Why do Bettas Jump Out of their tank?

Betta fish are beautiful creatures of nature that need little maintenance. Hence they are quite affordable to keep as a pet. Most fish lovers keep bettas in vases and other similar containers. They only regulate temperature and water. This keeps them happy and active. In this article, you will find out why bettas jump out of their tank. So let’s get started.

Do Bettas Jump out of Water?

If you are wondering if Betta fish could jump, the answer is yes. Bettas are naturally good jumpers however, you may not want them to jump out of their home. In fact, Bettas do not jump out of the water tank if they are happy with their surroundings. Also, not all Betta fish would jump even if the opportunity is available. Similar to human beings, individual Betta fish behave in different ways.

The Jumping Nature of Betta Fish

Some betta fish love to enjoy their life and usually jump out as an escape from poor water tank conditions. Many betta fish owners have stories of coming back home to empty aquariums. With Betta fish lying dead nearby somewhere. The interesting element of the story is that the fish can survive. Survival is longer in the dry compared to all the other fish. This is due to their ability to breath from the air directly. The labyrinth organ helps them to breathe atmospheric oxygen directly from the air. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t need water. Water is still required to keep their gills wet. Otherwise, your betta fish is at the risk of getting into a bigger problem.

How high does a Betta Fish Jump?

Now that we all know that Betta fish are naturally good jumpers. The next most important question is to know about how high can a Betta fish jump? According to most fish owners, bettas can jump 2 to 3 inches from the water surface. It is actually the average lift that a betta fish can get to. Betta owners have studied their fish behavior. They have carefully measured how high their betta is capable of jumping. This information helps in preventing bettas from jumping out of the water tank. This also keeps them healthy and happy inside the tank.

Betta fish has got an average lift of two to three inches from the water surface. But according to some pet owners, some bettas can jump up to 5 inches. 5 inches may seem achievable considering the total length of the betta and the speed at which they swim. In fact, some owners claimed their bettas jumping up to more than 5 inches.

Female Bettas Love to Jump!

Interestingly female bettas are more adventurous than their male counterparts. That’s because the female bettas love to jump more than the male bettas. This means that if you are to keep a group of female bettas, don’t forget to cover your aquarium with a lid. Some betta owners like to keep their aquariums divided with a separator. The divided betta aquariums help to keep the betta fish safe and secure from the separator wall. People usually practice this method to keep more than one male betta in their aquarium. The aquarium also has this type of setting due to breeding reasons. No matter what the case is, you need to be careful about betta fish hopping out of the water tank.

Why do Bettas Jump Out of the Tank?

Here are some common reasons why you bettas might jump out of their Tank:

Small Tank Size

Tank size is quite important. A small tank is prone to the ammonia buildup which causes betta to jump out of it. Solve it by putting bettas in a partitioned large tank. However, bettas find it tempting to jump to the other side for fighting the other colorful fish it sees as a rival.

Keeping Other Fish & Marine Animals with Betta

Keeping other fish with Betta is not recommended. It can cause your betta to jump out of their tank. Bettas are lone rangers and do not like to mix up even with their own kind. However, you can always choose other marine animals such as snails. Try putting the different female bettas to form a sorority. But don’t make a mistake of putting two male bettas together. They may just kill each other with their aggression. Also don’t ever consider fish such as tiger barbs, fin nippers and large predatory fish. These are the ones that Betta may go after. Don’t keep Shrimps with Bettas as Bettas love to eat them! This can also cause bettas to jump out of the water!

While Catching Wasps or Flies Outside The Tank

Bettas are carnivores, aggressive and gutty. In some situations, they may get so hungry to try and catch the wasps and flies moving around their tank. This may sound like an uncommon behavior but Betta fish are very capable of doing it. This is why make sure your tank doesn’t have any flies or wasps flying around it. There are different tips which you can follow. That would prevent the flies and wasps from getting around your aquarium and stop your bettas to jump out of the tank.

Disturbed Cycle of Sleeping

Similar to human beings, Bettas too have a sleep cycle that is important for them to stay happy and healthy. If the cycle becomes disturbed, Betta would become restless and frustrated. He won’t know when to stay awake or when to fall asleep and this would also affect his dieting habits. All this would confuse him and would eventually cause him to jump out of the tank.

Cold Water

Betta Fish can jump out of the tank if the water is too cold. Betta fish prefer a temperature between 78 and 82 degrees Farenheight. Bettas can’t live happily in the cold water. How long can betta fish live in the cold water?

Poor Water Condition in Tank

Betta fish can jump out of the tank if the water is dirty. Aquarium water gets dirty after some days. If the water is not changed regularly, it becomes harmful for your betta fish. When betta fish can’t live in that poor water condition, they jump out of the aquarium. The presence of Ammonia and other harmful substance also might cause your bettas to jump out of the water.

How to Prevent Bettas From Jumping out of their Tank?

You may not have seen betta jumping out of the tank. But this doesn’t mean that a betta fish isn’t capable of jumping around. What you need to be careful about is to make sure your betta doesn’t jump out of the tank. You can easily prevent it from happening.

Selecting the Right Aquarium for Your Betta

The reason why Bettas are a popular pet fish because they are very easy to keep and maintain. Keeping Bettas is economical since they don’t require a large aquarium or space to swim around. Although, you can always buy a large water tank if you want since big space isn’t a problem at all. However, when it comes to selecting the Betta tank, check the weight of the aquarium. Most of the aquariums are 10 lbs per gallon. Don’t forget a heater and a filter inside your aquarium. This will keep Betta healthy and happy.

Keep the Fish Tank clean to avoid Betta Jump

Also, try to maintain your aquarium water and clean it twice a week to keep Bettas active. An active Betta entertains it’s silent observers and doesn’t think about jumping out. Bettas are habitual to tropical environments so keep the water neither too cold nor too hot.

Maintain Proper Water Levels

Maintain the water levels of your aquarium at or below 3 inches from the topmost surface. This is a safe limit to maintain even when the aquarium has a tight lid over it. With time, you will learn more about the jumping habits and nature of betta.

Keep a Warm Temperature

Install a heating device and maintain a specific water temperature. This helps to prevent bettas from jumping. The ideal temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees. Add some aquatic plants for reducing ammonia and nitrates. This would also give a secure feeling to the fish. Top up the aquarium with a holed lid cover. Allow air inside while preventing bettas from coming outside.

Add a Lid to the surface

Cover your fish tank or aquarium with something to keep the flies and wasps from moving around it. Fish water attracts bugs. This means that you must clean the aquarium at least twice weekly. The aquarium cover would also prevent water scent to get out since they follow it.

The lid is a definitive way to prevent bettas to jump out of the fish tank. You can’t stop them from jumping, but you can always install a cover to counter the jumps. However, the only issue with a lid is that it still comes with some gaps. Gaps are present around the filter for airline tubing in case of a sponge filter. Holes are also present to make space for heaters. Bettas have the capacity to still jump out of the lidded water tank according to their lean physique.

There are bettas that love to break their monotonous routine by jumping around. This is why it’s always better to treat your betta as a jumping fish. Take all the precautionary measures against it. Aquarium lids are one of the most common solutions for countering bettas jumping. A number of stylish aquariums with lids are available in the market. You can also try a home-made lid in case you don’t like any rimless aquariums available in the market.

Add Some aquarium accessories

In case you do purchase a rimless or a regular aquarium without a lid, try to add some accessories in the water tank. You can always purchase live plants that have the capacity to float on the water surface. These plants will act as an obstacle against bettas’ jumping. You can always research about the aquatic plants. It is healthy to keep plants aside betta in an aquarium. You can also try fake floating plants in case you don’t want to opt for the live ones. It can help to reduce the tendency of bettas to jump out of the water.

Keep Good Water Quality

Bettas love to jump but sometimes it happens due to poor water quality. Always conduct water tests to check if it’s really clean or not. Check the ammonia, pH and other chemicals such as nitrite and nitrate. Some Bettas like to hoist themselves on the top of the aquarium. In case of this situation, check your aquarium water to rule out issues related to poor water quality. Usually, there is nothing wrong most of the time in such cases, but it’s good to take precautions some times.

Say No to Ammonia

Make sure there is no ammonia present inside your aquarium. That’s because it destroys scales, gill plates and fins. Another harmful chemical is Nitrite which prevents oxygen from getting outside blood. Nitrate is the last chemical to be careful about. Nitrite and ammonia have the capacity to burn your Betta. Don’t forget to clean your tank regularly as this will reduce the jumping habit of Betta. Cleaning will also keep all the chemicals to the reduced acceptable level. This will keep bettas healthy and stable and stop bettas to jump out of the tank.

Make Sure There are Proper Hiding Places in the Tank

Also, give a homish environment to make Bettas feel at home to feel safe and secure. A safe Betta doesn’t want to jump out of the tank but prefers to hide somewhere inside the tank.

Since they are a freshwater fish, they love jungle looking environment. They like resting on the leaves inside the aquarium. Plants also keep the water clean. In short, Bettas love a place they can hide into, be it under some plant leaf or a cave.

This may sound like something small to you but helps Bettas to stay safe and not go jumping around out of the water.

Take Care of the Lighting

Pay attention to your aquarium’s lighting. Lighting also affects Betta. Try and give at least 8 hours a day with lights to Betta so he gets time to rest for the remaining hours. Lighting is also important for keeping a positive circadian rhythm.

Make it feel at home

Make use of plants and other decoration items to decorate your fish tank. This will make Betta feel at home and not as a stranger kept at a strange place. You can also use lighting as this would have a positive effect on your Betta and would also reduce its stress. You can always make use of a day/night cycle through a timer. Bettas live in still water, so make sure the filter produces a gentle flow instead of a strong one.

Floating Objects are Only a Hindrance

Adding floating objects to your want tank’s top surface is a good move. However, it doesn’t completely prevent bettas from taking a long jump out of the water. Objects floating on the water surface are only a hindrance. You would still have to go with a better and safer option to 100% guarantee bettas from jumping out.

Don’t Use any pesticides

Don’t ever try to use pesticides. Pesticides are dangerous for Bettas. It can also contaminate your water tank so avoid them in all cases.

Different Aquarium Designs to Prevent Betta Jump

A number of aquarium designs are available in the market which comes with feeding holes in the lid. Although these holes make it easy to drop the feed at feeding time. Yet, they are also dangerous and risky for jumping bettas. As a result, you would need to cover the holes with something that would stand against the jump of bettas.

How to Make  Customized Lid for Your Aquarium

If you are one of creative-minded pet fish owners, the idea of making a lid on your own must have crossed. A number of Betta owners like to design their own lid. Several videos are also available on YouTube to help keep your bettas safe. Use customized lids to ensure protection and safety.

Lids are usually made of glass, which looks great. However, they are available without any holes to adjust the filters. You can always cut a lid of glass at hardware stores to get some space for the air to help bettas breathe. Lids with large gaps need fixing. Don’t forget to put something on the gaps to prevent bettas’ escape. Use a plastic wrap or an aquarium sponge that does not dissolve in water while keeping food safe.

You just need a regular looking lid. Don’t opt for anything superficial or super fancy. Most of the Betta owners like using a simple plastic wrap. This not only prevents the jumping bettas to get outside. But also help baby bettas in their labyrinth organ growth and development.

How to Save Bettas After Jumping out of the Tank?

Saving Betta in Emergency Cases

If you find your Betta out of the water tank, put it inside the water tank. If its scales are still wet, it will start to swim in a few minutes. But if your fish is having difficulty with blogs, you will have to conduct some tests. Take bubbler in a bowl and try to give bubble steam to Fish’s face. This will oxygenate the fish by passing through its mouth and gills. This is also a resuscitation method.

Gills are Important

Gills are an important body part for all fish types and the same goes for Bettas. In case you see the mouth or gills getting sealed, try to open them. Use tweezers or anything that can function like it. You can also try holding your fish in front of a bubbler and pass it through filtered water. This will help open its mouth and gills.

For the fins, make sure they are not dried otherwise they will get damaged. But that doesn’t happen in most situations since fish like to keep their fins safe. Also, check for fungal or bacterial infection around the fins.


Bettas are no doubt lovely pet fish that fish lovers love to keep. However, to make sure Bettas stay beautiful and colorful, maintain them properly. If you follow the tips above, you can stop your lovely bettas to jump out of the tank. As jumping would otherwise lead to their death.

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