Equipment Tips

How to Euthanize a Fish with Baking Soda, Clove Oil & Anesthetic

When you have an aquarium set up at your home, no matter how much you care for it, there will come a time when some of your fish might get sick. Sickness is common in fish and every other living being; most of these can be cured, and step by step, you can get them back to health. But there comes an unfortunate time for which you should know how to euthanize a fish with baking soda.

Since you can’t vocally communicate with your fish, it’s hard to tell how much pain they are in. However, there are some cues to look for by which you can judge if it’s possible to cure it through medical treatment or if it needs to be put down. There are several ways you can humanely euthanize a fish. 

Let’s go into the depth of how and when to euthanize your fish with baking soda or other substances. 

Recognizing a Sick Fish

It is heartbreaking to see your fish reach a point of no return. When you adopt a pet, it’s your responsibility to look after it in good and bad times. Even if your fish gets sick, it’s essential to acquire the relevant medicines and isolate the fish if needed. Since you can’t communicate with your fish, there are some signals you can look for to assess if the fish is sick or not.

Recognizing a Sick Fish

You will notice some awkward behaviors from your fish. A fish swimming sideways or upside down is one of the most common signs of a sick fish. Other than that, no eating, white spots over fin and body, discoloration, gasping for oxygen at the tank roof, lazy and slow movements, bloating, etc. 

Above, we listed some of the most recurring signs of a fish with a disease. Fish that look lively and active, complete finish up their daily quota of food, and showcase their transparent, sharp colors are generally healthy and happy. The symptoms we listed can also occur due to water problems and stress. Water problems will cause all fish to act strange inside the aquarium.

Causes of Fish Sickness:

Inadequate water quality and poorly maintained aquariums are the significant causes of fish disease. Low quality of water or lack of cleanliness will lead to the fish getting sick and deteriorate their immune system. Therefore, it is utterly significant to prevent these loose ends so that you don’t reach the point where your fish start getting sick. 

There are a few sets of rules to follow to make sure your aquarium stays of top quality. Ensuring the temperature and pH levels are consistent, water quality is good, healthy safe food, and quarantining new fish will provide the optimal healthy scenario for your fish aquarium. 

Curing a Sick Fish:

In most cases, you can cure your sick fish. Curing can be achieved by observing and carefully caring for a fish acting odd or showing any symptoms. Once you pinpoint a fish with sickness, you should immediately quarantine it in another separate tank. 

You isolate your fish so that the disease does not spread to the other fish inside the aquarium. Also, you can medicate the water as well with antibiotics. You can find out the related medicines for different sicknesses. You can add antibiotic food for your fish and track its progress until it gets better, then you can add it back into your main aquarium when it’s happy and healthy.

How to Euthanize a Fish

If, in an unfortunate turn of events, you’re unable to cure your fish in any way possible, and even showing it to an aquaculture veterinarian proves unsuccessful. You have no possible choice left; either you can let the fish try fighting the sickness with its immune system, or if you deem it in insufferable pain, then you can humanely kill a fish.

It is a painful process for everyone. Nobody wants to end their pet’s life. But sometimes, it’s necessary as death is better than the ongoing pain for your fish. Even if it seems dull and dark, but it’s the last favor you will be doing for your beloved fish. 

How to Euthanize a Fish

Euthanizing by a humane method ensures painless death for your fish without any pain. Dying through disease or a fatal wound can sometimes be painful and crucifying. Some human techniques that you can use are baking soda, anesthetic overdose, and clove oil. 

Some people use direct methods too, like using a knife or smacking the fish, these are also painless and quick, but it requires a big thorny heart from the person. 

We thoroughly went through the causes and symptoms of different diseases. Sometimes some species don’t get along, or there’s always that one aggressive fish. Conflicts can lead to injuries that may end up irrecoverable. Other than that, poor water conditions and pests like columnar and hydra can also push your fish to the edge. 

Let’s see the different methods of humanely euthanize fish.

Baking Soda:

How to euthanize a fish with baking soda? Baking soda is more common and accessible in every household and is a human method to put down your fish. Once you’ve done everything in your power to fix your fish but failed in all your tries. Now comes the time to come to terms with the fact that your fish is in a place with no returns. The only thing you can do now is comfort and put down a fish humanely. 

Baking Soda for fish tanks

Baking soda causes a significant increase in carbon dioxide proportions inside the water. This minimizes oxygen and will lead to a quick loss of consciousness. Within 20 minutes, you will see your fish starting to get slow, and after a while, it will completely stop moving at all. 

The proper way to follow this method only requires a tablespoon of baking powder and a cup of water.

First of all, you need to isolate your fish in a different tank. Once you’re done with that, take the cup of water and mix the baking soda in it properly. Now add the solution to the tank which is holding the dying fish. 

Clove Oil:

Usage of clove oil is another non-violent method of euthanizing your fish. A clove oil bath is almost the same as baking soda but not as accessible since you’ll probably have to buy clove oil. 

Clove oil works like anesthetics. It lets the fish breathe slower and slower over time as if it’s going into a deep sleep. The procedure of clove oil paves a peaceful path of death for your fish. In addition, the oil won’t cause any burnings or painful sensations to the fish.

Just like the baking soda method, first, you’ll need to isolate the fish in a different tank. Once you’re done with that, you can then take a cup and add a few drops of clove oil into it. After mixing clove oil and water solution, add it with the fish into the new container. Your fish will start breathing slowly and die after a while. You can mix even more clove drops after a few minutes to speed up the euthanasia. 

Anesthetic Overdose: 

Another painless method to put down your fish is by supplying it with an over-dosage of some anesthetic. Anesthetic overdose is the most appropriate method scientifically. These anesthetics are available in pet shops for the sole purpose of euthanizing the fish.

This method is most suited for larger-sized fish. It’s recommended that you consult a veterinarian if you want to go ahead with this method because some fish might react to different anesthetics. 

These are the most popular and easy human methods of euthanizing your fish. There are also some direct methods like using a knife, which is painless and the quickest way, but it can be challenging for some people to physically put their pets down.

When to Euthanize a Fish?

When to Euthanize a Fish?

Deciding on euthanizing a fish can be heavy on anyone’s heart. Knowing that the bond you created is going to end soon can weigh heavy on us. When your fish gets injured or sick, and you can’t treat it through any antibiotic, or the vet believes it hopeless, that’s precisely the point where euthanasia comes in. It’s the last favor you can give to your aquatic pal. Instead of letting it suffer and die in pain, you can make things easier for it by following a well-suited humane procedure to put it in a never-ending sleep.

Conclusion

Euthanizing your pet fish is one of the most challenging decisions you’ll ever make, and even though it may seem grim, you’ll be doing your fish a considerable favor. Pain for animals is much worse than for humans. Humans can vocally and gesturally convey their pain and suffering, whereas pets cannot. This makes things even more scarring for the pets. We hope this guide on ‘how to euthanize a fish with baking soda’ has cleared up your mind in this unfortunate situation. Remember, if it feels heavy on your heart, you can consult a veterinary and ask him to carry out the task for you.