Do Danio Fish Jump? 9 reasons why Danios could escape from their tanks

Do Danio Fish Jump? 9 reasons why Danios escape from their Tanks

Fish are unpredictable creatures and do exhibit some strange and funny behaviors when it suits them such as jumping and escaping their tanks. It is very common for some fish to jump and escape their tanks, especially those active and fast Swimming fish like the Danio fish. Danios are very active but small fish that are often kept in the aquarium because of their very active and lively nature, and again because they love to stay in groups. Many people do wonder if these fish are jumpers and if they could be able to escape from their tanks, judging by how active and fast they are. If you are wondering the same, then this article is for you, so read to the end to fully understand everything.

Do Danio fish jump? Danios are very active fish and great Jumpers too. They jump a lot in the wild which they use to escape from predators, catch food, and move from one pond to another.

Fish jumping is not a new thing because many fish could do that, especially those active and fast fish such as Flowerhorns, Bettas, Clownfish, Gobies, Killifish, Barbs, etc.

Knowing how active, lively, and fast Danios could be, especially when they are in their school because they school a lot and can’t live alone without being in large numbers, you will understand that they have a great potential to jump out of their tanks whenever they want, especially when they are chasing each other.

Danios are active fish, that’s why they do jump and could jump out of their tanks if they have the opportunity.

Are Danios Jumpers?

Yes, Danios are great jumpers and they jump in the wild to get food at the surface and to travel or to escape from predators.

Danios are small fish, although they have many species or types such as the Zebra Danios, Glowlight Danios, Blue Danios, etc, they all have one thing in common, which are: they are active, they school and they are jumpers.

Although the average size of a Danio fish is 3 inches and some are way smaller than that, that’s why I sometimes call them small fish, and that’s why they could be very active and agile, and that’s why they could easily move themselves to jump and to race too.

Being great Jumpers, this makes them perfect escape artists because they are known to have escaped from many tanks, including those with lids.

They could be able to escape from aquariums even though it is covered once they find any gap.

Many people have complained of how theirs escaped and died out of dehydration or cat or dog have eaten them, etc which is very sad. Now I will explain some of the commonest reasons why they could jump or escape from tanks and how to prevent that.

Why Do Danios Jump Or Escape From Their Tanks

There are many reasons why these fish could jump and try to escape from their tanks, they are:

1. Unsuitable Water Temperature: We all know that every aquatic animal has a specific temperature they are comfortable with, some dwells in cold, and some dwells in warm water.

Those warm water fish are known as tropical fish because they dwell in warm water even in the wild, and when exposed to cold water, they will not be comfortable and will try to exit.

Danios are tropical water dwellers and do not like staying in cold water, this is why they are jumping and are trying to escape from your tank.

Their ideal temperature is 65-75°F and could tolerate a steady temperature of 80-82°F. This is why they must have a heater in their tanks, so get one for them.

2. Unsuitable Water: Water goes a long way to impact the overall health and happiness of your fish and when the water they are into is not suitable for them, maybe as a result of dirt, toxins, etc the fish won’t be happy nor healthy and may try to leave.

The truth is, dirty water could breed toxins in the tanks such as ammonia, nitrite, chlorine, and many diseases and might even deplete the level of oxygen in the tanks which could even kill your fish.

When they notice all these unfriendly chemicals and toxins in their water, they will try to leave the water by trying to jump to escape.

This is why it is advisable to get them a filter and place it in their tanks to help filter or clean off the dirt for you.

3. Curiosity: Fish, in general, are curious creatures, especially active fish like the Danios.

Being curious means that they love to explore and would explore anything they see and so will try to escape if they see the opportunity so that they could be able to explore the outside of the tank.

This is to say that sometimes there is nothing wrong with your fish if they escape or try to, just that they are curious creatures that love to explore things.

4. Small Tank Size: Another reason why Danios may try to escape is when they are kept in small tank size.

Although they are small fish, but depending on how active and how many they are normally kept because they are schooling fish, small tanks are not suitable for them.

The highest they could grow is only 4 inches, but they don’t like being kept less than 6 in a tank, which is what made them schooling fish, so they require up to 55 gallons of tank to keep them in large groups.

Although 6 or 12 of them could comfortably fit into a 30-gallon tank, but I suggest 55 and above because being in such a large tank will not only give them unlimited freedom but restrict their routs of escape because the tank will be way bigger than them and they can’t easily jump out to escape.

5. Aggression/Unsuitable Tank Mates: One of the most common reasons why these fish could escape or try to is when they are being kept with aggressive animals.

The fact is no fish like being in the same environment with aggressive animals because they will either be stressed or eaten.

Although Danios could sometimes bully each other which could lead to stress, but that is not very common and there are reasons for that too.

6. Stress: No animal like to be Stressed and when they are exposed to it, they will become very uncomfortable and might try to leave the environment.

There are many things that could cause stress, some of them are wrong water parameters such as wrong pH, water hardiness, etc.

As I explained above, toxins such as nitrite, ammonia, chlorine, absence of many of their kind, aggression, etc could stress them.

If yours are trying to leave, maybe you might have to test their water to know if there is any toxin in the water, so get water testing API kits.

7. Lack of Enough Danios to School with:
As you must have learned, Danios are schooling fish and don’t do well nor feel comfortable without their kind.

When they are not many in their tanks, they will fight each other and even other fish and might even kill themselves.

They will be depressed and will want to jump out of the tank to escape.

This is why the number of Danios to keep in a tank is from 6 up so that they could at least be happy and active.

Being full of activities every time, they need play partners which are their kind and also many things of interest to explore such as caves, pipes, substrates, and many more which will always keep them busy.

8. Switching on a bright light near their tanks: It is not advisable to keep a very bright light near their tanks because switching it on all of a sudden could startle them which could lead to panic and stress and it might make them uncomfortable.

There are many recommended aquarium lights for fish like Danios, so get one for them.

9. Noise/Traffic: Another thing that could make your Danios want to leave your tank is when they are being made uncomfortable with noises and people often passing or disturbing their water.

These will stress them so much, and as we all know, no fish likes to be Stressed, so this might make them escape if they get the chance.

Apart from people and noise, domestic animals like cats and dogs could startle them and make them uncomfortable too.

How To Stop Danios From Escaping From Their Tanks

This article can’t be complete without you learning how to Stop your jumping fish like the Danios from escaping your tank and dying.

To stop them from leaving, there are a few ways to do it:

1. Buy a tank Lid and cover your tank: A lid is the most effective way to secure your jumping fish from escaping, so buy one.

Although, Danios could escape even from a tiny gap they see, so make sure that your tank lid covers everything, including the tiny space because you can never be so sure of what these fish could do, lol.

2. Always keep them busy: You might be wondering how, but it is so easy, just get things they do love to explore all day such as caves, pipes, substrates, live plants, etc.

3. Make sure that they are kept in their ideal water parameters devoid of toxins.

Like I advised above, get both heater, filter, air stone, or air pump and water testing kits to be able to keep them comfortable and always check their water for any toxin with your test kits.

Always do at least 30% change of water once you notice any toxin and change their water gently without disturbing them and causing stress for them.

4. Avoid buying them bright aquarium lights, because bright lights could startle ten which could lead to stress.

5. Do not disturb them by making loud noises or keeping them at a location where many people do pass or where dog or cat is.

6. Always keep them with their kind because they are schooling fish and can’t live alone nor in small numbers.

7. Avoid filling your tank almost to the top as this will give them easy access to jump out if there is no lid on the tank.

8. You can cover the top or surface with floating plants. This will make them think that the tank is covered, but I must warn you, that this method is not 100% reliable.

Are Zebra Danios Jumpers?

All Danios are jumpers, including Zebra Danios, that’s why they are sometimes referred to as the little jumpers.

All Danios are jumpers and will jump when they feel like it, so Zebra Danios are great jumpers.

Do Danios Swim At The Top?

Danios are known to be surface or top dwelling fish, although they could dwell at any part of the tank, they stay more at the top and the middle of the tank.

They are very active fish and could stay anywhere they feel like, but they are not much of bottom dwellers, although they could run around everywhere chasing each other and playing, etc.


Danios are great jumpers despite their small size and they will escape if proper care and protection are not given to them.