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6 Reasons Your Clown Loach Is Hiding And How To Fix Them!

More and more people in the fish keeping hobby have started to add clown loaches to their aquariums recently and this has resulted in a correlating spike in the number of people reaching out and asking various questions about keeping clown loaches in their tanks.

Many of these questions are based around the strange behaviors that clown loaches can display such as a clown loach playing dead.

More recently though, we have been seeing a number of more serious questions about caring for a clown loach and we have been doing our best to answer as many of them as possible.

We have already gone over treating clown loach ich quickly as well as the most common reasons a clown loach will be sick but for today’s article, we want to take a look at why your clown loach is hiding.

Over the last four to six weeks, there seems to have been an increase in the number of people reaching out with problems with their clown loach hiding in their tank and this may be due to some potentially serious issues.

The sooner you treat these problems causing your clown loach to hide the better so we hope that this article is able to help as many of our readers as possible.

Why Your Clown Loach Is Hiding!

Here is a quick list of the main things that can cause clown loach hiding but they will all be covered in more detail later in the article:-

  • Frightened.
  • Stressed.
  • Uncomfortable.
  • Change to Environment.
  • Aggression from Tank Mates.
  • Poor Water Parameters.

Depending on your aquarium setup, you may actually have two or more of these problems in your tank causing your clown loach to hide.


Clown loaches are a schooling fish and in the wild, they live in groups often that can end up being huge.

This natural social behavior has led to clown loaches being very sensitive to being alone so most people should be keeping three or more clown loaches in their aquarium.

The good news is that usually, if your clown loach is just hiding because it was scared due to being alone then it will come out on its own if you add more clown loaches to the tank.

The problem is that many people who add a single clown loach to their tank will only account for a single clown loach and adding more can quickly end up over stocking their tank.

Due to this, you may have to consider getting a larger tank to allow your clown loach to be happy in the tank.


Clown loaches can be surprisingly easy to stress out and one of the most common reasons that your clown loach may be hiding in its tank constantly is due to stress and anxiety.

Here are some of the main causes of stress that may be causing your clown loach to hide:-

  • Poor water quality.
  • Crowding.
  • Being out of their territory.
  • Having no hiding spots.
  • Not enough places to swim.
  • Infection.
  • Being in a new environment.

There are a number of less common cause of stress in clown loaches too but they tend to be the most common ones.

If your clown loach is hiding due to stress then fixing any of those problems in your tank should be able to help your clown loach relax and come out of its hiding spot.


The size of your aquarium is extremely important for a clown loach and a tank that is too small for the species can easily cause them to be uncomfortable and end up hiding.

So many beginners don’t research the clown loach species prior to purchasing them and end up keeping the fish in tiny aquarium tanks that are far too small for them.

Ideally, adult clown loaches will be kept in a tank that is over 100 gallons but juvenile clown loaches can be kept in a 75 gallon tank if it is all you have available but you will have to upgrade it as they grow.

Making sure that your clown loaches are in a large enough aquarium can be a quick and easy win to make sure that it is not upset and hiding in the tank.

Change to Environment

Any changes in the tank be it new tank mates, changes to decorations, plants being added or removed, or water changes can cause your clown loach to hide.

Clown loaches are a very sensitive fish and even something as small as a change in the lighting in their tank can be enough to cause clown loach hiding too.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to try and make any changes gradually so that your clown loach has time to get used to the new environment and doesn’t feel like it needs to hide all the time.

Aggression from Tank Mates

If you have unsuitable tank mates in your aquarium that are being aggressive towards your clown loaches then the fish may start hiding.

This is unfortunately common, again, due to a lack of research by beginners when planning out their tanks.

This problem really can present an issue as most beginners don’t have additional tanks available to separate their clown loach and the aggressive fish so they may be forced to keep the fish in the same tank.

If possible, try to remove any aggressive tank mates in the tank with your clown loach that may be chasing it or nipping its fins to help the fish relax and come out of its hiding spot.

Poor Water Parameters

Maintaining steady, consistent water parameters can be challenging for beginners to the fish keeping hobby but this is a surprisingly common problem that we see time and time again with people.

There are a number of different parameters that you have to keep in mind ranging from temperature to pH to ammonia levels to chlorine levels if you use tap water for your water changes.

In some situations, letting these get out of the recommended ranges can cause your clown loach to hide in your tank.

Thankfully, a decent aquarium water test kit is usually enough to help you test your water and get an idea of what you need to fix and in many cases, a 20% water change may be enough to fix the problem anyway letting your clown loach come out of hiding.