Why does Arowana Jump Out of Tank?

Arowanas are distinguished by their long bodies and upward-facing mouths. There are multiple arowanas species, which vary in size and color.

The silver arowana ranks as the most popular of the species in the aquarium trade, and it originates from South America. Other arowanas include the black arowana, Australian arowana, and the red-tail golden variety.

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Arowanas need dedicated care, and they are best suited for experienced aquarists. They are especially impressive jumpers, and you will need to cover your set up at all times.

Why do Arowana Jump out of the Tank?

In the wild, arowanas are skilled surface predators. They live among flooded forests where food is dispersed over extensive areas, and animals have to develop different skills to sustain themselves. Arowanas have been known to catch snakes and birds on overhanging branches.

Some arowanas prey along the shorelines and the littoral regions of lakes and rivers. Wild species wait behind fallen trees for prey. They mostly leap to snatch terrestrial insects like beetles and spiders, although they still eat snails and crabs.

Most aquarists disregard the need for arowanas to feed from the surface, opting instead for sinking pellets. It has, however, been suggested that the fish develop the condition called ‘drop-eye’ if they are forced to adapt to a life of feeding at the aquarium’s bottom.

It is advisable to train your arowana to feed on the surface by providing floating foods.

Your arowana can also jump if the aquarium conditions are less than favorable. Some factors to watch out for include:

– Poor Tank Conditions

Your arowana will be inclined to jump from an inhospitable environment. If the tank is small, for example, they will lack enough room to swim.

Arowana is a monster fish, and they need a large tank to feel comfortable. The silver arowana, for example, requires a minimum of 220 gallons.

You should monitor the water parameters regularly. Being tropical fish, arowanas thrive in warm temperatures that should not exceed 86ºF. The ideal PH range is 6.0-7.0.

As long as the water quality is favorable, the silver arowana is not very fussy with the set up of the aquarium. You can use your choice of substrate, plants, and lighting as long as you leave plenty of room open for swimming.

Water filtration is crucial because arowanas produce plenty of waste. You need a filter with a lot of biological media to break down toxic elements like ammonia. Canister and sump filters complement large aquariums well, and you can also use a trickle filter if you want to save space.

– Stress

An arowana may become stressed if the water conditions are unfavorable. Factors like incompatible tankmates, low levels of oxygen, and drastic changes in temperature and PH will stress your fish.

Stress will affect your arowana’s ability to fight off diseases, which will stress your pet even further. The barbels on the fish are especially prone to parasite and fungus attacks.

The fish commonly knocks itself against the glass which can lead to open wounds. You can distinguish fungus attacks if you see hairy growth around the wound area. Parasites like anchor worms can also attach themselves to the infected area and cause stress.

Overturned gill covers are another cause of stress among arowanas, and it may cause the fish to jump. The condition is triggered by the presence of ammonia and other toxic compounds and inadequate quantities of oxygen.

You can saturate the water with oxygen by using air bubble stones and an air pump.

– Diet

An arowana will also jump if they are not getting enough food. Small arowanas have a high metabolism, and they need a lot of food to keep up with their growth rates.

You can give young arowanas small live fish as well as insects like crickets and worms. Some arowanas accept non-live frozen foods like shrimp and shellfish as they mature.

You can feed mature arowanas once a day, and they will stop accepting food once they are full.

How to Stop an Arowana From Jumping?

Your arowana will get a natural urge to jump from an aquarium, and it is best to avoid this from happening. You will require a sturdy cover that the fish cannot knock over if it leaps.

Some aquarists weigh down their aquarium covers but ensure that the weight will not compromise the integrity of the aquarium in the long run. Extreme solutions include lockable covers that will keep the fish in the tank.

Metal covers are not recommended because they can rust and affect the water’s chemistry. There are metal screens that are fitted with a rust-resistant layer, and which will allow light to penetrate

Leave half of the aquarium open to give the arowana space to jump and keep them well-fed too.

How to Prevent Injuries on Jumping Arowana?

An arowana can easily injure themselves when they make a successful jump. Common injuries include split fins and dropping scales, which may take weeks to heal naturally.

If your fish behaves normally, you can let the healing take place on its own without adding anti-fungus medication. You may need to treat against bacteria and fungus if you see patches of muscle or blood.

How High can Arowanas Jump?

Wild arowanas can jump to as much as two meters from the water’s surface.

What to do if Arowanas Jump Out of Tank?

You want to avoid picking up your arowana with bare hands if they are on the floor. They have a slimy body, and they will easily slide from your hands and fall to the floor again.

If there is no cloth or paper towel near you, hold the top of the arowana’s body, with the other hand beneath the pectoral fins.

The fish will be shocked after a jump, and most of them try to jump again after. Try and avoid hovering around the aquarium to avoid stressing them, and you can even stop feeding them for a few days.


Arowanas are coveted for their unique characteristics and monstrous size. One peculiar behavior is their ability to jump from the aquarium, which often leads to injuries or even death.

This ability is more prominent in wild arowanas as they are adapted to leaping from the water to catch snakes, birds, and insects from hanging branches.

Use a sturdy lid, preferably a weighted one, to keep your arowana in the tank.

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