Dumping anything out of an aquarium such as fish, animals, and plants can have devastating consequences for any natural waterbodies. This is due to the fact that they are likely not native to your local region, or even city/state and makes them an invasive species. When they’re dumped into the wild they can introduce diseases or become serious predators, killing off local fish colonies, and damaging reefs and vegetation that keep our underwater ecosystem alive and healthy.
Responsible Ways To Get Rid Of Aquatic Life
If you can’t keep your aquarium fish, plants, or animals (snails, shrimp, etc.) anymore, there are responsible alternatives to get rid of them. Plants can be thrown away in the trash, but you’ll need to dispose of your fish and animals more thoughtfully.
- Finding A New Family - If your fish is healthy, try to find it a new home. You can give it away to a friend with an aquarium, or maybe even the store you bought it from. You can also donate your fish to a school, business or another aquarium hobbyist.
- Sell or Trade - Check around at local groups, or post it for sale/trade in our Marketplace as someone may want to buy your fish to add to their aquarium, or you may even be able to trade it for something else.
- Humanely Euthanize - If you can no longer care for your aquatic animal and cannot find them a new home, euthanasia might become an option.
Never Flush Your Fish
Never flush any aquatic animals as some can live within the sewer and sewage system, creating problems for your local facility and city. Additionally, it isn't humane as the conditions within the sewer can cause for your aquatic animal to suffer until it dies, ranging from the gases and chemicals that are within the water. We have put together two different options that are highly recommended when dealing with specifically fish or snails, as any amphibian needs to be released to a shelter as these options are extremely painful for them (as they can live for minutes after these are done or it isn't effective as they breathe oxygen directly from the air).
Option 1. Prepare an euthanasia bath using 13 drops of clove oil per liter of water. Place the fish or snail inside and wait about 10 minutes, before placing into the trash.
Option 2. This may sound very brutal, but it is quick and painless for the fish or snail. You will want to smash the fish or snail's head with a blunt object quickly in order to decapitate it's head from the rest of the body.
Please note that larger fish may require the assistance of a veterinarian dependent on the species.
As always, please do your part as a pet owner and make sure that they have taken care of correctly. Due to many owners simply not doing enough research on care, many fish within the hobby have become problems as invasive species around the world. A few, such as Red Eared Slider Turtles, Plecos, and Lionfish are now destroying local ecosystems that contain no predators for these animals to keep their numbers in control.