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Old 10-03-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
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sigh...my first euthanasia

Just put down my first fish. I think I did the right thing, but it was still hard. The ice water thing was NOT instant, it took about 15 seconds for her to stop moving. That was bad, but I couldn't go back at that point. Maybe the water didn't get cold enough. I wish I had the guts to cut or bang, because that is faster, but it seems so brutal. She hadn't been eating for over a week and wasn't swimming any more. I let it go longer than I normally would because the other fish were leaving her alone and she didn't seem to be totally stressed out. But she wasn't right either, and it wasn't getting better. I guess I am going to be sad for a while but I don't have to watch a half living fish suffer any more, and for that I am glad.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
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the Ice water method is a difficult way, sorry that you had to go through this. For future reference, I have mixed salt into my ice water, stuck it in the freezer for a while and it seems to help because it gets much colder and works faster. Clove oil is highly recommended as well.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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I wanted to try this first. I may invest in some clove oil for next time.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Clove oil just sedates right?
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Sorry about your fish . I really agree with jetajockey here. I've taken his advice myself and started using salted water as well. It truly does make a difference.

I've had to do this several times, and the best, fastest way to prepare and most efficient method IME is-
- Fill a bowl with water and dissolve a heavy amount of salt into it.
- Fill the bowl with ice and leave it sitting out for a few minutes until most of the ice has melted. This helps bring the temperature down quickly.
- Stick the bowl in the freezer, stir it occasionally to prevent it from freezing over (or break up the ice when it does) and let it continue cooling.
* (Even though the salt dramatically lowers the freezing point of the water...I suppose it will only cool to the temperature the freezer is set to...so there's no point in doing this all day).
- Once the water is as cold as you believe it's gonna get...like shockingly cold where it hurts your finger...quickly net and hold the fish under the water.

Before I began following jeta's salted water advice...I did have the fish kick on me for a few seconds. Since I used his method, I can say from experience that it is instant.

I agree clove oil is a good option but I've had trouble finding it near me. I've asked pharmacists if they carry it, and a couple of them didn't even know what it was. When they asked what it was for...and I told them I needed it to euthanize sick fish...they looked at me like I was a future serial killer, lol.

One thing I've heard about clove oil (not certain if it's true) is that it is an anesthetic as opposed to an instant euthanasia method. I believe people choose another method of putting down the fish (e.g. severing the head, placing the fish in the freezer) after the clove oil has been used to ensure the deed is done.

Sorry again . This is a non-enjoyable aspect of fish-keeping...but it goes hand in hand with taking care of them and is often the best choice.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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sorry to hear that.

In my first fish tank I had a pictis catfish and I made the mistake of netting him one day. His side fins got tangled up so badly in the net that I couldn't get them out, I struggled for about 10 minutes with him and little scissors trying to free him but I couldn't. I ended up having to euthanize him, felt so bad......

since then I've only had 1 pygmy cory die, and it was the same night I brought him home, so I know he was just a weak one / sick one. I quickly noticed he was dying and removed him, the other 6 were fine.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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Just another point to make in addition to what I listed above...in cases when a fish is far gone and I believe it's only a short amount of time they have left (but don't truly appear to be suffering badly), sometimes I will simply place a net over the top of them in the tank so other fish don't mess with them in their last few moments. I'm not certain if this method is right or wrong...but depending on the situation I believe it is better to let them go in peace rather than stressing them by pulling them out of the water.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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I will definitely work harder to drop the temp more next time if I can make it instant. Do you use regular table salt, or fish tank salt (instant ocean)? I have both. How much water? How much salt?

I will check for clove oil at the grocery store when I am there tomorrow, but sounds like I sholdn't expect to find it.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:29 PM   #9
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So sorry about your loss......
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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I believe the clove oil thing works on the concept of overdosing, just like any sedating chemical has the ability to do.

Clove oil is also a major component of eugenol and can be found as a 'safe' pesticide (lol billy the exterminator), and is also labeled as a medicine for toothaches. A pharmacy will have it, but you may have to ask for it.

That said, there are easier methods, like has been mentioned. As far as how much salt, I just dump some in, there isn't really any particulars to it, and it can be regular table salt. I put enough water in a container to completely cover the fish, add a few spoons of salt, stir, freeze, stir, drop them in, leave them for 15 minutes, and then put the fish in the garden.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eco23
Just another point to make in addition to what I listed above...in cases when a fish is far gone and I believe it's only a short amount of time they have left (but don't truly appear to be suffering badly), sometimes I will simply place a net over the top of them in the tank so other fish don't mess with them in their last few moments. I'm not certain if this method is right or wrong...but depending on the situation I believe it is better to let them go in peace rather than stressing them by pulling them out of the water.
I have done this as well. I lost two danios recently, one went before I could make up my mind, the other I netted and left him towards to top of the tank. It actually seemed to relax more once it was netted. It was just old and time for it to go.

I'm sorry for your loss.

I think next time I'll try the salted water trick.
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