Do Molly Fish Jump Out Of A Tank? What Do You Think??

Molly fish is prevalent among aquarists because of its vibrant color and easy-going nature. The way these hardy mollies make you fall in love with them and tempt you to keep them in your tank is pure magic. But I have seen things go south in the tank and fish fall. Various aquarium fish sometimes act completely out of behavior and might prefer a jump to escape the tank. But what about these unique little wonders? Will Molly fish jump out of the tank as well?

Yes, molly fish jump out of the tank when the water conditions are not optimum, you are not feeding them the right diet, the aquarium lid is absent, or you startle them with something new. Small tank, lack of food, overcrowding, ammonia poisoning, etc., contributes to bringing the inner athlete of your molly fish, and trust me, it can only get worse from there.

It is not new to find fish gasping and struggling to breathe and survive on the floor near the aquarium. But trust me, they will have no idea that they have just jumped to their death; hence, you will be the one to take the blow.

I know you have too many questions and very few answers, so considering that, I tried to collect all the information below.

Keep reading; trust me, this will help!

Jumping Behavior Of Fish

Fish are a curious bunch. They love observing and exploring the things around them. Thus, they always try to get out of their home. One thing that fish like to do is jump.

The most common time for fish to want to jump up from their tanks is when there’s an unfamiliar face nearby. Fish often react by jumping as high as possible to see who it is without having anything too close to them underwater.

In the wild, fish often jump to avoid predators. If they sense danger from low-flying birds or other animals that might threaten them in their environment, a quick leap out of water is sometimes all it takes to get away.

Sometimes this behavior can lead to territorialism as well. For example, when one species of fish feels threatened by another who intruded on its territory while exploring more open space, it will lunge upwards with firm intention and attempt to escape through aggression.

You can stop this from happening by filling up your aquarium with water plants instead of rocks (which make for great hiding places).

Do Molly Fish Jump Out Of A Tank?

Molly fish are usually shy fish, and they jump out of tanks. However, if you have a large tank, the fish may be able to move around in enough water to stay submerged while still reaching the surface for air.

Molly fish need oxygen from time to time, or else they will die but usually come up on their own when required instead of jumping out of the tank onto your floor, as some people assume.

You might want to consider getting a smaller tank if you think a bigger tank is causing problems with your mollies to help them breathe easier without having too much room.

Why Do Molly Fish Jump Out Of The Tank?

Although jumping out of the tank is less common in Molly Fish, they can jump out of the tank.

The most common reason they would want to do this is if their water levels are getting too low or there’s not enough oxygen in the tank, and they’re looking for a way out.

Besides this, some other reasons why Molly fish jump out of the water are:

Small Tank

The tank you select for Moly fish might not be an appropriate size, or you may keep too many fish in a smaller tank.

If this is the case, they will need to move onto a bigger tank so that one specific fish doesn’t feel like other Molly Fish encroached on their space. A smaller tank fails to supply enough oxygen and space for your fish, so they escape.

Not Enough Food

Molly fish are omnivorous, and they will eat anything you feed them. When you overfeed your fish, they feel hungry all the time. So they’ll either start eating each other or jump out of the water, looking for food elsewhere.

Molly Fish jumping out of tanks happen when certain factors fail to meet (like nutritious food). For example, sometimes, the food you feed your fish fails to meet the nutritional demand of Mollies. As a result, they will jump and swim around, searching for food.

Lack of Oxygen

A lack of oxygen can happen in a tank if there’s not enough room for the fish to swim around. One way you could fix this is by making sure that your Molly Fish have plenty of space in their tanks to inhale and exhale without trouble.

Besides this, a lack of filtration system and proper water changes can also cause deficient oxygen levels in your tank. Your molly fish cannot survive without oxygen; hence stay alert about these things in your fish tank and make sure you don’t give them a window to jump out of the tank. (Pun Intended :D)

Confined Area

Molly Fish might jump out of the tank because they feel too confined to an area and wants more freedom. But they don’t know how to get what they need from another location or won’t be happy until Mollies find something better than what they currently have.

When You Startled Them

Molly Fish might feel stressed out and jump from the tank because their surroundings are too stressful. They may want a new home that is calmer or less stressful but doesn’t know how to get what they need from another location.

How Do Molly Fish Jump Out?

The most common way for a fish to jump out of its tank is by startling them. When scared, the body experiences an instant burst of adrenaline which causes it to contract muscles and results in jumping behavior.

Other ways include when you spook or surprise them with something like someone entering their space or hungry and wanting to find food.

How To Tell If Molly Fish Is Going To Jump Out Of The Tank?

The most common way for fish to jump out of their tank is when you startle them. So if you notice flared, erratically swimming molly fish (from side to side or up and down the walls) and swimming in circles molly fish around an object, there’s a high chance that they are planning to jump.

Of course, if the fish is in an aquarium of at least 20 gallons per inch, it’s less likely that your fish will leap out. But you can see them do it, so you never really know what a scared or hungry fish will do.

What To Do When Molly Fish Jump Out First?

If you see a fish jump out, the best thing to do is scoop it up before anything happens. Fish are fragile creatures and can die when they hit surfaces like tile or hardwood floors. It is because of how sparse their scales give them protection.

Unfortunately, they also have delicate organs that easily rupture, which could be fatal. Thus, keep an eye on your fish and scoop them up if they jump out.

How Can Prevent Molly Fish From Jumping Out Of The Tank?

Molly fish do not live long on their own. They are susceptible to water quality and will die if they jump out of the tank. So, it is crucial to prevent Molly’s fish from jumping out of the tank.

Moreover, some of the ways to prevent fish from jumping out of the tank are:

  • First, do not overcrowd the tank.
  • Do not forget to use gravel and plants to help oxygen production in your fish’s environment.
  • Install a lid or cover over the top of the tank. But make sure it is large enough for you to fit inside easily. Thus, you can feed your Molly fish without having to remove everything from the aquarium first.
  • Place an air-powered filter near one side of the tank where no rocks or other structures are blocking its intake (this will ensure that water flow stays even throughout).
  • Think about adding live plants such as java moss that produce oxygen during daylight hours. They will help when most tanks remain dark to simulate natural light cycles underwater. Also, if you are using a filter, this will provide extra oxygen in the tank for your fish.

Some FAQs

What Fish Are Jumpers?

Fish that can jump out of a tank: Predatory fish such as the oscar, lion head, or weather loach. The most common jumping fish is an Oscar due to its large and powerful tail fin. Other potential jumper types include Livebearers (guppies and mollies), Dragonfish, Gouramis, Angelfish, and even saltwater shrimp.

How Do You Catch A Jumping Fish?

If you have seen one jump out of the tank and it is still in the house, there are a few ways to catch them.

  • If you have nets or butterfly nets with long handles, use that.
  • Mop up any other fish on the floor first, then grab your net and scoop out each one from under furniture, etc
  • Use an ice cream container lid and paper to corral the fish and then scoop them up.
  • Use a plastic bag with some water in it as bait. Cover the opening loosely with your hand while you wiggle it around. And this will attract any fish nearby, which can easily scoop into the container.
  • If all else fails, remove anything and everything near the fish. Then, if they jump out again, you should be able to catch them more easily.


Summing up,  Mollies don’t typically jump out of tanks regularly. But, of course, there are some reasons for jumping, such as poor water quality or space constraints. But with these problems after fixing all should be good. Just make sure you’re aware of your fish’s needs before purchasing one. If you aren’t, you might have a dead fish.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into caring for your Molly. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll be happy to help.

Good Luck!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!