Is It Normal For Angelfish To Hide?

It is in an angelfish’s instincts to hide. However, sometimes there could be underlying issues causing them angelfish hide, such as when the water is too hard, parameter issues, or if there are high levels of nitrate in their tank water. Other issues could be stress related or due to overcrowding.

It’s normal only to want the best for your aquarium and its fish. Are you worried about your angelfish constantly hiding? It is crucial to know what to look for so you can take immediate action. Let’s go through all the reasons why angelfish would resort to hiding.

Why Do Angelfish Hide?

Before stressing too much about your angelfish’s health and well-being, you may want to note it is entirely normal for angelfish to hide, and they may choose to hide for several reasons, and not all of these reasons mean that something is wrong or their life is at risk.

For instance, in an angelfish’s natural habitat, they like to hide in the small spaces of coral reefs. Sometimes will also hide to get away from other fish that may be using aquatic plants.

You most likely have aquatic plants in your aquarium; if you do not, it may be a good idea to get some. Angelfish will feel more natural and safe if they have the option to hide, and they will use these live plants for several other things as well.

The presence of these plants may help your angelfish to hide from other fish in their tank to get a break. This would become especially helpful for angelfish to have some hiding options if you want to prevent any aggression issues between them and other fish.

For instance, two male angelfish living in the same tank will fight a lot, so it is encouraged not to get two males in the same aquarium.

Additionally, it would be best if you also kept in mind that each angelfish will have their own personality, which means some of them will be more outgoing and confident, whereas others may be more shy and prone to hiding in the tank.

As you can see, it is normal for angelfish to hide in some situations. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s always normal for them to hide, and you don’t have anything to be concerned about.

Let’s read about some of the more troubling issues why an angelfish will choose to hide.

Striped Angelfish in Planted Tank

Angelfish Will Hide Due To Hard Water

Hard water may be the culprit when your angelfish consistently chooses to hide. You may already be suspecting this, but no fish will do well if they are forced to live in an aquarium with hard water.

Hard water refers to water with too high levels of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. The water may also have dangerously high levels of carbonates and sulfates.

Angelfish will generally prefer soft water, and if the water is too hard, they may die. It then becomes crucial to treat your aquarium water before placing your angelfish inside.

Angelfish Will Hide Due To Water Parameter Issues

Water parameter issues can cause any fish to hide, especially when it comes to angelfish. You need to keep angelfish in tank water with the ideal pH balance so they can thrive and live a long and comfortable life.

It would be best to constantly check the pH water of your aquarium to ensure everything is in the suitable range.

The pH may have been acceptable for one week, but it can change the following week. You can test the pH balance in your tank by using a pH testing kit, and it won’t take long to acquire all the information you need.

High Levels Of Nitrite Can Cause Angelfish To Hide

High levels of nitrite in an aquarium can be harmful to angelfish. The water will never be in good condition if the nitrite levels are too high, and preferably, you would want the nitrite levels to stay between 5 and 10 ppm.

You can make use of a reverse osmosis filter to solve a problem with too high nitrite levels, but you may need to purchase one.

Stress Could Cause Angelfish To Hide

Unfortunately, there is a possibility that your angelfish may be experiencing severe stress, especially if they have not been in their new tank for long. However, some angelfish may remain shy for a week after becoming more confident, exploring, and getting used to their new surroundings.

Sometimes, angelfish will constantly try to hide wherever they can, and they will behave much differently when they are under stress. If you have had your angelfish for a while and it seems like they are constantly hiding, you may want to explore some other reasons.

An Overcrowded Aquarium May Cause Angelfish To Hide

When a fish tank becomes too overcrowded, angelfish may resort to hiding. Even though fish are social creatures, it would never be a good idea to try and put lots of fish in a tank at once. Many beginner fish tank owners may go overboard with how many fish they buy for their first tank.

While this feeling is understandable and relatable, an overcrowded aquarium is not practical, and it will only make the fish’s living conditions in the tank unbearable, especially angelfish.

Fish need a large enough space to do what they need to. If you place too many fish in one tank, it could also cause them to go into a state of stress.

This is true for many kinds of fish, especially angelfish, as they do not like swimming in overcrowded tanks.

When an angelfish is forced to live in an overcrowded tank, you may also notice them nipping at other fish, picking fights, and becoming more aggressive, especially during feeding times.


Remember that some angelfish may hide under normal circumstances, but when hiding becomes an excessive and repeated behavior, it may be time to worry and inspect the situation.

When you notice your angelfish is constantly hiding, you can use some of the tips above to get to the bottom of things.