Why do fish jump out of the water?

Anyone who keeps fish has probably seen a fish lying on the floor next to the aquarium: Yes, another one has jumped out. Sometimes you are there in time, but other times it is unfortunately too late.

Why do fish jump out of the aquarium? A fish has a natural instinct to look for a better environment when it is stressed and it does so by jumping in the hope of ending up in better water. If a fish jumps out of a pond or aquarium, it can have deadly consequences.

In this article I will inform you why a fish likes to jump out of the water and how you can prevent it. This way you can ensure a safe environment in and around the aquarium. So read on quickly.

4 Reasons why fish jump out of the water

Fish have developed the ability to deliberately jump out of water with the intention of getting into better water. The water quality is often poor, it is too cold, too hot or the fish are stressed. As a last resort, they can leave the water by jumping.

Below I mention 4 points that can ensure that your fish start jumping spontaneously. So tackle these points first before you put a lid on your aquarium. They don’t jump for nothing so something is wrong.

1. Not enough oxygen in the water

How would you feel if you weren’t getting enough air anymore? Well, that’s how fish feel too. The first signs that there is not enough oxygen in your water are that your fish are gasping for air at the top of the aquarium. A single fish doesn’t like it at all and tries to jump out of the aquarium.

Fish can get oxygen from the water by letting it flow past their gills. However, if there is not enough oxygen in the water, they do not ingest enough.

This problem is easy to recognize and fix.

Your tank may have become too small for the amount of fish it contains. When you put the fish in it they were small, but now they have grown and therefore need more oxygen.

It is also possible that you have too few plants in the aquarium. The plants are a natural source that releases oxygen to the water.

Another problem is algae growth in the water. Algae are known for using a lot of oxygen to grow. If you are bothered by green water, that is probably the reason.

You can also put an air stone in your aquarium to bring more oxygen into the water. It also looks nice with all those bubbles that are whirling up.

Too little oxygen in aquarium water can be remedied by changing part of the water now. Then you tackle the underlying problem: less fish, more plants, better aeration and algae control.

2. Polluted water

Fish don’t like to swim in dirty water, that’s for sure. In addition, they may also have difficulty breathing and generally function worse. It is therefore logical that such a fish would want to jump out of the aquarium: away from the dirty water!

As I indicated in the previous point, there can be too little oxygen in the water. But it may also be that there is enough oxygen in it and the fish cannot absorb it.

This may be due to an increased concentration of ammonia or nitrite in the water, for example. Both ensure that the fish can absorb the oxygen less effectively. By the way, those substances are also toxic to fish, so measure your water values ​​quickly . Also check whether your pH value is still right for your fish.

An increased ammonia level can be caused by a malfunctioning filter, rotting food because you have given too much food or other biological waste such as feces and dead aquarium plants.

The cause of polluted water is often due to poor maintenance. It is now best to measure your water first and then change part of the water. After that, you must ensure that you include the following points with your maintenance.

  • Change your water regularly
  • Clean your filter so that it can filter properly. Do not clean too much, because that will also wash away the active bacteria in the filter.
  • Do not give too much food to your fish
  • Prune your aquarium plants and remove dead plant remains in time

Read Also: Ammonia Poisoning In Aquarium Fish

3. The temperature is unpleasant

As you know, fish are cold-blooded, that is, they cannot regulate their own body temperature. Their temperature is the same as that of the water, and if your water is too cold or too warm, a fish will not feel comfortable with it.

So if your fish has jumped out of your aquarium, you don’t just put it back in the water. Immediately check whether your temperature is correct. Not every fish needs the same temperature, so you have to look up what water temperature your fish prefers.

You prefer to measure the temperature with two thermometers: you put 1 meter in the aquarium water and the other meter you hang outside the aquarium.

The ambient temperature can cause your aquarium to warm up or cool down. So make sure that your aquarium is not in direct sunlight, for example, next to a radiator or a window that can be opened. That warm, or cold, air will flow around the outside of your tank and affect the temperature in the tank.

Fish are very sensitive to temperature changes and it is up to you to find a nice spot for your tank where the water temperature is as stable as possible.

4. Fish are stressed

The above three points all have to do with aquarium water that is not in order. This can stress the fish. But there are also other causes that can cause your fish to become stressed and want to flee from the water in response.

Take a good look at your fish.. is there one in there that might be chasing the crowd? Sometimes there are fish among them that think they can just attack another fish, or show very territorial behavior.

It could also be that your aquarium is just too full. Too much decoration, too many fish, all points that make the fish feel uncomfortable.

Speaking of decoration… too little is not good either. A fish has to be able to retreat somewhere, or hide if it is frightened. For example, it can flee from an aggressive fish, or maybe your fish is stressed by something that happens outside the aquarium: running around children or other pets.

Especially if you add a new fish to your fish stock, it will have to get used to it first. There is a good chance that it will hide and will slowly but surely be accepted by the other fish, so that it feels safe again.

Prevent fish from jumping out of the aquarium

Before you put a lid on your aquarium, you must first address the cause of your fish jumping out of the water. While some fish jump naturally, there is usually an underlying problem behind it. Therefore, pay attention to the following points with your aquarium:

  • Enough oxygen in the water
  • Check your water for ammonia, nitrite and check the pH value
  • Remove dead plant (parts), make sure the soil is clean and don’t give too much food
  • Clean your filter the right way
  • Check the temperature of the aquarium water and adjust it if necessary
  • See if a fish is overly aggressive towards other fish
  • Provide sufficient hiding places in your aquarium by means of plants or decoration
  • Too many fish? Give some away or transfer them to a larger aquarium.

A few more practical tips regarding the lid. Make sure it’s plastic. A metal lid can rust. And make sure you have a net that hangs under your lamps. This prevents a fish from jumping against your lamp.

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