Did you recently buy a rainbow shark for your fish tank? These fish are great and they look amazing in aquariums.
They can be very satisfying fish to own, but they’re not the easiest fish to care for overall. Even so, you can have a good experience with them so long as you’re committed to meeting their care needs.
What if you’re worried about the fish, though? If the fish is hiding in the tank should you be concerned?
What does it mean when rainbow sharks hide in aquariums? Keep reading to get to the bottom of this situation.
Do Rainbow Sharks Hide a Lot?
It’s normal for these fish to hide often. They don’t usually hide all the time, though.
If the fish does nothing but hide, it could be a sign that something is amiss. Below, you’ll learn about some of the common reasons why these fish will start hiding in the tank.
Some of them will be normal while others will be problematic. It’s important to know about all of them no matter what so you can understand what’s going on.
Rainbow Sharks Are Territorial
One thing to keep in mind is that rainbow sharks are territorial. They like to hang out at the bottom of the fish tank and they’ll usually claim a specific area.
It’s common for people to put little caves and plants in aquariums. Rainbow sharks appreciate this and will claim a little cave or another similar spot.
The fish will then hide in that spot and defend it. When other fish try to get close to their territory they will chase them away.
Rainbow Sharks Hide When They’re New
It’s not uncommon for rainbow sharks to hide a lot when they’re new to a fish tank. New fish will be a little bit stressed and scared.
Understand that the process of being transferred to a new tank can be stressful for fish. The rainbow shark could be hiding due to being stressed.
It’ll get used to its new environment as time passes. Continue to care for the fish as normal and ensure that the water parameters are appropriate.
Could the Fish Be Sleeping?
Rainbow sharks are generally more active during the evening and night. It’s normal to see them sleeping during the day.
When these fish sleep they will utilize hiding spots. So your fish will likely sleep in a little cave or it’ll nap while hiding among aquatic plants.
If the fish is just sleeping, you don’t have anything to worry about. This is something normal that fish do when they need to rest and replenish their energy.
Problems With Water Quality
Issues with the water quality could cause the fish to become stressed. These fish are a bit sensitive to problems with water quality in the tank.
So if the tank isn’t in good shape it might make the fish choose to hide more often than normal. Check the pH balance of the water by using a testing strip.
Make sure that the pH balance of the water stays between 6.5 and 7.5 You also need the temperature to be between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is the Fish Sick?
If the fish is sick it could become sluggish. Sluggishness and a lack of appetite are symptoms of many common fish diseases.
When rainbow sharks become ill they might be far less active than usual. They’ll hide and you might notice other signs of sickness if you observe the fish carefully.
Do your best to monitor the situation and try to see if anything is wrong with the fish. Depending on what’s happening, you might need to treat the fish to help it get healthy again.
Do Rainbow Sharks Burrow?
No, rainbow sharks aren’t known to burrow. These fish do hang out at the bottom of the tank, but they’re not known to burrow.
So you shouldn’t expect the fish to burrow into the substrate. They might hang out near the substrate sometimes, but they won’t be seen digging and hiding in the sand.
If you can’t find your fish in the tank, there’s a good chance that the fish is just in a little cave somewhere. These fish love little caves and other alcoves where they can hide.
Give it a little bit of time and see if the fish presents itself. It might come out when it’s time to be fed.
You should feel better now that you know that hiding is typical behavior for these fish. Excessive hiding can be a bit of a concern, but you just need to make sure that the tank is in good shape.
Make sure that you test the water regularly to keep it clean. Do regular tank maintenance and water changes so that all will be well.
Caring for rainbow sharks should be a good experience. They can be a bit tough to take care of in some ways, but they’re rewarding fish to own.
Just make sure that your fish have enough room. These fish hate being crowded, and they need to have hiding spots to feel comfortable in the tank as well.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.