The beautiful colors of the leopard wrasse has caused the fish to see a sudden, unexpected spike in its popularity in recent months and although a leopard wrasse was once a relative niche fish to keep in your tank, it is becoming increasingly mainstream.
As the number of people keeping leopard wrasse in their tanks continues to increase, the number of questions that we see from the fish keeping community about keeping pet leopard wrasse also tends to increase too.
More recently, there have been more and more people reaching out to specifically ask about why their leopard wrasse is hiding in their tanks.
Although leopard wrasse hiding can be normal, some leopard wrasse may hide due to a problem in their aquarium that often needs to be corrected as soon as possible or you end up risking problems with the fish.
Why Is My Leopard Wrasse Hiding!
Please note that it is relatively common for a leopard wrasse to hide in its tank, especially if it is burrowing into its substrate with this being natural for the species.
Still, there are a number of potential problems that may cause your leopard wrasse to hide more often than it normally would so we will be taking a quick look at some of these potential causes now.
It’s New To The Tank!
One of the most common reasons that a leopard wrasse will hide in an aquarium is due to stress and this is often simply because it is new to the tank.
In particular, wild caught leopard wrasse can be quite skittish fish that are easily scared by both lighting and movement in their immediate vicinity.
As a result, it is not uncommon for a wild caught leopard wrasse to spend the first few days or weeks in your tank hiding away until it gets used to both you and its new surroundings.
The good news is that if this is the reason your leopard wrasse has been hiding, it should start to become less shy over time and eventually, it may even start to become one of the more confident and outgoing fish in your tank.
Stress And Anxiety!
One of the more serious reasons that a leopard wrasse may hide in your tank is due to stress or anxiety and unfortunately, this can often be caused by problems with the aquarium itself.
For example, if there are too many fish in your tank, it may cause your leopard wrasse to feel overwhelmed leading to stress which can then cause the fish to hide away in an effort to feel safe.
Other potential causes of stress or anxiety in your leopard wrasse include inadequate filtration, poor water quality, and even a lack of hiding places in your tank.
If you believe that stress or anxiety may be the reason your leopard wrasse is hiding in your tank, we recommend taking a look at the water parameters and stocking levels in your aquarium to see if there are any potential problems that need to be addressed.
Disease Or Infection!
Although it is not especially common, another potential reason that your leopard wrasse may hide in your tank is due to disease or infection.
For example, some diseases that may cause your leopard wrasse to hide include velvet disease, lateral line disease, and columnaris.
If you believe that your leopard wrasse may be sick or infected, we recommend taking a look at the fish to see if you can spot any visible signs of illness such as white spots on the skin or fins.
If you do notice any visible signs of illness, we recommend taking a water sample to your local fish store or vet for testing as soon as possible.
Unsuitable Water Parameters!
Finally, another potential reason that your leopard wrasse may hide in your tank is due to unsuitable water parameters and this is particularly common if you have recently added the fish to your tank.
For example, if the pH level or temperature in your aquarium are outside of the preferred range for leopard wrasse, it may cause the fish to feel stressed leading it to hide away in your tank.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend testing the water parameters in your tank before adding any new fish to make sure that everything is within the ideal range for the species.
Aggression From Tank Mates!
Although leopard wrasse are not generally considered to be aggressive fish, they can sometimes become aggressive towards tank mates that are similar in size or appearance.
As a result, if you have other fish in your tank that may be causing your leopard wrasse to feel stressed or threatened, it may cause the fish to hide away in an effort to avoid confrontation.
If you believe that aggression from other fish may be the reason your leopard wrasse is hiding, we recommend removing any potential aggressors from your tank or moving the leopard wrasse to a different aquarium.
Problems With Waterflow In The Tank!
Another potential reason that your leopard wrasse may hide in your tank is due to problems with the waterflow and this is particularly common if the fish is not used to the level of water flow in your aquarium.
For example, if the waterflow in your tank is too strong, it may cause your leopard wrasse to feel stressed leading it to hide away in an effort to avoid the current.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend slowly acclimating your leopard wrasse to the waterflow in your tank by gradually increasing the flow over a period of time.
Do Leopard Wrasse Bury Themselves?
One final question that we often get asked about leopard wrasse is whether or not the fish bury themselves in the substrate and the answer to this question is yes, leopard wrasse do sometimes bury themselves in the substrate.
This behavior is most commonly seen when the fish are feeling stressed or threatened and it is thought to be a way for the fish to camouflage themselves and avoid predators.
In many situations, a leopard wrasse burying itself in their substrate is consistered totally normal and is usually nothing to worry about in most cases.
What Should You Do If Your Leopard Wrasse Is Hiding!
If you have noticed that your leopard wrasse has been hiding in your tank more often than normal, the first thing you should do is try to identify the reason why.
Once you have determined the cause of the problem, you can then take the necessary steps to fix it and hopefully get your leopard wrasse back to its normal behavior.
If you are having trouble identifying the reason why your leopard wrasse is hiding, we recommend taking a water sample to your local fish store or vet for testing as they will be able to help you determine the cause of the problem.
By doing this, you can rule out any potential problems with the water parameters in your tank and get started on treating any diseases or infections that may be present.