How to euthanize a betta fish?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to euthanize a betta fish?”. We will also discuss the most humane manners to euthanize a betta fish and the do’s and don’ts.

How to euthanize a betta fish?

There are various ways for euthanizing betta fish that are both humane and effective, including:

–       Using clove oil;

–       Using Tricaine Methanesulfonate;

–       Using Benzocaine Hydrochloride;

–       Injecting Barbiturates.

When it comes to euthanizing betta fish, the first goal should always be to ensure that you are using the gentlest method possible. Your betta fish has been a long-time finny buddy of yours, and you’d like to say farewell in the most compassionate way possible. 

Take into consideration the following criteria before euthanizing your fish: 

Is it necessary to put your fish to sleep?

Even though maintaining a fish is enjoyable, it can be difficult to determine what is causing it to become ill. This is because many betta fish owners do not have access to scientific equipment that can assist them to diagnose their fish’s illness. 

Because of the lack of essential equipment, determining if the betta fish is infected with a parasitic, viral, or bacterial infection is difficult. As a result, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about whether or not it’s time to euthanize your fish. 

In such situations, the internet, other hobbyists, and literature may come in handy. Seek advice and direction from individuals who have gone through similar situations. It’s possible that your tank merely has to be cleaned, and all you have to do now is change the water.

Have you done everything you can to care for the fish?

A faulty diagnosis will lead to inappropriate treatments being used on the fish. Consult a variety of sources on your fish’s ailment and get advice from experts. Conduct considerable study into the fish’s likely sickness and the best ways to treat it. 

You must be patient with your fish because its immune system is also fighting the disease. Treatment necessitates patience and time. The majority of betta fish illnesses may be treated with simple, easy-to-follow treatments. These include: 

• Aquarium water that is warm and clean 

• Antibiotics 

• Antiparasitic drugs 

Before you decide to euthanize your fish, make sure you’ve tried every available treatment option. If necessary, change the water in your aquarium and reheat it if the temperature is too low.

Is the fish’s will to survive completely gone?

The stage is determined by your feelings towards your betta fish. A healthy betta fish is constantly flaring its fins and gills, as well as fluttering around in the water. Once it becomes ill, it might be less dynamic and might have its fins restricted, causing it to lose its swimming ability.

You may have noticed that when they are in excruciating agony, they hardly move and are frequently found at the aquarium’s bottom. Its breathing could also be laborious, as seen by its gasps for air. 

The age of the fish is also important; younger fish are better at fighting infections, and older fish are better at fighting infections. You can decide whether or not it’s time to say goodbye to your betta fish based on what you see. 

Some individuals go out of their way to aid the sick fish in the tank, and this is admirable. They decide to withdraw the plug if there is no movement. Please remember that the final decision is totally up to you. When you’ve made your decision, follow these steps:

How to humanely euthanize a betta fish?

1. Using Clove Oil

It’s not straightforward to figure out the exact concentration needed. So it is recommended that you ask the seller which clove oil is most popular in the market for euthanizing fish before making your purchase decision. Clove oil works in the same way as any other expensive anesthetic. 

Starting with a gallon of water from the main tank, you moved it to a jar or container large enough to hold a gallon of water, then repeated the process. This process may usually be completed using a gallon of water. 

Pour the same water and blended clove oil into a tiny pill container. A drop of organic clove oil (about 4 drops). It won’t dissolve quickly, so you’ll have to agitate it a little. It’s time to use the oil for the main purpose now that you’ve mixed it equally with the water. 

At this point, you’ll combine the clove oil and water in the jar or container where the betta fish is being kept isolated. Pour the mixture in, and the fish will be knocked out within a few moments. There may be some gill movement, indicating that it has slept off but has not yet been killed. 

Add a few additional drops and let it sit for another 20-30 minutes before continuing. When the fish has been swimming for 35 minutes, its body will be skewed to one side and its gills will not move at all. You have successfully accomplished the work, in other words. 

Remember that a bigger fish will indeed demand additional drops than a smaller fish, which is something to keep in mind. Another important aspect to consider is whenever euthanizing betta fish, organic clove oil should be used to prevent the fish from becoming ill.

2. Using Tricaine Methanesulfonate

MS222 is the chemical’s name. The item may be purchased at any local pet store that specializes in fish supplies. To euthanize the fish, experts recommend using a huge amount of it, according to experts. The correct dosage is 300 mg/litre. 

If your fish lives in a non-acidic tank, you’ll need a pH buffer because MS222 is acidic. Transferring a fish from a high pH tank to a low pH container causes undue stress to the fish. Before putting the fish in the water, make sure the pH level is correct. 

After administering the anesthetic, you should wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The fact that you have euthanized your betta fish will become apparent at this time. 

3. Benzocaine Hydrochloride is being used.

This medication can also be used to kill your betta fish without causing pain. In addition, it may also be purchased at any local pet store. A veterinarian’s prescription is required to purchase this chemical. The AVMA advises the fish keeper to apply this anesthetic for the fish’s humane euthanasia. 

The usage of this chemical in its pure form is forbidden. It’s also water-insoluble, so you’ll need something like an ethanol mixture in addition to the water. 250 mg/litre is the maximum amount that should be used in water at any given time. If you go over this limit, it could be painful for your fish.

4. Injecting Barbiturates

Barbiturate injection is one of the most professional ways to euthanize a betta fish. This is the strategy that most experts in the field of fishkeeping utilize. This approach is also used by veterinarians. 

If you want to use this medication to euthanize betta fish, you should consult with a veterinarian before doing so. Because you need to protect yourself and can’t put your hand in direct contact with this chemical. For this type of euthanasia, sodium phenobarbital is ideal. 

Barbiturates of any kind have a high risk of inflicting agony on your betta fish while euthanizing it.

Ways NOT to euthanize your fish

There are a few things that, although they are popular, are not the right humane manners to euthanize your betta fish:

  1. Using Alcohol/Vodka

This is a popular “humane” proposal that you’ll see on the internet. Many individuals suggest substituting alcohol, such as vodka, for the second dose of clove oil. This should not be done. Your fish will not become inebriated and die quietly. Their bodies will be burned by the alcohol. 

  1. Freezing

On this one, you’ll come across some contradictory information. Some people believe that flash-freezing tropical fish under two inches is OK. Others argue that the risk of crystallization on the gills, muscles, and tissues is too great. stray is something we endorse.

  1. Flushing

Kids, don’t believe everything you see in movies. Fishing isn’t the best way to go. If your fish isn’t already dead, the toxins and frigid temperature of your toilet water will cause them to die slowly and painfully.

  1. Suffocating

Many people believe that taking a fish out of the water is the quickest method to kill it. This is harsh since it causes the organs of your fish to fail before they die. This process would be considerably slower and more painful for betta fish because they have a labyrinth that allows them to breathe oxygen directly from the air.


In this article, we answered the “How to euthanize a betta fish?”. We also discussed the most humane manners to euthanize a betta fish and the do’s and don’ts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Euthanize a betta fish?

What are your options for your sadly departed fish? 

Wrap your small companion in plastic and toss it in the trash. It’s also OK and sounds more environmentally beneficial to dig it in your property. However, never flush your deceased betta fish, as this shows a lack of respect for this endangered species.

Do fish feel pain as they die? 

Yes. When fish are dying or in discomfort, they experience pain, worry, and even fear. This is because a fish’s brain contains pain and other sensory receptors that may detect dangerous stimuli like severe pressure. Unfortunately for fish, this means that their pain perception differs significantly from ours. 

Do fish feel grief when another fish dies? 

When another fish dies, it has far-reaching consequences. Animals of all kinds can detect when they’ve lost a partner, just as they can tell whether their needs are being addressed or ignored for a lengthy period. 

Is flushing a dead fish down the toilet acceptable? 

For two reasons, it is never a good idea to fish a fish. To begin with, foreign things should not be flushed into the toilet tank or down the drain. Second, it’s an awful way to say goodbye to your pet, especially if the death hasn’t been confirmed. 

Is it true that betta fish experience pain? 

Fish have the right anatomical structure to detect pain signals, they create the same natural chemical relievers as mammals, and they actively avoid unpleasant stimuli. They also go through feelings that we humans may relate to. 

Do fish have feelings of love? 

Experts at the University of Burgundy in France recently did research that demonstrates that fish can feel camaraderie and that it is not limited to people or mammals, implying that love is indeed in the water.


How To Euthanize A Betta Fish: Simple, Humane Method.

How To Euthanize A Betta Fish Quickly & Humanely. 2021.

How to Euthanize a Betta Fish: Do’s and Don’ts.

How To Euthanize A Betta Fish (The Most Humane Ways).