Why Do Blue Tangs Hide? {Are They Shy Fish?}

With their stunning blue and yellow colors, as well as their popularity from the moving Finding Nemo.

Blue Tangs have become a charming addition to tanks.

However, many new fish owners might be shocked to find out that their Blue Tang is spending most of its time hiding.

Why Do Blue Tangs Hide?

Blue Tangs will hide if there is a new fish present or if they have just been moved to a new tank and are adjusting to the changes. They may also hide if they are afraid of being eaten or if their tank is too small.

There are a few health related reasons that cause Blue Tangs to hide as well.

In summary, Blue Tangs will hide as a reaction to something new or something upsetting. Take it as a sign that your Blue Tang might need something in particular.

Why Do Blue Tangs Hide

Read on to learn more about why Blue Tangs hide, how long they hide for, and what to do about it.

Is It Normal For Blue Tangs To Hide?

Hiding is normal behavior for Blue Tangs. Blue Tangs can be quite shy, especially in new environments with new fish. Typically, they will hide to avoid any perceived threats or potential danger.

The reason Blue Tangs hide will vary depending on their age, living space, and tankmates. Here is a list of the reasons your Blue Tang might be hiding:

  • New fish in the tank
  • They need time to adjust to a new environment
  • Scared of larger fish
  • Poor water quality
  • Overcrowding
  • Small tank size
  • Juvenile in size and age
  • Disease or sickness

If your Blue Tang has just been put into a new tank or just got a new tankmate, then they are likely hiding just so they can become comfortable with the new changes.

However, if it is due to water quality, tank size, or overcrowding, adjustments will need to be made to ensure your Blue Tang has the best quality of life possible.

Blue Tangs might also hide just because they are at a young age. It is more common for younger Blue Tangs to hide.

It is also quite common for Blue Tangs to hide if they think a larger fish will eat them, so be mindful when choosing tankmates for your Blue Tang.

How Long Will It Take For A New Blue Tang To Stop Hiding

Typically, Blue Tangs will hide for a few days when they are first introduced to a new tank. If they feel scared or threatened, then they may dash back into hiding but will come back out shortly.

However, issues such as sickness may cause Blue Tangs to hide for longer.

It is only a concern if your Blue Tang is not coming out from hiding and swimming around at all. Even though they can be skittish, they should come out from time to time and swim about the tank.

Blue Tang Hiding and Not Moving

Blue Tangs have some unusual behaviors, such as lying on its side. If your Blue Tang is hiding but not moving, it might just be them resting.

However, it is possible that they are feeling unwell or are nervous about new items or fish present in the tank.

Blue Tangs will play dead in front of perceived threats, so it is possible that your Blue Tang is afraid of another fish.

Keep an eye out and take note of if any other fish are chasing or bullying your Blue Tang. Additionally, look for any signs of illness and check to see if your Blue Tang is breathing.

Why Is My Blue Tang Hiding and Not Eating?

Your Blue Tang might simply not be hungry. Blue Tangs can go for up to 5 days without eating. If your Blue Tang is new, then they might not feel fully comfortable in their new tank yet.

It is also possible that another fish is intimidating your Blue Tang and they are too afraid to come out to eat.


Hiding is normal behavior for Blue Tangs, especially if they are new. Make sure they have ample space to swim around and proper water quality to help ensure that they are healthy and happy.

Although Blue Tangs will go in and out of hiding throughout their lives, providing them with proper care is a great step to keep them happy and to help you worry about them less.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind HelpUsFish.com. I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.

Recent Posts