Ask the WWM Crew
|Please visit our Sponsors
to euthanize or not? :( 7/11/12
Well, you can tell from the subject line that I have a sad question. We had a nasty heat wave last week, and, in spite of my efforts, my tank got too hot. (BTW: 12G planted, established for some years; regular water changes, good water stats; 1 Nerite snail, 2 dwarf gouramis, fewer oto's than last week, possibly just 1 now.) We had one confirmed Oto death, and 2 are MIA and presumed dead.
<I really like the genus Otocinclus... but they do have issues w/ small volumes, low oxygen situations>
The last has been swimming around, eating and pooping almost like normal, but he looks terrible: his fins are a little... deflated? Without the usual lovely Oto fin perkiness. And the worst is this discoloration on his head - started as a small white spot between his eyes, but has expanded so that most of his head, down onto his snout and back behind his neck, is now white.
(I know oto's are a problematic fish, so I do want to say that I've kept them for a while and they have flourished; the surviving guy is probably 11/2 or 2 years old. That is, it's the heat that killed/is killing them, I'm certain. I also decided not to replace them; they're too delicate. I'd be happy to hear suggestions for alternative algae eaters in a small tank like mine, incidentally...)
<SAE's.... for a while; started small. Please read here re:
and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/algaeeaterfaqs.htm>
I don't know if there's any chance of him recovering,
although I certainly hope there is. However, if he's suffering and there's no chance of recovery, I feel like I should end it. In your experience, can an Oto come back from this? If not, what would you do for / with him?
<I shy often on the side of hope... I'd hold off here; increase aeration if you can; be patient. Bob Fenner>
Re: to euthanize or not? :( 7/11/12
Thank you! The little guy is still bumping around, and his fins are looking perkier, but that white head is downright ghastly. Do you know what causes it? In reading around, I've come across a number of people who've had the same experience, but no identification of the problem, and no suggested treatment. Just a severe stress reaction?
<I do think so>
Anyway, I've done my best to up the aeration, and at least the weather is cooperating a bit, so the temp is back in the safe range. Fingers crossed for now.
Thanks also for the SAE links - I am so fond of Otos and thought it might be nice to have a similar kind of fish, but it seems like my small tank could only handle
<I do so look forward to many other species being offered in the U.S.>
1. Maybe I'll just stick with the gouramis and snail for now - an understocked tank never hurt anyone, after all. And my last attempt at shrimp just resulted in fat gouramis...
And a general thanks: after not having been on it in a few months, I had a great time yesterday and today browsing around the WWM site, it's a wealth of accessible and clear information, and I always check it out before making any changes in my setup.
<Thank you for your kind acknowledgement. BobF>
One more thing, euthanasia
Hi Crew - Clove
Lady clown, the other Youth In
Ethics of fish euthanasia
Question on NOT breeding [RMF, any
opinions on euthanising unwanted fish?] 4/16/10
Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Dropsy?
Questions about MetroMeds & Methionine 5/8/2009
Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Dropsy?
Questions about Clove Oil 5/8/2009
Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Dropsy?
Questions about Clove Oil 05/09/09
Swim Bladder in one day.. I think... Cichlid, Neotrop., Texas... env. dis. 12/17/08 Hi I am begging for help. <No need to beg; we're happy to help!> I have a 4 yr old Texas. <Texas cichlid, I presume?> She had babies about 8 months ago. She has killed the convict father, and tended to the babies herself. <She cross-bred with a Convict cichlid? Never heard of that before. Hope you didn't sell/give away the fry. Hybrid fish are a blight on the hobby, and while fine enough as your own pets, it's very unfair for a retailer to sell them to unsuspecting fishkeepers.> She started not eating about two weeks ago, and stayed away from them. <Broodcare in most cichlids does indeed weaken after a few weeks, though this varies.> A few picked on her, but she ran them away. I try to clean the tank a lot, due to messy babies. It has never been a problem. <It's almost always best to remove cichlid fry 2-3 weeks after hatching to their own tank for separate rearing. Because fry are very sensitive to water quality, they often stunt or otherwise do poorly when kept with the adults.> I unfortunately let the water level get low. After doing a partial clean, and refill, today I go see them, and she is swimming at the top, in a horrible U shape, Head down, and taking gasping air. <Almost certainly a reaction to a sudden change in water quality, water chemistry, or temperature. Texas cichlids need hard (10+ degrees dH), basic (pH 7.5) water around 25 C (77 F). If the pH had dropped between water changes, in particular because of insufficient carbonate hardness, then doing a big water change could have switched the pH from something acidic to something basic, putting a massive (and potentially lethal) stress on your cichlid. The only other thing that would do something similar is the introduction of some toxin; specifically, if the bucket had residues for something like bleach or detergent, that can cause severe reactions in your fish.> I moved her to small tank, fresh water, and Epsom salt. She doesn't swim anymore, unless disturbed, but still in a U shape, moving her fins rapidly but wont swim straight. <Moving fish in shock is rarely a good idea; much better to leave them to recover from the first shock rather than impose a second one on them.> I really don't want to lose my girl, I have always taken care of her the best I could. She is about 8" and healthy(i hope) the tank she was in is a 55gl, she has about 30 babies (still under 3in small) some smaller. <Please don't give away or sell those hybrid fry. It's one of the most irresponsible things any aquarist can do. If you can't house them yourself, then painlessly destroy them. I don't say this to be mean, but because of the "big picture" that sometimes gets lost when people get attached to animals as individuals.> Her new hospital tank is a ten gal, and Epsom salt with 82* water. How long should she take to heal, she wont eat anything, so i am really scared. <If she's going to recover from shock, then it may well take a couple of days before she's swimming right, and maybe even a week before she's ready to act normally around you and feed. Cichlids are among those fish that react badly to sudden changes. If the problem was poisoning, then performing repeated water changes to flush out toxins would help, but obviously the incoming water MUST have identical water chemistry and temperature to the outgoing water. I don't normally recommend freshwater aquarists use carbon for a variety of reasons, but if you suspect poisoning, then this is one those few situations where fresh carbon makes sense. As you know hopefully, carbon needs replacing every couple of weeks, so any old carbon in your filter will be doing precisely nothing useful.> Please help me..I love this fish <Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment) I must first say Thank you for the help you gave me. I now think that could have been what happened. She is still in the same condition as before, but now the color is much brighter, and she look a bit more relax, Thank for all your help. <Glad to hear it.> NOW, Yes the Texas and the Convict did mate, they were the only ones in the tank, for that four months. So yes these are hybrid babies. <Oh dear.> But really, you would purposely destroy (kill) a fish, that had no choice in what they were born from. <Yes. But before you condemn me for it, think logically for a moment. Single species fish are predictable in terms of size, temperament, breeding behaviour, likelihood of genetic diseases and abnormal growth patterns. Hybrids are none of these things Hybrids may be fine as youngsters, but they may be pre-disposed to problems as they mature, may exhibit reduced fertility, or may behave in aberrant ways compared with one or both of their parents.. By passing hybrids on to other aquarists, you also increase the chances of genes from species A getting into fish sold as species B. Someone buys species B, and then find it isn't doing any of the things it should be doing. It doesn't look like it should, and it's the wrong size, it can't breed normally. In many cases species cultivated by aquarists come from very specific places. This is common among the cichlid varieties from the Rift Valley lakes and Central America. These varieties are particular colour forms of species with distinctive genes. When "mixed" in aquaria that genetic uniqueness is lost. Is that a big deal? Yes, if you're a collector. But it's incredibly important if you're a scientist. Some of these varieties are endangered in the wild, a few even extinct. They only exist in captivity. Hybrids put additional stress on wild populations of fish as well. Sensible fishkeepers don't want to keep hybrids because of the problems mentioned above. Because so many hybrids are in pet stores, any serious fishkeepers demands wild-caught examples of many species prone to hybridisation. This means that instead of the trade building up supplies of captive-bred cichlids, there's still a huge industry collecting wild-caught fish, in some cases having a very real impact on the populations of wild fish. When aquarists allow them to hybridise or cross-breed, they're reducing the chances of keeping that species or variety from extinction. In every possible way, hybrids are bad. Hybrids are unpredictable, they're prone to problems, they make it impossible to set up balanced communities, and they increase the chances of wild fish going extinct. Hence as a broad comment, hybridisations is something aquarists should actively try to avoid. I'm an animal lover. I spend an hour or more per day volunteering at this web site to help people save the lives of their fish and reptiles. But I'm also a scientist and try to see the big picture.> I have read this type of article before, it had something to do , with breeders, losing money, Many fish from breeders are new breeds, cross bred, and a new species is born. Flowerhorn, is one to start with. <And pretty awful it is too. Nature has managed to come up with around 2000 cichlid species by herself, each one finely adapted to the environment it finds itself. There are plenty of different colours and behaviours, more than enough for everyone. And yet breeders in Asia thought they could out-do Nature and come up with something themselves. I suppose it's a question of taste, but to me the Flowerhorn is the fish equivalent of Pamela Anderson: silicone breasts, nose jobs, peroxide-blonde hair and tattoos all over the place. May be Hefner's thing, but certainly not mine. I'd sooner take the cichlids Nature has created, and do my best to learn about these wonderful fish on their own terms.> As far a fish stores, telling me they have no way of selling hybrids, people don't like them, so they wouldn't purchase them from me, but they would be willing to just take them off my hands for free. K-M-A... I was born in '69 not '99. <I'm assuming "KMA" is an insult. Fine. You may indeed keep your hybrid cichlids from breeding. But what about the other people? How long before they cross them with some other Convicts or Texas cichlids. And then, before you know it, there are messed up genes all over the place. And I'm here, having to answer questions from a person keeping what he or she thought was a Convict, but it's the wrong size, behaving in the wrong way, or getting deformed or sick for no apparent reason. What you're doing is selfish and irresponsible. You're doing what you think is acceptable by your personal standards, without considering the repercussions for everyone else, including the fish.> These are some of the most beautiful fish ever. They are big and colorful like the Texas, with black stripes like the convict..You can you tube some..but i haven't seen any as nice as these.. I am not a hobbyist, I just happen to have two fish, that had fry, so should I kill the fry, because of nature taking it's course? <Yes.> As a professional as you proclaim to be, I would think you would have some heart for the fish, that you spend much of your time learning, shame on you. <Why shame on me? My love for animals and for the hobby doesn't need your justification. I'm the guy spending an hour each day helping people. I think my wish to help animals have better lives is perfectly obvious. That I'm a scientist and fishkeeping writer as well simply means I'm looking at the situation from a wider angle than you are.> I would never kill anything, maybe you are someone that doesn't believe in mixed races also..what a shame. <Am mixed race, so your comment here is insulting as well as irrelevant. Humans are all one species, and certainly not one in any danger of extinction. Convicts and Texas cichlids are different species separated by millions of years of evolution, each adapted to different environments. With so many cichlids threatened with extinction in the wild, it's up to aquarists to help preserve them in captivity. Indeed, some are effectively extinct in the wild already, and the only ones on Earth exist in aquaria: species from Madagascar and Lake Victoria in particular.> I do thank you for helping me with my fish, but i also wished i had never come across your site.. <Look, as I said in the original message, I am genuinely not trying to be mean. But I do have a responsibility to everyone in the hobby and not just you. If you don't care about anyone else who might end up with your fish (or their descendants), and have no interest in the welfare of cichlid species, then that's not really something I can get my head around.> P.S. I do not sell these fish, I give them to close family, and the truth about them being hybrid. Plus they must give it back, if unable to care for it, just so they wont become fish food, for larger fish. They have a right to live just as anything else..Horrible, and shame on you... <I suggest you read some of what I've said about feeder fish and euthanasia for example. When it comes to senseless killing of fish, I'm absolutely against it. Much of what I write here is about keeping fish happier as well as healthier: bigger schools of tetras, livebearers with lots of females not just males, and so on. My record on animal cruelty is pretty clear. It's a shame you don't see that on those few times I recommend painlessly destroying fish (note the word "painlessly") it's not because I like killing fish. It's because there's a bigger picture here. If you're a vegan who has never harmed an animal in your life, then that's one thing; but if you eat meat and dairy, wear wool and leather, then you're already responsible for far more animal deaths than would be the case by euthanising some hybrid cichlids. The "right to life" you talk about is contextual; as a meat-eater and wool-wearer, I abhor animal suffering, but I accept that in some situations killing animals is necessary.> May Santa miss your chimney this year..for your evil thoughts... <Doesn't seem a very nice thing to say. Please look at the big picture; this isn't about cruelty to animals, but about responsibility and conservation.> Yes i know i am to old to believe in Santa, and 'no' he does not exist,. But it's snowing here, and i still have some holiday cheer...so...have a safe and pleasant holiday this year, okay I'll talk to Santa..you may have children.... <Well, okay. Cheers, Neale.> <<Mmm... the issue of producing, allowing hybridization between species in our care is important, and still (obviously) a bit controversial. For the reasons stated above in plain, simple terms, I am in agreement with Neale (Dr. Monks, he has a doctorate in Palaeontology (spelling in proper English)...). I too wish that we would choose to avoid this sort of "polluting"... as it is my concern that our planet is just too small, changing too quickly in ways that are damaging... self-defeating... to preserve the mix of genotypes/multiple allelism that is the overall biota of our world. Methinks that too much, too fast tinkering in allowing shifting of this mix is very dangerous indeed. I have several speculations as to probable ultimate outcomes from breaks in the "web of life" in a given biosphere... even world-wide... None are pleasant to contemplate. Mmm, lastly a further general statement re our choices, choosing as individuals... It has been my desire to impress on others how paramount it is to understand themselves, facts... science behind important decisions... Whether we have captive aquatic systems may seem minor compared with issues of our own "carbon footprint", ultimately whether we reproduce ourselves... But I assure you, the long- and- profound effecting actions of releasing non-indigenous species to habitats that they displace, affect other flora and fauna, and this question of mixing species that can, will possibly persist, go on to possibly genetically mix further, IS of extreme importance. I ask you as a fellow hobbyist, citizen and human of Earth to think carefully, to not engage in this practice. Bob Fenner>>
Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment) 12/18/08 I was just going to send another e-mail, asking the Doctor to please excuse my language in my earlier reply. I in no way, personally meant to insult the Doctor, on his/her personal preference on the subject of mix race.. I too am of African/German heritage. I was completely out of line. <No harm done. Let's drop it, shall we?> I was am still stressing about my beloved Texas, She isn't doing any better, i can only pray that she does.<Cichlids do react badly, sometimes violently to sudden changes. Have done this myself once, when changing water, and accidentally adding freezing cold water from an outdoor rainwater butt into a dwarf cichlid tank. The fish went crazy, rolling onto their backs and turning black. They did all recover though. Keep the fish calm, ideally in a quiet, even dark, tank, and she should settle.> I may also assure you, that I am not in anyway, trying to inter breed any type of fish. They just happened to mate, they were in the same tank for three years, and then one day, there were babies. I still have them, because I don't want the fish store to pass them off as something else. They wouldn't buy them, but would take them for free, same story, different line... <OK, we agree on this. There's nothing wrong with hybridising fish for your own pleasure; it's when they get into the "food chain" so to speak, that things get messy. To be fair, many fish we keep as pets are likely hybrids already. Angelfish, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies, perhaps even Goldfish, to name a few. But these fish are normally sold as domesticated animals, and there's no risk of confusing them with wild-caught specimens because wild-caught examples of these are virtually absent from the trade. But cichlids are different, because we sell them not as domesticated fish but as true species, and so confusion between the "real thing" and a hybrid can cause problems.> Please let him/her know that the KMA is Kiss My Angel fish..I should have said that straight. <Good catch!> Still I under stand what you are saying, but even in the wild these things happen, so i would not understand, killing them because it happened in my tank. We all have our own reasons for things. But, to kill Gods creation, because of inter breeding, is not something i would consciously do. <That's fine. If you want to keep these fish at home and give them a good life, that's great. Giving them to people you know won't breed from them is also good. But please don't let them turn up in a pet store!> I do thank you other wise for the generous help your doctor gave me, to try and save my girl. <I'm a doctor of rocks, not animals. Not sure why Bob mentioned it, and it really isn't something that makes a difference here!> I thank you once more. Lori <Good luck, Neale.> <<Mmmm, I mention your scientific status for twofold reasons... that I'm impressed that a person of such academic caliber is willing to devote their time/efforts to help others in our hobby interest, and secondly, to bolster credence in your response (this IS the west after all). I would like to last make a comment re the supposed-safety of entrusting others with hybrids, or any matter outside of ones immediate control. This doesn't happen... no one has any recourse, knowledge of what might occur once this life is outside their systems... To make utterances otherwise belies a lack of veracity, knowledge or both. History is replete with examples of "animals, plants, algae, microbes... let go"... and their lessons/consequences. Lastly, the hypocrisy and lack of thought in ascribing to god/s our own actions/non-actions I find more than distasteful. I reject such assertions out of hand. We made these idols and make our own lives. That there is life, there is death... by "keeping" some, you doom others... Bob Fenner>>
For Neale, please. Re: "pro-life view on fish hybridization" 12/18/08 Hi Neale, <Hello Nicole,> I hope this doesn't add to the spectacle, but I just thought I would say, once again: you have the patience of a saint! Your reply to the person who purported to have the "pro-life view on fish hybridization" was incredibly gracious, given that much of the message was personal bashing directed at you. <I prefer to view these things as simple miscommunications, and figure it helps if both sides try and state things a bit clearer next time around.> At least you were able to find a silver lining, and expound on the topic like the scholar that you are - informing many web denizens for years to come, surely. <Thank you.> I would like to reiterate the obvious: since fish are not able to be neutered or sterilized, if you are going to keep together species of fish that hybridize, and they breed (as is inevitable), the only sensible thing to do is to euthanize the fry or keep them yourself. Even giving them away to friends and family could be tricky, since a handful of hybrid fish containing males and females might well mate again and form yet another aberration! Giving them to the store who will accept, but not pay, for them - well, two words: feeder fish. <Unfortunately what you say is quite true, and an angle I'd not considered (feeder fish being virtually unknown in the UK). It is a disturbing though that any fish you give away to a pet store expecting to be re-homed could well end up becoming food for a piranha. That being so, painlessly destroying unwanted fry yourself is very definitely the humane option. It's also worth remembering not even one in a hundred cichlid fry survive to maturity in the wild; that's why most species produce hundreds of fry every couple of months, given the chance.> The "innocence" of the fish has nothing to do with the responsibility we have -- as their keepers in glass boxes -- to euthanize the fry. To ascribe innocence or guilt to a fish would be absurd. <From a theological perspective you are quite right; animals, being amoral, can be neither innocent nor sinners. To be honest though, I tend to work from a particularly good 'Calvin & Hobbes' cartoon where Hobbes makes the point that he doesn't *want* to be given human motives or behaviours, since he rather looks down on them. So why bring a decent, noble animal down to our level!> These fish simply cannot be sold, the same way a garden variety canine mutt cannot be sold at the pet store (only those designer hybrids like labradoodles and cockapoos, but that's another story - there's a fine line in there somewhere, certainly). <Variety dogs and cats are all within a single species, so though the parallel isn't precisely the same as humans (different "races" of humans don't equate to different breeds of dog) certainly all dogs are as closely related to one another in terms of genes as all the different humans on the planet are. That said, my dog breeding friends insist that there is much harm done in the dog world by careless breeding, not just in terms of unwanted mutts. But also things like German Shepherds cranked out on farms with genetic disorders, or "en vogue" puppies of various types mass produced with little interest in quality, just money.> Besides, if they bred once, they will likely breed again, and then what are you going to do with 40 more Texvict cichlids? I bet your friends and family will be less enthusiastic to receive them this time around! <No argument from me here.> Common livebearers are basically a lost cause, a "purebred platy" is an oxymoron. Malawi mutts are practically there, too...but now, this? <Again, no argument. As someone who loves telling people that African cichlids can be like coral reef fish in terms of colours, it's disheartening to see the same "mixed blue Africans" in the pet stores, again and again.> Keeping species of American cichlids from interbreeding is so preventable, and to say that these fish are desirable because of having such unique colors and shape is just unreal. Sir, that was born in '69 not '99 - who are you to be creating a new breed of fish? <In this case, it was a genuine accident, and while not something I'd personally want to see happen in everyone's aquarium, these things do happen. Like teenage pregnancies, there's a difference between what you might say in terms of public policy, and how you'd react when it was your own son or daughter involved. Not that I'm putting these things on an equal footing, I hasten to add! But simply as an analogy. As I said earlier this evening, there's nothing wrong with homing these fish yourself and enjoying them. But the main thing is that these fish aren't "turned loose" in the marketplace. If these fish did spawn again, this is one situation where removing the eggs and disposing of them would be entirely appropriate. Any catfish or loach of your choice should do the job for you, if you're squeamish!> Thanks for listening to my rant, in reply to the ranter. I personally hope that Neale finds lots of fish and telescope equipment in his stocking! <Hmm... wet fish flopping about in my underwear... sounds fun!> Wishing you all a very happy holiday, your friend in fish, Nicole <Thanks for writing, and have a merry Christmas yourself. Neale.>
Re: Swim Bladder in one day..I think... (Euthanising hybrids, why it's necessary; RMF, feel free to comment) 12/19/08 Hi Bob, <Neale> I appreciate this, and thank you. But in all honesty, I doubt my (pretty minimal) scientific credentials matter much compared against the cumulative experience of the WWM crew generally. It's just a pleasure to be part of this team. Cheers, Neale <Ahh, my friend... in the final synthesis, we are indeed only whom we are, what we do... However, the benchmarks of our activity, credentialing is of note, use at times. As for myself, I am satisfied to have acted in my own best self interests, and have shared, am continuing to share with others. For their enjoyment, edification... BobF>
Euthanizing my big fish -12/14/07 Hello, I have a problem. I bought one of those huge cichlids at the pet store about 2 years ago, and he's had what I think is swim bladder disorder for the past few weeks. I feel it is time to put him out of his misery. This is a huge fish, he's almost a foot long and is residing in a 30 gallon tank. So my question is, how to I kill him? I cant put him in the freezer simply because he is just too big, and I really don't want to have to cut his head off. Also, I don't really want to use clove oil to kill him because I don't know how much to use. <Depending on concentration, it takes very little... a few drops. This is the route I would go> I'm afraid if I poor too little in the tank, he will be able to survive it, and if I put a half a bottle in the tank he'll suffer. Do you have any suggestions on what I should use to kill him? thanks- Sammy <I would go the Clove Oil route... lower the water level down two thirds or more... Put in ten drops... if there is not discernible narcotizing effect w/in a few minutes, add another ten drops... Bob Fenner>
Betta Euthanasia 12/1/07 Dear Chris, <Hello> I am very sad as I have done all I can for my Betta fish Strauss, but he is dying. <Sorry to hear.> It is taking a very long time - he sleeps all the time, comes up for food, but his swimming seems jerky and slightly disorientated. <Sounds typical of old Bettas.> How can I mercifully put him out of his misery? I cannot bear hit him on the head, so is there something else that would cause him little suffering, or at least less than he is experiencing now. Thank you Pam <A few choices here, can be frozen in a bag of water, which most believe to be fairly painless, or an overdose of clove oil, which is an anesthetic and available in most grocery stores. A few drops of this in a cup of water should put him down quite peacefully. Sorry to hear about you situation, it is one of the toughest parts of the hobby.> <Chris>
Re: Question... deformed FW fishes, euthanization 7/4/07 Thanks Neale, I appreciate your response. Most of the fry are really healthy so I think I will take your advice and destroy the unhealthy fish with the exception of "Dave" ( I swear I could see fear in his eyes when I read your email) he'll get a plush new aquarium with all the mod-cons... My next question is what is the best way to humanely kill them - they are fairly small so I won't get a good grip to hit them. Thanks, Jon. <Hello Jon. Sounds like you're making the right choices. I, too, have sometimes kept particularly deformed fishes as quirky pets. Provided they aren't otherwise suffering, there's no harm done. The main thing is they don't breed. Anyway, different methods for euthanising fishes is explained here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm . For very small fish, I find the overdosing clove oil method works very well. 2-4 drops per litre is a good sedative for fishes (useful for things like trimming pufferfish teeth), but if you use well above that, say 5x as much, the fish basically goes into a coma and then dies. You can buy clove oil (eugenol) in any pharmacy or even health food shop. It is used as a herbal remedy for things like toothache. It deadens the nerves for a while. In fish, this causes suffocation I believe, as it stops the gills from ventilating. In the case of small fish (neon size and less) death comes within 10-30 seconds, but the fish is unconscious almost at once. Cheers, Neale>
Euthanization via clove oil. 1/19/07 Thank you for your response to my question. After many different things you recommended I try, sadly nothing worked. <I'm sorry to hear that.> I purchased the clove oil today and used it. I have two further questions if you have time. <Of course!> How long does it take for the oil to take effect? <Usually within a few minutes...it's a gradual, "going-to-sleep" effect.> How much do I use? I have a one gallon tank. <I usually use a small Tupperware container, take water from the Betta's current tank, so you don't shock him, and then add the fish to the Tupperware. Then, I add a decent amount (maybe an oz. or so; in all honesty, I've never measured) and let my little friend go to sleep. Be sure that the fish really is deceased before disposing of it; the clove oil slows the fish's respiration gradually, so look carefully to ensure that his gills are no longer moving. Generally, this happens within 10 minutes.> Thanks again for your help. <Sorry I had to help with something of this nature...I sympathize for your loss. Best wishes, Jorie> Wendi
Question about Humane Euthanization: - 10/13/06 <<Tom here once more.>> Mr. Betta is quite the fighter, but I think what appears to be a tumor is not good. He swims toward my finger when I put it near the tank and is happy to see me, unfortunately, when he swims, it's in almost a "painful" looking sideway motion (but he floats on top like normal) and cannot seem to swim well. As mentioned in my previous messages (saying again in case someone else is reading/answering this) he is 4 years old and has lived a good life. His quality of life has obviously deteriorated over the last 48 hours with no meaningful recovery foreseen, so I'm wondering, is there something I could add to the water that would just sedate him so he goes into a permanent sleep/passes away peacefully? <<I’d like you to take a look at this: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanize-a-fish.htm. I’m very sorry that it’s come to this but there are times when ending a pet’s life peacefully and painlessly is no less an act of kindness than the loving care you’ve given for the last four years. I’m a little more saddened in your case because I’ve yet to personally respond to anyone who’s had the wonderful fortune to keep a Betta as long as you have. My very best to you. Tom>>
Re: Attn: Bob Fenner- Naso Tang problem 9/4/06 Hi Bob, <Sue> I'm very sad to say it looks like Blondie's not going to survive this ordeal. He still hasn't eaten since Thursday night and this morning is pointing nose down in the tank. <Mmm, I would not give up hope...> I've tried reading the FAQ's for euthanasia, but it seems like a lot of conflicting opinions - clove oil, Alka seltzer, freezing... What is your suggestion for a fish of this size? And if that's freezing - can you tell me just how to go about it. Thanks, Sue <A "plastic fish bag", no water... Bob Fenner>Re: Attn: Bob Fenner- Naso Tang problem, euthanasia 9/4/06 > Hi Bob, > <Sue> > I'm very sad to say it looks like Blondie's not going to survive this ordeal. He still hasn't eaten since Thursday night and this morning is pointing nose down in the tank. > <Mmm, I would not give up hope...> [The swelling seems to have spread about half way up his side; he's nose-down in the sand and he's motionless except for his labored breathing. How long should I keep hoping? I care for him too much to see him suffer needlessly.] <<... not too much likelihood of remission, but...>> > I've tried reading the FAQ's for euthanasia, but it seems like a lot of conflicting opinions - clove oil, Alka seltzer, freezing... What is your suggestion for a fish of this size? And if that's freezing - can you tell me just how to go about it. > Thanks, > Sue > <A "plastic fish bag", no water... Bob Fenner> [Then into the freezer, or am I just suffocating him?] Thanks. <The cold will quickly deaden nerves (as with humans...). Bob Fenner>
- My Dead Puffer, Pete 8/27/06 - I came home from work today, and after 10 yrs, my puffer had suddenly died. He was on the bottom of the tank, and the funny thing is he was not even sick. <Am very sorry for your loss.> After crying for an hour, I realized that I do not know what to do with him. In a panic, my neighbor removed him for me, and placed him in his freezer. <Good intermediate step.> I would like to bury him in a special box, I really do not want to throw him in the trash, or flush him. Any suggestions, or what is one supposed to do? <I like to 'bury' my fish friends in their own house plant. That way they get to go on a new journey. Actually, I once got a tattoo of a favorite fish that had passed... you could do that.> Hi is about 8 inches in length. <Could well fit in a small indoor tree or palm...> thanks for you help, Kim in Cali <Cheers, J -- >
Euthanasia 8/16/06 Hi Bob, Hi Julie, James today.> I have been reading most of the night about euthanizing fish. I can tell you that clove oil is not the way to go with Bettas! They keep surfacing for air and jump out of the water. I usually just overdose my other type of fish and while they thrash around a bit they go quickly. Not so with the Betta. 45 minutes after I had put in the oil she was still trying to get out of the container. Since both of us were traumatized I drove her to the LFS where they fed her to the shark. Do you have a better way to euthanize Bettas? <A trip to the freezer works well.> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Julie
Goldfish euthanasia 6/6/06 Hi <Hello> My daughter has a 10 year old Goldfish, PO (Tellitubby days!) and it has serious swim bladder prob.s and is very bent. <From what cause/s?> It is lying on the bottom unable to swim and stay upright and I feel it is a matter of time before she (?) dies. <As is the case with all of us> I have tried feeding on shelled frozen peas (thawed of course) but she is not eating. It is distressing to me to see her like this. I am upset to see it. I have considered euthanasia but I am against this in the human world and can't think of why its different for animals and certainly couldn't do it myself. My husband wants to flush it down the loo which fills me with horror. I have read about the clove oil and that seems the kindest method but I just cant do it. My question is just how long will she survive like this ? <Perhaps minutes> She shares with another goldfish (aged 12) who is leaving well alone so no problems there. JD <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm Bob Fenner>
Euthanization suggested method - 05/20/2006 Hi, I was just reading the section about how to euthanize a fish. I had that issue a couple months ago. I didn't like the freezer idea but had to do something. Somebody told me to mix 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup water. If you have a bigger fish just double or triple it. Mix it together and then put the fish in. It worked real quick on my 7 inch shark. It seems a very humane way and only takes about 10 minutes. I can't imagine how long it must take for the fish to freeze in the freezer. Thanks for all your great advice and such. I love this website. Mary <Thank you for this input and your kind words. Bob Fenner> Euthanasia - 03/25/2006 <Hello, Sherri. Tom> I have a fish I don't think I'll be able to save. <Sorry to hear> The fish health book says I can use an anesthetic at overdose level to humanely euthanize this fish and the only one available from the pharmacy is clove oil. <Probably the most common> I don't know how much of this would be an overdose. <Re: the use of clove oil, please see http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanize-a-fish.htm taken from the WWM FAQ's> Others at pet stores tell me they use hypothermia. <Do they? There's no clear-cut consensus on this method and, therefore, I don't/won't recommend it> Is there a painless, stress-free way to euthanize a fish and, if there is, could you please explain. This is torturing me. <To provide you with the most accurate information that I can, the method offered is, in fact, not absolutely "stress-free" simply because the fish needs to be handled. This, as you know, is always stressful to the fish. No reasonable person would "split hairs" over this point but I add it for the sake of "completeness". Rest assured that the procedure is both painless and humane which is most important. Tom>
Re: euthanasia 3/27/06 Thanks so much for the euthanasia information. I know now I can do this when I have to without torturing the fish. This is a big relief. <Circumstances notwithstanding, Sherri, I'm glad we could help. Tom>
Euthanasia For Fish?...For Coral? - 02/16/06 Hey guys; <<Howdy>> This morning I came out and our angelfish, Butthead, was dead (or mostly so, I'm not sure as I had hubby take him out of the tank). <<Sorry for your loss.>> He was 12 yrs old and wasn't beaten up/eaten by the other inhabitants, I think it was just his time. <<Likely so>> If he really was dead, no problem, he's in the freezer to be buried later. If he wasn't......well that brings up the question. What is the most humane way to euthanize a fish? <<Several ideas about on this, but what you did (freezing) is a very common and accepted method.>> Corals? <<This is a good question, and perhaps Bob will render his opinion as well, but I don't believe corals have the same sense of "being" as the higher life forms. Although freezing could be employed here as well, this would seem to me to be much like freezing your weeds after you pull them from the garden. I don't mean to sound crass or cruel, just saying I don't think the method of disposal has much/any effect on what the coral "feels".>> <Me either. RMF> You provide a valuable resource, thanks for being there! Margo <<Thank you for the kind words. Regards, EricR>>
Euthanasia for a fish 01-08-06 Hi- <Dana> I would like to know what you feel is the best way to euthanize a fish. I've had "Spike" for fourteen years now. I know for sure he is on his last leg-- he has been twirling in circles rapidly and doing swift summersaults for over a month, hasn't eaten in about that long, is scraping his flesh off by running into rocks, his one eye is all white (he lost one twelve years ago)....etc. Believe me, I know it's his time. I don't believe in keeping animals just to prolong their suffering. He is a mono, and his other mono buddies died a few years ago. I'm positive it's his time to go, and I hate to see him suffering so. A pet store said they could euthanize him on Monday, other people have said to put him in the freezer, which sounds horrible to me. Of course, catching him, putting him in a plastic bag and transporting him to a store to be put down sounds stressful too. Do you have any advice on this? I want to do what's the least traumatic for this poor guy. <I personally suggest the freezer method. You can do it at home and it is the least traumatic. Sorry for your loss, Travis> Thanks a lot- Dana Mardaga.
Fish "Euthanasia" - 11/30/05 I have read your euthanasia section, which was very helpful, but I have an additional question. My daughter's goldfish, Goldie, has Popeye and major swim bladder problems and seems miserable. She was our first fish, and when we bought her we didn't know enough about tank maintenance. Now I know more, but it seems its too little too late. <Sorry to hear about your predicament. How terribly sad.> Anyway, she is the only fish in the tank (just a 2 gallon one), and I would like to euthanize her without having to net her and put her in a new environment. I'm not sure the tank will fit in my freezer. Can I just remove some of the water from the tank and add ice to the tank water? Do you know how much ice I should add? I'm afraid I'll do it wrong and she'll suffer. <I do not see freezing as a humane way to euthanize a fish.... it is reported that ice crystals can form in the bloodstream, which can cause pain. <<I don't think I could agree with you MORE! Marina>> If you are sure that water changes will not help effect a recovery, then a humane (for both you and the fish) way would be to anaesthetize the fish with clove oil. This is the ingredient in the toothache remedy Eugenol, which can readily be purchased at a pharmacy. A good protocol for this process may be found here: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanize-a-fish.htm . You may wish to subsequently freeze (in a small bag) if you are worried about her coming back to life.> <<As I've posted before, the truly most humane method is to quickly net up the animal, and whack it very hard on a hard surface. Death *is* instantaneous, and the netting is nothing out of the ordinary. These other methods are more for our benefit than the fishes', as John has alluded to. Marina>> Thanks! Floshoe <Welcome! John> P.S. Would a Betta do better in the small tank? It has a filtration system and everything. <Yes. As you have found, a 2g tank is unsuitable for a goldfish. A single Betta would be fine. Test for ammonia and nitrites before purchasing, and if the tank is to be empty for a while, drop in a small amount of food daily to provide a "bio load" for the biological filter to process and remain active.> <<<An aside, here.... "Popeye"/exophthalmia and the "swim bladder" (likely malnutrition) problems can be helped with adding Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulfate).... Also, there is more vital information here about goldfish nutrition and nutritional disease: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .>>>
Re: Euthanasia 12/1/05 Thank you so much for the reply. <You're welcome> I actually euthanized before I got your response, I just emptied about half the water from her tank and then gradually added ice. She seemed to go very peacefully, although I felt bad when I read what you said about ice crystals! <No worries, opinions on this can be subjective. You did the best you could, and acted out of compassion.> She was a tough little fish, she survived so much of our ignorance until this last bout. Anyway, I am cleaning her tank and am planning to set it up again pursuant to the instructions on your website, and get a Betta (and, hopefully, do a lot Betta this time, ha ha). Thanks again! Floshoe <You're just fishing for puns now. I think your tank will be much more suited to a Betta. Good luck! John>
Pond goldfish 11/20/05 I have a goldfish in my small pond. It is around 4 years old. It's just the common goldfish that you see at Wal-Mart. I started with a dozen all about 1 - 2 inches long. Only this one survived. It is now about 6" long. A few months ago it started to get a swollen place on it's side. My friend who raises Koi told me to salt the water. I did, no change. I tried not feeding for a couple of days still no change. Now it is so big that it can't touch it's mouth to the bottom or come to the surface for a sniff. It seems to be eating but I am sure it is not happy or comfortable. I am assuming it is some type of tumor. <Yes, likely so... cause?> It's scales are stretched and it looks like it could pop any minute. My question is...how do you euthanize a fish?? Sincerely, Lynda in Florida <Place in a small bag of water, place this in turn in the freezer... alternatively liquid cloves (a few drops) can be added to a bit of water... Bob Fenner> <<Also known as "clove oil", easily found at a natural foods market. Marina>>
Re: Goldfish Euthanasia 11/21/05 Dear Bob, Thank you for your kind reply. Yesterday after writing to the "crew" I took a longer browse thru your website and found the info on what to do. So I carefully put my lovely goldfish into a pail of water that was large enough to let him be comfortable and quickly iced him down. He didn't struggle, just seemed to go to sleep. <Yes> I don't think it took more than a minute before he had quit breathing. I placed the pail into the deep freeze just to make sure then later that day we buried him in the garden. He now has a nice stone over his head. We are moving from FL to MO and I hope to have a pond there too. Thanks again for your kindness and your great website. Sincerely, Lynda in Florida <Thank you for your kind follow-up. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>
Euthanizing a goldfish <Hi -- Ananda here tonight...> Hi, I have a 2 year old bug eyed goldfish (Mr. Wiggles) that has had some sort of swim bladder problem for about 4 months now. He is always upside down and now rarely moves. Also somehow he has gotten some sort of parasite and has very red streaks on his tail and large white bumps on his fins and he looks like he's constantly gasping to breath. Could you please recommend a painless way I could put him out of his misery? It doesn't look like he'll pull through even with the medication I'm giving him and I just want to put him out of his misery. Thanks in advance. -Richard <Sorry to hear your goldfish is doing poorly, but I commend you for writing in about a painless authorization method. I had to euthanize a pet molly recently, and I found a very, very fast way to do it. Get a bowl or container big enough to hold the fish. Fill it with enough tank water to cover the fish completely. Then add some clove essential oil. It's a natural anesthetic. I'm not sure how much you will need to add, as it will depend partly on the size of your fish. Once you add the essential oil to the water, mix it well to disperse the oil. Then put your fish into the container. He should stop moving fairly quickly. If he doesn't, add more clove oil and swish the container again. When I did this with a full-grown molly, he was gone in less than 30 seconds after I put him into the container with the clove oil. Do be careful to avoid getting the clove oil on your skin, as it can numb an area it comes into contact with. A few more details here: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/thread.jsp?forum=24&thread=10498 --Ananda>
Painless euthanasia I had to euthanize one of my favorite mollies yesterday. I had recently read about a fish-tagging operation where they used clove oil to anesthetize the fish before they inserted a data recorder into the fish. (My apologies for not being able to find the link right now.) Clove oil has a long history as an anesthetic. It's an old folk remedy for toothache. I found out that works very well as a method for fish euthanasia. I used about a half-teaspoon, perhaps more, perhaps less, in about a cup or two of tank water. (Sorry I don't have more specific information, but I was a bit stressed.) When I put the molly in and swished the stuff around, he was anesthetized and paralyzed almost instantly, and gone within seconds -- literally. And painlessly. The whole thing took less than a minute. <not the case with many techniques! Good to know> The clove oil I used is clove essential oil. It's inexpensive as far as essential oils go; I bought an ounce several years ago for under $3. I would seriously recommend this method to anyone who needs to euthanize a fish. --Ananda <Thank you for sharing with us! Many ways to do this sad act, but none are easy. -Ryan>
Euthanasia Hi Crew- I'm beginning to think fishkeeping is not for me. Righting my wrongs, learning about something AFTER I've lost a fish is pretty painful. I've been reading about the freezing method of euthanasia which WWM seems to support. I read elsewhere that ice crystals forming in the body are painful to the fish and Alka-seltzer was suggested to remove the oxygen in the water. I had a stressed zebra Danio last night, darting, crashing, one fin out one in, laying sideways on bottom. I couldn't watch it anymore and decided to try the Alka-seltzer method. By the time I netted the poor guy he was really in bad shape. (because of stress avoiding the net). Would I have been better to leave him alone? It took 8 minutes in the Alka-seltzer for him to die. I just wonder if I'm doing the right thing by these guys. Please help so I can at least know I'm giving them the best I can. Marty <I am still a much bigger "fan" of freezing... way before the sensation of pain from ice crystal formation, the cold removes sensation of any pain. Bob Fenner>
Re: Euthanasia Thank you Bob, I read so many different things, but I'm just a short time into fishkeeping and I respect you guys and your site so much I will follow your advice. Many many thanks, Marty <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>
Euthanasia Hello again. <Hi!> Well, I killed the loach. <Egads!> He was just hanging at the surface, only to move with my attempts to net him. He is at the bottom of an ice water bath right now. I have killed fish with this method before, though smaller ones, and it had worked quickly. But this 8" loach took probably 7-8 minutes to succumb to the freezing temp. <For this size fish, that's not really surprising. I'm sorry to hear of your loss...> I know these are durable fish - but it got me to wondering; What is the Best Way to Euthanize a Big Fish? <Many authors suggest putting the fish in the freezer and that's practically what you have done. IMO there is no easy way. Under the circumstances, I think you did the best thing available> Their larger body mass makes for a longer "resistance period" or whatever. I have heard of sailors killing Dorados with booze dumped into the gills, though I have never caught a dorado. <No!! There's no way damaging their gills would be faster than ice cold water> Maybe I should have beheaded him instead. <You would do that to an "old friend?" Yikes!!> Thanks, one sad Erik <You're welcome...David Dowless>
Re: seeking advice on sick Betta Thanks for the response, Anthony. You have a way of making me feel a lot better about the situation. At any rate, I observed O'toole last night. He still wasn't eating and I noticed his belly is bloated. The scales on his gills were sticking out. <Not good signs... dropsical condition> This morning, it seemed the scales on his sides were starting to stick out, too. I'm thinking he may have developed dropsy or something. If (when) the time comes that I need to euthanize, what is a good method? <I still favor the freezing method for fishes like Bettas> I have heard so many conflicting reports of what causes pain and what's good to use including vodka/water, freezing, clove oil (I'm not sure where I'd buy this...one site said drug store or health food store). What do you recommend? As always, I thank you dearly for your help. Meg <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm Bob Fenner>
Euthanasia What is the best way to euthanize a freshwater fish? <If it is small, slow-moving, to place it in a small volume of water and freeze it> Someone suggested the following and I wanted to know what you guys would recommend so I know what I need to do when the tumor on Morgana gets too big and she is in distress. "the clove oil & vodka method: mix 2 ml clove oil with 8 ml.s vodka to make a 10 ml stock solution. Place the fish in a container with one gallon of water and add the 10 ml.s of clove oil and vodka to the one gallon of water, and the fish will just go to sleep quietly with no struggle. Clove oil (eugenol) is used as an anesthetic in fish for surgery, and the vodka is necessary so that the clove oil will dissolve in the water." Also, would I need to euthanize Morgana when the tumor interferes with her being able to open her operculum or? <For me, when the animal is apparently in distress, and hope is lost for its improvement. Bob Fenner> Many thanks for all the help. Anthea PS My friend's Betta did not make it. He died while she was at work this morning. <Sorry to read of this loss>
Re: euthanasia for fish Bob, Thank you for your kind words, it sure made me feel better. It is never easy to say good bye to an animal friend. It is amazing how attached you can get to an animal, even a fish. I especially like Bettas as they seem to interact with you. Jupiter our red Betta who just died used to swim back and forth eagerly when you approached his tank. We sure will miss him. <Yes, and enjoy reminiscing about your experiences> Still have Bozo my clown, my starfish who is getting pretty big, the horseshoe crab, and my cleaner shrimp in my salt water tank. Will have to get a bigger one soon this little ten gallon tank is getting a bit crowded for my gang! I am thinking about getting another Percula clown fish and maybe a few other interesting fish that will get along with my current gang. <Wait till you have the new, larger quarters up and going> Any recommendations on filters and protein skimmers etc? I am looking to get a tank that is about 50 gallons or so. Not any bigger anyway. <All sorts... these are posted "in spades", along with some very qualified friends' input on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/> Hope all is well with you. Thank you again for your help! Kathy <We'll be chatting, Bob Fenner>
Euthanasia for Fish Hi Robert, <Steven Pro in this evening.> This is Kathy again. It has been a while since I wrote you. I have a question that I need to ask you. I have a Betta (Siamese Fighting fish) I have had him for about a year now. Unfortunately, he came down with Dropsy, swollen belly with protruding scales. I have treated him with antibiotics two courses now. I have tried everything that I could think of to help this poor little guy. Nothing helped and his belly is getting so big. He barely moves in the tank now, except when I come home from work and he wiggles a bit to say 'hello'. He is barely eating. I can't believe how long this little fish has been fighting to live, he is a tough little guy! I have heard from a few people on the reef central site that putting your fish in the freezer is an effective and not too traumatic way to euthanize your fish. I sure hope so because my husband could not bear to see this little guy suffer any more and has put the fish in our freezer in his little tank and all. We felt that he should at least have his familiar little home to be in during his last hours. I guess what I am asking you is that I hope he would not have suffered much dying this way. Is there another way to euthanize your fish that is relatively painless for the fish and a way that I don't have to do something gruesome like decapitation. <The freezer method is my preference. If you have done all you can do, many times it is the kindest ending.> Thank you again, Kathy <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>
euthanasia for fish Hi Robert, <Hello Kathy> This is Kathy again. It has been a while since I wrote you. I have a question that I need to ask you. I have a Betta (Siamese Fighting fish) I have had him for about a year now. Unfortunately, he came down with Dropsy, swollen belly with protruding scales. I have treated him with antibiotics two courses now. I have tried everything that I could think of to help this poor little guy. Nothing helped and his belly is getting so big. He barely moves in the tank now, except when I come home from work and he wiggles a bit to say 'hello'. He is barely eating. I can't believe how long this little fish has been fighting to live, he is a tough little guy! <Yes> I have heard from a few people on the reef central site that putting your fish in the freezer is an effective and not too traumatic way to euthanize your fish. I sure hope so because my husband could not bear to see this little guy suffer any more and has put the fish in our freezer in his little tank and all. We felt that he should at least have his familiar little home to be in during his last hours. <This is the best method> I guess what I am asking you is that I hope he would not have suffered much dying this way. Is there another way to euthanize your fish that is relatively painless for the fish and a way that I don't have to do something gruesome like decapitation. <A small amount of water, the fish will feel nothing. Bob Fenner> Thank you again, Kathy <You are welcome my friend.>
Re: euthanasia for fish Thank you for you quick reply. We put the fish in the freezer about an hour and a half ago and he just died. It seemed a pretty peaceful way to go. <Yes> Thank you again for your help. <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner> Kathy
Euthanasia Well this is the first time I am perusing your website trying to get knowledgeable on treatments for the *new* Velvet problem in my tank (which I caused due to what you would describe on your site as my own "lunacy!"). Your Website is great. Something compelled me to write to you after reading the FAQs in your Euthanasia section. Just have to tell you my fish youth-in-Asia technique; hope you will add it to the FAQs in that lightly populated area (only one FAQ entry I think). It takes less than a minute to execute (pardon the pun) if you have everything already setup for it, which takes no more than a few minuses. The fish is caught in a net - usually the most horrific and time consuming part of it all (for the fish). I bring the net to the surface of the water with the fish still submerged, and joined by whoever is around, thank it for the pleasure it has given us, and tell it that its suffering will soon be over. (If the fish struggles and appears to come to life again - I give it another day to try and recover), but if, as usually happens, they are so sick that they no longer care, I then lift the net and shake as much water as possible from it, and then lie the fish on about four sheets thick of paper towels. These I then fold over and over the fish, making a nice warm little rectangle, which I then place on the cement in the back yard. Wearing my large hard molded rubber soled hiking boots, I aim my heal for the fishes head, and stomp, stomp, stomp their brains flat. This has to be much faster than either the vodka, the toilet, or the freezer techniques presently spoken about in your FAQ site on this topic. The stomping area is cleaned up, and the bloodied paper towels are now either thrown into the trash, or buried under a cross in our backyard fish cemetery (the later only when the children are home). <Pretty brutal my friend.> I've been keeping saltwater fish for 30 years (recently started a reef tank - which is by the way 100 times more resistant to disease than a fish only tank - IMHO) and I always "knew" quarantining new fish was the way to go. But I was just too lazy (and looking back - just too lucky). However, the expense of buying new land for the fish cemetery here in California has now convinced me. As has the first real "communicable?" outbreak of any disease in my fish-only tank in over 3 years. (Due to my own lunacy in just dumping a new fish into the tank - water and all - last week!) Sure I had singular fish die before, but never a whole tank of fish all showing the same symptoms of death. Thanks for all the information on your site. I am going to treat my tank now with elevated temp and hyposalinity to try to get rid of the Velvet so I won't have to stomp stomp stomp any more. I am also going to invest in a new quarantine tank and procedure. And I just may flame-throw my old tank clean (or just use sodium hypochlorite if the family is around). -Steve <Yes, do get the quarantine/hospital tank so that we can keep the stomping to a minimum. -Steven Pro>
Disturbed by posting (Livestock euthanasia) Mr. Fenner, I
used your book and the advice of as many experienced aquarists as I
could get to talk to me to start and support my in my marine hobby. I
have had some bad luck and some good luck too, thankfully. Anyway, the
reason I am writing is because I just stumbled upon your website with
postings about puffers, and read something disturbing. Someone
euthanized a sick puffer by freezing. <Yes... not an uncommon
practice> I was waiting to reading some outcry from you about this
form of "euthanasia." Wouldn't a last dip in a mix of
vodka and water be a little more humane than freezing ? <Mmm, think
they'd be about the same in terms of pain, duration... freezing
apparently greatly reduces fishes capacity to sense.> I can imagine
that even among aquarists there more sensitive individuals, but I
almost punched out one of my friends for suggesting I flush an
obviously doomed Naso Tang. <Agreed there. No flushing... the toilet
assumption, "out of sight/mind"... Inaccurate> Love your