Best Practice Guide to Disposing of Sick, Unwanted or Dead Fish
Unwanted fish should be re homed with another private fish keeper.
In some cases, the local fish shop can advise on people looking for a particular fish, so it pays to ask around.
If you cannot find anyone local to take your unwanted fish, try asking around on local fish forums or post a notice on TradeMe.
In the worst case scenario, if you can’t find anyone to take your fish, you can consider humane euthanasia. If you need to euthanize a fish, it is best to have the procedure performed by a qualified veterinarian using lethal injection. If this option is not available to you, you can use clove oil which is easily obtained by a local chemist. To do this, capture the fish and put it into a small container filled with a measured amount of tank water. Add at least 5 drops of clove oil per litre of water and leave the fish in a quiet area for about an hour. It will slowly lose consciousness and stop breathing.
Eventually it will die.
Dead fish can pose disease risks to our waterways so it is important to dispose of them properly. Despite common trends, it is not ideal to flush dead fish down the toilet or drain since this water can end up in our waterways. It is better to dispose of dead fish into the household rubbish or landfill after first sealing them in a plastic bag or wrapping them in paper.