Sharks don’t hide. Every other fish, especially betta fish, likes to hide. You can use a shelter in your aquarium to add beautiful décor and keep your betta fish happier. Our best choices for your fish include natural material options, brightly-colored decorations, and a few in between.
Have a look at our best betta caves.
- 7 Best Betta Caves Review
- 1-Zoo Med Floating Betta Log
- 2-SunGrow Coco Cave
- 3-Penn-Plax Officially Licensed Nickelodeon SpongeBob SquarePants Aquarium Ornaments
- 4-Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Granite Aquarium Ornament Series
- 5-Penn-Plax Hideaway Pipes Aquarium Decoration Realistic Look with Green Moss Like Texture
- 6-Blue Spotted Betta Log
- 7-Bunnycart Java Moss Coconut Cave
- Our Recommendations
- What to Consider Before Buying
- Do You Really Need to Buy a Cave for Your Betta Fish?
7 Best Betta Caves Review
1-Zoo Med Floating Betta Log
The Zoo Med Floating Betta Log is a natural looking floating log for your Betta to sleep, play, breed, feed, or blow bubbles in. It comes complete with a top “feeding hole.” It is made from real driftwood and floats to the top of your Betta’s tank. Most customers sing praises about it and it has proved to work effectively so long as you follow the instructions.
The Zoo Med log will fit easily in small tanks. Its dimensions are 3” long by about 3” in diameter. If your tank is taller than it is long, or round, then this log may not be the best choice.
2-SunGrow Coco Cave
The SunGrow Coco Cave habitat is made from soft-textured coconut shells. Its smooth edges make a safe and spacious hideout for Hermit Crabs, or for resting and breeding other fish. The natural material should not damage your fish or affect your tank’s water parameters.
The low opening and complete covering provide privacy for your Betta to breed. Many fish seem to like to hang out inside. Most customers rate it a 5 out of 5 and admit that the Bettas love it.
The shell isn’t much bigger than the palm of your hand. Exact dimensions change with each shell because this is a natural product. However, it should easily fit on the bottom of any aquarium.
3-Penn-Plax Officially Licensed Nickelodeon SpongeBob SquarePants Aquarium Ornaments
Add a bit of whimsical fun to your tank with the Penn-Plax Spongebob Pineapple House. It is made from safe and durable resin which is known to be good for the safety of your fish. Installation and maintenance are easy. Kids will enjoy the little bit of fun in your tank. Fish will also enter and hide in the house.
Customers rate this four out of five and they all attest to the fact that it is durable and easy to clean.
The SpongeBob Pineapple House will fit in most tanks. It is just under six inches tall and smaller than the palm of your hand in diameter.
4-Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Granite Aquarium Ornament Series
Penn-Plax designed these granite hideaways to add visual interest to your tank. They work very well! You can buy one, two, or a set of eight of these rocks. Each one comes with a hole or two to let fish hide or swim through. The larger rocks are stackable so you can create little community areas for your fish.
Some users have reported rough edges around the rocks, especially on the inside. This does not seem to affect everyone and should be easily corrected by a little sanding.
Their sizes are all different, but Penn-Plax has produced a particularly good size chart for the different sets. You should be able to find the perfect rock for your tank.
5-Penn-Plax Hideaway Pipes Aquarium Decoration Realistic Look with Green Moss Like Texture
Three stacked hideaway pipes with realistic fake moss add color and texture to your aquarium. The bright green moss adds a unique look to your tank and mimics the color of Marimo moss balls.
This nice tank feature provides a focal point for you and your fish. Holes provide a space to pass through, to rest, or to hide to reduce stress and aggression.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this decoration. First, it is not actually three tubes. Instead, there are three entrances shaped like tubes that lead into one larger cave inside. Second, the openings are small at 1.25” each. This may work for smaller fish but could be uncomfortable for larger betta fish.
6-Blue Spotted Betta Log
Blue Spotted is the name, not a description! This log is an attractive dark brown color to mimic what you would expect in a natural tank. Fish can swim through or hide inside for safety.
The dimensions are about 3” long by 2.5” wide. Most tanks will accommodate this log without any problem.
There is one thing to note about using this log. It sinks because it has an internal cavity that fills with water. Some people have found this internal cavity becomes a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria. If this becomes a problem, simply take the log out, boil it in water for a few moments, and add it back to the tank once it’s cool.
7-Bunnycart Java Moss Coconut Cave
Java moss can be attached to all kinds of substrates. For this product, Bunnycart has attached the common Java moss to a coconut shell. In this product, java moss is grown as a tight lawn covering the coconut shell. Java moss gives the shell an attractive look. It also does a good job of hiding the decoration in tanks designed to look more natural.
Bunnycart helps your aquarium by boiling the coconut shell prior to planting to leach out the tannins. This should keep the shell from negatively affecting your water quality. The Java Moss will help your tank as it grows into a nitrate eating machine.
This is another product based on a coconut shell so it will fit into the palm of your hand. It is the perfect size for almost any aquarium.
For active fish who enjoy being near the surface, the ZooMed Floating Betta Log is your best choice. It will float near the top of the tank and give your fish a nice place to go.
For natural tanks, the caves by SunGrow and Bunnycart are great choices. They look right at home in a planted tank and don’t draw too much attention to themselves. Your fish can keep being the stars of the show.
For a bit of fun, install the SpongeBob Pineapple House. The fish will love it and your kids will, too.
The other choices are great for low-maintenance tanks. They are easy to clean and can be removed for maintenance with no trouble.
What to Consider Before Buying
Don’t over-complicate the buying process. Find something you like and try it out. Most of these options are not very expensive so you can’t go too far wrong.
However, there are a few things you can think about before picking one of these caves.
Overall Dimensions and Tank Suitability
Your new cave should fit in your tank. This means two things:
- It shouldn’t be so big that it dominates the aquascape. Instead, it should take up a reasonable amount of space. Your fish should have plenty of space left over to swim around.
- Your new cave should also match the aesthetic of your tank. If you have a heavily-planted natural tank, then SpongeBob isn’t your best choice.
Try to match your new cave to your tank. Or, if you have a cave you really like, then build your tank around it.
Safety is important because you don’t want to accidentally harm your fish. Try to think of two things:
- Are the entrances the correct size? Small, streamlined fish such as minnows or Tetras can swim into tiny holes. Fish with large fins, such as Bettas, need slightly bigger entrances.
- Is it rough? Don’t buy things that will cut your fish or rub their scales off. If your decoration looks a little rough, then use some sandpaper to wear down any exposed edges.
With a little care, your decorations should be perfectly safe for your fish.
Durability and Maintenance
All the products we’ve selected for you should last for ages. They are easy to maintain and should be a benefit to your tank.
However, there are some things to keep an eye on. Painted products might begin to peel. Some products can hold water in dead zones and allow harmful bacteria to breed. Keep an eye on your tank’s water parameters. Visually check your tank for changes every week.
Is it easy to clean?
Some of these products may never need to be cleaned while others may need a light scrubbing every now and then. Choose your decorations with maintenance in mind.
Do You Really Need to Buy a Cave for Your Betta Fish?
Many fish tanks don’t have one of these caves. Do you even need one? The answer is simple: yes.
Betta fish are territorial species and they are also prey fish. The cave satisfies their need for a place to call home as well as a refuge when they feel threatened.
Why is my betta hiding?
Betta fish are prey fish. This means other fish eat them for snacks. So Bettas have a hiding instinct that makes them take shelter sometimes.
In fact, betta fish in the wild are not colored as brightly as betta fish in the aquarium hobby. Fish keepers have bred bettas to display wild amounts of color. In the wild, bettas are much more subtly colored to blend into their environment.
Bettas are also not the most active and energetic fish on the planet. When they tire of swimming, they want to rest in a safe space. Your cave becomes this safe space for them.
Where do Betta fish like to hide?
All betta fish are individuals, just like people. Some like to hide inside caves and others prefer resting on leaves or shelves.
Betta fish like to hide in places without a strong current. Bettas are actually diurnal, which means they are active in the day and shut down at night. So they like to rest somewhere that is calm and secure for them.
The Alternative Way of Buying a Cave for Your Fish
For a bit of fun, you can set up your own betta cave. Assembling the materials and making the shelter are easy. This will give you a simple coconut shelter you and your fish can enjoy. Here is a video to show you how to do it:
Betta fish, and most other aquarium fish, love having places to hide. Caves and tunnels provide security for your fish and help its mental well-being. They can also give your tank more visual interest and create extra enjoyment for you. If you have the time, you can even make your own shelter. Pick the best choice and then install it for your fish.
How do betta fish look when they sleep?
Betta’s lie motionless when they sleep. They often sleep at the bottom or towards the bottom of the tank. The mouth and gills of the fish move very slowly while it sleeps, because it doesn’t use up much oxygen. They also commonly assume an L shape and sleep in a bended position.
How Long Do Betta Fish Sleep?
Bettas are diurnal and sleep at night. Ideal conditions split night and day in an average pattern to mimic nature. You can try to give them 8-12 hours of light and 12-16 hours of darkness. This will copy their natural conditions.
Why Doesn’t Your Betta Fish Get into the Cave?
The opening may be too small, or the inside may be rough. Try to observe your fish and see if it takes shelter elsewhere. If the fish is hiding elsewhere, then it may have taken a disliking to your shelter. Take the shelter out, clean it, and replace it after a few hours or days. The fish may take to it after it is reintroduced.
In Case a Fin Is Torn, Can Betta Regrow Fins?
Yes, betta fish can regrow their fins. However, torn fins can also become sources of infection and stress for the fish. If your betta has a torn fin, try to find out how it happened and remove the source of the problem. Keep a closer eye on your water parameters until the fin is healed. This will keep your fish healthy while it recovers.