How to Euthanize a Betta Fish?

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For every pet owner, living with their beloved pets is mostly a fun and loving experience. But there also comes the time of heartbreak.

Every pet has an ending point in their life cycle, and that is when it can be hard for their owners. During this emotional time, it is important to think about the pet and the beautiful times we spent together.

But it is also important to prevent and stop their suffering, if it is happening. It is the same with bettas.

If they have suffered untreatable physical damage or they have contracted a deadly disease that is incurable, then you have to think about ending their suffering as humanely as possible.

Euthanasia is offered as a solution for these cases, and you can do it on your own in a humane way.

It can be difficult to accept that your pet is about to die; but the sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to remember the fun and exciting times you spent together with your beloved pet.

In this article, we will take a look at how to humanely euthanize a betta fish.

Reasons to Euthanize a Betta Fish

Undoubtedly, it can be hard to accept that your betta must go, but your aim now should be to end the suffering and avoid long, and painful deaths. It can be even more heartbreaking to see your betta suffer its way to death, and it might be better to end their lives when they still have some quality of life left.

For euthanasia, there are more possible reasons. One of the most common reasons that the betta fish owners decide to euthanize their bettas is due to the untreatable physical damage that their fish might have endured.

It is terrible to see your betta struggle to live or move around normally with the physical damage, and if there is no way that the damage can be healed, then the best way is to end the suffering.

Another painful way we can see our bettas suffer is due to untreatable diseases. This can be especially heartbreaking to see, as it is something that we cannot control.

Unfortunately, there are some diseases that cannot be treated with medications or treatment therapies, such as tuberculosis, cancer, and even dropsy, or other diseases. Once the diagnosis comes, it is vital to stop the fish from succumbing to a slow and painful death.

What is more, if the disease can spread to other fish, it is also important to think about other fish in the tank. In the case of dropsy, the disease can spread like wildfire, and in many cases, it cannot be treated.

These are also the cases where euthanasia should be considered as the humane way out to prevent spreading and suffering.

How to Euthanize a Betta Fish?

Luckily, there are some ways to euthanize a betta fish on your own. With other pets, it can also be very painful to take them to the vet where you can watch it get euthanized.

With bettas, you can take matters in your own hands and stop the suffering, or you can ask a friend or a relative to help you with it. Here are two ways you can euthanize a betta.

Option 1: Clove Oil

For this, you will need essential clove oil, a large empty container for the fish, a container for mixing the oil, and an air pump, which is optional.

  • First, mix the clove oil with the water in the small container. Add 4 drops of clove oil and some water, it can also be from the tank. Mix it thoroughly and shake until it turns into a milky white color.
  • Meanwhile, place the fish into the other, larger container with the water from the tank.
  • The next step is to drop the clove oil mixture into the container with the fish. After a few seconds, the betta will be unconscious, and you might see it float or swim upside down. But the fish is not dead yet, just knocked out.
  • To complete the euthanasia, add more clove oil to the container to euthanize the betta. The process is now complete, and you can dispose of the body in your own preferred way.

Option 2: Stun and Stab

The other option is to stun and stab the fish. Although it might sound savage, it is actually the quickest way to euthanize the fish, and also humanely.

  • For this, you will need a blunt object, a sharp object, and a piece of aluminum foil. The blunt and the sharp object can be one object, such as a knife.
  • First, place the fish onto the aluminum piece of foil.
  • The next step is to use the blunt object to knock out the fish. You should aim for the head, and produce a blow that will stun the fish. In some cases, it might be enough to kill it.
  • The last step is to stab the fish, preferably through its brain. Don’t worry about it, the fish won’t feel a thing as it is unconscious from the blow. It is the quickest way to euthanize a betta fish.

How to Dispose of a Dead Betta Fish?

You can dispose of it in your own preferred way; many owners prefer to organize burials or even ceremonies where they remember the fish. Some like to take them to the vet and let them take care of it.

How NOT to Kill a Betta Fish?

There are good ways, and then there are bad ways. Some of the worst possible ways include:

  • Flushing the fish down the toilet
  • Using carbon dioxide
  • Suffocating the fish outside the tank
  • Using alcohol or dish soap
  • In boiling water.

Do Betta Fish Feel Pain?

There is a lot of debate over whether or not betta fish feel pain. Some people believe that they do not have the ability to feel pain because they lack the necessary organs. Others believe that they do feel pain and that it is cruel to keep them in small tanks.

The truth is that we don’t really know for sure if betta fish feel pain, however, according to recent studies, bettas, like us humans or other species, do feel pain. So, it is probably best to err on the side of caution and assume that they do feel pain. This way, you can be sure to provide them with the best possible care.


There are humane ways to euthanize a betta fish. Hopefully, if you have come across this difficult and painful decision, you will choose the humane ways over the bad ways to euthanize a betta fish.

Every owner should think about the pain that the pet suffers, and they should disregard their feelings in these cases.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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