Tropical fishkeeping is an exciting hobby but it comes with its own challenges and confusions. Being a beginner fish keeper, if you are wondering why your Platies are always hiding in the fish tank then we’ve got you covered
Why are my platies hiding? Sudden changes in the surrounding environment such as water quality, its pH level or oxygen level can cause stress to the fish and they can show abnormal behavior. It can also happen in the case that you introduce a new fish in the tank. This skittish behavior of platies usually goes away as soon as they get used to the new environment.
In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, there can be a lot of other factors that can cause your Platies to hide in the fish tank. Let us have a look at some of these factors and how you can avoid this situation.
Reasons why platies hide in the tank
Most of the times, it is normal that your Platies hide behind the rocks, plants or any other place in the aquarium. Like most of the living things, tropical fish also need places where they can feel safe and secure. In fact, if you want to see your Platies more often, you have to give them more places to hide.
Hiding spots work as a safe haven for the tropical fish. Whenever something bothers them or they get scared, they will immediately move towards the hiding spot to make sure nothing harms them. These hiding spots can help them when they are stressed or nervous.
But there are some instances where the Platies continuously show hiding behavior and don’t come out even for eating. Especially for the beginners, this situation can be a little concerning. If your Platies are always hiding behind the rocks, plants etc. and are not eating at all then you should know that there is obviously something which is bothering them.
There are a lot of reasons that can lead to this skittish behavior of your Platies. These reasons are often related to their health, surrounding environment, and bullying nature of other fish.
Why Fish Hide and What To Do About It (Video)
The following list will help you figure out the real reason behind this hiding behavior of your Platies.
Platies may show hiding behavior due to;
- Sudden changes in their surrounding environment
- Ammonia poisoning
- Aggressive tank mates
- Less hiding spots in the tank
- Alpha male attitude of other male Platies
Sudden changes in the environment
Most of the beginner hobbyists don’t really have enough knowledge on how to keep their fish calm and comfortable. So, they may not take into account that sudden changes in the surrounding environment can cause stress among them.
If you change the aquarium water all of a sudden, it means that all the water parameters are going to change suddenly. Abrupt changes in water temperature, pH levels, oxygen levels etc. will lead to stress in the fish.
When the surrounding environment changes, your fish may experience stress and feel unsafe. This stress can cause your fish to hide in the fish tank. In the worst case scenario, the sudden changes may also cause your fish to die as these delicate creatures can go into shock.
Most of the times, the hiding behavior goes away as soon as your fish get used to their surroundings. But to avoid stress among your fish, you should take steps to acclimate them before you introduce your fish to a new environment.
Sickness is another factor that may cause your fish to hide in the aquarium. Whenever your fish get sick, they will not show regular behavior. Platies may show increased signs of stress when they are sick and therefore can show abnormal hiding patterns.
If your Platies show this behavior along with lack of appetite, sores on their fins or neck then you should know thta they are not feeling well. Also, if they seem to be gasping for breath, then it may indicate their sickness or bad water condition. You should take necessary steps to help them in time, otherwise they may die.
Hiding while pregnant is a natural instinct in Platies. Females usually start to hide as soon as they conceive. This behavior is because they want to drop their fry in an isolated place.
So, if your female Platies show hiding behavior with some changes in their eating patterns, then it means that they are most probably pregnant. You should have enough hiding spots in your aquarium to make them feel safe and comfortable throughout this time.
Another stress-leading factor in aquariums is the bad quality of water. If you don’t have a proper filtration system in place or your tank is overly populated, then the chances of ammonia poisoning in your aquarium are really high. Ammonia is the most harmful poison for the fish and can lead to death if not treated in time.
As soon as the water starts going bad, you will notice abnormal behavior of your fish. If only one or two fish show abnormal behavior then it is possible that there is something wrong with them. But if all of your fish appear to be skittish then you must get your water tested and changed.
Less hiding spots in the tank
If you have little or no hiding spots in your aquarium, then there are chances that your fish may show increased signs of stress. This is because they don’t have any place in the tank where they can go whenever they need isolation. In this case, you may see your fish staying at the bottom of the tank.
Hidings spots are one of the most important things that you should keep in mind before you begin fishkeeping. These spots help in keeping your fish calm and comfortable and will reduce the stress in them. As ironic as it may sound, if you give more hiding spots to your fish, you will see less hiding behavior in them.
Aggressive tank mates
Although tropical fish are not usually aggressive, in some situations some fish can show aggression towards other fish. If there is an evil fish in the tank that bullies other fish, it may cause other fish to hide to keep themselves safe.
If there are too many fish in the tank or improper male to female ratio, chances are that some fish may show aggression towards other fish. They may chase them or harm them. So, to protect themselves from the bullies, your other fish may show hiding behavior.
To avoid this situation, you can either take the bully fish out of the tank or take measures to reduce aggression in the bullies. In case of improper male to female ratio, you can introduce two females for every single male. This will lead to less aggression in the tank and will ultimately help with the hiding behavior.
Alpha male attitude of other male platies
Alpha male attitude is a very common attribute shown by many creatures. In this case, the dominant male starts bullying other males.
Other male Platies may show hiding behavior due to this bullying attitude of dominant male platies. You can avoid this situation by introducing more females in the tank. You can also separate the dominant bullying Platy from others so that they can move around freely.
Are platies aggressive? Normally, Platies along with other tropical freshwater fish are considered to be peaceful and non-violent. It is usually when they are stressed that they may show aggression towards other fish. Also, if you have an overly-populated tank or improper male to female ratio, the aggression in the tank may elevate.
Do platies need hiding spots? Platies do need hiding spots in the aquarium where they can feel safe and secure. These spots work as a home for them and can reduce stress among them whenever they feel threatened from other fish.
How to tell if your fish are uncomfortable? The behavior of fish changes along with their mood. If your fish are happy, they will be active, eat normally and will be playful. On the other hand, if your fish appears restless, less active, or shows lack of appetite then it means they are sad or uncomfortable from their surroundings.
What should you feed Platies? For all tropical freshwater fish, the ideal diet should comprise a healthy mixture of veggies and proteins. Flakes and ready-made fish food is also good for them as long as it contains high protein content. If you want to feed live food to the Platies, you can use bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae or fruit flies etc.