Advanced search

i think i need to euthanise my fish...

(24 Posts)
thisisyesterday Fri 12-Nov-10 17:17:16

one of my remaining guppies has finally almost died.
he is lying on the bottom of the tank. not moving but he is still opening and closing his mouth and his gills are moving a little bit

i don't have any clove oil, nor can i get any tonight.

is there an alternative? should i just leave him?

EauRouge Fri 12-Nov-10 18:04:39

Oh no :-( well, depends how squeamish you are. You can decapitate him or squash him, it'll be quick but not very nice.

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:05:43

DH gig it by putting him in a glass of vodka. He refused to tell me which glass, not I am very suspicious of all smaller glasses in the house.

Was very quick though, and seems a nice way to go.

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:06:04

did not gig (durrr)

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:06:31

snad now not not. (FFS)

Eleison Fri 12-Nov-10 18:08:01

Oh my gosh. This is a thread of horror. You could always employ the heron hitman that ate nearly all my pond goldfish, leaving the too-big ones speared and gasping at the side of the pond.

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Nov-10 18:08:09

hmm i am pretty squeamish... :-S

do you reckon tesco would sell clove oil from the pharmacy?

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:09:37


But honestly, just use vodka.

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Nov-10 18:11:18

hmm see i read that using only vodka is very unpleasant to the fish, so a bit wary of that

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:11:21 _Euthanize.html

LoopyLoops Fri 12-Nov-10 18:12:14


Clove oil doesn't sound very nice either

StayingDavidTennantsGirl Fri 12-Nov-10 18:50:15

Put him in a bowl of water in the freezer - as his temp drops, he will fall asleep and die in his sleep.

EauRouge Fri 12-Nov-10 19:54:01

No he won't, ice crystals will form in all his cells. Don't do the freezer method, it used to be recommended a lot but now clove oil is the preferred method.

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Nov-10 20:44:44

he's swimming around now hmm

i think i will get some clove oil in the morning if he is still with us

StayingDavidTennantsGirl Fri 12-Nov-10 22:29:17

Ohh - sorry - I was handing on advice from a friend - old advice, clearly. blush

TmiEdward Fri 12-Nov-10 22:33:02

What the clove oil thing??

I have a black moor with a major fungal infection. We've tried the treatments and regular water changes.
Don't know what to do with "Ken" now. He's ever so lost since his mate "Sue" died.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Nov-10 08:13:19

here explains it well

EauRouge Sat 13-Nov-10 08:54:59

No, I'm sorry, I'm pregnant and grouchy!

TmiEdward, don't give up yet, fungal infections should be easy to get rid of. What exactly is it? What have you tried and what are the water readings?

lurcherlover Mon 29-Nov-10 23:05:41

Clove oil is the way to go. I have only done the vodka thing once (in my ignorance I thought it was humane) and it was awful - the fish thrashed desperately for ages. Definitely not a good/peaceful way to go. Clove oil is much better. Get a bottle or two from Holland and Barrett and keep them handy. If I have a poorly fish which is obviously not going to get better I have a little bowl ready - I put some water from the tank in it, add a generous amount of clove oil and give it a good stir to mix. Then net ailing fish and drop it in. The fish stops swimming instantly and floats upside down (the oil is an anaesthetic for fish) and then in a matter of seconds it stops breathing. It's a very peaceful way to go and looks painless as they are knocked out as soon as they enter the solution.

PamelaFlitton Mon 29-Nov-10 23:09:38

Apparently the kindest way is to get them in a bag (with water, so they can breathe), tie the bag up and pop 'em in the freezer. They will get hypothermia and fall asleep, which will be painless and non-traumatic. Then you have to remember to take the wee icy fish-block out of your fridge before you forget it's there.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 29-Nov-10 23:12:03

How much clove oil is "a generous amount"?

MrsRhettButler Mon 29-Nov-10 23:24:12

i'm certainly no expert but whats wrong with just leaving nature to take its course? why the need to waste vodka or freezer space? (both of which are sparse in my house)

dont people do the flushing the loo thingy anymore? or is that just for after they already die?

EauRouge Tue 30-Nov-10 08:02:52

Why not do the same with cats and dogs then? People euthanise pets because it's kinder than letting them suffer.

Freezing them is no longer a recommended method, ice crystals can form in their body so it's not painless. Lurcherlover is right that clove oil is the best way, it's a natural anaesthetic so it just sends them off to sleep. Then you can either OD them on clove oil or top up with vodka.

lurcherlover Tue 30-Nov-10 17:28:16

Freezing is not painless Pamela - it isn't for humans, why would it be for fish? They have central nervous systems and feel pain just as we do. Sure, they might be OK once the hypothermia's kicked in but the time waiting for that to happen won't be much fun. And MrsRhettButler - you can't "let nature take its course" in a tank. In the wild, diseased fish are easy prey for healthy ones so don't have much chance to suffer before they become something's lunch. In a tank there aren't usually other fish capable of eating them (unless you're very bad at putting compatible fish together!) so ill fish can have a lingering, drawn-out death they wouldn't have in the wild. Also, other fish might not be big enough to eat them but can certainly bully them, and they will often harass a sick fish and try to nibble bits off it. Not nice. Euthanasia is the humane and responsible option - as EauRouge says, you wouldn't let a big animal suffer when you don't have to, so why let a fish be in pain?

Oh, and the flushing down the loo thing is a big no-no - apart from being cruel (sure, the fish is still in water but the rollercoaster ride is incredibly traumatic for them) they can introduce diseases into the water, which can then kill wild fish if they end up in rivers. Even dead fish should never be flushed.

Re the clove oil - a "generous" amount would be about 3 teaspoons in a small bowl of water. You have to give it a good stir as obviously being an oil it floats on the water. I find this amount is always enough to kill small tropical fish, but for something bigger like a goldfish you might need more. Even if you didn't use enough to cause death straight away, it would be enough to anaesthetise the fish so it wasn't in pain and then you could always add more if you see it still breathing.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: