Are Neon Tetras Jumpers? 7 Reasons Why They May Jump Out Of Tank

Are Neon Tetras Jumpers? 7 Reasons Why they may Jump out of tank

One of the most important things many people consider before buying a pet fish is if they could jump, or if they are jumpers. In this article, you will learn if Neon Tetras could jump and many more about them. Neon Tetras are small and very popular freshwater aquarium fish. They are popular because they are easy to maintain, and could cope in a community tank. They are non-aggressive fish and do require non-aggressive tankmates too. If you want to know if they are jumpers, then read this article to the end.

Are Neon Tetras jumpers? Yes, Neon Tetras are jumpers and could jump out of the tank if they get the opportunity.

There are many freshwater fish that could jump and might jump out of the tank if proper care is not taken, and Neon Tetras are one of them.

Despite being small in size, they could still be able to jump if they want, and there are some reasons why they may do that, which we will look into in a short while.

I have heard some aquarium hobbyists say ‘ they have lost many of their Neons, and they do wonder if something is eating them or they are eating themselves. Well, adults don’t eat each other, unless there is an aggressive fish in the tank or they jumped out and died.

With all said, here are some of the reasons why they may jump out of the tank.

Why Neon Tetras Will Jump Out Of The Tank

1. Stress: No animal likes to be stressed, not even fish.

Neon Tetras are kind of fragile fish and don’t like being stressed by anything, be it tank mate, water conditions, etc and when they are Stressed, they will try to leave that environment, and so, this might lead to them jumping out of the tank in order to escape the stress.

Stress could be very fatal to many kinds of fish, including this particular fish and anything that could lead to stress must be avoided in order for them to live happily or you risk having them go missing, especially if their tank is not covered.

2. Tank size: Tank size matters a lot to so many aquatic animals and this particular type of fish is not an exemption.

The fact is, every fish and other aquatic animals need enough space to swim about and feel comfortable, if not they will become stressed, unhealthy, and aggressive, and for a fish like Neon Tetra, it will want to leave such a tank and that could lead to it jumping out of the tank or at least try to.

The recommended tank size for a Neon Tetra should not be less than 15 Gallons, because they are very active fish and will need to swim about in their tanks and be healthy and lively too.

So, one of the reasons why yours are jumping out of the tank or at least trying to jump out is probably because the tank is too small to contain them or it is overstocked.

3. Unsuitable tank mates: As I explained above, these fish are non-aggressive and also small in size, so they are usually intimidated by other fish, especially the much bigger and aggressive or semi-aggressive fish.

Due to their small size, other fish, including other species of Tetras might even eat or bully them, so that might be the sole reason why they are jumping and trying to get out in order to escape aggression.

So, it is advisable to know the type of fish you keep together with them and avoid keeping much bigger fish and aggressive fish with them.

4. Wrong Water Parameters: Every aquatic animal has its special water parameters and when these particular water parameters are not in place, they might become uncomfortable and will be eager to leave such an environment.

The ideal water parameters for Neon Tetras are: pH should be between 6.8 and 7.8, alkalinity between 3° and 8° dkH (50 ppm to 140 ppm), and temperature between 75° and 80° F.

So, when these are not replicated in their tanks, it could lead to stress and they will try to run away from such a tank, that may be why yours is trying to escape or has escaped already.

That’s why it is advisable to get the necessary water testing kits, heater, etc, in order to keep them comfortable.

5. Poor Water Quality: Dirty water or water infected by diseases and some Toxins such as Ammonia, nitrates, chlorine, etc are very harmful to any aquatic animal including your fish.

Once water contains toxins, it will become a hell for any fish in it and they will try to leave such water and will die if they continue staying in such water.

Many things could breed diseases and toxins in aquarium water such as poops, urine, dead animals, uncycled tanks, etc.

So, if your fish is trying to jump out, then get a water testing kit and test your water and if you see any toxin, try to change the water daily until everything is set again.

6. They are Natural Explorers: Sometimes there might be nothing wrong with either the water or the tank, etc, but they will purposely want to jump out once they get the opportunity to because they are natural explorers.

This happens when the tank is uncovered and then the water level is almost at the top of the tank, making it very easy for them to jump out and escape or the tank is too small for them to easily jump out.

So, if you check and there seems to be nothing wrong that may warrant them to do this, then you shouldn’t be confused because it’s just in their nature to explore.

7. Fear factor: Sometimes they will be jumping about and will escape if they are new to an environment.

When they are introduced to a new environment, they will be afraid, especially if there are other fish in the tank.

Apart from being new to an environment, another reason why they might behave this way is that they are afraid, maybe as a result of noise in the environment, traffic and even as a result of bright light in their environment.

How To Stop Neon Tetras From Jumping Out Of The Tank

Stopping them from jumping out of the tank is very simple, just find solutions to the reasons why they are doing it and you will be totally fine.

Buy a tank lid and cover your aquarium in order for them not to jump.

Avoid keeping them with other fish, especially aggressive and semi-aggressive and bigger fish in order to avert stress.

Check their water quality always and change it at least once a week.

Feed them properly and with quality food too for them not to starve and want to escape.

Keep a low or dim light for them and avoid bright lights because they don’t seem to like it.

Why Do Tetras Jump Out Of Tank?

Apart from Neon Tetras, other Tetras such as the Cardinal Tetras, Rummy nose Tetras, Black Tetras, Flaming Tetras, Green Tetras, etc could also jump out of the tank if the environment is not suitable for them.

How High Can Neon Tetras Jump?

Being able to jump out and escape from a tank, you might be interested to know how high they could jump.

How high can Neon Tetras Jump? Neon Tetras could jump up to 2-10 inches, that’s why they could be able to jump out of a tank.

Although they are small in size, it doesn’t stop them from leaping up high when they want to.

In the wild, they could jump up to 10 inches or a bit more, depending on the size of the fish.

They use this method to transport themselves from one pond to another in the wild.

How Long Can Neon Tetras Live Out Of Water?

Neon Tetra could only survive for 2-5 minutes out of water.

The question of how long they could survive out of water depends on the type of environment they find themselves in, for instance, they can’t last more than 2 minutes in a dry environment but could last more than 5 minutes if they stay in a humid and cool environment, so it all depends.

Can You Keep Neon Tetras In An Open Aquarium?

Neon Tetras could be kept in an open aquarium, but it is not recommended because they could easily jump out and escape.

It is recommended to get a lid for your tank, or at least cover the surface with floating planks, leaves, etc, but I strongly suggest you buy a tank lid for your tanks.

Do Neon Tetras Swim Fast?

Neon Tetras are fast swimmers because they are small in size and also light.

This is why they could easily jump out of a tank and outrun predators in the wild.


All tetras are jumpers, including Neon Tetra, so be careful, or you will find them Missing one day.