Hiding Places For Your Aquarium Fish

There are several reasons for why you should provide hiding places for your fish. Many aquarium fish do not feel secure unless they have a place where they can hide when they feel threatened.

Having a lack of hiding spaces within your fish tank can often lead to your fish becoming stressed, which is definitely not what you want.

Giving your fish appropriate hideaways is a win-win situation. Your fish feel more comfortable and you are therefore rewarded with aquarium fish that exhibit a more natural range of behaviors, which will provide you with a more captivating fish tank. Also fish genuinely seem to enjoy swimming through objects in tanks!

Aquarium Plants

Adding hardy, fine-leaved plants to your aquarium can provide a great refuge for many fish as well as being visually appealing. Our go to aquarium plants include Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri), Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) and oriental waterfern (Ceratopteris thalictroides). Their dense growth provides plenty of hiding places for just about any fish, plus they’re great plants for beginners! If real plants aren’t your thing or won’t suit your tank environment, you could consider using plastic plants instead.
Just remember that if you do start to include live plants, you will need sufficient light in your aquarium. See lights such as Zetlight Lancia2 ZP4000 LED Freshwater Lighting System with Built In WIFI.

Aquarium Rocks

For those who like a more natural feel to their aquarium, adding rocks as a way of providing hiding spaces for your fish is a great idea. When properly secured in place rocks can create natural cave like structures which provide plenty of fissures for your tank mates.
But remember when setting up to plan your structure beforehand and make sure it is completely secure to avoid any unfortunate accidents within your fish tank.

Aquarium Ornaments

Aquarium ornaments are a great addition to your fish tank when thinking about hiding places as many provide crevices for your fish to take refuge. Pipe ornaments in particular will not only add an element of fun, but it will help your fish by providing them shelter so that they will not become stressed. The hollow design of a pipe aquarium ornament can also be an ideal breeding niche for some species of tropical fish.

When thinking about placing aquarium ornaments within your fish tank, be conscious of any sharp corners or edges so as not to harm your fish. This is a particular concern for goldfish tanks. Lastly, make sure that the aquarium ornaments you place in your fish tanks are made specifically for aquarium use.


Driftwood not only looks great in an aquarium as part of a natural aquascape, it also provides shelter within its crevices and caves for a variety of fish. Driftwood can be found in almost every river and lake meaning your fish will be attracted to it and start to exhibit natural behavior.

Terra Cotta Pots & PVC Piping

Small terra cotta flowerpots and PVC piping can make a great and sometimes cheaper alternative to aquarium ornaments. As well as a place for fish to hide when feeling threatened, they also provide a space for some fish species to spawn. You can get creative with the appearance of your pipes and pots by decorating them to look more natural. Using an aquarium silicone sealant you can attach aquarium rocks and gravel to give the appearance of a cave.

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For more helpful information see our other help articles on our Fish Keeping Advice page.