Euthanizing... New Fish owner... Frustrating
I am extremely frustrated and discouraged, I have just purchased my first fresh water tank, admittedly I wasn't as informed as I should have been but since realizing my lack of education I have really stepped up my game. (Small rant about the lack of information given to me by my questions I asked at the pet store.)
All that said I feel like I am disappointing my fish, I have been really good at cleaning my tank every week, I do a 25% water change every Sunday and I vacuum my rocks and everything! I have also been checking my water and my ammonia levels and had been very good and then this week my ammonia has been on the rise and NOW so have my Nitrites and Nitrates. :( NOW 2 possibly 3 of my fish have ich, I have been administering treatment I haven't found much that can give me a defined step-by-step on what else I can do. (another small rant about the lack of concise inform)
I really enjoy having my fish and I have been trying really hard to take care of them well and I thought I had been until they got ich and now one of my tetras has NTD and I don't know what to do everything I read tells me to "remove him" and or euthanize him. I don't see the point in letting him suffer if there is no cure but I can't find anything about how to euthanize a fish humanly.
Please help this is really discouraging for me...
A lot of issues can occur quickly during the first 2 months of a new aquarium. It is truly sad that some fish stores do not provide better advice prior to selling stuff. I have been through all that you describe.
Are you handling the ammonia/nitrite issues OK? This requires regular partial water changes (every day or alternate days if using a conditioner like Prime or Ultimate which detoxify ammonia and nitrite for 24-48 hours) until both read zero consecutively.
Ich occurs when fish are stressed. Best treatment is raising the temp to 85F and using CopperSafe. I have had great success even with delicate wild-caught fish using this method.
As for euthanizing, many will suggest various methods but mine is the quickest and easiest. Net out the fish, place it in a paper towel folded over several times, and give it a hard thump. This kills it instantly, causing no more trauma that netting any fish does.
No I had purchased some Ammonia lock but it wasn't doing anything! I will get right on the water changes! With the Ich should I do a normal 25% change or a more drastic 50% change? I have also removed my filter and I am not suppose to put a new one back in Sundays.
I was also wondering I have a foam thing on the end of my filter should I remove that and get a new one as well? I have it on there because when I first got my fish one of them got pulled into the filter and I couldn't find him and then I found him in there and he was alive but he died the next day I assumed from the stress.
Anyways... about the euthanizing I maybe should have mentioned that the idea of physically killing I am pretty sure would be rather scaring for me and I would feel terrible is there anything I can have less of a hand in and doesn't result in him being squished or banged up against something violently?:shock:
Filter is fine.
Water changes daily or alaternate days with those conditioners until ammonia and nitrite are zero.
The ich complicates matters, but the ammonia and nitrite will kill the fish so they have to be dealt with. Raise the temp to 85F.
If you are opposed to Byron's method you may be more comfortable with placing the fish in a small container of tank water and putting it in the freezer.
On the euthanasia front, get some clove oil (it's sold as dental pain relief medication) and vodka. The clove oil puts the fish to sleep, and then you add vodka to the water, which will cause the fish to pass away. It's not too expensive, and it was very peaceful. Still sad, but at least it wasn't brutal and he didn't have to suffer anymore. Here's a link with the exact measurements and ingredients:
What Is the Most Humane Way to Euthanize a Fish? - mobile wiseGEEK
For the squeamish, I might place the fish in disposable container of water and freeze it.
I normally do as Byron has suggested, or Sever the head with sharp knife.
Some claim that freezing the fish is cruel but to each their own.
Other's use clove oil I believe but i have never used that method so can't comment/expound upon it.
I can vouch for the clove oil and vodka method. Clove oil has long been used as an anesthetic in fisheries. You can often find it behind the counter at most drug stores. Just make sure you mix the clove oil with water before you add it to the bowl/container with the fish. As the old saying goes, oil and water don't mix well.
I'm terribly sorry you've had to come to this point. I have had to use this method a few times and has not been easy any of those time. I don't care what anyone says, fish are pets and it hurts to lose them just like it would a cat or guinea pig.
Thank you so much for this suggestion! This was definitely a lot easier for me and I didn't get that terrible feeling in my stomach! Thank you this is so helpful and he went very quietly.
So I did my water change and I will continue to do a 25% water change until my ammonia decreases. It has stopped increasing which is a good sign. My levels were:
pH: 7.6 (which is on the high side I know but I also read that adding chemicals to fix it can be very iffy and that its better to let it level itself, and my fish are more on the high scale for pH so I think this is okay, if not I am totally open to suggestions)
Nitrite 0.0 ppm (YAY! this is down from 0.25 so this is encouraging)
Nitrate 0.0ppm (YAY also down from 5.0, although I noticed when I went to rinse it that it smelt like rotten eggs, I hadn't noticed that before is this normal?)
Temp is not at 86 for the ich
one of my black tetras that had an ich spot on him is gone! Sadly though my two neons that have ich their fins are not looking so good at all.
Is there anything more I could be doing? I feel like things are maybe starting to look up but I want to be sure I am doing everything I can!
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