Fish often need to hide when they feel threatened, and providing them with a variety of hiding spaces within your aquarium will ensure that they are well protected and can maintain their health. Hiding places can also be a great addition to the design of your tank and add to its aesthetic appeal.
Angelfish and Cichlids Need Hideaway Places
For many types of cichlids, hiding is a natural part of their daily life, and they need to be able to retreat to these hiding spots when needed. They may hide when they’re threatened by other species, or if their environment changes drastically, or when there’s a change in water quality, such as the addition of new chemicals.
These hiding places need to be safe, and can’t contain any paints or chemicals that could leach into the water. They also need to be sturdily built and have no sharp edges that can injure fish.
Shrimp Need Hideaway Places
Most shrimp like to hide during the day, so they need to be able to find a place that’s dark and quiet to do this. Dishware and plant pots are easy to make into a hideaway, but you’ll want to be sure that the items you use are non-glazed so they won’t leak any chemicals into the water.
Coconut Shell Caves
Hollowed-out coconut shells are a great alternative to rocks, and they can be placed in your aquarium to create a hideaway for your fish. They’re cheap and easy to make, and they provide a lot of hiding space for your fish.
Ceramic Flower Pots
If you’re a crafty person and enjoy creating things, try making your own aquarium decor using clay and ceramic flower pots. These are easy to make, and the plants you grow on top of them help promote water circulation as well as fight off algae.
Sunken Ships, Roman Columns and Fake Plants
The addition of fake plants to your aquarium can add a sense of realism to your setup. You can pick up these at any craft store, but be sure they’re sold specifically for aquarium use and that they don’t contain any harmful chemicals or sharp edges that could injure your fish.
Sands Are Good for African Cichlids
The sandy areas of the African Great Lakes are ideal habitats for cichlids that need to dig for food, spawn and hide from predators. You can create a sandy area in your aquarium by adding plenty of sand to the bottom.
Rocks Are Good for Neon Tetras
If you have neon tetras, a rocky aquarium is a great way to mimic their natural habitat. When properly secured in place, a rock can act as a natural cave where your fish can retreat to for protection from other fish or predators.
You can build a rock cave yourself by gluing a few pieces of slate rocks together with silicone. It’s important to use a quality silicone that is specifically made for aquariums, so it will be strong enough to hold the weight of your fish and won’t break when they swim through it.