Many people have problems with otocinclus hiding, they don’t know why are otocinclus doing this. Don’t worry, In this article, we will be walking through different reasons and solutions for otocinclus hiding in the fish tank.

Generally, otocinclus fishes are very sensitive so sudden changes in the water parameters will affect the health of fish and stress. The otocinclus catfish hide in some place for protecting themselves because some fish will attack them.


  • Why are my otocinclus hiding in a fish tank
  • How to Reduce the stress of otocinclus fish

So let’s start.

Before that, If you’re a beginner in fishkeeping otocinclus, Here is the complete care guide for otocinclus.

Why are my otocinclus hiding in a fish tank (Reasons)

Otocinclus Hiding

The otocinclus fishes will be hiding due to various reasons because they are very sensitive and sudden changes in the water parameters will make them hide in some were or lead to death.

You need to be very careful while fish keeping otocinclus fish. In my experience, they are very easy to keep without any problems but without caring the fish may die faster.

Many beginner fish keepers are avoiding such wonderful fish due to lower sustainability. There are a lot of benefits while using otocinclus fish in the tank such as cleaning the glass, reducing the algae spread, and removing the bottom waste.

So let’s look at some more important factors that will affect the fish.

Otocinclus Hiding

To protect themselves

The otocinclus fish hide for protecting themselves because other fishes in the aquarium with aggression will start attacking the otocinclus. I experienced this situation in the beginning stage.

Otocinclus fishes are very sensitive and a lot of caring is important for the first few months. In this period, many people have problems with otocinclus because most of the fish will be dying in the first few months.

So you need to carefully introduce the otocinclus fish in the tank and analyze the tank mates and fish health properly to avoid the mistakes that happen to many people.

Poor water parameters

Otocinclus Hiding

The next reason for otocinclus hiding is due to water parameters. As I told you earlier the otocinclus fish is a highly sensitive fish so sudden changes in the water parameter will affect the fish’s health conditions.

So you need to check the water parameter every week or when you see the fish not active or hiding somewhere.

Low quality feeds

Another reason is low-quality feeds, many people consider otocinclus fish as algae eaters and do not feed them. Otocinclus are algae eaters but they need quality feeds to sustain their health. you can read our review about the best otocinclus algae wafer

There are some restriction levels for eating the algae and you can feed otocinclus vegetables such as cucumber. I have been feeding cucumber and low protein-rich food for otocinclus because they don’t love protein-rich foods.

Before feeding the cucumber to otocinclus, you need to put the cucumber for one minute in the boiled water for making them soft and easy to eat.

How to Reduce the hiding tendency of otocinclus fish (Solution)

As we already showed the reasons for otocinclus hiding and now we are moving to the next section.

In this section, you will learn to reduce the tendency of otocinclus fish to hide. 

Water Parameters

Otocinclus Hiding

It was an important part of otocinclus fish because sudden changes in the water parameter will affect them. To reduce the hiding tendency of otocinclus, you need to maintain the correct level of water parameter in the tanks.

The recommended water parameter of the otocinclus are below:

pH: 6.5 to 7.5 

Water temperature:22-26° C

Don’t put them in a dirty tank or highly algae spread tanks because they will be struggling to breathe (as you know that otocinclus stay more time in the bottom of tanks).

Try to use good filters and air pumps for cleaning and generating oxygen into the tank.

Live plants

Otocinclus Hiding

Live plants are important for every fish tank because they will be converting the carbon dioxide to oxygen inside the tank. The otocinclus will spend a lot of time on live plant leaves for eating small bacteria and algae.

Sometimes we may think that otocinclus is eating the leaves of the live plants and we remove the live plants from the tank.

Try to put botanicals in the tank because Otos love it.


Otocinclus Hiding

Another way to reduce the tendency of hiding is by adding driftwood to aquariums. The otocinclus will be spending more time on the driftwood because the healthy algae will be on the driftwood.

So try to add the driftwood in the tank for reducing the hiding tendency of otocinclus.


Otocinclus Hiding

The otocinclus also likes rocks like driftwood, if you don’t get driftwood, you can use the rocks in the tanks. The rocks will increase the beauty of the aquarium and you can see the otocinclus staying on the rocks.

Tank mates

Otocinclus Hiding

It was the main important factor in fish hiding, There will be lot fishes in the tank with different temperaments. The aggressive fish will be attacking other fishes in the tank due to various reasons such as lack of oxygen, lack of food, etc.

I recommend choosing low-temperament fish that loves peace and calm for otocinclus tank mates. If you see the fish attacking otocinclus, remove the aggressive fish as soon as possible otherwise the otocinclus will be dying fast.

Try to add otocinclus fish in groups, so they will be a chance for reducing the hiding tendency.

Wrapping up

Now you know the reasons and effective solution for the otocinclus hiding in the tank.

Try these tips and care for them well, You can also suggest the solution that works for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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