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HUMANE DISPOSAL OF FISH AND PLANTS

 

THERE COMES A TIME IN EVER HOBBYIST LIFE WHEN A FISH NEEDS TO BE "PUT DOWN".  IF A FISH IS SUFFERING, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER ANIMAL, YOU NEED TO END ITS LIFE IN A HUMANE MANNER.  THERE ARE LOTS OF "WIVES TALES" ON THE BEST WAY TO END A FISHES LIFE. 

DO NOT:

1. FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET:  ILLEGAL!!!!  NEVER FLUSH ANY FISH, DEAD OR ALIVE, DOWN THE TOILET!  THE UNITED STATES HAS STRICT RULES REGARDING THE INTRODUCTION OF ANY NON NATIVE FISH (DEAD OR ALIVE) INTO THE WATERWAYS.  A FISH CAN SUFFER FOR DAYS IN THE COLD WATER OF THE SEWER, PROLONGING ITS DEMISE.  IF THE FISH WAS SICK IN SOME WAY, IT COULD SPREAD TO NATIVE SPECIES, WHO WOULD HAVE VERY LITTLE RESISTANCE TO A FOREIGN PATHOGEN. 

2.  FREEZE FISH IN FREEZER:  MAYBE ONE OF THE DUMBEST IDEAS EVER PERPETUATED BY THE INTERNET.  WOULD YOU WANT TO SUFFOCATE AS YOU FROZE TO DEATH?  THE COLD OF THE FREEZER AGAIN PROLONGS THE SUFFOCATION OF THE FISH.

3.  INJECTION OF SALT WATER:  ANOTHER CRAZY ONE WE GET CALLS ON ALL THE TIME.  EITHER THE INJECTION OF FRESH WATER INTO SALT WATER FISH, OR THE INJECTION OF SALT WATER INTO FRESH WATER FISH.  NOTHING HUMANE ABOUT THIS METHOD.

THERE ARE CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS THAT WORK WELL (i.e. ROTENONE), BUT ARE GENERALLY NOT AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC AND ARE SUSPECTED AS A CAUSE OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE. 

THE BEST WAY FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON TO PUT DOWN A FISH IS TO PLACE THE ANIMAL IN A STRONG PLASTIC BAG AND SWING IT DOWN ONTO A HARD SURFACE LIKE THE KITCHEN COUNTER OR TILE FLOOR.  THIS IS AN INSTANT, HUMANE SOLUTION.  MAKE SURE THE FISH IS DEAD AND BURRY THE BODY IN THE BACKYARD OR DISPOSE OF IT IN THE REGULAR TRASH, NOT THE TOILET.

 

PLANTS ARE ANOTHER MATTER ALL TOGETHER.  MANY PLANTS AND ALGAE ARE QUITE ADAPTABLE, AND EVEN A SMALL LEAF OR STEM FRAGMENT CAN OFTEN GROW INTO A COMPLETE PLANT, READY TO INVADE OUR WATERWAYS. 

NEW HOBBYIST QUICKLY FIND OUT HOW FAST WELL CARED FOR PLANTS TAKE OVER THE AQUARIUM.  MOST RETAILERS WELCOME YOUR EXTRA PLANTS AND WILL OFTEN GIVE YOU IN STORE CREDIT FOR THEM.  CLUB AUCTIONS ARE ALSO ANOTHER WAY TO DISPENSE YOUR EXTRA PLANTS AND MAKE SOME SIDE MONEY TOO.  BUT, IF YOU ARE JUST OVERWHELMED (OR UNDER WHELMED WITH DEAD PLANTS) AND MUST DISPOSE OF AQUATIC PLANT MATERIAL:

1.  PLACE PLANTS IN FREEZER ZIP LOC BAG

2.  ADD ONE TEASPOON HOUSEHOLD BLEACH

3.  DISPOSE OF IN REGULAR TRASH, NOT THE TOILET

 

SUMMATION:  WE WANT TO ACHIEVE TWO THINGS WITH THE DISPOSAL OF AQUATIC LIFE FORMS.  ONE, THE HUMANE TREATMENT OF OUR ANIMALS.  TWO, AVOIDING THE INTRODUCTION OF NON-NATIVE SPECIES OR PATHOGENS INTO OUR WATERWAYS.

NOTHING WILL GET MORE SPECIES OF TROPICAL FISH AND PLANTS BANNED FROM OUR HOBBY THAN IRRESPONSIBLE HOBBYISTS!

 

FURTHER READING:

AQUARIUM ALGAE TAKES OVER MILES OF SEA FLOOR

 

ERIC WEBSTER

2006  www.cichlidworld.net

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