Do neon tetras jump? - Real fish tank (2023)

A neon tetra is unlikely to jump out of an aquarium. So if you're asking why your neon tetra jumped out of the water, something might be wrong.

Yes, neon tetras jump! If this does happen, it is an indication that the quality of the water is much less than the ideal water condition. This could be a major reason why the neon tetra is forced to pop out. If the water conditions are right, it will be rather difficult to determine why the neon tetra jumped out.

Neon tetras are jumpers and will do so if there is an unfavorable situation that does not suit them e.g. crowded pond or stressful space.

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(Video) My neon tetra jumped out :(

Why does Neon Tetra jump out of the aquarium?


As soon as a neon tetra feels any discomfort, they will resort to jumping out of the pond, especially in cases where you have other aggressive incompatible species such as cichlids, angelfish and Bettas. Due to their small nature, they are susceptible to predation by other species. Larger fish tend to be a nuisance to the neon tetra while fleeing for their lives, they may eventually jump out of the pond.

It's important to look out for a rather subtle tank mate. That is if you want to keep other fish species in the same tank with your neon tetras. For example, you can include dwarf gouramis, barbs, and rasboras.

The neon tetra enjoys each other's company and will do well in a school of 15 - 20 individuals. Keeping a few can actually stress them out, which can lead to them jumping out of the tank.

Condition of water

The neon tetra is very picky about the water they thrive in. Since this breed of fish is mostly found in tropical areas, it is important to keep the water they are in warm. The water should be about 72 - 76 degrees CelsiusDo neon tetras jump? - Real fish tank (1). The pH of the water should be between 6.0 and 7.0.

Dirty or polluted water

Never downplay the role of a good filtration system. It plays an important role in reducing waste levels in the water, including ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. Ammonia and nitrate are particularly toxic to fish.

They easily accumulate in a tank overcrowded with fish waste products. This means constantly changing the water to ensure it is clean and perfect for the well-being of the fish.

(Video) 5 Reasons Why Neon Tetras Die

In water polluted with toxins, these fish cannot breathe properly due to poor aeration.

This makes the neon tetra very uncomfortable causing them to jump out of the tank. You can control this by planting organisms such as algae, nitrosomonas and nitrobacteria to promote oxygenation.

Limited living space

This is one of the most common causes of a fish jumping out of the tank. Because of how small the neon tetra is, they are easily overcrowded, which makes them uncomfortable.

The neon tetras are small fish that like to explore their environment and roam freely. It is advisable not to place a neon tetra in an aquarium that cannot hold up to 20 liters of water. This could easily limit their living space.

It is a good development to use stones to form shelters so that they can retreat to a certain niche of the pond if they feel crowded. They can also fit in an aquarium that requires 5 gallons of water when there are no other fish species. To prevent jumping out, the aquarium must have a suitable lid.

Urge to explore

The neon tetra is a very curious fish that likes to explore its environment. This is actually a common characteristic of living things. If the tank is open, this particular urge can cause them to jump out of the tank.

(Video) Neon Tetra jumping jacks

Fear of a new environment

Like all other types of living creatures, the neon tetra is uncomfortable when taken out of its natural habitat. This can cause the neon tetra to feel agitated or frightened and may cause it to jump outside the pond.

This is most commonly seen in fish brought over from a pond to spend their lives in an aquarium. This abrupt change of scenery can make the fish uncomfortable, especially in the first few days. Factors such as bright light, confined spaces, constant current, and other factors can easily startle the neon tetra.

Insufficient nutrition

If a neon tetra is not fed properly, it can starve to death, as food is essential to the growth of any living organism. To escape death from starvation, the neon tetra may have no choice but to jump out of the tank in search of food. This can be mitigated by ensuring that there is an optimal amount of food for the neon tetra to feed on.


If a neon tetra is sick, it may find a suitable place to rest, allowing it to jump out of the tank. It is important to isolate a sick neon tetra so that it does not become prey to healthy neon tetras. It is also important to reduce instances of bullying from the aquarium.

Aquarium lighting

Bright light can stress your fish, especially when introducing new pond mates. It is important to use a very dim light or better off the light for 30 minutes to 1 hour after adding new fish. This helps them to settle in, after which the light can be switched on. This way they feel more at home in the new environment and they do not receive unwanted attention.

Have you ever noticed how some older fish try to eat the newly spawned fish, this is part of the problem you see when you don't feed them properly.

(Video) It's illegal to own these fish? 🚫🐠

How long can a neon tetra survive out of water?

Depending on the temperature and humidity in the room. A neon tetra can gasp for oxygen for up to 1 to 2 minutes.

It depends on the surface they fell on. If they fall on a non-absorbent floor such as wood or tile, they can last longer. This is because of the water they take with them when they jump out.

What to do if your Neon Tetra jumps?

It is important to put them back in the water quickly. Do this by placing a piece of cardboard or thin paper so that you can grab them.

For a fish that has been out of the aquarium for quite some time, it is usually difficult to resuscitate. Fish breeders usually either keep them in a separate tank to keep them on the current so they can get enough oxygen.

Can you keep a Neon Tetra in an open aquarium?

It is possible to train neon tetras in an open tank, but it is recommended that you use a closed tank. The neon tetra is a very active fish and could therefore easily jump out of an open aquarium. You can also achieve this by keeping a lower water level in the tank.

How high can a neon tetra jump?

There really is no specific height that a neon tetra can jump, as no scientist has specifically researched it. But fish like Betta fish, which are almost as small as the neon tetra, jump up to 2 - 3 inches while the Guppies jump about 8 - 15 inches. So it is possible that a neon tetra can jump that high.

(Video) How To Prevent FISH From JUMPING OUT Of Planted Tanks


In a discussion about jumping fish, say goldfish and betas, the neon tetra could fit into the conversation. Of course they are also very good jumpers. So make sure you cover the aquarium well.

It is also important to ensure that the water conditions are suitable. This can help prevent them from jumping out of the tank.


Do neon tetras jump out tank? ›

Neon Tetras are one of those species that can propel themselves out of the water for many obvious and probable reasons. So, do neon tetras jump? Yes, neon tetras do jump and can, on occasion, escape from their tanks and, unfortunately, end up on their owner's cold hard floor.

Why are my tetras swimming into the glass? ›

Your fish may also feel physically crowded in an overstocked tank, which can result in them pacing the glass. Fish need space to swim, and when a tank is crammed with other fish or decorations it can be stressful for them. Unlike in the wild, there is nowhere for them to go if they don't like their current location.

What is the behavior of neon tetras in a tank? ›

Neon tetras are a peaceful and non-aggressive species, and they get along well with most other community fish. Although they're often found swimming in schools of 15 or more, you can still keep just 10 of them, if you want.

Why are my neon tetras going to the top of the tank? ›

When dissolved oxygen levels are low, fish hang at the surface and gasp, as the surface area has the highest oxygen level in the tank because it's in contact with the air. If low oxygen levels are to blame and you don't remedy the situation many common species of fish like Tetras will die.

Are neon tetras sensitive to light? ›

Neon tetra eggs and fry are very sensitive to light. The light will actually kill them, so it's best to keep the tank as dark as possible until the fry are several weeks old.

How long can neon tetras survive out of water? ›

But some of the most petite types of aquarium fish, like neon tetras and guppies, can only survive out of water for ten minutes! Generally, freshwater fish have a maximum out-of-water survivability time ranging between ten minutes and one hour.

Why does my fish keep hitting the tank? ›

If your fish is swimming frantically without going anywhere, crashing at the bottom of his tank, rubbing himself on gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be experiencing significant stress. Talk to your veterinarian about treatment and look into what may be causing the stress and alleviating it.

What part of the tank do tetras swim in? ›

These fish will stay in the middle of the fish tank: Angelfish. Black Phantom Tetra: Keep these in schools. Black Widow Tetra.

Is it normal for fish to swim up and down the glass? ›

“Glass surfing” is when a fish – such as betta fish, gouramis, and cichlids – repeatedly swims up and down along the tank walls. It could be caused by stress, boredom, defense of territory, and other reasons.

How do you know if a neon tetra is happy? ›

Your fish are happy and healthy when they: Swim actively throughout the entire tank, not just hanging out or laying at the bottom, floating near the top or hiding behind plants and ornaments.

Do neon tetras need to be fed every day? ›

When feeding Neon Tetras, simply follow the same feeding schedule that you do for other tropical fish in your aquarium. Once per day is generally sufficient but if you want to feed them once in the morning and once at night, that's fine. The trick to feeding Neon Tetras is to feed them just enough and never too much.

Do neon tetras get sick easily? ›

In our experience, these tetras are just as hardy as other danios and rasboras, but there are several factors that may weaken their immunity and make them more inclined to catch illnesses. Let's discuss why neon tetras get sick, what is neon tetra disease, and how to prevent it.

How do I know if my neon tetra is stressed? ›

Strange Swimming: When fish are stressed, they often develop odd swimming patterns. If your fish is swimming frantically without going anywhere, crashing at the bottom of his tank, rubbing himself on gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be experiencing significant stress.

Why are neon tetras hard to keep? ›

Wild Neon Tetras are generally a hard breed of fish but commercial breeding has softened them slightly, making them a little more delicate so we need to take that into consideration when setting up a tank.

How do I know if my tetras are happy? ›

Your fish are happy and healthy when they: Swim actively throughout the entire tank, not just hanging out or laying at the bottom, floating near the top or hiding behind plants and ornaments.

Where do neon tetras swim in the tank? ›

Neon Tetras spend most of their time in the middle of the tank. They'll go up to the surface to eat, but other than that, they will swim around in medium depths. This means you don't have to worry much about getting a natural-looking substrate. The fish do fine with gravel, sand, and anything else you want to use.


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