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Why Is My Oscar Fish Hiding? (5 Common Reasons)

Why Is My Oscar Fish Hiding? (5 Common Reasons)

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

So many people enjoy caring for Oscar fish in their home aquariums. They’re rather big fish, but they can be great pets overall.

If you have enough room for these large cichlids, it’s going to be satisfying to care for them. They’re hardy and they have amazing personalities that will make them fun to observe.

Normally, Oscars are fairly active fish, but what does it mean when you see that they’re hiding? Does this mean that something is wrong in the fish tank?

Read on to learn about reasons why Oscars will hide in an aquarium. This should give you a better idea of what’s going on.

1 – Water Quality Issues

Water quality issues can certainly cause Oscar fish to start hiding. When the water parameters aren’t appropriate for Oscars, it’s going to make them experience stress.

Stressed fish are known to hide and act strangely. You might see the fish hiding more often if the water is too cold or if the pH balance isn’t where it needs to be.

You need to do a good job of monitoring the water parameters. Check the water parameters weekly to ensure that things are going fine.

If the water parameters are off, you can adjust things using chemicals. You have to be proactive as a fish owner or many things will go wrong.

It’s also important to keep the fish tank clean. The water will get dirty if you don’t take the time to clean the tank.

Another part of the process involves doing regular water changes. If you aren’t doing weekly water changes of at least 15%, it’s likely that the tank is getting dirty.

You might need to start doing more frequent water changes. This could help the Oscar fish to act normally again.

2 – Sickness

Could it be that the Oscar fish is sick? When Oscars get sick they will start acting lethargic.

It’s normal for sick Oscars to stop swimming around in the middle of the tank as they normally do. They might start hiding and they’ll hang out at the bottom of the tank more often.

There are many types of diseases and infections that can bother Oscar fish. It could be something simple or it might be a very problematic illness.

You should pay attention to the fish to try to determine what is wrong. Note any symptoms that the fish is experiencing so you can diagnose the issue.

If you’re having a tough time, you can consult with an exotic veterinarian to get assistance. This should make it easier to diagnose the problem.

Get the fish better by treating it with appropriate medication. It’s also likely that paying close attention to water parameters and feeding the fish well will make a difference.

3 – Bullying

Bullying can make fish hide in the fish tank. Oscars are big fish, but they can still be bullied if you put them in a tank with aggressive fish.

Sometimes people make the mistake of putting Oscar fish in community fish tanks with aggressive fish that they aren’t compatible with. These fish might nip at their fins or otherwise attack them.

When this occurs, the Oscars might start trying to hide in the tank to get away from the bully fish. This is an unfortunate situation, and it’s something that you want to address right away.

Bullying is something that can lead to the Oscars dying. You don’t want your fish to die, and that’s why it’s imperative to research compatible tank mates.

Oscars aren’t the best community tank fish, but they do get along with many types of catfish. Silver dollar fish can also work out as tank mates for Oscars.

4 – Stress Due to Loud Noises

Where is your fish tank located in your home? Is it close to a stereo system or a television?

Many don’t realize this, but Oscars become rather stressed when they have to deal with loud noises. You might have your stereo system turned up too loud and it’ll bother the fish.

This might cause them to hide due to the force of the sound that’s coming from the speakers. Thus, you need to put the fish tank in a better spot where the Oscar fish won’t be bothered.

It’s best to put these fish in a room that is relatively quiet. You should find a location for the aquarium that will let the fish enjoy some peace and quiet.

If the fish are often hiding, it could simply be due to noise-related stress. This is a situation that you’ll want to take care of since stressed fish are more likely to get sick.

5 – Problems with Feeding

Have you been feeding the Oscars appropriately? Adult Oscars generally need to be fed twice per day while juveniles should be fed three times per day.

Sometimes mistakes with feeding the fish will make them act strangely. You might not be feeding the fish often enough or you could be feeding them the wrong types of food.

Consider adjusting the way that you’re feeding the fish. Oscars are omnivores that will thrive when eating many things, but you do need to vary the diet of these fish to keep them healthy.

You can regularly feed them tropical flakes or cichlid flakes. Nutritional pellets are also a staple of the Oscar’s diet.

Sometimes you should give Oscars meaty treats such as freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms. Adjusting what you’re feeding the fish and ensuring that you’re feeding them often enough might help.

Final Thoughts

There are so many things that can cause Oscars to start hiding. You want to try to figure out what’s wrong so that you can make necessary adjustments.

If the Oscar fish is sick, you’ll need to treat it and help it to feel better. You might have to pay attention to its symptoms to get to the bottom of what’s wrong.

It could be as simple as the fish being stressed due to water parameter issues. You might need to adjust the water parameters or you might have to do a better job of keeping the fish tank clean.

Fish might hide due to being bullied by other fish as well. Ensure that your Oscar fish aren’t kept in an aquarium with incompatible tank mates.

So long as you heed the advice above, you should be able to turn things around. Do your best to care for your Oscar fish and it should come out of hiding soon enough.