Do Zebra Loaches Hide? Yup, Here Is How to Help

Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by cmoarz

Notice your zebra loach tends to shy away or outright hide most of the time? That’s pretty normal behavior actually, and in most cases, it’s perfectly fine. Here’s what you can do to help them feel more comfortable and when you should start to worry.

Why do zebra loaches hide?

It’s not just zebra loaches that tend to hide away, most loaches do to one degree or another. It’s just their nature.

In the wild, loaches tend to live in fast-moving streams and rivers where they spend a good deal of their time hiding amongst the rocks and debris looking for food.

Although, in the case of the zebra loach, it actually tends to be more active and outgoing than most other loaches.

So, if your zebra loach is hiding all the time, it’s not completely out of the norm, but there are some things you should worry about if you notice this behavior.

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When should you start to worry there is a problem?

One of the biggest reasons zebra loaches hide is because they are stressed out. This can be caused by a number of things such as poor water quality, not enough hiding spots, too much light, or even bullying from other fish.

If you notice your zebra loach hiding more than usual it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the tank and see if there is anything that might be causing him stress.

Otherwise, There isn’t much to worry about if your zebra loach is hiding. As long as he is eating and acting normal otherwise, he is probably just fine.

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What you can do to help them feel better and make them more comfortable

We humans only want the best for our fish, so of course, we want to help them feel as comfortable as possible.

As I mentioned before, one of the biggest reasons zebra loaches hide is because it’s a natural instinct to do so. So, the best thing you can do is provide them with plenty of hiding spots.

This can be in the form of plants, caves, or anything else that will give them a place to feel safe and secure.

In addition, it’s important to maintain good water quality and make sure the tank is not too bright. These are both big stressors for fish and can cause them to hide more than usual.

Finally, try to avoid keeping zebra loaches with fish that are known to be bullies. Although they are generally peaceful fish, they can be picked on by larger or more aggressive tank mates.

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Tank size and decor for a zebra loach aquarium

The best way to keep your loach happy, whether he’s hiding away or not, is to have plenty of decorations and plants as well as a large tank.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 10 gallons for each loach (plus 20 gallons for the initial tank size). So, if you have a school of six loaches, you should have a 60-gallon to 80-gallon tank.

As for decorations, try to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. This means a lot of plants and hiding spots as well as some driftwood or rocks.

A well-decorated and planted tank will not only make your zebra loaches feel more at home, but it will also be more aesthetically pleasing for you to look at.

Check out some of these recommendations we have specifically for loaches that provide plenty of aesthetically please hiding places:

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Image attribution: “Day 286/365” by Leigh Harries is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!