Do Parrotfish Dig Holes? 2 Reasons Why They Do

Do Parrotfish dig holes? 2 reasons why they do

Parrotfish are colorful and beautiful fish to keep in a home aquarium and ponds, but they sometimes exhibit some behaviors which might get you perplexed, and you might start wondering if they are okay. If you are not very familiar with this type of fish and you suddenly see yours digging holes in the aquarium or pond, you might be wondering what is happening and why it is doing it. In this article, you will learn the 2 reasons why they dig.

Do Parrotfish dig holes? Parrotfish dig holes in the sand when they are about to lay eggs.

There are about 95 species of Parrotfish, they all reproduce by laying eggs which will hatch and produce baby Parrotfish ( fry ) so, they are not livebearing fish.

Although some lab-made Parrots like the Parrot Cichlids don’t normally reproduce, but all the same, they could make holes too.

Now, if you are wondering why yours is digging holes on substrates, sands, and toying about with stones and gravels, here are the 2 reasons.

Why Do Parrotfish Dig Holes?

1. They dig holes in order to lay eggs: As I explained above, this type of fish, no matter the specie is very fond of making holes all over the tank, and they do this too in the wild when they are ready to drop their eggs.

They are not livebearing fish, and so they lay their eggs in the sand and protect them till they hatch.

When you see them making holes, you will also notice that they will become very aggressive and overprotective of their holes which are their eggs, and will even try to bite you if you put your hands in their tanks.

So, if you happen to see them making holes, moving stones, or getting aggressive, including the sterile type ( Parrot Cichlids), just leave them, because they want to spawn.

If there are other aggressive fish in the tank that might eat their eggs or fry, then you must transfer those fish to other tanks or relocate the Parrots and their eggs.

2. They might be searching for foods on the sand and substrates: The second reason you might see them toying with sand and substrates is because they have noticed some foods in them and they want to get them.

We all know that they are great algae eaters and could take on corals too. So, there is every chance that it has found food in the sand or stones, etc, that’s why it is digging holes to find it or that’s why it may be toying with stones, etc.

The only way to find out if they are making holes in order to spawn, or if they are looking for food is to check those holes and see if there are some eggs in them.


Why Are My Parrot Fish Rubbing On Things?

Sometimes you might find your Parrot Fish Rubbing its body on things such as the tank walls, substrates, cave, etc, and you might be wondering why.

Parrotfish and other fish will rub themselves on things when they have parasites such as Ich.

They do this to scratch their body and to relieve themselves off ich that is disturbing them.

Although some of these parasites could be fatal, so once you start behaving in such a manner, you need to get a Vet.

Do Parrotfish Need Hiding Spots?

Parrotfish need some hiding places such as caves, pipes, substrates, etc, where they will retreat when they feel like it.

Some hiding places are important for them, but it’s not as if anything will happen to them when there are no hiding places in their tank, so it’s necessary but not compulsory.

Is Parrotfish A Bottom Feeder?

Parrotfish are not bottom feeders, they dwell in every part of the tank, be It at the top, middle, or even at the bottom.

They are very active fish, and couldn’t be classified as bottom or middle dwellers because they swim all over the tank, including the bottom where they lay their eggs and sometimes eat too.

So, they could be classified as both bottom and top feeders.


These are the reasons why they dig holes, and you have nothing to worry about when yours does the same.