How to Euthanize a Betta Fish?

How to euthanize a Betta Fish? If you have a betta fish, you know how attached they are to their tank. And once they’ve gotten used to their habitat, they seem to live there forever. But eventually, you’ll need to get rid of your pet.

Some fish are lucky and live a long life. Other fish get sick or even die quickly. You will find that some fish become sick or pass away at home or in the office.

If your betta fish has not been keeping well, it may be time to let go. It’s not simple to euthanize a betta fish. It’s critical to do it compassionately and courteously.

Continue reading for more details on how to do it correctly.

When To Euthanize a Betta Fish?

To know when you should euthanize your betta fish, you must understand what that state is called. A betta fish is in the danger zone when it’s showing signs of illness.

You may find yourself doing many things to bring your fish back to good health, but it will never come back if the fish is already dead.

If your little betta fish is sick, it’s a good idea to isolate it from the rest of your tank immediately. If you don’t, there’s a high chance of other fish getting infected. Don’t risk losing any fish by letting any disease take root in your aquarium.

The ecosystem of your fish tank is vulnerable. It’s very obvious to have chances of your betta fish becoming exposed to various aquatic diseases. Even if it’s very tiny and inconsequential, like a virus, it can easily and greatly harm the health of your betta fish.

Some types of fish may suffer from an inherited illness that may pass down to their offspring. An older fish cannot fight off the disease and dies, but a younger one may survive if caught before it gets too late.

Fish usually display signs of sickness when they are no longer active in the tank. They may stop moving, exhibit erratic behavior, and sometimes die.

A bloated belly betta fish is also a sign of an aquarium with a parasite-infected fish. Different types of diseases can be fatal for your betta fish which may force you to think of euthanizing your betta fish.

It’s best if you act fast when you have any fish disease. It’s because if it goes unchecked, the fish will grow. 

If your pet gets sick, contact your veterinarian. Give them as much information as you can so that they can prescribe the best treatment plan for your animal.

After trying every treatment method, if it isn’t working, you should decide to euthanize the ill fish. Make sure you have all your efforts to help the animal die peacefully.

How to humanely euthanize betta
Siamese Fighting Fish

Reasons Why We Need to Euthanize Betta Fish

We must euthanize betta fish for a variety of reasons. Some betta fish diseases show how hard betta fish is to fight against the pain. If your betta fish starts coughing blood, it is hard to breathe, and your stomach looks exploding, try to find the root cause. Bette’s kidneys are failing. He has no appetite and seems uninterested in food.

Bad Things and Not to Do When Euthanizing Betta Fishes

Few things are as bad for a fish as these methods. If you use alcohol, suffocate, or flush, then only cruel people will be doing this to your fish.

You should not have to kill your bettas when cleaning them, but if you have a problem, here are some tips on how to fix it:

You can stop them from getting into trouble by using a net when feeding them and putting your bettas in an aquarium where the water flows freely.

Betta fish live longer if you provide the best care for them and respect their condition, so it’s important to give the best care or euthanize them with the least stress.

How to humanely euthanize betta fish?

Here are some methods to euthanize a fish in humane ways by giving your pet or animal with the least amount of stress and suffering.

While some people lead long, healthy, fulfilling lives, others do not share the fortune. The last group includes fish. They often get ill or perish away. It could be time to let go of a betta who hasn’t been keeping healthy at home or work. However, euthanizing a pet is a difficult task that must do courteously and respectfully.

Here are a few options for euthanizing your betta fish:

1. Clove Oil method

You can use an essential Clove Oil. To find out the exact required concentration is not easy. So it’s best to ask the seller which clove oil is running very well in the market for the euthanizing of fish.

Take the first clove oil mixture you make (with water) to your friend or family member having a tooth extracted. After the extraction is complete, give them the next oil you make. This ensures that you are getting the most out of your money!

Typically, a gallon of water would be enough to execute this method. And in a small pill jar, mix some water and organic clove oil. Only four drops, though, are needed. Don’t mix this too well, as clove oil is very volatile and could evaporate.

This is where your betta fish will start to feel the effects of clove oil. It should be applied to the tank daily for a few days.

Place the fish in a container with a few inches of water and allow it to float. If you don’t see any sign of life after 20-30 minutes, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes and then pull it out.

The key to making sure this happens correctly and successfully is to know how much water you will put in the container. Also, make sure to fill the container so that the water just covers the fish.

2. Ice water bath method

Euthanizing your betta fish is a simple way to do it humanely. Unlike cold water tolerant fish, Tropical ones will not survive long in freezing water.

It was proved that a freezing water bath at 39 degrees F is an effective and humane method to euthanize your fish.

You can use ice bath method to freeze freshwater fish, but they need to be smaller than an inch long before it’ll work. When your fish gets too large, it won’t be able to breathe properly anymore.

It’s a natural and effective method for holding the betta back until the water temperature is right for the fish. If the fish is too cold, it won’t go through the water at the right speed; if it is too hot, it will die.

Because they are so cold-blooded, they require little to no food or water during cold weather. Some scientists say you should fully ignore icing euthanasia and its cruel nature.

In addition, I would like to say that never throw your fish straight into the freezer and wait for them to become fully frozen. This is extremely inhumane.

3.Tricaine Methane sulfonate

This is the most common euthanasia solution used in the aquarium industry. It’s also one of the safest methods to euthanize your betta fish. It is safe for both fish and humans. It is also a non-toxic, non-irritating solution.

When using this method, it is best to use a fresh batch every time. The MS-222 is only effective for about 10 minutes, so you must keep a close eye on your betta.

You can add the solution directly to the tank or place the fish in a bucket of water. The bucket should be large enough for the fish to swim around freely.

As noted, MS-222 works best when the water temperature is between 70°F and 80°F. If you are using a bucket, remove the fish from the water when it starts to stop moving. Knowing how much water you are adding to the bucket is important because the solution will dissolve quickly.

Once the fish stops moving, it is time to euthanize. Simply hold the fish under the water’s surface for 5-10 seconds. You can also use a blow dryer to get the fish out of the water.

4. Aquarium Euthanasia Solution

Aquarium euthanasia solution is another safe and effective method for killing your pet fish. It is made up of a mixture of household chemicals that are very easy to find.

You can buy aquarium euthanasia solutions from any pet store or online. You can also make it yourself.

All you need to do is mix equal parts of bleach and ammonia. You can add some water to the solution if you have a fish tank.

If you don’t have a fish tank, you can add the solution to a bucket of water. Since the solution is toxic, you should be careful not to let the fish come into contact with it.

5. Decapitation

Decapitation is also considered the most humane way to euthanize your betta fish. This method is often used for fish that will be sold as pets or for research purposes.

The idea behind decapitation is to remove the head of the fish. It is done by removing the top half of the fish.

After that, you can use the same method as the previous two methods. Simply hold the fish under the water’s surface for 5-10 seconds. You can also use a blow dryer to get the fish out of the water.

6. Suffocating

Suffocating your betta fish is a cruel way to kill it. However, it is the easiest method to use. It is also one of the quickest ways to dead fish.

The idea behind suffocation is completely covering the fish’s gills with water. This will cause the fish to suffocate.

You can use a small bucket or a plastic bag to do this. You need to ensure that the fish cannot escape from the container.

You can also use a plastic bag that has been cut into two halves. One half should be placed over the gills, and the other half should place over the mouth of the fish.

The idea behind this method is to prevent the fish from breathing. The fish will slowly lose consciousness and wait until the betta fish falls.

7. Using Baking Soda for Euthanizing

If you are looking for an alternative method of euthanizing your betta fish without using painkillers or anesthesia drugs, this might be the solution you need. The method is safe, inexpensive, and fast, and you would have less stress during the process.

After putting baking soda in your water container, you should add it to the mixture in the jar. This is how you should use it every day for six months. You should check its effectiveness once per month.

As soon as you notice that the fish’s gills have stopped moving, gently remove the fish from the water. Drain out the water and cut off the tail and the head. Take a sharp knife and make a shallow incision along the length of the body.

Don’t remove the fish from the water if it isn’t completely dead. This could result in the fish struggling to breathe. Wait until you see the fish tilting on one side of its body, which means it’s about to suffocate.

The moment your fish ends, you should know it has left this world. Just scoop it up and put it in the tank with the others. Then you should know that it has passed away and should be removed from the tank and put in a bucket or other container with others who have died.

You can also throw it into the river if you are a person who knows the basics of the ecosystem, such as how nutrients are cycled in and out of rivers and how the nutrients are ultimately transformed into fish, crabs, and shrimp.

8. Carbon Dioxide

Euthanizing a betta fish by injecting it with carbon dioxide is not painless. Because it can take a bit longer for the fish to die, you must inject the CO2 into the water tank.

This is the best fish food to use. Using a bubbler, your betta fish will receive a continuous oxygen supply and will not have any stress at the last moment.

It’s stressful and uncomfortable for your betta fish as it will gradually damage your gill tissue, then your muscle atrophy, and finally, it loses the reflexes due to organ failure.

9. Stun and Stab Method

This is one of the fastest methods to euthanize your aggressive fish that fish keepers mostly used.

Though I’ll talk about the process in detail, you’d think that just hitting the fish with a blunt object doesn’t sound humane. But trust me, if you can do it correctly, it is painless for the fish.

By hitting the fish with a sharp object, you will just disable its nervous system so it cannot feel any pain. This would be the most appropriate form of euthanasia for a small fish. But sometimes, the fish can still be alive even after being hit by a sharp object.

You’ll notice that the betta fish turned into the unconscious. Please make sure that it is dead by stabbing its brain. You don’t need to have many things to do this. Each of these is supposed to be available in your kitchen.

And these are aluminum foil, a blunt object, and a sharp knife. Now follow the instructions below, here: Step 1: Grab the betta fish Step 2: Take a square piece of aluminum foil Step 3:

If we had to bring a fish to a slaughterhouse to become meat, then there’s no point in doing so in the first place.

Step 2: Strike your betta fish with a blunt object. Next, you must hit your fish with a very high force through the foil paper. You are going to try to hit the fish in the head. This will make the task short and easy.

If your knife hits the exact spot, the fish will be unconscious. A smaller fish will be considered dead, but it may still be alive. So, you need one more step to complete the process.

Step Three: Stake your betta fish on the ground in this step. It’s called pithing. The plan is to pierce through the brain of your fish, which will immediately euthanize it.

To many people, this euthanizing method sounds gruesome. You don’t need to worry because your fish is unconscious and won’t feel anything. Your fish’s brain is right behind its eyes, just like in humans.

Things Consider Before You Decide to Euthanize Your Fish

It’s not just about killing the fish. You should consider some factors before you decide to euthanizing fish.

How long has the fish been sick?

It is important to determine the time span of disease of sick fish before euthanizing it. If you think the fish has been sick for a long time, you should euthanize it.

Presence of Dropsy

Aged betta fish generally develop dropsy. This secondary sign may also occur when your fish’s body is too swollen. If you notice any such change, you must act promptly and provide adequate care to ensure your fish has a chance to survive.

Bloating fish may also need to be placed in another tank for the treatment until it becomes healthy or ready for euthanization. Dropsy will make the fish lose its appetite, not move, stick to the surface, lose its color, and gasp for air.

As a pet owner, you’ll want to do what you can to ensure your pet is happy and healthy. If you suspect your pet is suffering from the early stages of dropsy, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage. If you can’t treat it, don’t use it.

Even after providing the proper treatment, such as changing the water, maintaining proper heat, lowering the water level for more oxygen, and adding in aquarium water for the release of built-up fluids, treating the betta fish with antibiotics is only if the fish don’t get better, then it’s probably time to euthanize the fish.

Has the fish been fed?

When the fish has been fed for a long time, it will be hard to determine whether it is sick or not. You should feed your fish once a day. Next, you should feed them twice a day. After that, you should feed them three times a day. If it is not feeding well then, it is better to euthanize it.

Does the fish have a disease?

If your fish has a disease, it is better to euthanize it. Diseases can cause to dead betta fish.

Does the fish have a parasite?

If the fish has a parasite, it is better to euthanize unwanted fish. Parasites are a threat to your fish. They can cause severe health problems.

Fish Tuberculosis

When you want to make the best possible fish burger, it is very important to know that many types of Mycobacterium fish, including Mycobacterium infect fish. Some Mycobacterium fish are widespread throughout soil and water, while others are specific to the skin or gills of fish.

Since Fish Tuberculosis is not as common as it used to be, it’s still possible for fish to get TB and pass it on to humans through open wounds, Look for symptoms of illness in the fish, such as loss of scales, discoloration of the body, and skeletal abnormalities.

Fish TB in a Betta fish is incurable, and the only alternative for therapy is death. If a betta exhibits symptoms of this dangerous illness, it should be quarantined to avoid infection.


Mold-like lesions are one of the common bacterial infections that betta fish contract because of poor water quality, stress, or an inadequate diet.

“Cottonwool Disease” is derived from the columnar shape of the disease. It has also been called the saddleback disease. It’s most commonly seen in tropical fish.

There’s a lot of misinformation and incorrect information out there about this disease. You need to be alert for the signs that this disease can be fatal for your fish. The worst thing is that it can occur slowly or spread quickly.

On the back and sides, there are lesions. Fins and gill movement have been disintegrated. Around the mouth, a layer of moldy or cottony sores forms. The disease accelerates at higher water temperatures.

The bacterial infection will continue to spread, but it won’t affect the progress of the Columnaris disease. Your aquarium still is treated with antibiotics and properly maintained in your tank to prevent it from spreading further.


Bettas have the coloration they are famous for, indicating health conditions. Faded colors are a sign of nitrate poisoning. This is a very common illness for beginners and is easy to prevent by taking the necessary precautions.

The major color fading in Bettas is part of the aging process. Still, if your Bettas body suddenly loses all color or develops indications, such as pale gills, it might suggest a health condition, causing you to be concerned about your pet.

Older fish might look ugly or even sick, but they don’t have to be due to a fatal disease. They could also just be old, which causes their skin to get dull.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you euthanize a betta fish?

Euthanasia is killing an animal because fish suffering from a severe or fatal disease or because its quality of life is considered poor. Euthanizing betta fish means putting it to death, and it involves killing it using one of the following methods:

1. Anesthetic

2. Cold-temperatures

3. Carbon monoxide poisoning

4. Electric shock

5. Freeze

6. Potassium chloride

7. Water-submergence

8. Water-overflow

What is the most humane approach to euthanizing a betta fish?

A betta fish cannot be euthanized by starvation because it would take weeks or months for a betta to starve.

However, it can be euthanized by immersion in warm water. The optimal temperature should be 37-40°C for 1 hour, which is the same as the fish’s body temperature.

This procedure is also called “immersion death,” a common and humane way to euthanize fish.

What to do with your Dearly Departed fish?

In the case of Dearly Departed fish, the best way to do it is to return them to nature. This will release the stress of caring for them and save some of the natural habitats they call home.

However, if you feel you can’t let them go, you can always send them to a fish rescue or an aquarium to be adopted and live happily ever after.

How to euthanize a betta fish without clove oil?

Clove oil is commonly used to euthanize bettas and other tropical fish. If you have no access to clove oil, you can simply mix salt with warm tap water. Put the betta fish in a shallow container with the salt solution and let it drown.

However, clove oil is much safer since the fish won’t struggle and could be revived. Getting some fish meds is important to prevent a fish from getting sick. And then, you should also drain the water and thoroughly rinse the betta fish to remove all traces of the salt solution.

How does a vet euthanize a fish?

Fish can be euthanized through various methods, including chloroform or benzocaine. A combination of chloroform and benzocaine is considered a “humane” option. It’s not recommended for every case, but a vet can help you find the best option for your situation if you’re unsure.


When should you euthanize a betta fish? There is no set rule on when you should euthanize a betta fish, but you should consider its health, how old it is, and why it was brought into the home.

How old should a betta fish be before it should be euthanized? Some betta fish experts suggest you euthanize your betta when it is between 5-7 years old, while others believe betta fish should keep until they’re around 10-12 years old.

Whatever age you choose, make sure to consult with your vet before deciding whether or not it’s time to euthanize.

Have you euthanized a betta fish before? Share your experience in the comments below.

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