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Old 05-26-2004, 03:21 PM   #1
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The lone Tetra in my 10g tank is missing over half of his fins, and has a large chunk of his head ripped off that never fully healed. Half of its jaw is gone too. It is just kind of raw flesh hangin there with no scales. This happened months ago after the Tetra in the 26g tank killed off every Tetra I had. Well, every Tetra except the gimpy one, which managed to live somehow. I had the Tetra QT'd for over a month until it was looking decent, then returned it to the 10g tank, minus fins and portions of its head. The entire time the fish was in QT, I had antibiotics in the water or it would get reinfected.

My problem is that the Tetra just can not seem to fully heal or grow scales on it. He swims around fine, eats fine, and chases fish away from his territory without any problem. The damaged and exposed area keeps getting infected, then the infection goes away, then comes back soon after, even with daily water changes. Recently, the Tetra has had a particularly tough infection, and now two other fish are showing signs of infection too. I think the Tetra is just a breeding ground for infections. I am treating my tank with BettaMax in an attempt to clear up the infected fish. The BettaMax is a mild broad spectrum antibiotic + other stuff so hopefully it will help.

I am really considering euthanizing the fish, but I would hate to be the one to kill it after all it has been through. I know if I put it in a tank with a contast supply of antibiotics, it is fine. But then I need another tank and constant supply of medication. Or I can keep the Tetra in the 10g like it has been, and hope for the best. Maybe with the BettaMax I can clear up the infection for good. But probably not.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:57 PM   #2
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I can't remember if it was someone else on this site or elsehwere, but I had recently read that a human way to put a fish down is to place it in a cup of water , and then place the cup in the freezer.

It would be putting the fish to 'sleep', and would be painless from what I understand.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:08 PM   #3
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What kind of tetra is this..? Do you have a picture?

Euthanesia may be best for this fish and the others in the tank. However, if you are going to do the "freezer" method then first place the cup in the refrigerator, leave it for a while, then put it in the freezer.

Alternately, use the clove oil/alcohol method to put the fish to sleep (it is very fast and effective, and much better than refrigerator methods), then do as you will to euthanize it.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:11 PM   #4
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Without going into detail, the freezer method does not work so well. Fish can live for quite a while in the ice water, and they really start thrashing around sometimes, even if you think they already died. It is horrible to watch

The fish is a Head and Tail Light Tetra. It is hard to get pics of, it never stops moving around its area, and if I use the flash on that tank all the fish dart around like they just got speared 8O
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:19 PM   #5
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I would euthanize, here's a site on different methods:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/faustus...euthanasia.htm
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:27 PM   #6
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i heard if you put salt in the water b4 u put it in the freezer that works 2. but i like the frozen water method when uput the fish in frozen water. or ive also heard of putting ice in a cup of water and putting it in the refrigerator with the fish.

ive never had to put a fish to sleep. either they die in the morning or they die when im at school
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:35 PM   #7
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It sounds like you are putting the other fish in your tank at risk if you keep this fish in there.
You dont want the infection to spread through the tank to all your fish.

It sounds like it's in pretty bad shape.
I agree on euthanizing it.
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Old 05-26-2004, 05:40 PM   #8
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this may be naive of me, as i have yet to even add fish to my tank, but wouldn't the most humane/fastest way to put a fish down be to cut its head off? i can understand how someone may not want to chop their buddies head off , but personally i don't think i could just put a fish in the freezer and walk away knowing it will take some time for the whole process to be complete.

i can only hope i never have to make that decision, i'm sorry to hear you're in that exact spot right now, grimlock
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:46 PM   #9
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Jeez. That's sad it won't heal up. I would probably try let it live its live out in QT, maybe with a stronger antibiotic. I would feel bad euthanizing cuz s/he's such a survivor. But perhaps that is the crueler choice.

I've seen people mention using clove oil as a humane method here.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:21 PM   #10
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I agree with the sharp knife decapitation. If you can't do it, perhaps someone close can. This really is the fastest most humane way, and should be very simple on such a small fish.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:27 PM   #11
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I would personally try the QT of the fish. I wouldn't want to kill it. And I also could not put it in the freezer and walk away. Nor could I chop it's head off It's obviously completely up to you. But if he's doing ok in the QT and does not appear to be in pain or anything that's what I would do.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:15 PM   #12
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I think the very sharp knife to the back of the head is indeed the most humane way, but have I personally done it? Heck no!

Adding salt to the water will lower the freezing temperature, which would mean it would take longer for the water to freeze, and that means a slower death, but that might not be the point of the salt.

My husband says "got a cat?" but he just don't understand...... If my favorite fish was dead and floating in the morning when I got up (god forbid - crosses self) I would say "Geez! What the heck happened? I thought I was doing everything right.....etc., etc." but if I had to go and put it out of its misery, that is completely different. I strive every single day to make sure that all my fish stay alive and thriving, so to deliberately kill one is difficult.

My point is, if it is living, eating, defending territory and otherwise not suffering, let it be. If it is suffering, then put it in quarrantine with meds and do what you think might ease it's pain, but if you have difficulty with euthanasia nurse it along. Anybody used the ETOH method?
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:40 PM   #13
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The freezer method is only good for goldfish-life fish, because they go into a hibernation like state when the water gets cold, untill it kills them. Doesn't work well with tropicals though. Best method is the decapitation, or feed him to a larger fish if you have one.
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Old 05-27-2004, 01:08 AM   #14
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Might not want to feed a diseased fish to another fish.
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:06 PM   #15
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Thanks for the ideas. After the BettaMax treatment I will see how the fish is doing, and likely cut its head off. I really should not keep risking my other fish to keep this one alive. I REALLY thought it would be dead by now but it just keeps living. Leaving the fish in another QT tank would be OK if I did not have to medicate the tank daily. The medication eventually destroys the bio filter, then I I have be doing daily water changes and adding medicine
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:58 PM   #16
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"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one" - Spock, in The Wrath of Kahn. (Or something close to that).

I tried the cutting-the-head-off method a week or two ago when I had to put down a Black Molly. The head kept "breathing" (gills moving) for a good 15 minutes after I cut the head off, even after putting it in freezing cold water 8O . I know it had to be dead, but it was still very disturbing. I definitely won't be using that method again.

I think it's great that you've done as much as you have for your Tetra. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:00 PM   #17
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All drains lead to the ocean. Actually for such a small fish, you might consider the drain with the garbage disposal running. I would say death would be instant and certain.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:15 PM   #18
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This is true saberry. I've put a couple of sick guppies into the garbage dispossal. Sounds cruel, but its better than flushing them.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:32 PM   #19
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Right - no matter what, avoid flushing, and thanks for bringing that one up!

I am glad to hear about the cut off head method and the results, and I guess when I have cleaned fish I have caught I have not noticed whether the gills are moving or not, plus the head and gills go overboard or off the side of the pier anyway, so maybe I never noticed it. Funny how I don't have much of a problem catching and cleaning fish, but putting one of my own down skeeves me out.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:20 AM   #20
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Lost a Guppy. Wonder why the Tetra will not make it easy on me and just die
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