Anesthetizing Goldfish

Anesthetizing Goldfish is easier than you think

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Anesthetizing goldfish or Koi is easier than you think. Sometimes it’s necessary to put our fish under in order to perform simple procedures, such as removing a lodged stone or trimming a wen

  • Big chill method

It’s only natural for goldfish and Koi to experience a state of dormancy, just as they would in the wild. We can use this attribute to our advantage. Dormant fish have slower blood flow, need less oxygen and feel less pain. Reducing the temperature of a goldfish or Koi can be done safely, giving us an opportunity to perform minor procedures, causing less discomfort and much less risk

  • Prepare by storing a gallon sized pitcher of tank water in the fridge; chill to 45f (this may take a few hours)
    Mix one teaspoon of Oop Boost
  • Add one tablespoon of Garlic Remedy to pitcher water, and one teaspoon of Oop Boost and mix well

Anesthetizing goldfish 

  • Scoop the fish up along with just enough tank water to make the fish comfortable; using a gallon sized container

Anesthetizing goldfish 

  • When you’re ready, pour pitcher water in slowly and all around container with fish, mixing with your hand as you do so
  • Place container with fish in the fridge for 30 minutes to one hour (for larger fish) give it time to reach dormancy; chill to 45f

After chilling the fish it will be in a dormant state, and a stone can more easily be removed or a wen more easily trimmed. Even in a state of dormancy, the fish will have gill movement, breathing slowly. It may respond to your touch, and being handled, but will feel no pain

Larger fish may require more time to chill, however, do not exceed 1 hour in fridge

Allow container water to warm to tank or pond temps before returning fish home or acclimate fish by exchanging one cup of container
water with main tank or pond water every five minutes, until the temperatures are close to the same. This method oxygenates container water which is necessary for the fish to recover from the procedure

If the procedure is more intense, putting the fish in a deeper state of sleep is recommended, such as using clove oil

  • Clove oil method

  • In a separate container prepare a bath using main tank water; premix 5 drops of clove oil per gallon of water
    Recommended temperature 72f
  • Place the fish in the bath, and wait patiently for it to tip sideways, indicating it has lost consciousness
  • Place fish on clean towel in well light area for treatment or examination

If the fish seems to be flinching return it to the clove oil water for just a minute longer

  • After treatment, place fish back in the chilled water; free of clove oil. It will revive in just a few moments

Treatment time should be no longer than 7 minutes

Cold fish

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Author: Brenda Rand