Jumpers....

Fisher2007

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Suspect this is a pointless question in a way but anyone got any tips of how to prevent livestock trying to commit suicide?

My 220 litre tank has 30+ espei rasbora, 20 paskai rainbows, 12 CPDs, 10 otos, 10 threadfin rainbow, probably 50-60 cherry shrimp (which are breeding like crazy) and 30 amano shrimp

Over the last few weeks I seem to have lost the odd fish/shrimp here and there and have found them on the floor. So far no amano shrimp, threadfins, otos or CPDs but have lost a couple of rasbora, a couple of paskai and I've just a few mins ago found a cherry on the floor

On more than one occasion I've been lucky enough to find them still alive, including the cherry a few mins ago, but I was wondering if jumpers are just one of those things or if there might be a reason?

Just to add, the tank has glass lids to reduce evaporation but there is a 3-5mm gap around the perimeter and the rear corners are cut out to allow for pipework. Recent pic attached

Cheers
 

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alto

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For now drop the water level 3-4cm below tank rim

Try to sort out what’s triggering the jumps
- fish mix seems good (though a slight increase in number, especially for the rainbows, eg I’d suggest min 30 Paskai, min 20 threadfins, may help)
- likely it’s a startle reflex ... sudden lights (especially cars passing at night), sudden vibrations (planes, trains, trucks, music etc)
- consider if some fish hang close to the openings re low oxygen levels (especially the Paskai as they are more water quality sensitive)
- when shrimp are leaving, again consider water quality (trace ammonia (and possible nitrites), reduced oxygen, too hard/soft water

Tank dimensions also significantly impact jumping: taller, deeper is better ... of course if water is almost at rim and open rimless tank, fish barely needs to rise from water to become a statistic - as you’ve only a few open areas, I suspect the jump is more “deliberate”, note that the glass cover will also impact oxygen levels in tank and at water surface (unless you have active air movement, eg, fan)

Dark background - again consider this as a temp change while fish “settle in” (depending upon species and wc vs tb, specific environment etc, this may take 6-8 months rather than 6-8 weeks), most fish much prefer a blue or black tank background
 

jsiegmund

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Very nice tank! Livestock leaving it though is less nice. In my experience it happens sometimes, I've had a few over a few years, but definitely not on this scale. So that would indicate that your livestock is desperately trying to find a better place to live. Couple of things you could easily check for are CO2 levels (although I always thought that high CO2 makes the fish go lightheaded so maybe not jumping), nitrite and ammonia. All relative easy to check so that would be the first thing to do imho. And maybe check for diseases but I think that would be unlikely for both fish and shrimp at the same time.

Edit: @alto beat me to it and his advise is way better :)
 

Conort2

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The tank is quite open so maybe try some floating plants or allowing the stems to spread a bit more may help. Especially whilst they are still settling in. What you often find is you have jumpers in the beginning and then after a few months this stops as the fish become more accustomed to their surroundings.

I recently re-scaped and lost a Paskai rainbow and a rasbora. Bearing in mind these had been fine for months before, the rescape unsettled them and made them much more prone to leaping.

cheers

conor
 

zozo

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Suspect this is a pointless question
I don't think so.. :) Its a very good question we all should think about more often with an open mind.

Aside from bad water quality, external parasites and leaking faulty electrical equipment, I think it is something natural for a fish to occasionally jump and make a leap over the water surface. I spend a fair deal of time in my life sitting for many hours in nature at natural lakes and ponds. And i lost count of the numbers how many times i've witnessed fish jumping. The reason why remains the million-dollar question. Tho there are some obvious ones to think about such as excitement for whatever reason. It could be a territorial quarrel competing over space or competition to impress a potential partner, or just roleplay and mimicking a fight, food competition, an itch, predatorial threat?

Another reason could be simply playful and adventurous curiosity. There is much more to fish then meets the eye. They have a life and mind of their own we yet know very little about. @foxfish not so long ago posted a video, he recorded a Blind Cave Fish, jumping over a pannel several cms high from one closed compartment/sump to the other/aquarium. Once the fish found out he was good to go it seemed to make a sport out of it and ventured back and forth at will.
Maybe there are the same as in people very smart fish and less smart fish. Or he was just lucky picking the correct panel and not jump out of the tank. Who knows what's really on their mind and how they perceive their surroundings, but it makes you think.It was a darn blind fish?

I've witnessed similar behaviour with a school of goldfish and they were definitively challenging each other to perform the task of taking the most difficult route to the food. All knew the easy way in but still choose differently. I interpreted this definitively as consciously playing and having fun.

Another thing that comes to mind is stocking density, maybe we don't see it that way but most if not all aquariums are unnaturally densely stocked. And this obviously increases the unfortunate occasion and number of potential jumpers.
 
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Geoffrey Rea

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Couple of interesting experiences to add @Fisher2007 . Not the same species but may offer some ideas.

I’ve kept marbled hatchetfish with green neons on several occasions and there’s an interaction between the species that seemed to prevent the hatchets from jumping in open top tanks. Behaviour wise, would estimate the fast twitch movements of the neons acted like a warning to the hatchets, stopping them going full kamikaze. Both were in reasonable numbers but removing the neons meant the cover glass had to be put back on as any shadow across the tank led to a flying lesson. As time goes by it could be that rapid activity below signifies food rather than threat with enough repetition.

The other more recent one is increasing the ratio of blue LED’s to white completely chilled out the green neons in the AS600 that’s running at the moment. I can’t answer why but the difference in behaviour is dramatic. More free movement separate from the group, more investigation of potential food versus shoaling. Lighting at least plays a part here as you can watch the change if you switch back and it’s a persistent difference. Also found point source lighting can calm certain species prone to jumping as well.
 

Tim Harrison

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The other more recent one is increasing the ratio of blue LED’s to white completely chilled out the green neons in the AS600 that’s running at the moment. I can’t answer why but the difference in behaviour is dramatic. More free movement separate from the group, more investigation of potential food versus shoaling. Lighting at least plays a part here as you can watch the change if you switch back and it’s a persistent difference. Also found point source lighting can calm certain species prone to jumping as well.
Very interesting observations. I think perhaps light can have an effect on fish behaviour.

Sorry nothing to do with jumping but, whilst experimenting with different coloured LEDs I witnessed some fairly striking behaviour between a pair of mature angel fish that I'd raised. They had coexisted very peacefully since they were no larger than a twenty pence piece. Going through the spectrum they were fine until I got to blue. As the intensity of blue increased - the female, I think - began to attack the male viciously pecking his flank. Obviously, I immediately changed the colour and miraculously peace was instantly restored. A repeat of the procedure immediately caused a similar response. I'm guessing that she didn't recognise him under the extreme blue light and felt the need to establish a pecking order. Or blue light really makes female angels angry...
 

zozo

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Indeed very interesting observations. :)

I had also similar observations at the time i was playing with RGB controlled light scheme that dynamically changed colour during the night cycle as a moonlight effect. I tried to mimic a cloudy sky with slightly changing colour at different low intensities, as if clouds alter the moonlight colour with sliding in front of it, still in the white colour range with different colour accents. In a 2% to 7% total intensity fading in and out.

In my idea, it had a very relaxing effect on the Ember and Black Tetras. An hard to say if the change in behaviour really was related to light/colour. But seen it change with certain colours and they looked more excited and more interactive followed by more docile behaviour moments again.

That's nice with moonlight night schemes able to observe nighttime behaviour you might not see clearly with no light at all. So it might as well be something that always happens but never noticed it before.

If one doesn't mind the sleep deprivation it might be well worth to put it to the test, to monitor it for longer terms and make notifications to gather data to compare. Or test something like this during the day in a dark room. It definitely would be a time-consuming experiment.
 
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I've just had my last marbled hatchetfish jump.. I have a very similar setup with a glass cover with only two of the corners cut out.

I always assumed that the cover didn't stop them as they got scared of say me walking into the room, they would get channelled into the corner of the tank by the shape of the tank and with know where to go jump.
sellotape does work but needs reapplying on a regular basis, also doesn't look great.

I'f I ever get another cover made i'll move the pipework in away from the corner, other option would be find someone with a 3d printer..
 

Edvet

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I've had marbles which were jumpy, now i have Gasteropelecus maculatus and not one has jumped in 5 months since i got them in august. I don't have covers, I do have floaters. These floaters were all but gone when i got them and have grown back since. Still not even a dash to the surface.
 

Iain Sutherland

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All sound advise above, only thing I would add is putting triangles of perspex on the corners.
Fish nearly always jump from the corners, small 3 inch covers on corners IME almost completely eliminates the problem.

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PARAGUAY

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All sound advise above, only thing I would add is putting triangles of perspex on the corners.
Fish nearly always jump from the corners, small 3 inch covers on corners IME almost completely eliminates the problem.

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That was my experience with a male Killiefish was always up for the food first . Got up one morning and it was dead on the floor. I had a glass top at the time and had only moved the glass a couple of inches over to feed the day before. Pretty miffed to lose it it had beautiful coloration. Good tip Iain. The ambient small room light on when tank lights go out stops sudden shock of total darkness l have small table lamp in living room
 

Fisher2007

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Thanks all for the replies

Just to put it in perspective, I've not lost loads of fish, just a couple and been fortunate to find one still alive on the floor along with a shrimp

I do suspect it's because they are newish to the tank and therefore settling in and or getting startled. The tank is in the dining room which means each time you enter/leave the house, go upstairs/downstairs, to from the kitchen or lounge you pass it and I think that could be in part the reason. Also given the time of year we're needing to turn the dining room light on in the morning when it's dark before we leave for work and I think that might startle them too. Hopefully they will settle in but I just thought I'd put a question out there in case. I'm pretty confident it's not a water quality issue. All the fish and shrimp look happy and healthy and I honestly can't believe how quickly the cherry shrimp have bred. There must be 3 or 4 dozen babies kicking around that tank if not more, which ia great to see. First time I've kept freshwater shrimp so I'm really happy
 
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