How to humanely kill an aquarium fish?

We have a much loved beta named Jake. Our also much loved cat, also named Jake, hooked him with a claw. Now Jake won’t eat and just lies against his plant. His back fin is ripped “sniff”. He won’t get better. What is the most humane thing to do?

go to this website; they are wonderful about answering questions, and with all things fishy:


Sorry about Jake :frowning:

Boiling water would be quick but might sound repulsive.
Poor Jake wouldn’t have time to react or respond.
Sorry you had to have him go so soon.

“Beware of the Cog”

It might sound repulsive but dropping into boiling water would be quick, it’s the way all good lobster go to the table.
Poor Jake wouldn’t have time to react or respond.
Sorry you had to have him go so soon.

“Beware of the Cog”

My sister works for PetSmart corporate office. They’re very serious about the employees taking proper care of their pets. Their approved method of euthanizing a fish is to put it in a plastic bag in the freexer. Apparently they suffer from a quick hypothermia and “go to sleep”.

PetSmart policy is that any employee found to be mistreating their animals (in their opinion) is subject to immediate dismissal.


I was about to say the same thing as StGermain. That’s how I’ve dealt with that issue in the past. Sorry 'bout your fish :frowning:


That will work too. No pain but a bit slower.
Policy probably due to inconvenience of boiling water in pet shop.

“Beware of the Cog”

spingears - Those were their instructions for employees that keep fish as pets. or, as PetSmart calls them, “Pet Parents”.


Yep, freeze the fish.

Or, place it in a bag and give it a quick smash against a hard surface. Kinda nasty, but very fast. No, I’m not kidding.

I did the into-the-freezer thing with my beloved (but very sick)Betta, Hatsumomo. It was hard, but we figured it was the most humane way.

Sorry to hear about your loss. In my new list format, I offer these suggestions, from most humane to least. This has been covered and all of these are tried and true methods.
1)Finquil, designed specifically to euthanize fish, difficult to obtain, by far the absolute most humane
2)Clove Oil, a close second, does near the same thing as Finquil, only much easier for you to obtain. Some will tell you clove oil and vodka under the theory that the vodka will aid in the dispersal of the clove oil into the water, but it doesnt, it just makes it more painful for the fish. Your metter off saving the vodka for the wake.
4)Remove his head
Boiling would honestly be a rather cruel method. He will feel something with that method, the thing with freezing is, since they’re cold blooded, they’ll go to sleep before passing on to the great unknown. Boiling and they’ll feel something.

Swallow the fish whole. That’s what I do when my fish are injured. Or when I get drunk. Or bored.

I’d vote for the freezer as well, though putting it in a solution of baking soda is quicker. I’ve used this method, but it doesn’t look pain-free, since the fish basically asphyxiates. I did a quick search on this option and found this advice from a Dr. Cecil, no less:

He doesn’t desribe what the asphyxiation looks like though, so that’s why I kept my vote with freezing. Maybe it really is the lesser of two evils, wish he’d gone a bit more into his reasoning behind it, tough call.

If you decide to use the freezing technique make sure to let everyone in the house know. I recently had to put down one of the BF’s fish after it trapped itself against the filter. He was sleeping while all the drama was happening so I decided to tell him the next day. He woke up before me and thought the ice in the ziplock bag was for general purposes*. By the time I walked into the kitchen and told him about his fish he had already blended it with his breakfast shake and was drinking it.

I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that he ate his sick pet, or the fact that he ate it with the aquarium water :eek:

*Why he thought that I still don’t know. There was a full ice cube tray right there.

Man! I’ve never given it much thought. I always thought a quick flush solved the problem. You learn something new every day.

:eek: :smiley:

If I was a fish I would want my last experiences to be awesome!
Down the toliet!

I was wondering why no one mentioned the great white throne to heaven (the toilet). Freezing sounds kind of icky but you guys seem to know more about putting a fish out of its misery than I do.

Condolences to the parents of Jake the Fish.

The flusing method isn’t particularly quick or painless. We’re assuming the fish is still alive, just not in a healthy state. Flushing the fish will prolong its life and expose it to a variety of nasty toxins, stressful temperature fluctuations and physical trauma.

oh ok…thanks for clearing that up.