Last Updated on January 5, 2022 by cmoarz
Why do goldfish jump out of the water? Isn’t it a death sentence if they land on dry land?
In fact, why do goldfish even jump out of the water in the first place? Do they always go back into the pond once they land on dry land? How does that work? Why do goldfish jump in the first place and what can be done to stop it from happening?
The truth is goldfish will jump out of water for a lot of reasons, and they are almost all entirely bad.
First off let’s take a look at what goldfish do when they jump out of the water. How can you tell if it’s just a simple case of jumping that comes from being excited and happy, or jumping due to distress?
Simply put, goldfish don’t jump out of water when they’re happy and excited. If you see a goldfish jumping it’s entirely because something is wrong.
They may spring up a bit to catch a bug, or if they are being chased. But overall, They won’t jump out of the water on purpose unless they are in pain or there is something deadly wrong with the water they are in.
Some of these include ammonia spikes, the temperature drops too low (or high), or other water conditions that are bad for goldfish.
They may also jump out of the water if the oxygen levels are too low for them to survive. This is sometimes the case if there are a lot of fish in a small pond, or they have been chasing each other around and the oxygen levels fall too low.
Another common reason for jumping is that there has been a chemical reaction to their water conditioner. If this happens, usually it will happen all at once, and they will leap up and land on the edge of the pond or even on dry land.
It’s not just a pond either. Goldfish will also jump out of an aquarium or fish bol for the same reasons, often leading to a painful fall and death.
How Do I Stop My Goldfish Jumping Out of the Pond?
If you spot your fish jumping out of their pond or bowls, it’s a sign you need to take immediate action.
The first thing you should do is start a large water change while simultaneously testing the water for ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and temperature. These are the most common culprits of mistakes that lead to a goldfish jumping out.
If you have a quarantine tank, then move your fish into this tank. This will save you from losing all your aquatic life if something truly terrible happened in your main pond or aquarium.
Be sure your pond and tank are getting sufficient oxygenation and agitation.
If the tests come back negative for problems then you need to start looking around the area to see if any contamination could have leeched into the pond.
If your pond is in an area where pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers are used then this could be the problem. Test your water to see if any trace elements of these chemicals are in the water.
Do a visual check of the surrounding area. Are there any leaks or cracks in the borders of your pond? Is there a new water feature nearby that has changed the flow of the water at all?
If you’ve used any new medications in the pond or aquarium, this could also be the cause even if you’ve used the correct dosage.
If you suspect medications to be the cause, a couple of large water changes to dilute the meds might be enough.
Otherwise, contact the supplier and ask them what to do if this happens. Usually, there is a specific technique they can give you to detoxify the fish before returning them to their pond or aquarium.
Also, consider adding a carbon filter to suck up any remaining medications.
How Do You Keep a Fish From Jumping Out of Water?
You can prevent fish from jumping out of the water by dealing with the issues that are causing it in the first place.
If your fish are jumping out of the pond because of low oxygen levels, make sure you have either a fountain or waterfall to help aerate your pond. Pond aeration is vital for the health and happiness of goldfish.
Be sure all the water parameters are stable and healthy for your goldfish.
A lot of people think they can add a bunch of fish to a pond or aquarium to make it look nice, but the problem is that these fish need a lot of attention and proper conditions in order to thrive.
And one of the biggest most important things you can do is make sure the temperature of the pond (or aquarium) is regulated properly so it doesn’t get too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
Provide shade to a portion of the pond for the fish, as well as cover properly in winter and with ice hole bubblers so they can continue to breathe at the surface during ice overs.
What Does It Mean When You See a Fish Jump Out of Water in the Wild?
Depending on the fish, it could be a natural phenomenon (some fish just like to jump), they could be getting chased by a predator, or are themselves hunting insects.
It could also be a sign that the water is dangerous or unhealthy for that particular fish.
In a large body of water, normally water parameters aren’t going to be a huge issue, so the main thing you should turn your mind towards is chemical spills and runoff polluting the lake or river.
As always, if you see a lot of fish floating on the surface dead, stay away from the water and contact your local wildlife authority as it’s a sign something very serious has happened.