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I killed our fish today.

575 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  sehbub
It's a goldfish, about 5.5 years old. The last few days it was looking pretty sad, and today it was floating on its side at the top of the tank, and breathing like it was retching. I called the vet (!) and asked what I could do (in case it can feel pain). The vet said it could, and I had 3 options. Leave it to suffer, put it in a small bowl with water and alkaseltzer to kill it quickly and painlessly, or decapitate it. I went with the alkaseltzer. Dd2 is pretty upset, but she doesn't know that it was to kill it, she thinks it was just to stop the pain.
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I'm sorry you had to do that. We had fish a few years ago and had some problems with our angel fish (he had some weird growth that was eating away his head). After researching our options, I think the books suggested decapitating, bringing him to a boil in a pan of water, and slamming him on the ground as hard as possible, we picked number three. It worked but it was hard to do. I wish I had known about the alka-seltzer method. That sounds the least violent.
Aw, I'm sorry. I think you did the right thing. I'll have to remember that, about the Alka Seltzer. Although I do not seem to have any trouble sending fish to their great reward... once, I accidentally transferred all of our baby guppies to a holding bowl full of hot water while I cleaned their tank! At least that was an instantaneous death.

What a long time to have a goldfish, by the way! Do they normally live so long (is it only in my house that they don't?) Good job.
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I don't think they normally live long. This one refused to die. I'm actually a bit sad about it.

Did I really say that?
That sounds like a problem with the swim bladder. I had a goldfish die of it in college. It prevents them from regulating their position in the water so they float to the top whenever they stop moving. It is very sad and looks so uncomfortable. I've never heard of using alka seltzer, though. Good to know.
The best way to euthanize a fish can be found here:

Clove oil is an anesthetic for fish. You put the fish to sleep with clove oil first, then introduce vodka and they pass peacefully.

We just had to do this with my betta fish. Dh did it and it went really well he said. Smooth and seemed peaceful for him. Dd participated and he explained exactly what we were doing because he was sick and at the end of his life and suffering. She is 3.75 years old and seemed to understand. They buried him together.

It was sad to let him go. We had him for about 2 years. But on the other hand, it was a nice smooth lesson in euthanisia and we have a dog with cancer and this may be in our future for her some time this summer.
Thanks for the link, I'll save it for future fish.

The funeral was absolutely heartrending. It went like this...

Me: dd2, can I throw Goldie in the garbage now?
dd2: Yes.
Goldfish can live a ridiculously long time. My brother's finally passed away after 8.5 years, and it was one of those ones you get out of a huge trash barrel at a county fair. You know, the ones that have been swimming in a plastic sandwich baggie for weeks? Yeah.

Also, they can grow to the size of their environment, and if you feed them orange peels and carrot shavings, they'll get more orange. They can also eat lettuce, broccoli, etc. We've not tried this, but the growing this is true. We transferred ours from their separate bowls in to a big tank, and each grew about two inches in length. They're still growing, and we've had them two and half years.

Crazy how that all works.
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