Do Tiger Barbs Hide? Why Is My Tiger Barb Hiding? (5 Reasons Explained)

Why do Tiger Barbs hide?

Tiger Barbs are small schooling tropical fish that could barely grow up to 3 inches in size. They are colorful and active fish, that’s one of the reasons many hobbyists like them. They sometimes exhibit some behaviors, that might get you worried and you might begin to think if something is wrong with them. One of the behaviors is hiding and becoming less active. If you are reading this article, it means you want to find out why your Tiger Barbs are hiding, then I suggest you read this article to the end.

Do Tiger Barbs hide? Tiger Barbs are schooling and active fish too, they don’t normally hide, unless they are about to sleep or something is wrong with them.

Being very active fish, they don’t normally hide in the daytime, unless when they are about to sleep, that is when they will need hiding places to stay and sleep.

If they don’t normally hide, then why are they doing it? there are many reasons why they may hide, we will explain all of them in a short while.

Although there are many aquarium fish that loves to hide, but Tiger Barbs are not one of them, although they need their tanks to have some hiding places such as caves, plants, etc because they do need to stay away at night which is not when they are supposed to be entertaining by being lively and active.

Let’s look at some of the common reasons why they may be hiding and how to correct them and stop them from hiding.

Why Do My Tiger Fish Hide?

If your Tiger Barbs are hiding, here are the common reasons they are doing it:

1. Uncycled Tank: One of the reasons why your Tigerfish could be hiding is because the tank was not fully cycled, and it is breading toxins that are disturbing the fish.

Uncycled tanks are very dangerous for any living thing in them, including fish. Although Tiger Barbs are classified as hardy fish, but it doesn’t matter because the kind of toxins that could come out from uncycled tanks are very dangerous to any animal, such toxins include Ammonia, Nitrite, etc.

When expose to all these toxins or some of them, the fish will become sick and their activities will dwindle drastically and they will go into hiding.

This is why it is recommended to leave your tank to fully cycle, which will take from 4-6 weeks before it is ready.

Get water testing kits and check if all the toxins are 0% then it is safe to stock your fish or any animal you want to keep.

If you don’t mind, Bio-Spira could help to eliminate all the toxins in your tank very fast, whether there are animals already in the tanks or not.

2. Wrong Water Parameters: Wrong water parameters are another thing that could make them hide and become less active than they used to be.

Wrong water parameters include wrong temperature, pH level water hardness, and dirty water.

Tiger Barb’s ideal water temperature is 68-80°F. They don’t like fluctuating temperatures, so get them a heater and maintain a steady temperature.

Although they could easily adapt to any pH level, make sure it doesn’t fluctuate and maintain a pH level of 5-9.

They could tolerate much water hardness, so this is not a big issue.

They also need a planted tank and a filter to help clean up their water which will in return help to keep the toxins low.

So, do at least 20-50% water change every week to maintain the tank.

3. Aggression: Aggression is one of the reasons why your Tiger Barbs may go into hiding and will only come out once in a while, maybe to eat, and still go back into hiding again.

We all know that they are schooling fish, despite that, they also could become aggressive sometimes and begin to show dominance and aggressiveness to establish a hierarchy and it is why you might see them chase each other sometimes.

The truth is, the males are aggressive and the females are less aggressive.

The males will establish a hierarchy with one male emerging victorious which is known as the alpha male.

This alpha male is normally in charge of the tank, it chases and bullies others and if it is very aggressive, others will become afraid of him and will normally go into hiding.

So, if they are hiding, you might have to check if there is aggression going on in the tank, and maybe try relocating the alpha male so that others will have peace and reintroduce him after some days.

Again other tank mates could be the reason why your Tiger Barbs are hiding.

There are many unsuitable tank mates, especially fish that could harm or even kill and eat them, so check your tank and find out if there is any animal that is disturbing them in there and relocate it.

4. They are new to the Tank: Although Tiger Barbs are not shy fish, but it is very obvious that once they are introduced into a new environment, they will first of all act shy, then boom! they will become mad with activities and explorations.

This is natural and you have nothing to contribute as they will become very active and full of activities in a short while, maybe a few hours or a day, depending on their number.

From my experience, they tend to become active again faster when they are in groups than when they are very few or just one Tiger Barb in the tank.

If your fish are new to the environment and are hiding, just let them be because it is very natural and almost all fish does this, so you have nothing to worry about.

5. Location of the Fishtank: The location of the fish tank matters a lot.

Although Tiger Barbs are tropical fish, but it doesn’t mean they should be exposed to sunlight, instead get them a suitable aquarium light.

Having sunlight shine in their tanks might be the reason why they are refusing to come out.

Again the kind of traffic in such a location has a lot to do with them hiding.

If their tanks are kept at a location where there is much traffic, or where dogs and cats do navigate, it will startle them and they will have to go into hiding and can only come out when the coast is clear.

These are the common reasons why your Tigerfish may be acting in such a manner, so follow them up according to their problems and tackle them accordingly as we suggest above.

Why Are My Tiger Barbs Staying In A Corner?

Tiger Barbs stay in a corner when they are new to a tank when they are still small, and also to hide from other fish.

Tiger Barbs are active fish and don’t like hiding unless something is wrong with them, so if yours is staying in a corner, then find out why and deal with the problem accordingly.


These are the reasons why Tiger Barbs could be hiding, follow my guild and your fish will be alright in a short while.

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