Are looking for a solution to goldfish digging a hole. Don’t worry, In this article, you can see the various method for reducing goldfish digging hole. So let’s know the reason for goldfish digging holes.

The goldfish dig a hole for resting or create a burrow for hiding. Goldfish are the most adorable and calm fish that are not aggressive but sometimes they may attack the other fishes and hide somewhere in the gravel or sand.

Why are Fishes Digging holes?

The freshwater fishes will dig holes in the gravels or sands for various purposes such as for resting or may create burrows for hiding. In my experience, the fishes may get stressed due to the community tank and start fighting or creating burrows for hiding.

Many fishes also dig for searching food such as good bacteria, algae eaters, etc. When I saw my goldfish picking small gravel with their mouth, I thought they were eating the gravel. The real reason is they are digging or searching for food

Don’t worry about the fishes picking the gravel or creating spawn resting places. It is the behavior of the fishes to create burrows or places for hiding.

Goldfish Digging Hole


Do fishes dig holes for nests?

Probably the fishes will dig holes for creating a place for resting. You can see the fish picking the small gravels to create a nest for spawning. Many beginners think that fishes are eating the rocks and will lead to major problems.

Do fishes dig holes for food?

The fishes also dig holes for searching food like bacteria, algae, or old food. When your fish was not fed well, they will search for foods underneath the gravel. 

So you can see the fish digging the holes. 

Do fishes dig holes to hiding

In the community tank, You can see the fishes creating burrows for hiding. They will dig holes for creating hiding places. If you see these burrows and fishes hiding for a long time then move the fish to a separate tank.

Otherwise, they will be stressed which leads to health issues. So before that, you can shift the fish into the new tank.

Goldfish Digging Hole

Can Digging Holes Hurts fish body

If you use a sharp substrate for the aquarium, it may hurt the fish’s body while digging. You can see the scratches on the fish underneath. So you can use sand or Sharpless gravels for the fish tank.

Some of them use the bare bottom tank for the fish, but it was very hard to maintain because the tank becomes dirty always. So use some substrate in the tank for the fish and live plants.

How to reduce Digging holes

There are a lot of ways to reduce the fish’s habits from digging holes in the substrate. You can reduce the use below ideas.

#1 Make A Big Tank

Goldfish Digging Hole

You can set up a big tank for the fish. It will reduce the digging of holes for creating a burrow to hide. There will be a lot of space inside the tank with live plants. So the fishes can hide faster when they get attacked.

Try to feed them enough food otherwise, they may dig the holes for finding the food underneath the substrate.

A big fish tank will solve the major problems like stress, digging holes, and fish fighting between them. You can avoid these things using a big tank. Try to put small fish in the tank and avoid overcrowding.

#2 Use heavy rocks for fills bottom

Goldfish Digging Hole

You can use heavy rocks for filling the bottom of the tank, so the fish can’t dig the holes due to heavy rocks. Before adding heavy rocks, you need to use sand substrate in the tank bottom to prevent the glass from scratching.

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#3 Provide Caves and places for hiding

Create caves and places for hiding. You can use decorative materials for creating a beautiful aqua environment and caves for hiding. So the fishes will not dig in the substrate for creating burrows to hide.

#4 Use bare bottom fish tank

You can use a bare-bottom fish tank to prevent the fish from digging holes. But bare bottom tanks are very hard to maintain because the waste will float on the bottom without hiding. When the fishes swim through the bottom, the waste will spread in the water.

The tank gets dirty faster and the fish will struggle due to the lack of oxygen in the tank. I’ll not recommend using bare bottom tanks for the fishes because the fishes need a good aquatic environment and substrate for resting.

#5 Reduce Stress

Goldfish Digging Hole

Another way to reduce the digging of holes is by reducing stress. The fishes will feel stressed when they get attacked by fishes. So you need to separate the fish into a new tank otherwise they may get stressed and lead to major health issues.


In this article, We have provided the various ways to reduce the fish digging a hole in the tank. You can try each one and comment below on which one worked for you. In my aquarium, I have used caves and some places for hiding and feeding them well.

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