So you’re thinking about decorating your guppy tank with caves. But, before you put caves in your guppy tank, it’s essential to know if guppies like caves.
Guppies are very active and playful fish, so they don’t hide very often. However, they prefer caves because it allows them to rest and have a peaceful place to hide.
You can also add some plants and give a nice overall natural look to your guppy tank.
Do Guppies Like To Hide?
As a general rule, Guppies don’t like to hide because they are very active fish that prefer swimming around in the tank. However, most commonly, they like to hang out near the top region of the fish tank.
Most of the time, you will find them doing either of these things:
- Chasing one another in the tank in a playful way.
- Exploring different areas of the tank.
- Displaying themselves against other female guppies in the tank.
They remain so much active in the above-mentioned tasks that they hardly care for hiding. In fact, if your guppy fish is hiding often, it’s not a good sign.
A guppy fish that hides a lot can either be because of the following reasons:
- Improper tank water parameters
- Because of stress
- If it’s a female guppy, she could be pregnant
- Because of illness
- Presence of incompatible tank mate harassing the guppy
So due to all such reasons, your guppy could be hiding.
The normal behavior of guppy fish is to stay active, swim around near the top of the tank, and explore the surroundings.
Whenever, you notice them hiding a lot – a shift of behavior, it’s essential to act, find the root cause of the issue and solve the problem. Doing this ensures, your guppy fish will have a longer and healthier life in the tank.
Although guppies don’t hide so frequently, adding hiding place is surely a good idea. If there is no hiding areas in the tank, guppies will feel more stress.
Adding hiding spots in the guppy tank offers them a place to rest and find shelter whenever there is something wrong in the tank.
Do Guppies Need Caves?
A cave is not necessary for guppies but it is preferable since it gives them places where they can hide. A hiding place not only allows the guppy to have a place to rest but also makes them feel comfortable during the breeding time.
A cave is not an absolutely necessary thing for your guppy.
If you feed your guppies properly. If you give them enough space to live in the tank. And if you offer them a calm environment without the presence of any aggressive tank mate – it will be okay for your guppy to live well in the tank.
But still, having a hiding place such as a cave in your guppy tank can be a good thing.
1. A Cave Allows Your Guppies To Hide When They Are Stressed
If for some reason your guppies feel stressed then they can just hide away in the cave. Remember that, hiding is a natural instinct for fish. More hiding places allow the fish to feel more secure.
So if your tank has enough hiding places made using caves, driftwood, plants, etc. your guppies can feel secure.
2. A Cave Gives Protection To Your Guppies If Attacked
If some guppies in your tank dominate, fight and chase other guppies. Then in that case having a hiding place becomes a must, right?
Hiding places such as a cave will offer a visual break in your tank landscape. So your guppies can move around more freely in the tank and whenever they get chased.
They can just immediately hide in the cave and protect themselves.
And not just other guppies, but if you have other tank mates then sometimes they may also get aggressive and chase some of your guppies. So having a hiding place becomes a must in that case.
3. A Cave Allows Your Guppies To Feel Comfortable While Breeding
Once we consider breeding, hiding places become more important. Hiding is often a part of the courting process.
And like most other fish, guppies also breed. So having a hiding place in a tank such as a cave becomes an essential thing to consider.
A hiding place such as a cave will allow the guppies to hide from other tank mates.
Apart from these, a cave will also allow the female guppy to give birth comfortably in a hiding place and also allow the fry to hide.
How To Setup Caves In Guppy Tank?
If you have a rectangular type long tank and you are only deciding to put a cave or two in your tank, I would suggest placing the cave in the center of the tank.
Why? Well, it’s because it will be a good attraction for viewers watching your guppies coming out and going inside the cave right at the center of the tank. Your kids will enjoy it a lot watching your guppies.
If you put it in the corner of the tank then also it is okay. But generally, the central part of the tank gets more attention, because it is straight in front of the vision whenever we view the fish tank.
However, if the center part of your tank is already covered because of plants or any other type of setup, feel free to place it in the corner of the tank.
Now regarding what type of cave should you have in your Guppy tank. You can have normal caves which are made from rock. You can also select some unique cave designs to make your guppy tank look different and beautiful.
Select the various designs and sizes depending on the tank size and setup you have.
Here are some of the ways you can make caves in your Guppy tank:
1. Using Rocks
Get it here (on Amazon)
If you like a natural look in your tank then creating cave-like hiding places using the rocks can be a great idea for you.
When you place the rocks properly inside the tank then they can create the cave kind of structure by providing space in between the rock structure.
However, it is important to carefully set up the cave using the rock structure because you, at last, you won’t like any kind of accidents like a rock falling on your guppies, right?
2. Using Driftwood
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A Driftwood is another great option to create a cave-like structure in your aquarium. It will also provide shelter to your guppies within the gaps that naturally occur when you place the driftwood in your guppy tank.
3. Using Pots
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You can also place clay or terra cotta pots and they can also act as cave-like structures in your aquarium.
But there are also some important things to consider while using the pots.
- Make sure that the pot used to make the cave structure for your guppy tank is not painted or dyed, because it can contain harmful chemicals that could leach into your tank.
- Try to select the new pots if you are selecting a pot for your guppy tank from your garden because old and used pots might have already been exposed to chemicals and fertilizers.
- Make sure that the pot is smooth from everywhere because at last, you won’t like it if your guppy gets hurt because of any sharp or pointed edge in the pot, right?
- And this is probably the most important point. If there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot (which will be there in most cases) then please do something about it.
Although your guppies might be small enough to pass through the drainage hole in the pot. But still, prevention is better!
It can happen that you wake up in the morning the next day and find that your guppy is stuck in the hole or got hurt while getting out from there.
So you can remove the entire bottom of the pot and then use it to make caves in your guppy tank. Alternatively, use aquarium safe glue to close the holes with rocks or seal them with silicone.
Related Read: Will Vinegar Damage Tank Silicone Seals?
Where To Get Caves For Guppies?
You can get caves in any of your local pet stores. You can just ask them about the aquarium toys and caves and they will show you the toy caves of various designs.
You can choose the design that will suit well with the overall look of your tank. Generally, the more natural look you can give the better it will be isn’t it?
Also, you can find some of the best aquarium caves here (on Amazon).
In short, a cave is not an absolute necessity but it is advised to have a cave as a hiding place in the guppy tank.
Whether your guppy is under stress, whether the guppy is chased by other fish, or if it is breeding, in all these cases, a cave can be very helpful for the guppy.