Best & Quickest Way To Put A Betta To Sleep

kitarrakat
  • #1
so I have a bit of a weird situation. my roommate has a betta that's been suffering for months-- she kept it in the walmart bowl without changing its water for a month, it got ammonia poisoning or something (cant swim below the surface of the water, lays on its side) before I just changed it myself into her nasty little .3 gallon tank. I told her how to try and help him recover, but she didnt listen and hasnt changed the water once-- its been almost 2 months since then. if we were on good terms, I would just take care of him myself, but we kind of hate eachother (lol). anyway, I can't stand to look at him suffering any longer, and hes past the point of recovery. what's the best way to put him to sleep quickly? I have to do it without her knowing, so clove oil/vodka wouldnt work cause she would smell it. I also have very small time windows because I never know when she will be back, so I also can't really freeze it or anything. does anyone have any other methods?? thank you for any help
 
PeauMon
  • #2
I am very sorry about the fish. It must be very devastating. You can try decapitating the fish or hitting the fish with a real hard object. I wouldn't recommend these methods. I would prefer to put the fish in a new clean water in a big fish tank or bucket or whatever containers you prefer so the fish can feel the freedom and cleanliness before passing away.

PLEASE steal the fish from your roommate! Don't worry about your roommate being angry, you did the good thing on a little helpless creature.

Tell your roommate that it was me who gave you this advice.

Geez what a horrible owner
 
Gadfly
  • #3
Ice water bath.

You know her better than we do. Keep in mind that fish are technically property. Take pictures of the fish in the state you describe, and think about any potential consequences you may have to deal with by taking the matter into your own hands.
 
Susiefoo
  • #4
As hard as it must be to watch, I do not think it's right to euthanise someone else's pet. Stepping in to care for them, yes, trying to help and save them, yes, but euthanasia? No. That decision rests with the owner.
 
Mary765
  • #5


I'm going to have to say hit it really hard on something or (this is going to sound awful) but if you want it to be subtle then you could.. poke holes in him..

What a ghastly situation to be in!!!!!!!!! You must feel terrible but you are doing what's best.

Try telling them afterwoulds if they followed your advice it would have saved their betta' s life, because your technically telling the truth.
 
Rtessy
  • #6
I agree with Susiefoo, it's not right (legally or morally) to euthanize someone else's pet. It's a really bad idea. If you're that concerned, just do water changes when she's not around, since you apparently have the option to do stuff when she's not around. That or just leave it, she made her decision, it would be a really bad idea to euthanize it IMO
 
CraniumRex
  • #7
Legal issues aside, I have read a scientific study that using lidocaine hydrochloride at 400 mg/L concentration is the most humane, even moreso than Finquel. You can find lidocaine hydrochloride in toothache remedy called Anbesol (in Canada, anyway). You must make sure you have the right concentration.

I would take photos and call or send them to the humane society. While it may not be legal to euthanize someone else's pet (that's a whole other discussion) it's not moral to let an animal suffer, either. Kudos to the OP for trying to do something. Animals have protection rights to some degree - perhaps you can let them send the message to her. Of course she may know that you did it - your call - basically I give a if someone who is cruel to animals likes me or gets along with me.

Edited to add link to study
 
MisguidedSanity
  • #8
I agree with HenzPaitan, give the fish a good life until its end. And who knows, with you taking care of it properly it may miraculously recover. Assuming your roommate has noticed his condition (whether or not he/she cares), if the little guy bounces back, then you can show your roomie how much happier and healthier he is when taken care of properly.
 
TaylorP
  • #9
I'm sorry you're in this situation. Like others have said, I wouldn't kill the little guy. Ask your roommate if you can help take care of him or maybe even see if they will let you buy the fish off of them?
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I agree with Susiefoo, it's not right (legally or morally) to euthanize someone else's pet. It's a really bad idea. If you're that concerned, just do water changes when she's not around, since you apparently have the option to do stuff when she's not around. That or just leave it, she made her decision, it would be a really bad idea to euthanize it IMO
I am aware that its not a great idea, and I would like to try and care for him, but if I touch any of her stuff, she will cause problems again with my ra and I don't feel like getting into that. ive repeatedly told her she needs to change the water and she just ignores me every time. if the water looks different (its disgusting and half full) shes going to know something is up and no doubt will make it a big deal. it really sucks to have to look at the fish slowly dying and I'm at a loss as to what else I can do. I don't think the fish could recover at this point anyway as his fins are also rotting off. I know its not my pet, but she doesn't even care enough about her own fish to make a quick water change every once in awhile. this seems like the only way to handle the situation because she won't allow me to help him but refuses to do anything herself even though the fish is clearly dying id rather him be put out fast than waste away like this
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I'm sorry you're in this situation. Like others have said, I wouldn't kill the little guy. Ask your roommate if you can help take care of him or maybe even see if they will let you buy the fish off of them?
ahh I know she won't allow me to take care of him since I got yelled at when I tried to before (even though I asked before doing so and got an ok). I could see if I could buy him off of her, but then I wouldnt know what to do with him myself as I already have a betta of my own!
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Legal issues aside, I have read a scientific study that using lidocaine hydrochloride at 400 mg/L concentration is the most humane, even moreso than Finquel. You can find lidocaine hydrochloride in toothache remedy called Anbesol (in Canada, anyway). You must make sure you have the right concentration.

I would take photos and call or send them to the humane society. While it may not be legal to euthanize someone else's pet (that's a whole other discussion) it's not moral to let an animal suffer, either. Kudos to the OP for trying to do something. Animals have protection rights to some degree - perhaps you can let them send the message to her. Of course she may know that you did it - your call - basically I give a if someone who is cruel to animals likes me or gets along with me.

Edited to add link to study
thank you! I had not thought about the humane society. I can talk to my ra and see if he is able to report her in my stead, but he even told me he couldnt do much to help because they are HER fish. it just upsets me so much that's its clearly ill and she is being told how to save him but she refuses to do anything at all. id rather see him die fast and her think it was because he was sick than watch him die slowly. I also hoped maybe if she thought it was because of her lack of care she may take better care of the other one (who is not in as terrible of a condition but still seems lethargic).
 
Susiefoo
  • #13
Reporting to the humane society is a good idea.

Offering to buy the fish from her is a good idea.

Trying to help save the fish by buying a larger tank as a gift, doing water changes where you can, is a good idea.

Requesting a transfer to another room so you don't have to watch her mistreat animals is a good idea.

No one is advocating sitting by and watching an animal be mistreated.

We are advising against deliberately causing the death of someone else's pet, without their consent or even knowledge.

I'm sorry to be blunt, but can you not see how it would appear to anyone else? You hate your roommate and you killed her fish because you didn't think she was caring for it right? What do you think she'll do to yours in return? No one would fault you for trying to care for the fish and help it, but euthanasia is a whole other ball park. Fish can and do recover from ammonia poisoning and fin rot with clean water and good care. You don't get to decide the fish needs to die.
 
MisguidedSanity
  • #14
I'm so sorry for your situation... You'd be surprised how much fins and tails will regrow, I've seen/heard of fish who have regrown their entire tail. If you are able to buy him off of her, put him in (with a divider of some sort) to your 10gal until you can get him his own. Otherwise, I like the idea of getting a larger tank for him as a gift, if you're roomie will accept it. It wouldn't hurt to try a gift. I really hope that something is able to change.
 
Susiefoo
  • #15
I hope my previous post didn't sound harsh. To be honest I think the best chance this fish has is if you can build bridges with your roommate to the point where she starts to trust you and sees you really care about the fish. At the moment it seems that your relationship is so bad that she thinks you are just trying to cause trouble, and will almost do the opposite of what you say to spite you. Perhaps start with an honest conversation about your relationship in general and tell her you want to try to improve things. If there are other (non-fish) issues that are causing conflict then see if you can offer compromises. Then make the offer to buy her an inexpensive larger tank, if you can, and take over the maintenance.

There are lots of "betta rescue" type threads on this forum where fish in even worse condition have been turned around to live healthy happy lives. Fins regrow. One of my corydoras completely lost his tail in a filter accident shortly after I got him, and couldn't swim properly. It completely regrew within 6 weeks and now I can't even tell which one of them had the accident.
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Reporting to the humane society is a good idea.

Offering to buy the fish from her is a good idea.

Trying to help save the fish by buying a larger tank as a gift, doing water changes where you can, is a good idea.

Requesting a transfer to another room so you don't have to watch her mistreat animals is a good idea.

No one is advocating sitting by and watching an animal be mistreated.

We are advising against deliberately causing the death of someone else's pet, without their consent or even knowledge.

I'm sorry to be blunt, but can you not see how it would appear to anyone else? You hate your roommate and you killed her fish because you didn't think she was caring for it right? What do you think she'll do to yours in return? No one would fault you for trying to care for the fish and help it, but euthanasia is a whole other ball park. Fish can and do recover from ammonia poisoning and fin rot with clean water and good care. You don't get to decide the fish needs to die.
I just would like to point out I'm not doing this because I hate her and want to get revenge. this is also a decision ive made after watching this go on for months and consulting others with what options I really have.

and lets just say I exhaust all other options: I have already tried to keep the tank clean, and again, I cannot do that anymore. I have requested a room change which is not possible at the time. I have talked to my ra, he can't personally do anything about it. she is not stepping up to care for this fish. I can almost guarantee she will not allow me to buy the fish from her, but I will try. I will also try contacting the humane society. I am not intentionally trying to do something to wrong her. but lets say all else fails (because I am almost at that point)-- is it honestly better to let it die slowly? I can post photos of its condition when I get back to illustrate how bad he is doing. she honestly really REALLY dislikes me and even if I have good intentions she will most likely deny anything I offer to her, care or otherwise, because she is the kind of person to be nasty out of spite. believe me, ive tried to do a lot already. I even brought meds for fin rot which she would not use (you can smell them or I would have just added them anyway). it just bothers me that she knows he is dying and will die slowly if something isn't done, and won't allow me to help because she doesn't want me to touch anything that is her property. isn't that considered abuse and neglect? does she even have the right to the animal if that is the case?

I'm not trying to argue and I hope I don't sound combative, but ive thought about this a lot and I kinda know I don't have many options here knowing who she is and what I have tried and failed to do already. I just thought a quick death would be better than literally being poisioned by its own filth over a long period of time. this isn't something I am eager to do but it has been going on for SO LONG that I am at a loss.
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I hope my previous post didn't sound harsh. To be honest I think the best chance this fish has is if you can build bridges with your roommate to the point where she starts to trust you and sees you really care about the fish. At the moment it seems that your relationship is so bad that she thinks you are just trying to cause trouble, and will almost do the opposite of what you say to spite you. Perhaps start with an honest conversation about your relationship in general and tell her you want to try to improve things. If there are other (non-fish) issues that are causing conflict then see if you can offer compromises. Then make the offer to buy her an inexpensive larger tank, if you can, and take over the maintenance.

There are lots of "betta rescue" type threads on this forum where fish in even worse condition have been turned around to live healthy happy lives. Fins regrow. One of my corydoras completely lost his tail in a filter accident shortly after I got him, and couldn't swim properly. It completely regrew within 6 weeks and now I can't even tell which one of them had the accident.
oh no you didnt! I just felt like maybe you misunderstood the extent ive gone to already and I also understand where you are coming from completely. unfortunately I have tried to improve our relationship because its awful trying to live with someone that absolutely hates you for a year. I can keep trying though because I honestly do want what is best for this fish!
 
kitarrakat
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
I'm so sorry for your situation... You'd be surprised how much fins and tails will regrow, I've seen/heard of fish who have regrown their entire tail. If you are able to buy him off of her, put him in (with a divider of some sort) to your 10gal until you can get him his own. Otherwise, I like the idea of getting a larger tank for him as a gift, if you're roomie will accept it. It wouldn't hurt to try a gift. I really hope that something is able to change.

I hope so too! I feel awful for her poor fish. id like to try everything I can to help it but I just don't know how much ill be able to accomplish. I'm also hoping she will maybe be reasonable about this and accept a new tank and care.
 
Susiefoo
  • #19
oh no you didnt! I just felt like maybe you misunderstood the extent ive gone to already and I also understand where you are coming from completely. unfortunately I have tried to improve our relationship because its awful trying to live with someone that absolutely hates you for a year. I can keep trying though because I honestly do want what is best for this fish!

I can see that you've gone to great lengths to help the fish and to do everything you can to repair the relationship. This being the case, I'd go down the humane society route.

They may not be able to do much as it's a huge problem with the way our society as a whole views fish. The sad truth is that these tiny bowls are still being sold by mainstream retailers as suitable for bettas. You and I know how cruel they are but the person on the street can claim that they bought a purpose-designed product to house their animal, and we all know that many pet shops will give terrible advice about tank size and water changes. So it's not as easy as if someone was chaining a dog up all day while it sat in its own waste - even though it is pretty much the same thing. But it's still worth reporting as they will hopefully at least contact her and try to persuade her to improve her care.

Even with all that, I still wouldn't euthanise the fish. You have to understand that not everyone agrees with euthanasia, or under what circumstances, and no veterinarian in the world would put down an animal without the owner's consent, a court order, or if it was immediately necessary in their expert clinical opinion. You can't, as a layperson, just unilaterally decide to euthanise someone else's pet. Not to mention you could end up in a whole world of trouble as it doesn't sound like your roommate is the type to be reasonable or understanding if she finds out you killed her fish. Speak to the humane society or your local equivalent and take their advice.

Good luck - you sound like a caring person who is trying to do her best for a defenceless animal. I hope you are able to get away from her soon too.
 
Kesh88
  • #20
I know it sounds extreme but could you possibly just take the fish out of the tank and give it to someone else that you trust to care for it in his last days? She will probably notice the fish is gone but you could just pretend it jumped out of the tank or something? You mention she's your roommate so I'm guessing this means you share a room? If not then you could try hiding the fish in your room in a container or something you can hide/conver up easily when she's home. Might not work but it's better than having to euthanise the fish.
 
pugletfan
  • #21
I would say it's not a good idea to euthanize her fish. Could you do partial water changes? Maybe use a turkey baster to remove some of the water and waste, and add conditioned water. Just a thought. Maybe she wouldn't notice!
 
Gatewaylabs
  • #22
Can’t you talk to the ra about the fish?
 
Rtessy
  • #23
I mean, bettas are know to be jumpers, so it is possible to maybe remove the fish... although I can see that going sour fast. Maybe you could try only removing a turkey baster worth of water and waste daily for a gradual change, people are really bad at noticing gradual changes. The humane society or attempting to buy the fish seem like better options IMO since there is a good chance at recovery
 
KinderScout
  • #24
I'm guessing no matter what you do, you are not going to like the consequences. I suspect if you kill the fish (and get away with it) she might just get another to wind you up. So my advice? Change the water and look after the fish whilst she's not about and stand up to her. If she complains to the people in charge threaten THEM with being reported to the Humane Society (simpler in the UK - the RSPCA can prosecute under the Animal Welfare Act). However if you do decide to kill the fish then please do not use alcohol (it will burn the gills and the fish will die in agony). Do not hit it with a heavy object or 'poke holes' in it. You need to make sure you eviscerate the brain quickly (pithing) or you could easily cause a lot of suffering. This, by all accounts, takes skill and practice. Hitting it won't do this and the fish could suffer a lot before it dies. If you don't use clove oil try MS222 (Tricaine mesylate). I think you can get in the states - google it. There is a good article at
However - she's going to make your life miserable no matter what you do so I would again say stand up and say 'screw you' to her and sort it out when she's not there. What can she accuse you of except carefully looking after her stuff? Or just do nothing.
 

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