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Ethical Question: Doomed Fish Euthanasia


BobcatReefer

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I have a juvenile Atlantic Yellow Tang that I just noticed is swimming sideways (off axis), thrashing around a bit, and just jumped into the overflow. When I fished him out and put him back in the tank, I noticed he's in rough shape - has a big knock on his forehead, skin looks...fuzzy?, looks like some kind of striations on the skin? This guy is going to die, and soon. Is it OK to catch him and remove him from the tank before that happens?

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Yes. If you think there's zero chance of him surviving, do what you have to do. It sucks, but there's no point in taking any risk in an established tank with a fish that has no chance of survival. I can't really say what's the most humane method of killing a fish, but there's a number of options, freezing, clove oil, etc.

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Clove oil is considered to be the most humane. It basically knocks it out. You can buy it at HEB for $6 in the natural medication section.

Freezing is considered a terrible way to go as its slowly suffocating with no water and then the cold starts creeping in. A blunt trauma to the head may be a more ideal way if no clove oil is present. Just my 2 cents.

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Clove oil is considered to be the most humane. It basically knocks it out. You can buy it at HEB for $6 in the natural medication section.

Freezing is considered a terrible way to go as its slowly suffocating with no water and then the cold starts creeping in. A blunt trauma to the head may be a more ideal way if no clove oil is present. Just my 2 cents.

+1

I used to freeze but have ready numerous articles since saying that is not a proscribed "humane" way. Clove oil, blund trauma to the head, or severing the spinal column are the options I've heard to prevent suffering.

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Go fishing and use it as bait smile.png

He was certainly thrashing around enough to attract.

severing the spinal column are the options I've heard to prevent suffering.

I'm pretty dispassionate about my fish as sentient, soulful, beings overall, but I'm not sure I could lay one across a cutting board and lop it's head off like I was prepping snapper for the grill. sick.png

Looks like I should have taken care of this last night when I pulled him out of the overflow. He chose the orange diamond goby and longfin wrasse's hidey hole to spend his last night. Under my biggest rock stack and just far enough under the ledge that I can't get to him. angry.png

Thanks for the replies. Never heard of clove oil before - how does that work? Pull the fish out and rub oil on it's face?

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Just pull him out and put him in a cup with tank water. Then start adding some clove oil to the water and the fish will start to go into a trance-like state. It is oil so stirring a bit to help mix it is useful. Keep adding clove oil and eventually it'll stop breathing. Once it stops breathing for 10 minutes, I freeze it just in case though it should be good and dead at that point.

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Thanks Ty.

Went ahead and did some quick aquascaping this morning to get the body out. The good news is that my clean up crew is remarkably efficient. In less than 10 hours, he went from all fish to mostly death jelly.

I'll share what was my least humane way of disposing of a tank dweller.... Back 15+ years ago when I first started w/ a SW tank, I had a good sized hermit crab who really wasn't doing anything but making waste. I was bleaching some dead coral in a bucket and decided to just toss the hermit crab in there. Not sure what made me do that, but I immediately thought, "Man, that was a really a-hole thing to do." Easily my low moment as a fishkeeper. doh.gif

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Ninja Blender may be the fastest way. The fish won't ever know what hit him [emoji51]

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Ya but then all your smoothies will have a hint of fish from then on out.
I hear fish oil is good for you

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True but have you ever had a strawberry and fish guts smoothie? I certainly have not but it sounds gross.
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