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betta-fish-jump

Why do Betta Fish Jump?

Betta fish are quite fascinating. This is evident right from their dazzling beauty, resilient and hardiness. You can always spot them from afar thanks to their long trailing fins and eye-catching brilliant colors that give them their unique appearance.

Most importantly, these fish are low on maintenance as well as expense. This means you will not have to go deeper into your pockets to keep these amazing fish in your aquarium.

Traditionally, Betta fish have always been kept in small containers and vases, but today they can be seen in tanks of different sizes. These little creatures get truly happy where temperature and other tank parameters are regulated to suit them.

When they are fed on their favorite meal, Betta fish can be calm and comfortable in their aquarium setup. That explains why many hobbyists strive to include these species of fish in their aquariums.

But with all their unmatched beauty, tranquility and uniqueness, Betta fish have one distinctive character. These fish are indeed good jumpers and are likely to get out of an uncovered bowl or tank. This behavior has always taken many aquarists by surprise on several occasions.

Many years of keeping these fish and studying them have made experts to establish the real cause of this funny behavior. So, what can make your Betta fish jump out of the tank? Read on to find out the right answers to why Betta fish behave in this manner.

What Makes Your Betta Fish to Jump?

If you are worried about your Betta fish jumping out of the tank, just know you are not alone. Almost every aquarium hobbyist has the same concern and it has become a worrying trend, to say the least. Knowing what makes these fish jump out of their supposedly comfort zone is of great importance.

Once you establish the real cause of this problem, you will be able to find a solution, maybe a long-lasting solution. Here are some of the reasons that are likely to compel your Betta fish to jump:

Poor Water Conditions

Poor conditions of water in the tank could be one of the major reasons your Betta fish is jumping out. Such conditions come as a result of not keeping the fish tank clean on a regular basis. When this happens, there are chances of some harmful substances to build up. One of those is ammonia and this chemical is a threat to the survival of your fish in the tank.

High levels of ammonia force your Betta fish to find ways of acquiring clean water or conducive environment for its survival. And the only way out of that situation is to jump out of the tank in the hope of finding clean water. Apart from high levels of ammonia, extreme changes in water temperature and pH can also force your fish to jump out of the aquarium or glass bowl.

Little Space in the Tank

Forget all the hype about Betta fish living in small tanks or confined spaces. As a matter of fact, these lovely fish feel comfortable in larger tanks with enough space to swim around or hide when the need arises. That being said, the minimum tank capacity that holds Betta fish comfortably should be at least 5 gallons.

This should you tell that without enough living space, your fish will get bored and try to find more space for its comfort. Therefore, make sure that the tank is well decorated with the recommended plants and if possible, make it bigger to accommodate other tank mates as well.

Poor Sleep Cycle for your Betta fish

Just like the rest of other animals, your Betta fish deserves its own sleep cycle. The poor sleep cycle can make your fish become frustrated and restless most of the time. Without following a proper sleep cycle, your fish may become confused and eventually jump out of the tank. Sleep is important to your fish because it makes it have enough rest and become stress-free.

Something Interesting Outside the Tank

If your Betta fish discovers that there are flies hovering around, it is likely to jump and try to catch them. Actually, flies are a delicacy to many fish and your Betta is no exception. This is uncommon behavior but it could be one of the reasons your fish is jumping out of the tank.  After all, Betta fish are known to try out on anything they perceive to be food.

Betta Fish Tendency to Jump

This must be an interesting one. Perhaps your Betta fish is fond of jumping and that is why there is a likelihood of it jumping out of the tank. This happens especially when all the conditions in the tank are perfect and nothing else to make them do so. In this case, you can conclude that your fish has a tendency to jump out of its tank.

How to Stop Betta Fish from Jumping out of the Tank?

The only way to prevent your Betta fish from jumping out of the aquarium is to find the solution to the aforementioned problems. Below is a comprehensive guideline that will help you minimize any chance of your fish jumping out of its living space.

Good Tank Maintenance

Conditions in the tank will determine how comfortable and happy your fish will be. If they are not conducive, it is obvious that your fish will get stressed and try to find a better place to live, thus jumping out. For that reason, you need to ensure that the tank stays clean and well maintained throughout.

You can achieve this dream by making sure that water changes are done on a regular basis. In addition, you should perform vacuuming on the gravel or substrate to get rid of all decaying matter. Go the extra mile and check all the tank conditions such as water temperature, the pH, and hardness to ensure that they are all at their recommended levels for your fish. If all the conditions are perfect, you can rest assured that your fish will be comfortable and happy throughout.

Get a Bigger Tank for Your Fish

As stated earlier, a small tank space could make your Betta fish jump out in the hope of finding more space. To prevent such cases, you need to find a larger tank that can accommodate your fish. A 5-gallon tank or bigger is recommended to provide your fish with more space to swim around.

Also, a larger tank will enable you to look for tank mates for your Betta fish in a bid to kill its boredom. This way, your fish will get less stressed and bored and you will not witness cases of jumping out of the tank any time soon.

Cover the Top of the Fish Tank

Covering the top of your tank is a better solution to prevent your Betta fish from jumping out of its tank. While this should come as a priority, it is also important to consider other ways of keeping your fish in the tank. Covering alone is not actually the ultimate solution to what might be bothering your fish.

As such, you should ensure that all other factors that make your Betta comfortable are considered before resorting to providing cover to the tank with the aim of keeping the fish confined in there.

If a lid is not not option for your tank, you can use floating plants to cover the water surface. Live plants are not only helps preventing your betta fish from jumping out, but also help in cleaning the water. Floating plants are extremely good for removing nitrates and other elements from the water, that might be harmful for your fish.

Use Proper Aquarium Light

When you notice this weird jumping behavior with your Betta fish, you should check for the lighting system besides other factors influencing the survival of your fish. Light plays a crucial role when it comes to making your fish comfortable.

Surprisingly, the recommended light routine is known to have a positive impact on your fish’s circadian rhythm. Now that you are aware of the importance of light to your fish, ensure that you are giving it not less than 8 hours of light per day.

What to do when Betta Fish Jumps out of the Tank?

It can be scary to find your fish out of the tank and on the floor, gasping for breath. What should you do if you come across such a scenario? First of all, you must act as fast as you can to save your fish. This is when time becomes of the essence unless you want to lose your adorable Betta fish.

On average, your fish can survive outside the tank or out of water for a period not exceeding 10 minutes. Beyond that, chances of your fish surviving that jump are extremely slim. Ten minutes is enough time to act fast and save your fish. All you need to do is to pick it up and take it back into the water.

In addition, you need to add some aquarium salt in order to improve the functionality of your fish’s gills. You will also have to add something that can improve its slime coat such as the API Stress Coat. When outside the water, it is possible that your Betta might have lost its slime coat through drying up. Basically, these are the steps you can take when you find your Betta fish outside its tank.

Final Thought

By now you know why Bettas jump out of the tank. Maybe they do so because of the changing conditions in the tank or simply they have the urge to catch something hovering on the surface. Whichever the case, make sure that you find a solution to these problems before you lose your fish.

Written by Fabian

Hey, I'm Fabian, chief editor at Aquarium Nexus. I really enjoy the aquarium hobby and love sharing my experience with others. If you have any questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

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