Why Is My Damsel Fish Hiding? 5 reasons explained

Fish are unpredictable creatures, sometimes they could behave very funny and sometimes their behaviors could be alarming to you. Every fish has its specific or unique behaviors and sometimes their behaviors could be similar. Have you seen your Damsel fish hide? If you have, you may be wondering why and also how to make them stop hiding, well this article is for you.

Why is my Damsel fish hiding? A Damselfish could be hiding because it is shy.

There are a few reasons why these fish could be hiding and we will discuss all of it in detail.

We all know that Damsels are very aggressive, territorial, and active fish that go about swimming all over the tank and claiming territories.

Because of their natural level of activeness, many people often become impatient and worried when they start shying away and hiding under rocks, gravels, plants, caves, etc.

I know it is not normal for such active fish to go into hiding, so there must be something wrong which we will explain in a minute.

Why Is My Damselfish Hiding?

If you find out that your Damsel is hiding, here are the possible reasons for that:

1. It is new to the environment: Before you complain that your fish is hiding, first of all, check if you just added it to the tank.

Apart from Damsels, all fish could do this when they are new in an environment, especially when they arrive from the shop to your tank.

Naturally, fish will first master the immediate environment it is newly introduced to before it could become active again.

Again they are usually tired and stressed while being transported from the fish shop to your house in a nylon bag and it will take some time for them to match with your tank water parameters and be relieved of the stress.

I always recommend Acclimation of aquatic animals before they are introduced in an aquarium once they are new to make them match with the new home very quickly and it could save you many problems.

Once a fish is shy just because it is new to the environment, if you acclimated it before putting it into the tank, then you have nothing to worry about as your fish will be out and active again once it is used to the new home.

So, your Damsel could be hiding just because you got it new and it is yet to be used to the new environment or tank and I assure you that you have nothing to worry about as this particular behavior of the fish could only last for a few hours or just a few days.

2. Shyness: Despite that, they are very active, aggressive, and territorial fish, they could sometimes become shy and go into hiding.

You might be surprised at this, but it is the fact!.

The only thing that could make them become shy and go into hiding is when they are new to the environment or when there is a lot of aggression going on in the tank.

Damsels are kind of lone fish, they neither tolerate their kind nor much other fish.

In fact, they love being alone and when they are together with their kind or other aggressive creatures, there will be a lot of fighting and stressful activities which could make them retreat into hiding.

Once they are more than 2, the most powerful will bully the others into hiding, so if your Damsel is hiding, then check the level of aggression going on in the tank and relocate some of them, especially the aggressors.

3. Sickness: If your once active Damsel is hiding, then it could be that it is sick.

There are many diseases that could infect any fish, be it freshwater fish or saltwater fish like Damselfish.

Once it goes into hiding or becomes very less active even when it comes out or swims frantically, then I think it is suffering from diseases or parasites and the best thing to do is to get in contact with a Veterinarian doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

4. There may be Toxins in the water: Despite that Damsels are Hardy, they are also prone to some harmful chemicals just like every other fish.

There are many harmful substances that could breed in the aquarium and hurt our animals, such substances include Ammonia, Nitrite, Chlorine, Copper, and many more.

Some of the causes of these toxins are as a result of dirt, water source, and things we apply at our homes near the aquarium such as perfumes, insecticides, and even some detergents we use at home.

Buy water testing kits and test the aquarium water at least once a week and also Buy a Filter to help with controlling the dirt in the tank.

5. Wrong Temperature: Damselfish are tropical fish that dwell in a temperature between 68 – 80°F.

So, Buy a heater and maintain their ideal temperature which will make them healthy and very active.

We all know that cold temperature could stress and even make tropical fish become sick, so lack of heater might be the reason why your Damsel is dull and goes into hiding because it is stressed and could become sick if nothing is done about the issue.

Why Are My Fish Hiding?

There are a few fish that loves to hide, but they are just a few, Majority of the fish don’t hide.

If your fish is hiding, it is either it is frightened, hiding from danger, staying away from aggression, the environment is not safe, it is sick, etc.

These are the reasons why your fish could be hiding, so find out the particular reason why yours is hiding and correct it.

Is It Normal For New Fish To Hide?

Many fish will naturally go into hiding when they are new in an environment and will become active and lively once they have mastered it or once they are used to the environment.

Many fish does this, including the aggressive types, etc.

So, it is normal for fish to be shy and hide when they are still new in a tank.


The above are the possible reasons why your Damsel is hiding, find out the particular reason for this behavior and tackle it accordingly as I explained above.