There are some situations where it is normal for your swordtail fish to hide. However, if your fish is hiding because of stress, there are some things you can do to prevent it.

1. Maintain the Water Quality

It is crucial to maintain high water quality in your aquarium. This will help keep your fish healthy and prevent them from getting sick.

You can do this by carrying out regular water changes and removing waste from the bottom of the tank on a regular basis.

You should also test the water quality regularly to ensure that it is within the normal range.

2. Avoid Overcrowding

It’s important to have the correct number of fish in your tank. You can do this by checking the size of your tank and calculating the number of fish that can be safely kept in it.

For a small group of fish, a 15-gallon tank is usually sufficient. However, if you have a large group of fish, you may need a larger tank.

3. Choose Proper Tank Mates

It’s essential to choose the right tank mates for your swordtail fish. This is because some fish can be aggressive and bully your swordtail fish.

Swordtails prefer to be in a group of their own kind. They can also be kept with other peaceful fish, such as Corydoras catfish, tetras, guppies, and mollies.

4. Maintain A Proper Male-To-Female Ratio

If you have a male and female swordtail fish, it’s important to maintain a proper ratio. This is because if there are too many males, they can become aggressive and fight with each other.

On the other hand, if there are too many females, they could lay their eggs all over the tank, and this could lead to overcrowding. So, it’s important to have two or three females for every male swordtail fish.

5. Provide a Proper Diet

Make sure your fish are getting the food they need to keep their immune systems functioning properly.

It’s critical to supply your fish with a nutritious diet that contains all the essential nutrients they need.

You can do this by feeding them a variety of foods, such as live food, pellets, flakes, and vegetables.

6. Treat Illnesses Promptly

If your fish are sick, it’s important to treat them promptly. This is because illnesses can make your fish stressed, and this could cause them to hide.

So, if you notice your fish acting strangely or notice any changes in their appearance, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up.


What Is the Best Plant for Swordtails to Hide in?

Swordtail fish use a variety of plants to hide from their predators. Amazon Sword and Melon Sword are the best plants for swordtails to hide because they appreciate the shade they provide. Java Fern, Anubias Nana, and Java Moss are also good options.

Last Words

If you want to prevent your swordtail fish from hiding, you should maintain high water quality, provide a proper diet, and choose the right tank mates. Moreover, you should also treat any illnesses as soon as possible.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

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