You are here reading this article most probably means you are looking for some efficient way to euthanize your pet fish. I know it’s a bit heart saddening for you. But it’s a part of life for any fish lover who owns and pets a good number of fish.

By properly following some specific steps you can at least help your fish to depart from this world with less pain. In this word piece, I would try to portray a clear picture to you so that you can know how to euthanize a fish with clove oil.

The Ideal Time to Euthanize Your Fish

Obviously, it is great fun to have some fish and their splashing sound around you in your cozy room. That’s just a feeling only fish lovers will understand. But when you see your pets are falling sick, you immediately need to provide the proper medical treatment.

You should also know that there is much potential threat to your fish in the aquarium. Each one can be deadly for your fish. It might be that one of the fish got seriously injured because of the other fish. It also might also be affected by pests like freshwater ich, planaria, hydra, etc.

Sometimes you may lose hope after applying everything to help your fish but it’s not acting like it’s healthy. You may see your pet friend moving less and change the pattern in breathing. He might be suffering from dropsy or pinecone.

That’s the moment you should make a decision about what to do with your fish. As time passes, you see he is not playing around in the tank. Mostly keeping himself in one corner. This is the perfect time for you to euthanize your fish. If you really want to end the suffering of your fish this is the way and you can humanely perform it to make it feel less pain.

Make sure you have acquired a minimum idea about fish health. Don’t just directly apply this process on your fish if it’s not acting normal for 2-3 days. You must observe for a longer period of time and then take the decision to euthanize it.

How do you use clove oil to euthanize a fish?

If any kind of bloodshed is the last thing you want to see then using clove oil to euthanize your fish is best for you. For that one product is required and it’s very easy.

You will see that this clove oil method works just like good anesthetics. It will make your fish fall asleep before it is being euthanized. As a result, it would reduce the suffering of fish to a great extent.


How To Euthanize Fish Using Clove Oil

One thing you should take note that clove oil is very effective for euthanizing smaller size fish. Clove oil contains eugenol and works fantastic as an anesthetic, just like MS-222. You can find it at any chemist shop.

Just get a bottle of organic clove oil and follow the steps describing below here:

Step 1: Catch the fish

Take a good amount of water from the aquarium. Fill up the bucket or fish jar where you are going to euthanize your fish. Mostly a gallon of water is enough. Only in the case of large fish do you need more water.

Make sure that you have poured enough water so that the fish can rest inside the container or bucket. Now try to catch the fish. A net would be best for catching the fish.

Simply put it into the container or jar. Try to handle the fish in a very gentle manner which will create less stress on the fish.

Step 2: Mix clove oil with water

Clove oil mixing in water is not a very fast process. You need to perform it slowly. If you add a bit of oil you will notice it will be floating on the surface water of your jar.

Mini pill jars are good for this job. You can fill the jar with the water from your tank. Just add an amount of 4 drops of oil into the water. It would be appropriate to add mild-warm water into the jar or container.

Now simply put the lid on and give a good shake of the jar. Keep doing it until the water changes into white color. The color of the water is supposed to turn into a milky white color. If the color changes it means you did the mixing properly.

Please keep a note in your mind that bigger fish will require more amount of clove oil.

Step 3: Add the clove oil mixture

Take the small jar where you just made the mixture ready to use. Slowly add your clove oil mixture into the container where the fish is being kept. Stir the water gently as you add the mixture. You will notice the container watercolor is changing too. The watercolor will turn into milky white.

A few minutes later, you will see that the movement of your fish has stopped. It may look like dead fish but actually, it is not. It’s kind of knocked out at the moment. Have a close look and you will find the gill of the fish is still moving. Which means it has fallen asleep.

If you find your pet fish is roaming around in the container just add a few more clove oil mixture drops after 5-6 minutes later.

Step 4: Add a stronger dose

As your fish is in sleep, it is the best time to say goodbye to them. Take some water out of the container. Add a few 10-12 drops of the clove oil mixture into the small pill jar and keep shaking it.

Now again add clove oil mixture into the container and wait. Slowly it’ll die due to hypoxia.

It would take a minimum of 30 minutes to fully stop the fish gills’ movement. Whenever you see after checking the fish that the gills are not moving for the next 10-15 minutes it means you are successful at your task.

For instance, if you observe any gill movement even after 25-30 minutes then add more mixture into the container and it will do the job. You will notice that you have euthanized your fish. Or, you can place the fish in the freezer after it has stopped moving just to be sure.

This process is a bit time-consuming and you need patience for that. I hope you will be able to execute the steps properly. This is how you euthanize a fish using clove oil.

Required Tools:

  1. Container or jar
  2. Mild warm water
  3. Organic clove oil
  4. Dropper
  5. Small pill jar


  1. Fish will die in a state of sleep
  2. Painless death


  1. Lengthy process
  2. Fish may not die and wake up later on

Other Methods:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is using clove oil a humane way to kill fish?

Veterinarians regularly use clove oil for the minor and major operations of fish. So it works as a strong sedative. One thing is that using clove oil will take a bit longer time to kill the fish. The best thing is that it will die when it is in a state of deep sleep. So the question of pain doesn’t arise let alone the physical stress.

How can you sedate fish with clove oil?

For euthanization purposes, 0.20 ml per 500ml would be enough. And for normal sedation, you can add 0.05 ml and it would be in deep sleep.

How much time does clove oil take to kill a fish?

After adding the clove oil you should wait for 30 minutes. If you see any kind of movement of the fish’s gills then wait for few moments. 10 minutes later the fish is supposed to be dead by now. Overall the process might take from 25-40 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

Say Goodbye to Your Little Buddies

I know the euthanization thing is not very likable to you as it is one of the bitter sides of any fish owner. But ultimately at the end of the day if you are a lifelong fish lover and fish owner then it’s something you better become used to.

All the mentioned steps hopefully will help you to perform the euthanization of fish more decisively, wisely, and efficiently. For the last suggestion or advice, I would say that don’t hurry in executing all the steps.

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