Why Do Fish Jump Out Of Aquarium And How To Stop it?

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

I Love my Fishes 

If you have kept an aquarium for quite some time, then you have probably witnessed your fish jumping out of the aquarium. You must’ve been confused about why would the fish jump out of the environment in which they can survive.

But believe it or not, it is not an unusual behavior emitted by fishes. In the wild, fish jump around, whether it be for survival or any reason. Small tropical species like swordtails and guppies are particularly prone to this behavior, although it is not confined to them.

Aquarium enthusiasts are normally advised to keep their tanks closed to prevent this behavior. If you’ve ever lost a fish as a result of this behavior, you might be curious as to what causes fish to jump out of the tank.  

In this article, we will take a deeper look into this peculiar behavior of fishes. 

Why do fishes jump out of aquariums?  

Jumping out of the water is not a surprising thing. Fishes can and will jump out of the water if the situation or the need arises. In natural environments, fishes usually jump for food or escape dangers. In an aquarium fishes have several reasons to jump out of the water.

A primary cause is if fishes are threatened by other fishes. If your tank is void of or has fewer hiding spots they can jump out of the water to escape the aggressive fishes.

They can exhibit this behavior if the water is not of good quality. Unclean or unsuitable water is a hazard for them as they become stressed and they can jump out to get away from the unsuitable environment. Some fishes are just prone to jumping without any cause. They are just built with the habit of jumping out of the water. 

Fishes prone to jump out of water 

There are species that just jump out of water frequently. It is not bad, its just they are built that way. Some of the species that are prone to jumping are:  

  • Bettas 
  • Goldfish  
  • Killifish 
  • Tetras  
  • Rainbowfish 

How to prevent fishes from jumping out of the aquarium? 

You can resort to a multitude of ways to prevent your fishes from jumping out the water.  

Get an aquarium lid 

A lid is the best thing you can install in your tank to stop fish from jumping out of the aquarium. An aquarium lid has other uses than just preventing evaporation. You should buy an aquarium lid at first. Some people ignore the cover, considering it doesn’t have much function. It is necessary as you don’t want your fish to die after jumping out of the aquarium.  

Lids are available in any aquarium store, and you can get one that perfectly fits your aquarium. You can avail yourself of glass lids or acrylic lids, whichever you like. There are also lids with attached lights. 

Keep the water clean and suitable  

Image : AquaPros

One of the causes that fish jump out of the water is if the water is not fit for fish to live. You must keep the water in the best condition always. You don’t want your fishes to be having so much trouble that they resort to jumping out. Not just to prevent jumping but think about the health of your fish as well.  

Maintain the parameters to the fish’s liking, so they won’t have to take drastic measures. Keep the temperature constant, don’t do anything to fluctuate the pH levels, get rid of leftover food, and clean the water.

Get testing kits and test the water frequently to know if there is any kind of chemical spike and fluctuation in parameters. Make the condition suitable, and your fish won’t jump out of the water.   

Know what species you are keeping in a tank 

Fishes tend to jump out if they sense danger as well. In an aquarium fishes can face trouble from other fishes. Some fishes are aggressive ad don’t hesitate to show aggression towards other fishes. If the dominance persists, the submissive fish can jump out to escape. So do your research before adding different fishes to a tank.

If you are fond of aggressive fishes, keep them in a separate tank. If you already have aggressive fish mixed up with others, it is wise to remove it from the tank and move it to another. If you don’t have another tank, returning it to a store is the only option. Fill your tank with peaceful species and there won’t be any jumping out of the water.  

Keep the environment calm for fishes 

You must keep the surroundings stress-free. Fishes tend to jump out if they get stressed. If they are startled by anything, they can get easily stressed followed by jumping out of the water.

A sudden turning on of light can stress the fish as they get surprised. Light is necessary for an aquarium as plants need to perform photosynthesis. Get a light with a blue tint as it cannot startle the fish as much.  

Also, avoid blasting loud sounds near the aquarium. Loud noises can stress the fish very much. Keeping the surroundings as calm as possible is the best for fish. Their chances of getting stressed will become low, and hence you won’t find fish on the floor. 

Keep plants and lower water level 

If the aquarium lid doesn’t sit right with you and you feel it’s inconvenient, there are ways you can resort to stopping fish from jumping. You can cover the surface of the water with floating plants.

Get yourself floating plants and cover the surface. Although this doesn’t completely stop the fishes from jumping. This might stop them and make them think twice about jumping out.  

You can also lower the water level of the tank to prevent them from jumping out. Although before lowering the water level consider the number of fish you have in your tank. If the ratio becomes uneven you are worsening the environment and stressing your fish.  

But instead of doing these things, it is best to get an aquarium lid. 

Can you save a fish that has jumped out of water?  

If you trouble yourself with this question, you can save a fish that is out of the water. But everything depends on how long you see the fish on the floor after it has jumped out of the water.

If you notice it as soon as it has jumped, putting it back in the aquarium will save it. If it has jumped out and you see it after an hour or so has passed, then unfortunately you can’t save it. If you have a cat it is worse, you won’t even find a trace of your fish. 

It is not at all peculiar when fishes jump out of the aquarium. Some situations trigger it and it is perfectly natural. Escaping dangers or trying to get food are the usual reasons why they jump into the wild.

In an aquarium, if they become stressed, the water condition is not good and many more reasons contribute to them jumping out. Get yourself a lid, and keep the surroundings calm if you don’t want your fishes to jump out. 

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