Euthanizing Goldfish and Koi

Euthanizing Goldfish and Koi can be done humanely

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Most goldfish get sick at one time or another, and whatever ails your fish, it’s difficult to know if its going to improve with the proper care and time, or if it’s just going to decline; getting worse with each passing day. It’s very difficult to know when and if it’s the right time to euthanize a sick fish


You’ll know it’s time when the fish’s suffering is too much for you to bear


You may hear someone say, just let nature take its course, but in the wild, a sick fish will quickly fall prey to a large and healthy one; it won’t suffer for long. In captivity, our fish can linger for weeks, even months before passing. We all have to use our own good judgment here; trust our instincts


Euthanizing goldfish and Koi


Euthanizing goldfish and Koi can be relatively easy and painless; for the fish that is. Goldfish become dormant in colder temperatures; being a cold water fish it has no core body temperature. Its temperature is always the same as its environment. This can be a distinct advantage for the goldfish keeper. In a natural environment, the water temperatures may fall below freezing temperatures


Humanely kill goldfish


Although they cannot survive being frozen solid for long periods of time, they can survive close to freezing temperatures for an unlimited time. Reason being, their organs shut down and they no longer require food or oxygen; much like a bear in hibernation. You may think this would be painful for the goldfish, but keep in mind, only warm blooded creatures, such as dogs, cats, and humans alike find cold temperatures painful


euthanizing goldfish koi

Death of a Goldfish

Euthanizing goldfish and Koi humanely


The Big Chill method

1. Scoop up the fish along with tank or pond water in a large disposable container; one that is opaque (for discretion) instead of translucent. Do not cover

Container should be proportionately sized so that the fish can swim around a bit


2. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, so that the fish will become completely dormant


4. Cover and place the container in the freezer for a minimum 36 hours


5. Dispose of container at your discretion


On rare occasions, goldfish have been known to come back from the dead. Read the story of how one goldfish leaped from its tank and was found dried out; rock hard hours later, only to come back to life when returned to its tank. There are many such goldfish stories. Every creature big or small has a very strong survival instinct. Euthanizing is often a very tough decision to make. Consider this option only when there’s no chance for life, and their suffering is too much for the both of you


Euthanizing goldfish and Koi


Goldfish & Koi Care


Anesthetizing Goldfish


Author: Brenda Rand